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Outside Challenges > A to Z challenge

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message 1: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (sawphie) | 2924 comments Are any of you doing the A to Z challenge? Are you trying to achieve it in one year, or are you ticking every letter and seeing how long it takes you?

I started it this year and I still have to tick 6 letters for the titles and 9 for the authors (I'm doing both) and I'm considering what to do...

message 2: by Charity (new)

Charity (faeryrebel78) | 552 comments I've been doing it this year. I only have e, o, and x left. I'm currently reading outlander for o and have the yellow wallpaper for y. Just have to find an e.

message 3: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3824 comments Mod
I'm working on A-Z titles now. I was planning on finishing it this year but I only made it about halfway. So it seems realistic for me to do the other half in 2016 since I'm doing the same number for this group's challenge again.

You can see my list in my 2016 plan :)

message 4: by Ed (new)

Ed Lehman | 1779 comments I have done this for the last two years.... I still have my "U" and "Z" to finish.

message 5: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3824 comments Mod
What is everyone reading for X?

I added Dawn to my list, which was a bit of cheat because it's the first book in the Xenogensis series. But I'd love to replace it with a better book (for the challenge) :)

message 6: by Ed (new)

Ed Lehman | 1779 comments oh.... I think we must be talking about two different A-Z challenges.....
I'm doing the Classic Author Challenge which is based on the author's initial for his first or last name...with the exception of "x" and "q" which can be anywhere in the author's name.

message 7: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3824 comments Mod
There's two different ones, one for the author and one for the title. They're based on the same concept though.

Some people are a little more lenient, choosing based with it anywhere in the word but I was trying to stick to the challenge a little more strictly :)

message 8: by Charity (new)

Charity (faeryrebel78) | 552 comments I read x,y which was part of the Abyss Horror line from the 90s. I can't recommend it though. Some people were reading an Edith Wharton book and a few were planning on reading x from the Sue Grafton series.

message 9: by Charity (new)

Charity (faeryrebel78) | 552 comments I read x,y which was part of the Abyss Horror line from the 90s. I can't recommend it though. Some people were reading an Edith Wharton book and a few were planning on reading x from the Sue Grafton series.

message 10: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (sawphie) | 2924 comments It is a good idea to allow x and q to be inside the name instead of the first letter.

But I think I'm going to start afresh in 2016 and really try to choose books depending on the letters. This year I just filed in whatever I was reading.

message 11: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Barstad (maidenoflight) I've never heard of this, but i'm going to give it a go for next year. I already know what i'll read for X too, X. I've read all the other books in this series so now I need to read this one.

message 12: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 375 comments I've created my own alphabet challenges, links in profile. I have a significant number of books at home to plow through and seem to have found lots of excitement when planning my 52 list.

Lo and behold, setting rules and restrictions for three alphabet lists so far has me rather interested again in reading what once seemed so inspirational in the book shop, all thanks to the scope of this group. While I'm not done yet drafting those lists, it's been fun shuffling my collection and adding all volumes to my TBR!

Thank you, OP!

message 13: by Zaz (new)

Zaz | 3034 comments Pfff, stop talking about other challenges, I want to do them :p
I think I'll do my own cover-color challenge, I've already plenty of choices in my 2016 TBR.

message 14: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Barstad (maidenoflight) What is a cover-color challenge? And yes, stop talking about other challenges or I might overload myself, lol.

message 15: by Zaz (new)

Zaz | 3034 comments I'll read a book for each color (for example, The Martian cover is perfect for orange).

message 16: by Zaz (new)

Zaz | 3034 comments I don't know how it happened, but the A to Z lurked in the dark and swallowed me. As I'm not very ambitious for this one, I'll do the titles one, with children books (and plenty of Oz).

message 17: by Michelle (last edited Dec 15, 2015 12:26AM) (new)

Michelle (girlvsbook) | 1176 comments I am starting this (A-Z) challenge for the first time this year. I'm going to do both authors and titles. But I don't expect to finish it this year unless I have a really, really, really productive year. I decided not to overlap any of the books on any of my challenges (except my Reading Around the World one) so I can't tick off the letters with books I read for this challenge. :x

For X, I chose X by Ilyasah Shabazz . I am trying to adhere to it as strictly as I can also.

