12 Backlist Books That Continue to Trend with Readers

Posted by Cybil on June 10, 2021


These twelve books are so consistently adored, they have become regulars month after month in our data of most popular and most read books on Goodreads.

Clearly beloved by readers sometimes years after they were first published, these books have prompted tearful devotion from reviewers on TikTok (BookTok, if you will), Instagram (Bookstagram, natch), and, obviously, Goodreads. For example, Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles was published in 2011, and is the fifth-highest trending book among Goodreads' 125 million members this week with a 4.40-star average rating out of more than 349,000 reader reviews. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is trending on Goodreads in the seventh position this week. That book first came out in 2017, has a 4.40 average star rating and more than 348,000 reader reviews. 

Long story, short: If you're struggling to find your next page-turner, you cannot go wrong with these fan favorites! Scroll over the covers to learn more about each novel, and be sure to add the books that pique your interest to your Want to Read shelf!


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Which of these books would you recommend to your fellow readers? Let us know in the comments below!

Check out more recent articles:
Readers' Most Anticipated Books of June
The 2021 Pride Reading List: 75 New Books to Read Now
42 Superb New Short Story Collections to Read in 2021

Comments Showing 1-50 of 65 (65 new)


message 1: by Layma (new)

Layma not calling last year's books backlist lol


message 2: by justinereads (new)

justinereads Layma wrote: "not calling last year's books backlist lol"
Wow I was just thinking that. Backlist is once the author has a new book out...


message 3: by Betsy (new)

Betsy I don't want to read any of these.


message 4: by Sofia (new)

Sofia Samu So y'all saying that books that were published only last year are still popular? *gasp*


message 5: by Corey (new)

Corey Circelli The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is my favourite of the list but Song of Achilles, RWaRB, Circe, and The House on the Cerulean Sea are among my favourites shelf...


message 6: by julhana (new)

julhana Betsy wrote: "I don't want to read any of these."

that's homophobic
(issa joke cause most of these are famous lgbt books)


message 7: by D.G. (last edited Jun 10, 2021 05:57AM) (new)

D.G. Sofia wrote: "So y'all saying that books that were published only last year are still popular? *gasp*"

HAHAHAHA!!!!

Agree, none of these are actually what I would consider a backlist (you would have to have written more than one book to start!)

I think they just took a selection from this list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/most_r...

Here are some books from this selection that I would consider part of backlist...
The Duke and I (and this is popular because of the Netflix series...)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Shadow and Bone
etc.


message 8: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Prince justinereads wrote: "Layma wrote: "not calling last year's books backlist lol"
Wow I was just thinking that. Backlist is once the author has a new book out..."


I think they do.....


message 9: by Diane (last edited Jun 10, 2021 07:24AM) (new)

Diane Betsy wrote: "I don't want to read any of these."

Nor do I.


message 10: by Alicja (new)

Alicja ✨ booktok ✨


message 11: by Jen (new)

Jen Betsy wrote: "I don't want to read any of these."

You're missing out. The ones I've read on this list have been fantastic; The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was one of my favorites. Vanishing Half is terrific. Circe is astonishing and creative.


message 12: by Virginia (new)

Virginia A LIttle Life, the Vanishing Half, and Addie LaRue are all among my rare 5-star reads.
It Ends with Us and The Silent Patient - one star!


message 13: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (JessiReadsYA) Diane wrote: "Betsy wrote: "I don't want to read any of these."

Nor do I."


Then don't. You're missing out on some great books, but it is what it is.


message 14: by Neela (new)

Neela Corey wrote: "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is my favourite of the list but Song of Achilles, RWaRB, Circe, and The House on the Cerulean Sea are among my favourites shelf..."

STOP I LOVE THIS COMMENT


message 15: by Emily (new)

Emily B I have read four of these - three were absolutely superb (Circe, Vanishing Half, and Song of Achilles) and the fourth was very good! (Seven Husbands)


message 16: by Charli (new)

Charli House in the Cerulean Sea might be the best book I've read this year.
We Were Liars was ok.. I thought it was good but definitely intended for a younger audience.
I have a few of the others out from the library right now so we'll see if they live up to the hype!


message 17: by Iris (new)

Iris These seem fairly recent. If a book is under 10 years old then it's still pretty new to me, especially as it takes some time to get through your pile of books before you entertain newer ones...


message 18: by Kameswara (new)

Kameswara The house in the cerulean sea!!!!!! So heartwarming! Highly recommend <3......That book drowned me and killed me in an ocean of cuteness, love and tears


message 19: by Ursula (new)

Ursula I couldn't agree more!!!! I smiled, laughed and cried...


message 20: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca S All of these are on my TBR, or I've recently read, except a little life that I refuse to read, and we were liars I read years ago and absolutely hated it. RW&RB is a bit overrated. But after reading Daisy Jones & The Six I'm so excited to read Addie LaRue, but also the house in the cerulean sea (which is the reason why my book order is 5 days delayed and I won't get them until tomorrow).
It's going to be a wonderful reading summer.


message 21: by Apple (new)

Apple Ma Betsy wrote: "I don't want to read any of these."

omg why?


message 22: by Apple (new)

Apple Ma Jen wrote: "Betsy wrote: "I don't want to read any of these."

You're missing out. The ones I've read on this list have been fantastic; The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was one of my favorites. Vanishing Half..."


