The Backlist Book Club

Books piling up faster than you can read? I’ve got a club for you!

Last week, I shared a post about why I started a book club. You can find it linked below, if you missed it. You may have read it and said to yourself, “This sounds great, but I can’t join a book club. I have too many  unread books already!” Well, sweet friend, I do too. That’s why I started a second book club just for bookworms like us who hoard and collect faster than we can read. There is still community to be found!

It’s called the Backlist Book Club!

Before we dive any further, let’s define a couple of terms you’ll read in this post.

TBR: “to be read”, books you haven’t read yet but plan to… at some point… hopefully soon…

Backlist: this is a loose term, but typically, this term refers to books published more than a year ago.

This club doesn’t operate like a traditional book club. Our goal is not to read a shared book and discuss, but rather commit to reading a book off of our own shelves, share our thoughts, cheer each other on, check in throughout the month and give recommendations of books we finally got around to reading!

To make it a little more fun, we vote on a genre to read within each month, but that’s really just a boundary if you want it. You have the freedom to pick up anything that’s calling to you!

Although our goal is to read one book a month from our backlist TBR, this club has led many of us to reading more than one! One month, I picked up a YA novel and loved it so much I ended up reading the next two in the series in the same month! You can find more on that series on this Instagram post.

We read a new genre each month and are incredibly laid back and supportive! We would love for you to come read with us!

If you’d like to read more about our more traditional online book club, check out this blog post!

The Bookcase Beauty Book Club

I can see the headline now, “Girl who previously hated commitment reading starts a book club.”

You may be thinking, “how does that even happen?!” For such a long time, I was so turned off by book clubs and buddy reads. I’m a mood reader through and through and the thought of letting a group decide my reading was anything but enticing.

But, like anyone with a growth mindset, there’s room to try new things. I began feeling like a key element of community was missing. For a while, I thought it was just an effect of my Instagram account growing and life becoming increasingly busy. I was feeling the need for deeper connections.

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*Enter The Bookcase Beauty Book Club*

Book clubs were once very intimidating to me. It felt like a lot of commitment to one group and I was worried that by joining one, I might get burned out. By starting The Bookcase Beauty Book Club, I was able to set the tone for a club that is laid back and welcoming. I am so appreciative that authors are often able to join us!

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I started The Bookcase Beauty Book Club in February of 2022. I tried several platforms before landing on Bookclubs. My kind club was so patient and open to trying new platforms until we had one that felt the most conducive to conversations and community.

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Each month, we vote between 3-4 titles that we would most like to read. Throughout the month, we check it, ask questions, give updates, share reactions (and sometimes, oddly, recipes), and at the end of the month we meet via Zoom to discuss. We have been so lucky to have many authors join our club chats! We also have a casual virtual happy hour around mid-month, which we use to catch up on shows and other book recommendations.

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We typically read new releases (within the last few months). This ensures that most of the club won’t have read it and will be able to fully participate. We’ve read thrillers, contemporary fiction, romantic comedies, and historical fiction.

We are a very casual and welcoming group and we’d love for you to join us!

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I also have a Backlist Book Club made up of readers who need some commitment to tackling their TBR! Check it out and come join us if you need a little accountability!

Questions?! Leave me a comment! I’d love to chat!

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Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez Five Star Review

I recently read Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez and it was a total five star read! It will be one that’s added to the stack of Five Star Reads of 2022! This historical fiction based on true events will completely captivate you.

I selected this as one of my Book of the Month picks a few months ago. If you’re not familiar with Book of the Month, it’s a fantastic subscription service. I’ve been a member for five years with no plans to stop. Some of my all-time favorites like Pachinko, The Poisonwood Bible, and The People We Keep have been discovered through this service. You can click here and get your first box for only $5!

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Take My Hand

Take My Hand is one that will sit with you for a long time. Based on real events, this story takes place in Montgomery, Alabama. Civil Townsend is a young nurse who is determined to help her patients at the family planning clinic.

Two of her first patients are 11- and 13-year-old sisters that are being administered monthly birth control shots, despite not being sexually active. They are poor and Black, and for those in control of the family’s welfare benefits, that’s all that’s needed to justify mandatory shots.

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One day, Civil discovers something horrific and irreparable has happened to the girls. She vows then and there to advocate for these girls and their family. They take their case all the way to the Supreme Court.

I was in the trenches for this one. Civil internally debates many of the issues that are still debated today, in respect to birth control and abortion. It broke me to keep remembering that this was based on real events.

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It’s moving and emotional. It was absolutely an “I’m not stopping until it’s done” book. A one-day read. The narration is incredible. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend the audio file.

Check out my review on Instagram for more on this beautiful book!

You can purchase Take My Hand here.

You can also browse all of my favorite books in my Amazon Storefront.

Have you read Take My Hand? Leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

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The Bodyguard by Katherine Center Five Star Review

“Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.” That viral sound clip was the first thing that came to mind when I closed this precious gem of a book.

I read The Bodyguard on a plane ride back to Texas after spending a week in Colorado. Set on a Texas ranch, it was the perfect coming home novel.

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Hannah is an Executive Protection Agent (a bodyguard) and she’s been hired to protect the household-name celebrity Jack Stapleton. Oh yeah, and he’s also the sexiest man alive. Literally.

