A to Z Reading Challenge

December 29, 2007 Categories: Books | 9 Comments  


In my follow-the-link rabbit trails from Semicolon’s Saturday Review of Books, I discovered Thoughts of Joy and her A to Z Reading Challenge.

All that’s required is that you align the author’s last name or the title of a book (excluding “the”, “a”, etc.) with its corresponding letter in the alphabet. Each author and title entry must be a different book. I will be working on both the author and title lists at the same time; however, you may complete the alphabet lists anyway that suits your fancy. The challenge lasts throughout the 2008 year.

Joy has a Mr. Linky up where you can sign up if you decide to participate. And she also mentioned that books that have already been designated for other challenges can count toward this one as well, so I’ll be using the same books from my Winter Reading Challenge to fill in some of the letters. I’m going to try to fill in as many of the other letters with books on my shelves that are waiting to be read. I don’t need any excuses to buy more! Completing this challenge this year will not leave a lot of room for outside reading, but I have many of these books sitting on my shelves anyway. It may take more than a year – but it will be fun anyway!

Title list:

AAnna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

BBlack Swan Green – David Mitchell

CThe Corrections – Jonathan Franzen

DDigging to America – Anne Tyler

EAn Equal Music – Vikram Seth

FFather Melancholy’s Daughter – Gail Godwin

GThe Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls

HHouse – Ted Dekker & Frank Peretti

IThe Illuminator – Brenda Rickman Vantrease

JJacob Have I Loved – Katherine Paterson

KKeeping the House – Ellen Baker

LThe Last Witchfinder – James Morrow

MMy Latest Grievance – Elinor Lipman

NNorth River – Pete Hamill

OThe Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L’Engle

PPortrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce

QThe Quiet American – Graham Greene

RRumspringa: To Be or Not To Be Amish – Tom Schachtman

SSeven Loves – Valerie Trueblood

TTess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

UUnder the Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes

VVanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

WWuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

XExcellent Women – Barbara Pym (I know this is cheating, but you find a book that begins with “X” that looks worth reading! Suggestions would be welcome.)

YA Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 – James Shapiro

ZThe Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story – Diane Ackerman

Author list:

AThe Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood

BStanding By Words: Essays – Wendell Berry

CMy Antonia – Willa Cather

DTipperary – Frank Delaney

EMiddlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

FSomething Rotten: A Thursday Next Novel – Jasper Fforde

GT is for Trespass – Sue Grafton (completed 1/12/08)review

HThe Observations – Jane Harris

IA Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving

JDubliners – James Joyce

KThe Dowry: A Novel of Ireland – Walter Keady

LWomen in Love – D. H. Lawrence

MThe Most Wanted – Jacquelyn Mitchard

NThe Last Storyteller – Diane Noble

OThe Gravedigger’s Daughter – Joyce Carol Oates

PMayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War – Nathaniel Philbrick

QA Door Near Here – Heather Quarles

RGirl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her – Melanie Rehak

SGaudy Night – Dorothy L. Sayers

TA Slipping Down Life – Anne Tyler

UKristin Lavransdatter III: The Cross – Sigrid Undset

VLetters Never Sent: One Woman’s Journey From Hurt to Wholeness – Ruth E. Van Reken

WThe Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton

XDiary of a Madman – Lu Xun

YRevolutionary Road – Richard Yates

ZI Am the Messenger – Markus Zusak


  1. Lisa

    Just reading about this challenge made my head swim. LOL

    Feeling better?

  2. carrie

    Lisa – getting there, thanks!

  3. Joy

    I had to laugh with your “X” choice. :) You really gave it a good try! My first time around I skipped it too. This time I have a children’s book. So, no worries. I’ll certainly accept the abridged version of the titles alphabet. :)

  4. dumboxacademy

    Barbara Pym is wonderful. You’ll enjoy Excellent Women. I say let it stand for X!

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  6. Lawanda


  7. carrie

    Joy – thanks!

    Faith – good, I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Lawanda – you gonna join? ;)

  8. LisaMM

    This is a really ambitious list! Good luck with it!

  9. carrie

    LisaMM- thanks, I know I’ll need it!