Reading the Alphabet in 2018

I am posting this not as a brag, but people who write usually read a lot.  I have read mystery stories, ever since the Hardy Boys and Sherlock Holmes in elementary school.  Add that mystery reading love to my Christian reading and it amounts to a lot of books.


In 2015, I accomplished something that I had tried to do in 1996.  I read 26 books (actually a lot more) with an author whose last name started with each letter of the alphabet.  In 1996, I could not find an “X”.  Thanks to Chamblin’s Book Mine in Jacksonville, FL, I found the “X”, actually two.  Thanks to the Jackson Street Bookstore in Omaha, NE, I have found a few more.  In 2018, I have accomplished the feat for the fourth consecutive year, and I have a few more “X” authors to keep the string going, by now I have read my last “Q”.  I guess it is back to the bookstore for an Ellery Queen.


Regarding the “X” authors, the “X” authors are Chinese writers.  Their last name is their given name and their first name is their family name (Common among most Asian cultures).  But that doesn’t change the feat when considering “last names”.


Note:  The last entry in my spreadsheet for completed books is Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman.  I started keeping my spreadsheet in 1993 when a friend asked, “Just how much do you read?”  Never ask an engineer a question like that.  Nesbo’s novel is entry number 1,900 in the spreadsheet.


Here is a list of one book for each letter this year, 2018.  Note, most of the books mentioned are the only book from that letter for this year.  More and better ones may follow.  The table that follows will show books for 2017.  For 2015 and 2016, use this link to last year’s post.  In some cases, the book is the only representative for that letter of the alphabet.  In other cases, the book was memorable for one reason or another.


The Alphabet Challenge of 2018

A Albom, Mitch The magic strings of Frankie Presto Only Albom can write a history of 20th Century music and weave it into a magical novel.
B Box, C. J. The Highway My wife and I love the NW of the USA, Box is excellent
C Cavender, Joh A Pizza to Die For Cozy mysteries revolving around a pizza parlor
D Dixon, Franklin W. The Secret of the Caves Hardy Boys are still good reads at age 60+
E eriksson, kjell The demon of dakar A restaurant/bar – not the location
F Fforde, Jasper The Big Over Easy Jack Spratt and Mary Mary solve the murder of Humpty Dumpty – not a children’s story, but very amusing
G Graham, Billy Where I Am His last book, classic Billy Graham
H Hagge, John Four Blood Moons A little dated since the blood moons are past tense, but interesting information
I Iles, Greg Mississippi Blood The satisfactory conclusion of the Natchez Burning Trilogy – see photo above
J Jance, J. A. Downfall My wife and I both love the Joanna Brady series.  This one changes things if you have read older ones in the series.
K Kingsbury, Karen The Friends of Jesus A fictional story that weaves the lives of actual Biblical characters to make one connected story, well done
L Lewis, C. S. Till We Have Faces, God in the Docks, Miracles, Letters to Malcolm My Lewis books for this year.  So far.
M Metaxes, Eric Miracles Similar, but different from the C. S. Lewis book of the same name – In this slot, I could have used Creston Mapes, Poison Town – excellent mystery
N Nesbo, Jo The Snowman Best Harry Hole mystery yet, in my opinion
O Oliphant, B. J. Death and the Delinquent Shirley McClintock when not in Colorado, NM this time
P Patterson, James Hope to Die Second half of the Alex Cross book, Cross My Heart
Q Queen, Ellery The Four of Hearts A nice Ellery Queen puzzle
R Robb, J. D. Calculated in Death Nora Roberts’ futuristic Eve Dallas series
S Stout, Rex How Like a God A non-series novel
T Thoene, Bodie Munich Signature Zion Covenant, Part 3, intrigue in Nazi held Europe
U Upfield, Arthur Wings above the Diamantina Napoleon Bonaparte solves another case
V Van der Wetering, Jan Death of a Hawker A Dutch author, de Gier and Grijpstra in a very interesting mystery
W Wuok, Herman War and Remembrance The conclusion of Winds of War
X Xingjian, Gao One Man’s Bible Another Autobiography of a Chinese Dissident
Y Yancey, Philip The Bible Jesus Read Very interesting study of several Old Testament books
Z Zadoff, Allen I Am the Traitor Teen adventure with “Boy Nobody”

Total Books = 40 as of 6/13/2018

Total pages thus far = 14,616


The Alphabet Challenge of 2017

A Albom, Mitch For one more day Heartwarming, nice mother’s day book
B Baantjer, A. C. DeKok and the Romantic Murder A Dutch author, funny
C Coehlo, Paulo The Spy A Biography of Mata Hari
D Deaver, Jeffery Watchlist Deaver only wrote part of this grand experiment.  What would happen if you wrote a chapter of a book and then handed it to another author?  You get two great novellas.
E Elkins, Aaron Dead Men’s Hearts I’ll add some Janet Evanovich later, but this Gideon Oliver story was good.
F Francis, Dick and Felix Crossfire I have Ian Fleming, Jasper Fforde, and others in the queue.
G Goldsborough, Robert Fade to Black I love Nero Wolfe, even when not written by Rex Stout.
H Hiaasen, Carl Double Whammy A Florida adventure with Al Garcia and Skink
I Iles, Greg The Bone Tree 2nd in Natchez Burning Trilogy
J Jeremiah, Dr. David Is This the End? A study of Revelation prophecy and the state of our world today.
K Keller, Timothy The Prodigal God In depth study of Jesus’ parable
L Ludlum, Robert The Ambler Warning A good spy story
M Metaxes, Eric Bonhoeffer Biography
N Nesbo, Jo The Redeemer A good Harry Hole mystery
O Oliphant, B. J. Deservedly Dead Shirley McClintock at it again
P Patterson, James 12th of Never Behind on the Women’s Murder Club Series
Q Queen, Ellery Player on the Other Side A nice Ellery Queen puzzle
R Rankin, Ian Resurrection Men John Rebus, getting into trouble
S Simenon, Georges Belle An American novel by the author of Maigret
T Thoene, Bodie Prague Counterpoint Zion Covenant, Part 2, intrigue in Nazi held Europe
U Upfield, Arthur Murder Down Under Napoleon Bonaparte solves another case
V Van der Wetering, Jan The Maine Massacre Another Dutch author, de Gier / Commissaris go the USA, leaving Grijpstra behind
W Woods, Stuart Worst Fears Realized A good Stone Barrington
X Xianliang, Zhang Getting Used to Dying Fictional Autobiography of a Chinese Dissident
Y Young, Karen Belle Point Ugly politics and secrets of a MS Delta family
Z Zerries, A. J. The Last Van Gogh Recovering art stolen by Nazis

Total Books = 116

Total pages thus far = 37,968



Add yours →

  1. quite the accomplishment…and I might add, I love Sherlock Holmes…I’ve got my dad’s old books!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love reading — but I couldn’t do this. I have a pastor friend who reads one a week. Perhaps I am a slow reader. Perhaps I read the wrong sorts of books. I like to let them marinate a bit I guess. But what you have done is surely impressive. Ann

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: