Exploring the Backlists From Authors I Love in 2022

One of my goals for 2022 is to read more backlist titles from my favourite authors. I noticed when looking at my yearly stats that I do not tend to have a lot of repeat authors. I will fall in love with an author’s work but won’t read more from them. Where is the logic in that!? I figured putting together a list that I can reference throughout the year will help me with this.

Heather O’Neill

The Lonely Hearts Hotel might just be my favourite book of all time, so I am ashamed that I haven’t read anything else by Heather O’Neill. She is also Canadian, which is another goal of mine- to read more books by Canadians. The Lonely Hearts Hotel is incredibly atmospheric and the characters will haunt you. It is set in Montreal and we follow two orphans throughout their lives as they fall apart and come back together. It is hard to read at times, and there is a circus in it, which I know will appeal to a lot of readers.

I started Lullabies For Little Criminals in May 2020, and while I was loving it, it was too dark and heartbreaking for me to read in the middle of a lockdown. I have been wanting to return to it ever since and I think now is the time. I feel like I am ready for it! I also own a copy of The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, which I know nothing about but there is a cat on the cover and it is Heather O’Neill. The cover for Daydreams of Angels caught my eye, and When We Lost Our Heads is Heather O’Neill’s newest release, which comes out on February 1st.

Miriam Toews

Miriam Toews is another Canadian author who I absolutely adore. The first book of hers that I read was Women Talking, which was sent to me by the publisher. I am so grateful that they sent it to me because I don’t know that I would have ever read her work otherwise, which would have been a loss. Women Talking follows a group of women in a Mennonite community who are being abused by the men in the community and are deciding whether they should leave all they have ever known or if they should leave. After finishing Women Talking, I immediately picked up All My Puny Sorrows and I ended up adoring this story about the complicated relationships between sisters and how far we will go to protect our family.

I know nothing about A Complicated Kindness, but I have been intrigued by it for years. Fight Night is Miriam Toews’ 2021 release and I have been hearing incredible things about it. I love that it follows a grandmother and a granddaughter. I cannot wait to be with Miriam Toews’ characters again!

Fredrik Backman

I cannot believe I have read so little by Fredrik Backman, especially considering how much I adored both A Man Called Ove and Anxious People. I think A Man Called Ove is the book I find myself recommending most often to people in my real life. It is one of those books I always feel confident in recommending. I listened to Anxious People on audio and thought it did a lot of interesting things. I really need to watch the adaptation!

Bear Town has recently been adapted and I would like to read the book before watching the show, though I know it gets into some heavy topics that could be triggering for me. That said, I do trust Fredrik Backman to handle it well! And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, Britt-Marie Was Here, and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry all seem like quintessential Backman and I want to turn to them when I feel a reading slump coming on throughout the year.

Zoraida Cordova

Zoraida Cordova was my favourite new-to-me author of 2021! I was not prepared for how much I would fall in love with The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina. It was a reminder of just how much I adore magical realism, and if you throw some family saga and drama in there, I am bound to love it. I believe that this was the author’s firs adult novel, so I am excited to explore some of her YA series.

Labyrinth Lost and Indendiary are both the first books in a series, and the last thing I need to do is start new series, but they both caught my attention. I have heard very little about these books, so if you have read them I would love to know what you thought!

S.A Cosby

Razorblade Tears is probably my favourite thriller of all time. I highly recommended the audio and it deserves all of the hype that it has received since it came out last year. I have never been so emotional over a thriller in my life!

I remember seeing Blacktop Wasteland around when it first came out and I wish I had paid more attention to the buzz back then. I refused to let 2022 end without having read this book!

N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season was my best book of 2020 and I am in complete awe of where N.K. Jemisin took the story. She is a genius! I will say that it took me some time to get my footing while reading it, but it was more than worth it in the end. I actually read Jemisin’s short story, Emergency Skin, first, and I thought it was a perfect way to get a taste of her writing style. I highly recommend it!

I cannot believe I have yet to read The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky. Well… I guess I should not be surprised since it is a series. I have to finish it this year! I have the audiobook for The City We Became and I am so intrigued by the premise. I have also seen The Killing Moon around and it has always intrigued me.

Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go is the other book that is fighting for my favourite book of all time. There is just something about it that hit me in a different way. I also really loved Klara and the Sun and it was one of my best books of 2021. I finally read The Beauty That Remains last year and it is completely different from the other books I have read from him, but I really enjoyed it!

Kazuo Ishiguro has an extensive backlist and I am sort of lost of where to go next. I would love any recommendations if you have read more of his work! The Buried Giant and When We Were Orphans are the two that caught my eye.

Akemi Dawn Bowman

Starfish and The Infinity Courts are two very different books from Akemi Dawn Bowman, but I really loved them both. Starfish is a hard-hitting contemporary YA and I think about it often. The Infinity Courts is the start of a YA SciFi series where a Siri-like character has taken over the afterlife and it is a blast!

