Thursday 2 June 2011

Authors A-Z Challenge

A good few years a go a friend challenged me (and herself) to do an A-Z of authors. There were some restrictions though. For each letter it had to be an author we hadn't read before and it had to be fiction. The second rule was basically because she was very much a non fiction read and this was her way of expanding. At the time I mainly read fantasy and sci fi so it was also a good way for me to try more general fiction authors. Initially we were supposed to do it within a year. Things happened though. We worked together at the time which allowed us to keep each other going. Not long after we moved to different jobs and I fell away from it as I didn't think she was doing the challenge any more either. Last year we were messaging each other back and forth and she mentioned it again. So I decided to start again. To cut a long story short I have finished it and here is my list.

A - White Tiger - Aravind Adiga
B - Death of A Ladies Man - Alan Bissett
C - The Other Hand - Chris Cleave
D - Stone Junction - Jim Dodge
E - Mr Toppit - Charles Elton
F - Dead Lovely - Helen Fitzgerald
G - UFO In Her Eyes - Xiaolu Guo
H - Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemmingway
I - Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
J - Dubliners - James Joyce
K - How Late It Was How Late - James Kelman
L - Hospital - Toby Litt
M - Company of Liars - Karen Maitland
N - Jezebel - Irene Nemirovsky
O - The Museum of Dr Moses - Joyce Carol Oates
P - The Collected Dorothy Parker - Dorothy Parker
Q - Ishmael - Daniel Quinn
R - Midnights Children - Salman Rushdie
S - Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
T - A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
U - Witches of Eastwick - John Updike
V - Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne
W - The Bonfire of the Vanities - Tom Wolfe
X - Miss Chopsticks - Xinran
Y - Revolutionary Road
Z - We - Yevgeny Zamyatin

There were a couple of letters that gave me very little choice in what to read such as Q and X (at least my local book shop gave me very little choice). I enjoyed doing this challenge but I don't think I will do it again. I found that when I was going book shopping I was picking out books mainly based on this challenge. When I can go guilt free shopping again (I will work my way through my tbr pile) it will be nice just to saunter round picking out what catches my eye. I don't regret doing it though. There are a lot of books there that I enjoyed. I don't think I can possible narrow down my favourites. My least favourites were The Bonfire of the Vanities and Ishmael. I think my friend gave up on the challenge again but I'm happy that I kept going.


  1. I'm doing this now, but without the rule of it having to be an author I've never read before - I figure I have to go out of my way to find certain letters anyway, and that's enough. I'm also doing A-Z book titles.

  2. I noticed that on your blog a while back. I think you are doing it the right way. Would have much preferred it if I could read some favourite authors in there too. Mind you, would kind of defeat the purpose my friend set it up for. I think I would find it difficult doing an A-Z of titles. Look forward to seeing what you get for X.

  3. That sounds like a tough challenge. I somehow think I'd find it easier to do titles rather than authors but I don't know. Oh there so many books in the world. I only read two or three on your list. Hemingway and Verne I'm sure of (those exact titles).

  4. I kind of did this just now over on my blog, but I changed it up a bit. It was fun trying to fill the alphabet though! :)

  5. DawnTreader - I think there are a few letters I would find difficult to fill if I did it with letters. Maybe I will try it next year.

    Ilevinso - heading over to see your adaptation of it.

  6. Ithink this might be the first complete list I've seen. Nice job!

  7. Thank you, it did take me a while to be honest.