It’s February, and I’m just starting some of my “2022 wrap up” kinds of posts, because I’ve been procrastinating a lot. These posts take a tonnn of formatting which often bores the heck out of me. But finally, it is done: my list of books for the A-Z title challenge, where I read a book that begins with each letter of the English alphabet. Below is the gallery of my 26 representative books from 2022, as well as some notes on each in the section below the gallery!
“But wait!” you cry. “What about those crazy end letters, like V and X and – my god – Z?!“
Yep, I got those covered too. This year, I only read two F books and two R books and yet there was a shocking abundance of H books. And Z? I read TWO Z books this year! Wild!
The Gallery of A to Z
The Summary of A to Z
- A: Around the World in 80 Plants by Jonathan Drori was a lucky library find that had fascinating niche information about the natural world, plus gorgeous illustrations. Loved it!
- B: Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug was another nonfiction library find that was incredible. A graphic novel about the Germans who have to figure out how to live with their ancestral participation in a mass genocide.
- C: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty was a book I had planned to read for a while, and I finally did. And I LOVE IT. Enough to buy the second and third books and immediately read them back to back, finishing the whole ~1500 page series in about 2.5 weeks
- D: Dune, The Graphic Novel Book 1 by Brian Herbert was my compromise since reading the novel version was just not working for me. The graphic novel was awesome though!
- E: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is one that I honestly don’t remember why I read it, but I think it was for a challenge. My overall thoughts at this point are “meh” since I don’t really remember it.
- F: Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen was a book from Aardvark book club, a new one I joined! It was about Northern Ireland in the 90s and a girl graduating high school and trying to figure out what she wants to do, or at least what she’s able to do in the shitty life she has.
- G: The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman is one of those classic books for children that I just never read. Same with Harry Potter (not until I was in my 20s) and Narnia. But I wanted an arctic adventure, and this fit the bill.
- H: A Hundred Silent Ways by Marie Jojie was an incredibly emotional hit with a really well-done deaf main character and a love story that’s equal parts pain and harsh truths mixed with genuine “I’d do anything for love” moments. I adored it so much, and I want everyone to know about it.
- I: I Named My Dog Pushkin by Margarita Gokun Silver is one of those long-time TBR lingerers that I finally bought after admitting that no library was going to have it, for some reason. It was SO FUNNY! I enjoyed it quite a lot, and got a lot of unique insight to Russian culture that I’ve never encountered before.
- J: Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens was charmingly against the cliches even as it pretends to lean into them. A “in front of you the whole time” kind of love that I was totally enamored with.
- K: Kiss & Tell by Adib Khorram was not honestly my favorite, but it was available on a long train ride home when I had finished my other book.
- L: A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin has an ugly AF cover but boy was it excellent! It excelled at leaning into cliches in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way while ultimately challenging them. This one was so good!
- M: My Inner Sky by Mari Andrew was an excellent therapeutic read with it’s combination of beautiful words and a beautiful physical presentation through the whole book. I think this will become a mental health re-read for me each year, similarly to Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy.
- N: Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles was a book I savored for how the MC was absolutely schooled for his male entitlement thinking that there’s no way he can’t get the girl.
- O: The Office BFFs by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey is yet another library winner and triggered an unexpected foray into tv and movie based nonfiction reads for me that I’m still really enjoying!
- P: Pride, Prejudice, and Turkish Delight by K.C. McCormick Ciftci was my first ever giveaway win on The Storygraph, and it was such a great read! I can’t wait for more in the series.
- Q: Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf made me feel smart about the words I knew that were touted as the “impressive” words, plus it had an unexpected touch of realism in the murder-mystery plot.
- R: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt was a book I did not enjoy.
- S: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty made me think about death a lot, but in a good and healthy way. I will probably re-read this one every few years for both it’s pratical knowledge and the way it makes me reflect on where I’m at
- T: Take It From Me by Jamie Beck was overall decent, but was unique in it’s handling of a main character with kleptomania, which I have not often seen and especially not in a serious manner (as opposed to being used as a laugh).
- U: The Upside of Falling by Alex Light had a pretty weak foundation for the start of it’s fake dating trope, and didn’t really improve from there.
- V: A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer (Curse So Dark and Lonely #3) wrapped up the series as best as it could.
- W: We Are All Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan was a long-awaited national library loan that sent me on a kick about Indian history and immigration, particularly to African countries.
- X: The XY by Virginia Bergin was a dollar store book that had reason for being a dollar store book.
- Y: You Took The Last Bus Home by Brian Bilston is a collection of silly poetry that plays a lot with language and culture, but sometimes I didn’t get it because it was very British.
- Z: Zeus is a Dick by Susie Donkin was like Mythos by Stephen Fry but with even more irreverence and cheek towards these almighty (and greedy, and idiotic, and vain) gods.
6 thoughts on “A-Z Challenge 2022 Complete!”
Tee Hee, I loved your comments and some of those titles. Too bad you didn’t enjoy Remarkably Bright Creatures, it was one of my favourites last year. That just goes to show that every book is not for every person. Love your dollar store comment. Great job, Jennifer.
Oh that is awesome. I’m doing the author edition this year 🙂 I thought that might be easier with the harder letters haha
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I can’t believe I’ve never heard of that version before! Makes a lot of sense though, I’m sure there are many more options that way haha
Great job on this challenge! I’ve thought of doing this before (but the “easier” version where the letter could be in either the title or the author’s name) but it’s always too intimidating for me. Maybe some day, though…
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Let me know if you do 🙂 honestly there are a lot where I just naturally end up reading them over the year. Only a few letters I have to seek out deliberately, like X or U. I bet there are a ton of reference lists for authors to use! If there’s a storygraph challenge for one you can see all the books people add for each prompt to get some ideas
I might just have to revisit this in a month or two and see how far I can get with just the books I’ve already read…