A New Challenge for 2023…

The Looking Forward Challenge

Last year I did a series of eight Looking Forward posts where I looked back at old reviews which I finished by saying something along the lines of “I’ll be looking forward to reading more of her work/this series/his books in the future” to see if I actually did read more and, if I did, did I like the ones I looked forward to as much as the ones that made me look forward to them. My success rate at following up on these authors was higher than I anticipated, but there were some that had slipped through the net completely or who still have books I haven’t read and would like to. In some cases I’d actually bought the relevant book or books and then left them lingering unread in the dark recesses of the TBR, sometimes for years.

It seems a bit pointless to do the Looking Forward posts unless it actually inspires me to finally fill those gaps, so over the last few months I’ve been trying to fit some of them into my reading schedule. However, since challenges always motivate me, I decided to create a little challenge to read a book from each of the remaining authors in 2023 – that is, those authors who featured on a Looking Forward post in 2022 as having slipped through the net and/or whose books are still stuck on my TBR.

Turns out there are fourteen of them, and I already have books from ten of them on my TBR. Here they are, in no particular order, with the books I’m planning to read. The links on the book titles will take you to Goodreads if you want to find out more about them…

Gillian White – Refuge

Jane Casey – The Close

Johan Theorin – The Darkest Room

Tom Vowler – Every Seventh Wave

RJ Ellory – City of Lies

Hari Kunzru – The Impressionist

Lexie Conyngham – A Knife in Darkness

Camilla Läckberg – The Preacher

Yrsa Sigurdardottir – Last Rituals

Douglas Watt – Death of a Chief

Colm Tóibín – The South

Ken Kalfus – 2 A.M. in Little America

Chris Grabenstein – Tilt-a-Whirl

Jude Morgan – The Taste of Sorrow

I’m planning to do more of the Looking Forward posts this year, so the challenge may turn into a cyclical thing where each year I try to catch up on the books I’ve reminded myself about the year before! Of course the problem is, if I enjoy these books I’ll probably finish my review by saying I’m looking forward to more…
#neverendingtreadmill #toomanybooks #firstworldproblems

Have you read any of the books on my list? Are there authors you’re looking forward to catching up on in 2023?

Wish Me Luck!

49 thoughts on “A New Challenge for 2023…

  1. What a great idea for a challenge, FictionFan! And I really like your list. I’ve enjoyed the Grabenstein I’ve read, so I’m hopeful you will, too. Theorin’s another author I liked (quite a different sort of story from Grabenstein’s work, of course!), and I’m looking forward to how you feel about moving forward with his work. Yrsa Sigurðardóttir has done some excellent work, too. I think you’re in store for some good reading experiences!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve got the audiobook version of the Grabenstein – the narrator sounds good on the sample, and gets a lot of praise, so I’m hoping it’ll be fun. I’ve read a few of Theorin’s books and enjoyed them all so I’m feeling confident about that one. Sigurdardottir is more dubious – I think she’s a great writer but sometimes she gets way too gruesome for my taste. I’m hoping this one is at the milder end!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great new idea for a challenge! I read The South last summer and loved it and vowed to read more Toibin and I’m going to with your recommendation of Norah Webster, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds great! I haven’t read any of these books – in fact I don’t think I’ve read anything by any of these authors – so I look forward to hearing which, if any, I should be adding to my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went through a long spate of reading tons of new-to-me authors, which is fun but means I never really caught up with any of their back catalogues! My faves from this list are Jane Casey, Colm Toibin, Hari Kunzru and Ken Kalfus, although I’ve loved at least one book from all fourteen of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This sounds like a great idea – I should probably do something similar myself as there are so many authors I’ve been meaning to read more of and never have! Of the books on your list, I enjoyed The Darkest Room and The Taste of Sorrow but haven’t read any of the others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I got fed up typing “I’ll read more” at the end of every five-star review and then never doing it, so drastic action needed to be taken! 😉 I’m looking forward to both of those, but the joy of this challenge is that I’m actually looking forward to them all!


  5. Oops, I started reading an Yrsa Sigurdardóttir book, not realising it was the last in her Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series beginning with your listed title! Ho hum. Anyway, good luck with your nominated works, it all looks very, er, worthy but I hope also enjoyable. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, I started with her by reading a later one in the series too, and said I’d backtrack to the beginning – that was about eight years ago! Thank you – in theory it should be enjoyable, since I’ve loved at least one book from all these authors in the past. In theory…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that you not only created your own challenge, but you made a banner for it, too! I did my own challenge one year, but didn’t think to do anything like that!

    Love the Rocky Horror gif. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Of course I wish you luck! I haven’t read any of the books on this list, so I’ll be interested in reading your reviews. It’s nice you’ve set the bar so high….


    • I’ve been trying to look ahead a bit more this year to try to find some good new releases, so I have a few on my pre-order list. Might have gone off them by the time they come out though! 😉


  8. I’ve read Knife in Darkness and Last Rituals and also books by a number of the other authors. I have Every Seventh Wave already highlighted on my list after reading What Lies Within a few years back on your recommendation, and also have The Impressionist and 2A.M. in Little America waiting (I did finally read, and appreciate, Equilateral!). Of the unfamiliar authors, I’m particularly interested in Death of a Chief and Taste of Sorrow. Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s crazy that I haven’t read the Kalfus and the Kunzru since I love both authors, and loads of the others appeal more to me than a lot of the random new releases I spend time on. So glad to hear you enjoyed Equilateral! I was thinking I might need to do a re-reading challenge of some kind, and it would be high on the list! Not sure I can cope with another challenge though… 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think I’ve read ‘The Preacher'(?) and other books from three other authors on your list, but not the specific book you’ll be reading. I was wondering last year if you were going to circle back to follow-ups you’d missed out on…🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some of these are the author’s first or least well-known, because I’ve already read their most recent ones. Ha, yes, I soon realised that it was a bit pointless reminding myself of all these authors if it didn’t make me finally read their books! In theory the fact that I’ve previously liked them should mean this challenge produces a high success rate…


    • Thanks, Raven! I loved Jude Morgan’s novel about Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway – such a lovely writer! So I have high hopes for The Taste of Sorrow, and several bloggers I trust have recommended it. 😀


  10. Hmm Camilla Lackberg sounds familiar, although I seem to recall you hating one of her books, so maybe I’m wrong about this? I think I had The Gilded Cage on my bookshelf by her for awhile, but I never ended up getting around to it so I gave it away. This is a long rambling way of saying – I’m curious if you enjoy her next book that you read! Very good idea for a challenge too…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was actually surprised to find that I had followed up on a lot of the authors – more than I expected, anyway! But plenty more had slipped through the net, so this challenge should help to put them back on my radar!


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