18 August 2007

Bookshelf Alphabet Soup

Ah, Fridays ... the perfect time of week to go lifting ideas from other people’s blogs. Today’s victim - er, inspiration - is Stuck in a Book, where I came across this post. (Just scroll down to the bit about the recent dearth of authors beginning with N - and I, Q, U, X, Y, Z....)

It got me thinking about my own literary alphabet, as far as it can be determined from three and a half years of records and an overloaded memory. How many letters could I claim to have read? Most called to mind a whole bunch of authors, including books by both Henry and Helen Fielding and both Oliver and Olivia Goldsmith. I managed a couple of Ns (Katherine Neville, Chris Nyst) and one solitary I (Washington Irving, creator of Rip van Winkle and Ichabod Crane). Q had me puzzled for a while until I thought of three at once, and every one a pseudonym: Amanda Quick, Julia Quinn, and Ellery Queen. (Okay, so the Ellery Queen was a single short story, but I wanted to show off how many Qs I could muster.)

But U, X, Y, and Z are still blanks. The last can be fixed easily enough with some Zola (finally), and X might require a trip to the history section to borrow something by, say, Xerxes. The other two ... I don’t know. Anyone have any suggestions for the last four letters on my list?


3M said...

Xinran is an "X" author. This year I am reading Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather by Xingjian, who is a Nobel laureate. This one is a story collection but I believe he has at least 2 novels as well.

I read Amos Fortune, Free Man (a Newbery winner) by Elizabeth Yates as my "Y" author. I liked it well enough, but it is a children's book. Mu "U" author for this year is Sigrid Undset, another Nobel laureate, who wrote Kristin Lavransdatter.

I'm doing both A-Z title and author challenges this year. If you'd like to see my list, it's here.

Kailana said...

Well, the reason there are so few authors at the end of the alphabet is because then they are at the bottom of the shelf and people prefer to look at ones higher up.

Literary Feline said...

I was debating doing a A-Z author challenge next year--for myself, that is. Nothing formal. A quick glance at my TBR collection and I see that I'm missing books with author's whose surnames end in Q,U and X. I think I may have discovered a book by an X author I'd like to read, but the other two I haven't researched much yet. I may have to follow the link in your post to get some ideas!

raidergirl3 said...

I read three Z authors this year: Paul Zindel's The Pigman,, Markus Zusak's I Am the Messenger and Yevgeny Zamyatin's We

I've reserved the right to omit up to two letters each on book list and author list - I don't have time to read books just so they fit on a list.

Yansor said...

Very nice blog, glad I found you.
A daphne du maurier fan

Tatiana :)

CoversGirl said...

3m: Thanks for the suggestions; I'll look into them when I finally get my TBR pile down to low single figures :-)

Kailana: Interesting thought . . .

Literary Feline: X is definitely a challenge.

Raidergirl3: Zusak! How did I manage to forget him?

Yansor: Welcome!

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Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776