Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

My A-Z Reading Challenge.

In July last year I set myself the challenge of reading through the alphabet. Starting with a book by an author whose surname began with an A, then moving onto b, then c and so on, and in the correct order, and only going to the library for my books I read my way through the alphabet. There is no book in our library with an author whose name begins with an X, but other than that I have managed to read 25 books, from A-Z.

I wanted to do this to find new authors, rediscover favourite ones and to read outside my normal genres. In that I have been successful. Starting with the bad bits first, Henry James is never going to be an author I shall read again. It was the only book I abandoned. Chick lit and me are never going to get along either. Gruesome tales even by favourite authors such as Kate Mosse are not for me either. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguru was the biggest disappointment. I just didn’t get it and found the book boring.

Harlan Coben was a new author for me and I shall definitely be reading his books again.

The five best books I read were in reverse order:-

5Β  John Boyne- The Boy in the Striped pyjamas. A very moving story about a concentration camp, also a film

4 David Ebershoff- The Danish Girl- another moving story and I am sure one everyone has heard of, also a film

3 Sue Monk Kidd- The Secret Life of Bees– growing up with secrets is not a good idea- also a film

2 John Steinbeck- To a God Unknown– probably my favourite author, so maybe I surprise myself putting this book at number 2. A love of the land shines out from this book. It was a beautiful read. Not a book I had heard of before.

1 Lalin Paull- The Bees. I really loved this book. I mean really loved this book. A very interesting way to explore environmental issues through the eyes of a bee.

4 of these authors were new to me and one an old favourite.

Was the challenge worthwhile for me? Oh yes.

And my next challenge. To read through a heap of books I have acquired over the years and not read yet. At least 15 of them as part of my 17 for 2017 list.

Wish me luck.

Love to hear of your reading goals for this year.

Oh and Spring is on its way. The first snowdrops are coming out in the garden.




Comments on: "My A-Z Reading Challenge." (27)

  1. The “worst” section had me giggling throughout. πŸ˜„ This is a great reading challenge, and I’m intrigued by the two books with bees in the title. Good luck with your 2017 challenge!

  2. I hadn’t thought of doing an A-Z challenge before. That could be fun! I pick up most of my books at the library anyway so wouldn’t be hard to grab one in the ‘A’s and get going. I think I’ll give it a try. Outside of that I’m doing the 52 book challenge on Goodreads. Good luck to you!

  3. […] via My A-Z Reading Challenge. β€” nanacathydotcom […]

  4. Thanks for the recommendations. I just added The Bees to my to read list, looking forward to reading it.

  5. I read so many kinds of books but probably not many others would read. I finished a non-fiction this week since I couldn’t stop reading. I read a lot of new age books and then many cozy mysteries. Nothing too heavy for my old feeble brain. Love anything Andy Andrews writes or Roland Merullo. His third is waiting for me. The stack around me grows higher and I’ve run out of space on my tablet for more books. Loved reading a magical story in The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag. Light and easy for bedtime. I have to read as many of the books I have purchased this year as I’m getting to where the tablet or audible will be my only choice soon. Loved Sue Monk Kidd and have one of hers waiting too. If I did nothing but read, I still doubt I could get through them all so I have vowed to purchase no more this year. Also like to read the books some bloggers publish so that adds to the pile. πŸ™‚ Thanks for letting me know what to avoid as well as what you found good.

    • Gosh it sounds as if your to read pile is bigger than mine.I am determined to get the two heaps off my bedroom floor this year! Thanks or your recomendations.

      • I live to read. I don’t really recommend books. I just say what I’ve read. We are all drawn to certain kinds of books and I might like it and you might not. Yes, I have an immense pile.

  6. Thanks for sharing your list. A few people have recommended The Secret Life of Bees to me. Think I’ll suggest it for our book group’s list this year. 15 books should only take you three months – what you going to do for the rest of the year?

  7. I loved Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Invention of Wings”, and although I’ve not seen “The Danish Girl”, I did love the movie. The book is probably even better. Steinbeck is an old favorite – what a good shortlist you’ve provided here.

  8. I cannot believe you have flowers blooming as we are supposed to get a foot of snow tomorrow night! I’ve enjoyed hearing about your A-Z reading challenge!

  9. I hope you aren’t disappointed with your unknown author. Enjoy.

  10. I’m impressed! I tried this and got waylaid at B. A good list to try – it can be a bit daunting at the library with al those books. Yesterday I picked out a book and realised when I got home that it wasn’t the author I thought, which is another way to find new authors.

  11. claire93 said:

    I always love to read what other people are reading. I only read for about half an hour before going to sleep so I get through very few books each year.

    • I used to only read at bedtime. Now I seem to be getting through nearly one book a week, unless it is a big book. Not quite certain where the extra reading time is happening. I just love to read though. Probably my favourite hobby.

  12. Very impressed at you managing to read 25 books! Reading is also something I’m trying to do more of this year. The Danish Girl is on my list to read at the moment. I would like to read it before I watch the film. Are you a member of Goodreads?

  13. I enjoyed Sue Monk Kidd’s ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ too although I haven’t seen the film yet. Have you read her other novel ? – ‘The Invention of Wings’? – really good too.

  14. I was going to limit my reading to books I already have this year, but I just bought about 10 more, nature and textile books. They were at the used book store so I couldn’t pass them up, because I might never see them again, but I will never get through the books on my shelf at this rate!

  15. Inspirational Cathy! I will definitely try your top 2.

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