I say this as a GIANT reader and let me tell you, after reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, picking a fav book have NEVER been easier. IT IS THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LA RUE!!!


message 23: by Bobbi (new)

Bobbi julhana wrote: "Betsy wrote: "I don't want to read any of these."

that's homophobic
(issa joke cause most of these are famous lgbt books)"


Your "joke" is more problematic than Betsy saying she isn't interested in these books.


message 24: by Jamie (new)

Jamie I'm with Layma, not calling 2020 books backlisted, I call them new releases.


message 25: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Laine The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue are two of my absolute favorites!


message 26: by Aditi (new)

Aditi Varma I read that as Blacklist and took some time wondering what's wrong with these books before realising my mistake🤦‍♀️


message 27: by Lillyg (last edited Jun 10, 2021 04:50PM) (new)

Lillyg justinereads wrote: "Layma wrote: "not calling last year's books backlist lol"
Wow I was just thinking that. Backlist is once the author has a new book out..."


I was thinking along those lines I was like "uh, how can you call last year's books backlist when they are still in the process of being translated to other languages..."


message 28: by Lillyg (new)

Lillyg Sofia wrote: "So y'all saying that books that were published only last year are still popular? *gasp*"

Too bad we can't "like" comments xD


message 29: by Katie (new)

Katie I definitely consider a book a "new" release the year after it comes out too, since books have a longer shelf life (lol) than some other forms of media. This list is so weird!


message 30: by TMR (new)

TMR I always love a good TJR novel.


message 31: by Mariya (new)

Mariya Tumanova The Song of Achilles is in my to read list. I'll be adding The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and Circe to my want to read list too.

But tbh Red, White & Royal Blue was absolutely dreadful. Such a bore. I don't recommend it.


message 32: by April (new)

April Teesdale I’ve read 2 of these books. The rest don’t seem interesting enough. I’m into horror anyway. Not a big fan of romance either.


message 33: by Maelia (new)

Maelia I am surprised that A Little Life made it onto this list. Surely everybody knows by now how agonizing and unrewarding this book is to read (or has been warned by a friend)? I have never been more disappointed by a book that was so well-written but had such such a truly awful, dragging, and nonsensical plot. I stuck it out until the end and regretted it.


message 34: by arushi (new)

arushi just say booktok and go


message 35: by Chris (new)

Chris Is this even GoodReads?

I think it's just Drama.


message 36: by Louis V. (new)

Louis V. 'A Little Life' by Hanya Yanagihara. Such a Masterpiece!


message 37: by Tibor (new)

Tibor Horvath Love to see lgbt+ books on here!


message 38: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth This doesn’t make sense.


message 39: by Lia (new)

Lia 'A Little Life' by Hanya Yanagihara, my favorite book of all time. An absolute masterpiece!


message 40: by Sophie=bookworm (last edited Jun 13, 2021 01:29AM) (new)

Sophie=bookworm Why don't you want to read any of them?


message 41: by Sophie=bookworm (last edited Jun 13, 2021 01:30AM) (new)

Sophie=bookworm It was so cool! That book was such a good read! (By that book I mean the house on the Cerulean sea.)


message 42: by Sasha (new)

Sasha i think most of these books are trending bc of booktok, tho i don't have tik tok, i see lists like "booktok's most recommended books" everywhere and mostly those lists include all of these books.

i've only read three of these books. i loved beach read and rw&rb but the invisible life of addie larue was just okay. i have the others on my tbr and i'm specially excited to read the song of achilles!


message 43: by Emma (new)

Emma Griffioen feeling kinda cool cause i’ve read all but one… 😂


message 44: by HR (new)

HR Habibur Rahman We were liars seems interesting 😐


kittykat (Jo Tortitude) I've read and loved two of them, read and not loved one, and have a couple more on mount TBR.

But, as others have already said, for 'backlist', this is an utterly ridiculous list. The oldest of all these is not quite 10 years old, the next being only 7 years old and another 7 of them were released less than three years ago which to me makes them fairly recent. Of course they are still 'trending' with readers!


message 46: by Jake (new)

Jake Imagine thinking any of this stuff is worth reading. Flannery O'Connor: “Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”


message 47: by Chantaal (new)

Chantaal Jake wrote: "Imagine thinking any of this stuff is worth reading. Flannery O'Connor: “Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. Th..."

Quality and personal taste is one thing, but judging worthiness? Garbage gatekeeping elitism. Come on, now.

A book someone enjoys reading is one worth reading. Simple as that.


message 48: by Jodi (new)

Jodi What exactly makes these blacklist?


message 49: by Jodi (new)

Jodi Ooo backlist


message 50: by Bridget (last edited Jun 13, 2021 04:50PM) (new)

Bridget People keep going back and forth about the word "backlist". Looking at the definition of backlist, it doesn't give a specific time frame. It just says "older books". There is front list is more recent books. I assume 2020-2021 books. As we are just 6 months into 2021. Back list to some may be 2019 and earlier. It definitely didn't say anything about authors writing other books. Some authors may only have one book and that book may be 5, 10 or even, 20+ years old. Now, the definitions I may have seen may be just quick definitions and that's fine but I am only going by what I did see about publishing when it comes to back list books and front list. (Don't @ or message me trying to "prove me wrong". I am just stating what I personally saw and that it isn't that serious. I am only responding because I get tired of the debate. What you may see as backlist, others may not).

And as far as people not being interested in any of these books and people "Taking offense", it's called preferences. What you like, others may not have an interest in. You have your preferences, so do others. And of the 12 books, there might be a tiny interest in 3 but not enough to really go too much out my way to get them.


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