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.
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 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!
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 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!
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!
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.
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!
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?