At the beginning of the year, I joined in the A to Z reading challenge originally hosted at Ginger moms Read but since then they have a new blog so I’m going to link to new blog Ginger Mom and Company. If you haven’t heard of this challenge before the basic premise is to read a book that starts with each letter of the alphabet. Today I decided to share that I completed the challenge and tell you a little about the journey to finishing.
When I signed up for this challenge I really wanted to try my hardest to only use books that started with the correct letter. I know we could take a cheat for hard letters but I love a good challenge so I had a lot of fun hunting down books that interested me to try to squeeze into the reading challenge. I didn’t really focus on the reading challenge until the last quarter of the year and then I buckled down on the harder letters of the alphabet.
Initially, when I thought about the alphabet I had a general idea of what letters I thought would be really difficult. The letters I thought would be challenging to find books for were W. X, Z. I ended up struggling with V, X, and Z so my prediction was pretty accurate. I spent most of the year winging it. I didn’t really buckle down on this challenge until last month. I started actively searching for books that fit my missing letters and trying to hunt down different books.
I thought it would be fun to talk about some of my favorite books from the challenge. So here’s some of the best books I read for the challenge. I also used whatever book I read first that matched the letter when I had multiple books to make it easier for me.
Dear White People
This was a really great book! I’ve never seen the movie and I really need to see it especially after how amazing this book was. I recommend that everyone give this one a go. This is a much more relaxed take on black issues which makes it a very good book to start with if you are wanting to start reading about black issues.
For Every One
I love speeches and this one was a really great one. Jason Reynolds is a new author for me but I have his other books on my TBR and I really liked this one so I’m hoping to get to them as soon as possible. This speech is dedicated to dreamers and I really resounded with it and I think this book would make a great gift for graduates.
If My Body Could Speak
Blythe Baird is my favorite spoken word poet and this collection was awesome. We get to see some of her most famous works as well as a whole bunch of new material that was new to read. I still prefer spoken word but this collection was very powerful.
Pink Slip & New Year, New We
These books follow the same characters in the same series. I’ve been reading a lot of menage and plural relationships and this one had a really interesting take and dynamic. This story follows a married spy couple and their love for their secretary who doesn’t know anything about the world they work in. I really liked all of the characters equally which is really rare for me, I’m really sad that their story is over at least for now. There are other books in this series but I haven’t read them yet since they follow different characters but I’ve heard there are cameo scenes featuring the characters in the past books.
Queen Takes King
If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you know I am obsessed with this book series and this is the 2nd book in the series. This was also the first book I read in 2019. This is my favorite book series right now if you haven’t heard of this series its a reverse harem following the descendants of the goddesses our main character is the descendant of Isis and she had been on the run from her past for years until she runs into 2 men who want to be her knights and chaos and amazing ensues thereafter.
Tygress & Vicious
These 2 stories are short stories also by Joely Sue Burkhart like the Queen Takes series mentioned above. The first book Tygress follows a tiger shifter discovering her heritage and returning to her homeland and Vicious is a story of a woman being “saved” from death to find that she was saved for a greater purpose to help work with The Vicious. Both of these were really good and I want more of their worlds. To my knowledge, Tygress is done but the other has plans to expand Vicious in the future when she has more time to develop this world in between her commitment to her other series.
The A to Z reading challenge was a really interesting challenge one that I am looking forward to trying again in the future. However, I did learn a couple of tricks that would have made this challenge easier if I did this earlier in the year.
- Make a list! Having a list of some titles for challenging letters. I spent a long time looking for books that fit the challenges as well as books that I actually wanted to read out of interest not just to meet a challenge.
- Names are great for titles when in doubt looking up books by names helped me find titles for hard letters. I.E. Xander, Xavier, Zane, and Zander. Titling books by one of the character’s names are very popular especially in romance so this was a really helpful way to search for books.
- Listopia I loved looking up different lists of books for hard letters. Goodreads has a function called Lisopia where people make lists for different tropes/ genres/ and other criteria and some lists include hard to find titles.
Have you ever participated in an alphabet challenge before
9 thoughts on “I completed the A-Z Reading Challenge!”
This sounds really fun. Thanks for sharing.
Do you have to read the books in order A to Z or are you able to read them in any order as long as you eventually get all the letters covered?
In any order! I know some people will do it in order for an extra challenge but jumping around is much more fun.
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Thank you! It sounds like a lot of fun. I may try it next year! 😊
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Congratulations! This challenge is harder than it looks, when it comes to letters like X and Z. I only cheated slightly this year on Z, using After Zero, but only because I saw someone else use that book for Z.
Thank you! It was a lot of fun. I got lucky with some of the books especially for Z.
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Congrats! I don’t think I’m even half way there, but hopefully I get a bit closer to finishing!
Thank you! It was a difficult challenge but it was fun to finally complete this was my 2nd try!
What a great list! I’m really glad you enjoyed joining us and are sticking around for 2020!