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The best way to protect “the principle” in this scenario? To act as his girlfriend. The more time they spend together, the harder it is to keep professional boundaries…

…and the harder it was for me to pace my reading because I couldn’t put this story down! It was a full sprint! I was sad when it ended because that meant I couldn’t keep living in this world with Hannah and Jack.

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Center’s books are auto-reads for me and this one is no exception. I absolutely loved it!

I loved it so much that I decided to create an embroidery of the cover art. It was extremely fun crossing my two passions of reading and embroidery.

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My fangirl level hit record highs when Center invited me to attend her Fort Worth tour stop at Monkey and Dog Books and I gifted her the embroidery. It was a bookworm’s absolute dream of a day!

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The Bodyguard is Center’s latest novel and it’s out now. This is a must-read and also one of my Five Romance Recommendations of 2022. Grab your copy here and thank me later!

Other favorite books by Katherine Center: How to Walk Away and What You Wish For

Have you read The Bodyguard? I’d love to hear from you! 

Leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought!

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Five Summer Romance Reads of 2022

These five recommendations come with a sweetness (and maybe like a poblano pepper level of spice) guarantee. Ones that not only will you love, but can feel confident recommending to your mother, too!

Summer isn’t over yet- at least not in Texas. We are still well within our stretch of 100+ degree days and there’s currently no end in sight.

If you’re looking for a light, lovey book to help take your mind off of these hot days, keep reading!

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I present to you five romance books I’ve read and loved in 2022:

Now, I’m not one to typically reach for the spiciest reads and definitely not someone who’s interested in dark romance. No shade to those that are, but I prefer love stories with a little more sweetness than spice.

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Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez

I’m a huge fan of Abby Jimenez. No surprise here, I loved her latest novel Part of Your World. It’s spectacular. It’s sweet. It’s funny. It gave my heart a hug. She has such a talent for crafting stories that are full of humor and fun, yet still carefully carry heavy life topics.

Pick this one up and prepare to laugh and feel a twinge in your heart. You can’t go wrong with any of her titles, so while you’re adding this one to your cart go ahead and grab another like The Friend Zone or The Happily Ever After Playlist. There will be no regrets.

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The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

Hannah is an Executive Protection Agent (a bodyguard) and she’s been hired to protect the household-name celebrity Jack Stapleton. The best way to protect “the principle” in this scenario? To act as his girlfriend. The more time they spend together, the harder it is to keep professional boundaries…

…and the harder it was for me to pace my reading because I couldn’t put this story down! It was a full sprint! I was sad when it ended because that meant I couldn’t keep living in this world with Hannah and Jack.

No shame, I fangirled so much over this book. I made an embroidery of the cover art and then gifted it to Center when she came to town on The Bodyguard tour. It was fantastic and she’s truly a gem of a human!

Center’s books are auto-reads for me and this one is no exception. I absolutely loved it! Along with Jimenez, you can’t read just one of Center’s books. So while you’re picking up this one, go ahead and grab some of her others like How to Walk Away or What You Wish For.

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The Dead Romantics by Ashley Posten

This one took me by surprise! Posten was a new author to me and when I read the synopsis of The Dead Romantics, it immediately reminded me of the 2005 movie Just Like Heaven, starring Reese Witherspoon. I knew I needed to read this ghostly love story!

Florence Day is a ghostwriter for one of the most well-known romance writers of our time. But, after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love and is having an all but impossible time writing to meet her upcoming deadline.

Oh yeah, and she can see ghosts. Just like her dad.

She travels home after her dad has passed away to find the ghost of her editor. Both are confused as to why and how he’s died. Not only that, but there is some unfinished business that has her second guessing everything she knows about love.

This story was so refreshing and creative! It’s a fast, summer read that will leave you feeling hopeful!

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Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

This was a case of star change! After initially reading this book, I gave it four stars. I completely enjoyed it! My opinion grew even stronger after I had the opportunity to discuss the book with our book club!

After discussing the intricacies of the plot and characters, I realized that I loved this book so much more. It’s light. It’s fun. It’s parent-trappy, but there are other complexities within it that make it so full. While other romantic comedies center on sexy, strapping men, Solomon was very intentional about creating a story around normal people with normal bodies and normal struggles.

During our book club chat, she expressed that although this is a romance, she didn’t quite agree with the ‘romcom’ label it was getting. This is a precious, light, and fun story, but it’s presented with such refreshing normalcy!

You can check out my review here!

While you’re adding to cart, go ahead and grab The Ex Talk too! It’s equally amazing!

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Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Emily Henry is such a skilled storyteller. She has an incredible talent for building sweet love stories that make you swoon. I love that when summer comes around, I can count on a romance story that will give me little flutters in my heart.

Such was the case for Book Lovers! Nora is a literary agent- a fantastic one to boot. Charlie is a sharp editor with little room for admiration. While on a sister trip to small town Sunshine Falls, Nora keeps running into- of all people- Charlie! Their past encounters have them at odds, but as they get to know each other in a new light, they may be rewriting their story.

Henry’s stories are essential summer reading. If you haven’t read my favorite of hers, People We Meet on Vacation, go ahead and add to cart! You’ll be happy you did!

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So, there you have it!

My top five romance recommendations- of the summer, of 2022, in general. You won’t regret any of these sweet reads!

Have you read any? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think! 

What would you add to this list?!

For more recommendations, check out my list of Five-Star Reads in 2022!

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