Monday, November 24, 2008

Mission Accomplished: A to Z Reading Challenge

I remember when I posted about this challenge at the beginning of the year I wasn't sure if I could read 52 books in one year--that sounded so daunting! But now I've learned when it comes to reading challenges, I have an "If you build it, he will come" mentality--if I make a list of books, I must, MUST read them. "If I list it, I will read."
Thank you, Joy, for hosting this challenge. This was so much fun. Never before have I thought of books in terms of what letter the title or the name of the author started with. I think I will always be aware of that from now on when browsing for books!
Here's the final list:

Authors (by last name)
A - Austen, Jane: Northanger Abbey
B - Brooks, Terry: The Talismans of Shannara
C - Cannell, Dorothy: The Thin Woman
D - Dean, Debra: The Madonnas of Leningrad
E - Esquivel, Laura: Like Water for Chocolate
F - Faulkner, William: As I Lay Dying
G - Gaiman, Neil: Stardust
H - Hamilton, Masha: The Camel Bookmobile
I - Ilibagiza, Imaculee: Left to Tell
J - Japin, Arthur: In Lucia's Eyes
K - Kadohata, Cynthia: Kira-Kira
L - Lowry, Lois: Messenger
M - MacLachlan, Patricia: Sarah, Plain and Tall
N - Nemirovsky, Irene: Suite Francaise
O - O'Dell, Scott: Island of the Blue Dolphins
P - Pool, Daniel: What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew
Q - Quindlen, Anna: Blessings
R - Riordan, Rick: The Lightning Thief
S - Stoker, Bram: Dracula
T - Twain, Mark: Tom Sawyer
U - Urban, Linda: A Crooked Kind of Perfect
V - Voigt, Cynthia: Homecoming
W - Westerfeld, Scott: Pretties
X - Xinran: Sky Burial
Y - Yep, Lawrance: Dragonwings
Z - Zusak, Markus: The Book Thief

A - Austenland by Shannon Hale
B - The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
C - Castle Corona by Sharon Creech
D - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Stevenson
E - Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
F - Femme Fatal by Dorothy Cannell
G - The Good Mood Diet by Susan Kleiner
H - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I - The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
J - Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me, Elizabeth by E. L. Konigsburg
K - The Known World by Edward P. Jones
L - Life of Pi by Yann Martel
M - The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
N - Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
O - Organizing From the Inside-Out by Julie Morgenstern
P - Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
Q - Queen of Scots by John Guy
R - Reporting Iraq - Edited by Mike Hoyt, John Palatella
S - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
T - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
U - Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
V - Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald
W - The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
X - Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
Y - You: The Owners Manual
Z - Zoo Station by David Downing

I was going to list my favorites, but there are so many. If I forced myself to pick three they would be A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Handmaid's Tale, and The Book Thief.


  1. Wow. Great job! You have some wonderful books on your list. All three of the ones you list as your favorites are on my best books ever list, too. Congratulations on finishing the challenge!

  2. Wow, congratulations! That is a lot of books to finish in a single year. I just read your review of Zoo Station, and it's cool that doing a challenge helped you find books you might not otherwise have read.

    Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

  3. Congrats!! What a great list of books. I signed up for this challenge in 2009 -- it sounded like fun.

    Your three favorites are three of mine, too.

  4. Ooh, 52 books! It must have been a challenge in itself to compile those lists. I found it hard enough just to find authors A to Z for next year's challenge.

  5. Awesome! Great job! I had to abandon this one, because I didn't care about "X". :-)


  6. Wonderful job! I've joined this challenge for next year and it sounds delightful.

  7. I recently read your post about Irène Némirovsky and wanted to let you know about an exciting new exhibition about her life, work, and legacy that opened on September 24, 2008 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage —A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City. Woman of Letters: Irène Némirovsky and Suite Française, which will run through the middle of March, will include powerful rare artifacts — the actual handwritten manuscript for Suite Française, the valise in which it was found, and many personal papers and family photos. The majority of these documents and artifacts have never been outside of France. For fans of her work, this exhibition is an opportunity to really “get to know” Irene. And for those who can’t visit, there will be a special website that will live on the Museum’s site

    The Museum will host several public programs over the course of the exhibition’s run that will put Némirovsky’s work and life into historical and literary context. Book clubs and groups are invited to the Museum for tours and discussions in the exhibition’s adjacent Salon (by appointment). It is the Museum’s hope that the exhibit will engage visitors and promote dialogue about this extraordinary writer and the complex time in which she lived and died. To book a group tour, please contact Tracy Bradshaw at 646.437.4304 or Please visit our website at for up-to-date information about upcoming public programs or to join our e-bulletin list.

    Thanks for sharing this info with your readers. If you need any more, please do not hesitate to contact me at

  8. I came to visit you, and not only am I wondering how I've never come across you before, but I'm thrilled to see me on your blogroll! Then I naturally saw that you have achieved what is still a dream for me - reading 100 books a year - and I love some of your choices! I'm so happy you came to my blog! you're on my blogroll now too :-) I like your choices for the A-Z challenge. I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when I was a young teenager and remembering crying lots. I have just picked up The book Thief because so many bloggers have recommended it, and I know I'm going to cry reading it! I'll check your review shortly.

  9. Do you just love reading over your list and having memories of those books jump into your mind. I loved it when I read a title on your list that I've read and its memory came back.

    Many are still on my TBR list. Still need to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and the Handmaid's Tale, but I loved The Book Thief. I'm hoping that Markus Zusak has a new book coming out soon.

    Congratulations on completing this big challenge. Very commendable.

  10. Woo Hoo!!! Congratulations on completing the A ~ Z Reading Challenge! I notice the letters of titles and author names all the time, so I definitely can relate. :) I'm really glad you accomplished your goal and that you enjoyed it.

  11. Congratulations on finishing! That's impressive!

  12. Congrats! I tried this type of challenge in 2007 and failed miserably. Way to go!