Reading the Alphabet in 2019

I am posting this not as a brag, but people who write usually read a lot.  I always wanted to write 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, recently topping 2,000 on my spreadsheet.

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 2019, I have accomplished the feat for the fifth consecutive year, and I have a few more “X” authors to keep the string going, and one more “Q” on hand, but they are easier to find.

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.”

Here is a list of one book for each letter this year, 2019.  Note, for most of the books mentioned, this is the only book from that letter so far this year.  More and better ones may follow.  The table that follows will show books for 2018 – modified a little.

The Alphabet Challenge of 2019

A Abraham, Abie Oh, God, Where are you? The Ghost of Bataan gives an account on the Philippines from before the war through the Death March and POW camp to grave registration.
B Box, C. J. Force of Nature Another Joe Pickett novel
C Carson, Ben Think Big Biographical and Motivational
D Doss, James D. The Shaman Sings Charlie Moon and the very lovable Daisy Perika
E Evanovich, Janet Top Secret Twenty-One I am behind on my Stephanie Plum novels
F Francis, Dick Knockdown Filling in the missing gaps here
G Gardner, John The Man from Barbarossa Another James Bond thriller
H Hillerman, Anne Song of the Lion Move over Chee and Leaphorn as Bernie takes the lead
I Iles, Greg True Evil More intrigue in Natchez, MS
J Jance, J. A. Remains of Innocence Some old friends will not return.
K Kellerman, Faye Sacred and Profane Peter Decker makes some hard decisions in the second book of the long-running series.
L Lucado, Max 3:16 and Grace so far I started the year with The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis, but …
M Marquand, John P. Thank You, Mr. Moto Completing the Mr. Moto mysteries
N Nesbo, Jo Headhunters Not a series novel
O Obreht, Tea The Tiger’s Wife Very Interesting
P Packer, J. I. Knowing God Slow at the start, but powerful, in depth Bible study on the attributes of God and our relationship with Him.
Q Quindlen, Anna Rise and Shine A morning news host goes off the rails and her sister is concerned.
R Robb, J. D. Treachery in Death Nora Roberts’ futuristic Eve Dallas series
S Simenon, Georges Maigret in Exile Maigret travels to the French coast to solve a puzzle
T Thoene, Bodie When Jesus Wept Jesus’ ministry from Lazarus’ point of view – intriguing, but maybe not totally believable
U Upfield, Arthur Venom House Napoleon Bonaparte, I love Bony.
V Viets, Elaine Murder with Reservations Helen Hawthorne works another dead-end job
W Warren, Kay Choose Joy Wife of Rick Warren
X Xingjian, Gao One Man’s Bible Nobel winning Autobiography of a Chinese Dissident
Y Young, Wm. Paul The Shack Interesting
Z Zeigler, Kenneth The War in Heaven Woven into the End Times, a novel with very interesting characters

Total Books = 39 as of 4/26/2018

Total pages thus far = 13,072

The Alphabet Challenge of 2018

A Allen, Steve Wake Up to Murder Since I have read most of Steve Allen’s mystery novels …
B Blackstock, Terri Private Justice, If I Run, Ulterior Motives, and Downfall Ms. Blackstock was the top mystery author for my reading in 2018, but a lot of “B” authors
C Chambers, Oswald My Utmost for His Highest And I continue to re-read it.
D Dixon, Franklin W. The Secret of the Caves and The Mystery of Cabin Island 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, The Weight of Glory, Reflections on the Psalms My Lewis books for this year.
M Metaxas, 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 = 112

Total pages = 35,756


Add yours →

  1. April 29, 2019 — 9:06 am

    You are a reading rock star, Mark. I have very little time to read, because it seems I’m always writing these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your reading process matches mine–I average 120 books a year. You’ve got many books on your lists that aren’t on mine, though, especially in the mystery genre. I still have bookmarks from the Jackson Street Bookstore in Omaha (as well as the books that came with them). My latest find is the Dickson Street Bookstore in Fayetteville, Ark. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I am always interested in out-of-the-way bookstores. While Chamblin’s book mine in Jacksonville, FL has a tremendous stock, Books by George in Ocala, FL is reasonably well stocked and a lot cheaper. We seem to search for bookstores everywhere we go. Happy reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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