#20BacklistIn2020 Challenge: Great Book Suggestions from Our Staff!

In January, we challenged you to read 20 backlist books in 2020. You didn’t think we’d forget, did you? We’re more than a quarter way through the year (yes, actually!) so we thought it’d be a good time to show you some of our favorite backlist books we’ve read so far. Which ones are on your list?

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

Reviewed by: Lauren N. — Assistant Product Manager, Core Business

Describe the book in 3 words: Charming, quirky, and compelling!

Why you wanted to read it: New author to me, came recommended by Reese Witherspoon (heart eyes), and compared to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, which I LOVED.

Who was your favorite character and why? Susan was a fascinating character to read as the narrator, really making you read between the lines to get to the heart of her motivations, but I think my favorite character was Rob – he’s rough around the edges but super charismatic and supportive despite Susan’s prickly behavior towards him. I fell in love.

How long did it take you to read the book? Less than a week!

What’s your favorite thing about getting to work with books every day? I get to spend my workday talking about all types of storytelling and strategizing how to elevate different voices and messages in a way that will reach potential readers in a meaningful way. Plus, free books! It is my dream job.

What’s next on your TBR list? An endless list of books, but next up is Canadian author Michael Christie’s Greenwood.

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

Reviewed by: Manu V. — Assistant Product Manager, Harlequin Brand Group

Describe the book in 3 words: Moving, meditative, and engrossing.

Why you wanted to read it: I was so excited to read this book because after reading the stunning The Lost Girls of Paris, I was eager to dive into some of her previous work!

Who was your favorite character and why? ? I absolutely loved Astrid, I thought she was so completely imagined–fierce, honest, observant and yet also deeply vulnerable.

How long did it take you to read the book? It was a quick read that took me two evenings.

What’s your favorite thing about getting to work with books every day? I think the question says it all, but just being surrounded by incredible stories and incredible storytellers. I’ve been a reader since I was 6 and I still pinch myself when I walk in everyday to check if it’s real.

What’s next on your TBR list? I’m really excited to read John Adams Under Fire. I have a copy on my desk right now!

Cooper’s Charm by Lori Foster

Cooper's Charm by Lori Foster

Reviewed by: Eden C.—Assistant Product Manager, Hanover Square Press & Trade Backlist

Describe the book in 3 words: Charming (haha!), atmospheric, and surprising.

Why you wanted to read it: This was my first Lori Foster! I read it as part of my romance book club #supersexybookclub. My friends in the book club are all HUGE Lori fans and have read all her backlist series.

Who was your favorite character and why? I really identified with Ridley, one of the main sisters in the book. She’s hardcore, but she’s been through a lot and is just looking for a bit of a break.

How long did it take you to read the book? Less than 1 weekend.

What’s your favorite thing about getting to work with books every day? Knowing that every single book I work on could be the book that turns someone into a reader, or takes them away from a hard day, or merely grabs their whole attention and refuses to let go.

What’s next on your TBR list? Frontlist? The Bright Lands by John Fram. This book is so hard to describe; I’m really enjoying diving into it. Backlist? The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson—a book about books—need I say more?

The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter

Reviewed by: Denise T.—Product Manager, Galley & Cover Development

Describe the book in 3 words: Sexy, fun, and addicting!

Why you wanted to read it: I wanted to read one of Gena Showalter’s books for a long time. I knew she had a VERY loyal fan base and I wanted to see what the hype was about. I get it now! What a fun read!

Who was your favorite character and why? Gillian was my favorite. She was so spunky and really had some growth in the book.

How long did it take you to read the book? About a week – I don’t have a lot of free time so I make sure to take books with me wherever I go and catch quick reading breaks in my commute or wherever I can spare a few minutes.

What’s your favorite thing about getting to work with books every day? I absolutely love seeing and being a part of the cover process. Seeing a cover come to life and become a finished book is really quite magical to me. I am in awe of our Art teams! They really are magicians who take a few descriptions and turn them into amazing works of art.

What’s next on your TBR list? I am very excited to read the next book in the Lords of the Underworld series. Now that I read The Darkest Warrior, I need to know more!

How’s your challenge is coming along? Let us know in the comments below!

    Katie Didow

    Katie's been a book nerd ever since she skipped out on recess to read Harry Potter. When she's not reading, you'll find her sewing, baking or binge-watching her old favorite TV shows on Disney+.

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