The Genesis Wars is the sequel to The Infinity Courts and it comes out this year. I will be reading it ASAP, especially after the ending of the first book. Summer Bird Blue and Harley in the Sky are two contemporaries from her that I have been wanting to read for ages!

Maggie O’Farrell

Hamnet ends up on so many readers’ favourites lists, for good reason. I adore the writing in the book and the exploration of grief. I was so moved by the ending! I Am, I Am, I Am is Maggie O’Farrell’s memoirs and it was my first introduction to her writing. I fell in love with her and thought that this was such an interesting way to write a memoir.

Maggie O’Farrell is another author who has quite a big backlist and I find myself completely lost. I have not heard a lot about her other work, so I don’t know where to go from here. Help me! This Must Be the Place and Instructions for a Heatwave were the two that stood out to me.

Are you someone who goes back and reads the backlist of authors you love?

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32 thoughts on “Exploring the Backlists From Authors I Love in 2022

  1. I’m planning on reading Bear Town some time before spring! I loved A Man Called Ove, but it’s the only one I have read by Backman so far.

  2. Labyrinth Lost is the only one of these that I’ve read. I didn’t love it as much as most of my blogging friends did – but mostly I think the romance didn’t feel as genuine as the rest of it. It was a Cybils finalist the year it came out, though, so I feel like mine is definitely a minority opinion and you should try it if the description sounds appealing. And I do also often read just one book by an author and never follow up! I’ve been trying to work on it, though.

  3. It’s quite the opposite with me! When I fall in love with a new author I tend to binge read his books!

  4. I enjoyed a Complicated Kindness so so much! I had to read it for a class in university and I just fell in love that I read it twice in the span of 3 weeks! I want to reread it since it’s been years. I recently bought My Puny Sorrows so I can’t wait to get to that!

  5. That’s a good idea to explore their back lists.
    And The Buried Giant and Backman’s books have been on my TBR for such a long time now.

  6. This is something I’m also really keen to do this year! The only O’Neill I’ve read is Lullabies for Little Criminals, so I’m definitely wanting to check out The Girl Who Was Saturday Night. I’m a big Ishiguro and O’Farrell fan. If you liked The Remains of the Day, the best read-alike is probably his An Artist of the Floating World. My favourite O’Farrell novels are This Must Be The Place and After You’d Gone, but I didn’t like Hamnet so this might not be the same for you 🙂 I don’t think she’s written another novel like Hamlet tbh – if you liked I Am, I Am, I Am (which I loved!) you might be interested to see how she uses some of that autobiographical material in her novel The Distance Between Us.

  7. I really loved My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises, although it has been so long since I read it that I couldn’t tell you what it is about anymore. As for Kazuko Ishiguro, I’ve only read one of his books but I really loved it, and it was An Artist of the Floating World, so if you’re looking for more backlist recommendations you might want to try that one! It’s one of his older ones but (somewhat) recently they came out with a 20th anniversary edition and it is gorgeous!

      1. I was really lucky and that just happened to be the copy that my local bookshop had, but it does seem tricky to get hold of! Good luck!

  8. I really loved My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises, although it has been so long since I read it that I couldn’t tell you what it was about anymore. As for Kazuo Ishiguro, I’ve only read one of his books (but I really loved it), so I would recommend An Artist of the Floating World. They also recently came out with a 20th anniversary edition and it is stunning! P.S. I already posted this comment once but my computer glitched and I don’t know if it posted or not so just in case I’m posting again… sorry if you get two identical comments!

  9. I have a very similar experience with Kazuo Ishiguro – I read the same 3 books plus An Artist of the Floating World, but the latter I did not enjoy as much.

    I have a backlist for Bernardine Evaristo 🙂 First I read Girl, Woman, Other, and then I planned to read her other already published books (read Blonde Roots, hope to read soon Mr Loverman).

  10. Great post! I do go back and read the backlists of authors I love when I can, with mixed success. Sometimes there’s a reason why a particular book is an author’s breakout, and the earlier books just don’t quite live up to expectations. (Of course, that’s also NOT the case a lot of times…) I still have a few Backman books to get to as well, although I started the Grandmother one a while back (after reading Ove) and couldn’t stand the storytelling voice. I may still give it another try at some point — I did love Beartown and other of his books. The only Ishiguro I’ve read is Never Let Me Go, which I loved, but for some reason I’ve been scared to try any other of his books. Good luck with all these!

    1. I think that is part of why I don’t do this as much as I should. I often wonder if a certain book isn’t popular for a reason, but then I think I could be missing out on a hidden gem!

      If you loved Never Let Me Go I definitely think you will enjoy Klara and the Sun!

  11. Except for Frederik Backman (who I love), I haven’t read any of these authors and all of them have at least one book I put on my TBR. I seriously need to get on this.

  12. Yes also going through Fredrik Backman – only read a man called Ove so far, and I’m still thinking about it!
    Taylor Jenkins Reid is another author who’s backlist I want to read through too x

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