Also... (insert exasperated sigh of challenge loving despair here)

That color cover one sounds right up my alley. Since I'm already starting 9 challenges in 2016 maybe I should just do that one too? Haha. Make it a nice round number? Because rationalizations and reasons.

message 18: by Ed (new)

Ed Lehman | 1779 comments My progress so far:


A – Aristophanes - Lysistrata
B – Benson, E.F. - Trouble for Lucia
C – Cynthia Ozick- The Messiah of Stockholm
D – David Malouf - Remembering Babylon*
E – Eudora Welty - The Ponder Heart
F – Forster, E.M. - Maurice
G – George Sand- The Devil's Pool*
H –
I –
J – Jhabvala, Ruth Prawer - Heat and Dust
K –
L –
M – Michael Bulgakov - Heart of a Dog
N – Nathalie Sarraute - The Planetarium
O – Ondaatje, Michael - The English Patient*
P – Peters, Elizabeth - Crocodile on the Sandbank
Q –
R –
S –
T – Tolstoy, Leo - Two Hussars
U –
V –
W – Wolf, Christa- Cassandra
X –
Y –
Z –

message 19: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Tarulis | 27 comments Well, I wasn't... but I guess I am now! I can't resist a challenge. Do you have a link to it?

message 20: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3824 comments Mod
There isn't really a link since it's a pretty widespread challenge. Some people do strict choices to where it has to the first letter and others just do a letter anywhere in the title/name. So far I'e seen A-Z challenges for:

- Book Title
- Author first name
- Author Last name
- Memoir author

message 21: by Ed (new)

Ed Lehman | 1779 comments I do it for either the first OR last name.... with the exceptions for the letters "Q' and "X" which can be anywhere in the author's name. Since I started this with the Classics without All the Class group on GR...I break out my list pre-2006 and post-2006. I now am also doing a list for non-fiction...without regard to date. The link for the Classics thread is

and they stay the rules for that group as:

"1. Using the author's first or last name - read: 26 books
2.Nothing published after 2006. Whether some things are classics or not is debated, so feel free to ask or argue your defense of a book you feel is classic.
3. No non-fiction
4. No poetry
5. You may NOT repeat any author.
6. Any name with an "X" or a "Q" in them will work for those letters. (The name does not have to begin with an X or a Q.)
7. Books must have been read in 2016.

You can sign up anytime, and you can backdate books if you know when you finished it, as long as it was done in the year 2016.
You can also link if you wish, or not."

message 22: by Tammy (last edited Apr 19, 2018 08:24AM) (new)

Tammy | 704 comments I know this is an old thread, but I did the A-Z Author Challenge this year and really enjoyed it. I'm almost done with the A-Z Title Challenge, too!

Tammy's A-Z Author Challenge 2018
January 1st 2018-December 31st 2018

Challenge Completed on 4/19/2018

A: Sherwood Anderson - Winesburg, Ohio 2/14/2018
B: Iain Banks - The Wasp Factory 2/10/2018
C: Cormac McCarthy - Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West 2/25/2018
D: Denis Johnson - Jesus' Son 1/4/2018
E: Elie Wiesel - Night 2/11/2018
F: Flannery O'Connor - The Complete Stories 2/13/2018
G: Graham Greene - The Power and the Glory 3/23/2018
H: Hamsun, Knut. - Hunger 1/11/2018
I: Kazuo Ishiguro - An Artist of the Floating World 1/31/2018
J: Joseph Heller - Catch-22 1/9/2018
K: Kenzaburō Ōe - A Personal Matter 3/24/2018
L: John le Carré - The Spy Who Came In from the Cold 1/19/2018
M: David Markson - Reader’s Block 4/1/2018
N: Vladimir Nabokov - Pale Fire 2/6/2018
O: Tim O'Brien - Going After Cacciato 1/6/2018
P: Philip Roth - The Dying Animal 1/21/2018
Q: Matthew Quick - The Silver Linings Playbook
R: Mary Roach - Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers 2/5/2018
S: Muriel Spark - The Driver's Seat 1/12/2018
T: Jim Thompson - The Killer Inside Me 1/21/2018
U: Umberto Eco - The Prague Cemetery 1/14/2018
V: Voltaire - Candide 2/9/2018
W: Edith Wharton - Summer 2/15/2018
X: Xinran - Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet 4/19/2018
Y: Yevgeny Zamyatin - We 3/28/2018
Z: Stefan Zweig - Amok 3/14/2018

Tammy's A-Z Title Challenge 2018
January 1st 2018-December 31st 2018

Only two more to go!

A: A Single Man - Christopher Isherwood (3/5/2018)
B: Battle Royale - Koushun Takami (1/25/2018
C: Candide - Voltaire (2/9/2018)
D: Delta Wedding - Eudora Welty (3/14/2018)
E: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman (2/22/2018)
F: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson (1/29/2018)
G: Going After Cacciato - Tim O'Brien (1/6/2018)
H: Hunger - Knut Hamsun (1/11/2018)
I: Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison (3/3/2018)
J: Joyland - Stephen King (2/11/2018)
K: The Killer Inside Me - Jim Thompson (1/21/2018)
L: Libra - Don DeLillo (1/19/2018)
M: Mrs. Fletcher - Tom Perrotta (1/8/2018)
N: Night - Elie Wiesel (2/11/2018)
O: Orpheus Descending - Tennessee Williams (3/6/2018)
P: Pale Fire - Vladimir Nabokov (2/8/2018)
R: Reader’s Block - David Markson (4/1/2018)
S: Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse (2/19/2018)
T: To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf (3/12/2018)
U: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce (2/28/2018)
W: Winesburg, Ohio - Sherwood Anderson (2/14/2018)
X: Xingu - Edith Wharton
Y: The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1/20/2018)
Z: Zombie - Joyce Carol Oates

message 23: by Lizzy (new)

