A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge

20181213_084649

While listening to an episode of the What Should I Read Next podcast, Anne Bogel had a guest on her show that was focusing on reading one author a month. I would like to challenge myself in 2019 to do the same. I have a lot of books on my TBR shelf that are by certain authors that I haven’t read or have read very little. I have made a list of authors I would like to read with a few book titles to choose from. I don’t expect to read all of the following books, as I have other books to read for book clubs, etc., but I feel this will at least help me become a bit more familiar with authors I keep hearing so much about.

January: Zadie Smith

  • White Teeth
  • On Beauty
  • Swing Time
  • Feel Free: Essays
  • The Embassy of Cambodia

February: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (I thought this would be a good pick for African-American History Month)

  • Americanah
  • We Should All Be Feminists
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
  • Purple Hibiscus
  • Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

March: David McCullough

  • The Johnstown Flood
  • John Adams
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris
  • The Wright Brothers
  • The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914

April: Margaret Atwood 

  • Oryx and Crake
  • Blind Assassin
  • Alias Grace
  • Stone Mattress
  • The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus

May: Kurt Vonnegut

  • Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Galapagos
  • Breakfast of Champions
  • Welcome to the Monkey House
  • Interview w/ Kurt Vonnegut

June: Agatha Christie (I’ve actually read a handful of her mystery novels, but there are so many more I would like to read)

  • Murder is Easy
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  • The A.B.C. Murders
  • Murder in Mesopotamia
  • Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life

July: Bill Bryson

  • Notes from a Small Island
  • The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain
  • Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe
  • Bill Bryson’s African Diary
  • One Summer

August: Rainbow Rowell

  • Fangirl
  • Attachments
  • Landline
  • Carry On
  • Almost Midnight

September: Stephen King (I read my first ever Stephen King in 2018 and enjoyed it enough that I want to read more)

  • Apt Pupil
  • Christine
  • The Body
  • On Writing
  • The Shining

October: Shirley Jackson

  • The Haunting of Hill House
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle
  • The Lottery
  • Dark Tales 
  • Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

November: Neil Gaiman

  • American Gods
  • Coraline
  • Neverwhere
  • The Graveyard Book
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

December: Kristin Hannah

  • The Nightingale
  • The Great Alone
  • Fly Away
  • Winter Garden
  • Night Road

I am really looking forward to diving into these works by these amazing authors! What are your favorite authors? If I continue this reading challenge in future years, what authors should be on my list?

WWW Wednesdays – September 5, 2018

www

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

count-of-monte-cristo

I didn’t get a lot of time to read this past week, as I had family in town for the holiday weekend, so I just focused on completing this epic novel for a book club that meets tomorrow. I found an unabridged audiobook version through my local library’s Hoopla Digital. (I like to plug my local library and its services as much as I can.) This version was longer and contained more chapters than any book copy I own, so I thought this would be the best option. Just a heads up that it is a beast. The audiobook was 52+ hours long. Unabridged physical book copies are more than 1,000 pages. I do wonder what the abridged versions cut out, because I did find sections to be slow, but on the other hand, those same sections helped the ending play out. It was a bit more of a thriller than I expected.

A young Edmond Dantès was set up for a crime of which he was wrongly convicted and sent to prison, which he escaped 14 years later. He then starts executing a plan of revenge against his conspirators.

While I was overall happy with this audiobook version, the narration was not the best. I listened to the version narrated by Bill Homewood. As this book spans both France and Italy, the narrator has to sometimes speak French and Italian. I can’t speak for the French pronunciations, but his Italian pronunciations were terrible – even in relation to locations. I also am not quite sure I always agreed with his voice interpretations. I have heard that there are better narrations, so I recommend looking into that before settling on this one.

I sometimes found it difficult to keep the characters straight, which maybe a symptom of my getting older, but I did find a Spark Notes link that I referred to every now and then, which really helped (see it here). Overall, if it wasn’t for the length and my occasional character confusion, this book was fantastic. It would normally take a month for me to finish a book of this size, but I finished it in just two weeks. With family in town, I found it difficult not to hide from everyone, so I could listen to what happened next.  This is definitely a classic everyone should read.

Reading Next

I am so thrilled to have just received my pre-ordered copy of Anne Bogel’s recent book I’d Rather Be Reading. I’ve been obsessed with her other book Reading People, since I picked it up last year, so I couldn’t wait to read her new one. This might be moved to my Currently Reading list by the end of the day.

What are y’all reading this week? Have you read or have any thoughts on the books mentioned on this post?

HAPPY READING!!!