Monday, 18 November 2013

Individual Reading Group Challenge 2014 - Alphabetical Mystery Authors

Two years ago, as one of my Individual Reading Group Challenges, I decided to try and make a dent in my collection of mysteries; and when I say mysteries, I also include spy novels and thrillers. What I decided to do  was to work my way alphabetically through the author's on my TBR shelf, starting at the letter A (makes sense, eh?), reading one book by each author. I've been pretty successful so far, over the two year period I'm managed to work my way up to the letter H; the last author I read was Carolyn Hart.

In 2012, the first book I cheated a bit with my first book, as it actually was by an author starting with the letter 'B', John Bingham. He was a new author for me and I remember finding the book at a used book store in Worthing, UK. After that I got on track and over the course of the year I finished books, finishing the year off with an Inspector Lynley mystery, Deception on his Mind, by Elizabeth George. I discovered many new authors; Mark Billingham, M.C. Beaton and Lee Child to name just a few. My favourite books from this challenge were John Le Carre's, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Karin Altvegen's, Shadow, Colin Cotterill's, The Coroner's Lunch and Ariana Franklin's, Grave Goods. I was quite satisfied with my progress in 2012 and decided to continue with the challenge in the same format for 2013.

While thus far in 2013, I've read more books in total, about 15 more than 2013, due to adding an additional Individual challenge, I've only managed to complete 15 more books in the Alphabetical Author challenge. I'll probably manage one or 2 more by year end, depending on how the rest of November and December go. As I mentioned earlier, I've worked my way into the H's; I seem to have quite a few G and H authors in my bookshelf. I did discover a couple of new authors; Kerry Greenwood, Australian author of the Phryne Fisher mysteries and Tarquin Hall, author of Indian PI, Vish Puri, mysteries. Now that I look at it, I actually read more than 15 mysteries, as the Kerry Greenwood book had three complete stories within. (just saying. ;0)). My favourite mystery was an old classic, Dashiell Hammett's classic, The Maltese Falcon.

While I'm not trying to say I have too many books in my TBR list (the missus might say that though), I've been thinking of how I would like to continue with this challenge. What I'm thinking is that instead of just working my way up the alphabet, I might instead alternate, one H, then one W. (I don't have an X, Y or Z.. yet.. ;0)

Depending where I end up at the end of December, I will probably still be in the letter H and either start with either Jack Harvey's Blood Hunt or James Hawkins, Missing: Presumed Dead, both new authors for me. Switching to W next, I would be reading an Inspector Frost mystery, Night Frost, by R.D. Wingfield. I think this plan might freshen the challenge up and ensure that my end of alphabet authors don't feel neglected. ;0)...

So there you go, one of my possible challenges for 2014. Next post, I'll take a look at my Focus Author Challenge.

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