Lizzy | 693 comments What did you think of Going After Cacciato? I like Tim O'Brien, but have never heard of this one.

message 24: by Tammy (new)

Tammy | 704 comments I really like O'Brien's writing, Lizzy. Cacciato was very good. I'd say on par with The Things They Carried (though that one made me cry).

message 25: by Heather (new)

Heather | 233 comments Starting this in 2019 Y'all!
A- Assassin's Blade
B- Big Little Lies
C- Crown's Game
D- Deathnote Black Edition III
E- Everless
F- Furyborn
G- Gone Girl
H- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I- In an Absent Dream
L- Love and Gelato
M- Milk and Honey
P- Peter Pan
R- Ringer
T- The Wicked + The Divine Volume 5
U- Under the Never Sky
V- Vengeful
W- What If It's Us

message 27: by Jen (new)

Jen (jentrewren) | 75 comments I'm doing it for title, author 1st name, author last name and item on the cover. Basically last year I finished PS early and started A to Z to target my reading a bit more so this year I am doing PS, ATY and 4X A to Z. Item on cover seems to be easiest J,K,Q,X and Y left. 1st name E,s,t,u,v,w,x,y,z left. Last name E,I,J,Q,U,Z left. Title F,G,K,Q,U,X,Y,Z.
I haven't been picking books specifically for prompts on any challenge yet.....just filling them in as I read. However I can't use any book more than once in the same challenge (My rule) and the letters do have to be at the start not anywhere. If I don't finish I'm not bothered but I'd like to try.

message 28: by ladymurmur (new)

ladymurmur | 269 comments I participated in a few A-Z challenges in various groups a few years back. They were fun, but apparently only whetted my appetite for tracking such things. :-) Now every year I track my own "alphabets" - title, author first name, author last name, and series for each letter. I don't start out the year planning to read for letter purposes, but it is fun to watch as first I've read something for each letter, then when I've filled all four slots for a given letter, and as the year progresses, I will start paying attention to where there are gaps. Have read a few duds to get a tricksy letter filled, but have also found a few new authors/series that I really enjoy as a result, too!

message 29: by Jen (new)

Jen (jentrewren) | 75 comments Yeah I am doing Title, Author 1st, Author last and object one the cover. Just slotting in stuff as I read for PS, ATY, work, PBT, Trim and my FTF book club then at the end of the year if I have finished the other challenges I will try to fill unfilled letters for each prompt. Object I only have Q left so any ideas..... was hoping for a quiver on something but not so far.

message 30: by ladymurmur (new)

ladymurmur | 269 comments Hmmm.... some Q object ideas....
quiz (a graded test paper)
queue (a line of people, or a braid)
quill pen
question mark
queen anne's lace (plant/flower)
quartet (4 of something)

message 31: by Jen (new)

Jen (jentrewren) | 75 comments ladymurmur wrote: "Hmmm.... some Q object ideas....
quiz (a graded test paper)
queue (a line of people, or a braid)
quill pen
question mark
queen anne's lace (plant/flower)
quartet (4 of something)"

Thank you will keep them for next year..... was reading a cookbook to find a recipe for a party today and it has a quince on the cover!

message 32: by Cheryl (last edited Jan 20, 2020 08:22AM) (new)

Cheryl (teddi1961) Is anyone, besides me, doing A to Z challenge this year?

I am roaming over the list not actually consciously selecting titles ahead of time but rather just reading and seeing where in all the multiple reading challenges the book fits! However, I browsed our library for books that were published in 1961 as that is the choice I made for 49. (A book that fits a prompt from the list of suggestions. I chose "A book published in the year you were born.")

Luckily the book also fit the W on 49! The Winter of Our Discontent"Portrait of Hemmingway" by John Steinbeck.

message 34: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (teddi1961) Johanna wrote: "Hmmmmm, have never done this before. Maybe I will give it a try this year.

Book Titles:
B - Big Little Lies
C - Cinder
I - The Immortalists
T - [boo..."

Johanna, I think it will be fun. Makes you have to do a little more research but that happens to be what I love to do the most (other than reading!)

message 35: by ladymurmur (new)

ladymurmur | 269 comments I'm doing my personal A to Z challenge again this year - tracking Title, Author's First Name, Author's Last Name, and Series. To begin with I simply track what I read, but as the year goes on, as I'm picking my next reads, filling in blanks starts to become a consideration. There have been a few doozies read to fill a slot - but I have found some treasures, too.

If you are struggling to find an X author pick, and you like cozy mysteries, then let me heartily recommend Diana Xarissa!

message 36: by ladymurmur (new)

ladymurmur | 269 comments As of today, I have read something (title, author first name, author last name, or series) for each letter of the alphabet during 2020!!

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