A is for…

AA is for anger, apathy, and absence of opinion:

Abercrombie, Joe
Amis, Kingsley
Anthony, Piers
Ashworth, Jenn
Asprin, Robert
Atwood, Margaret
Austen, Jane



All right, starting the challenge off with A because starting with Z would just be silly. The Blade Itself was the first book on my reading list this year and if you’ve followed my blog previously you’ll know that it completely blew me away. As Joe Abercrombie‘s first published book it is an incredibly well-written, well-paced, and entertaining read. He now has seven books to his name and is wrapping up a young adult fantasy series at this time. He writes fantasy in the sub-genre dark, or gritty, or grim, or however you choose to label ‘violence, swearing and sex’. I call it realistic, but realism is already used to describe another sub-genre. Oh well. You can find my reviews for his First Law trilogy here, here, and here.

Next, Kingsley Amis (16 April 1922 – 22 October 1995), a prolific English writer whose only work I’ve read is Lucky Jim. At first I didn’t think I’d like the book, but as I continued I chillingly started to relate more and more to Jim Dixon, which really made me question my own life and relationships. In any case, it’s a slim book and a good read. I should pick up more of Amis’s works in the future.

Piers Anthony, a staple of science fiction and fantasy whose work I have not read. The confession is out, I’m so embarrassed. His books adorned the shelves of my library in high school, but I did not read them then because of a science fiction bias I bitterly held but am now overcoming. That two of his books are in my reading queue is proof of that.

I’ll admit that Jenn Ashworth isn’t an author I would usually pick up on my own, as literary fiction isn’t a genre I usually read. Cold Light was a gift from a friend who was shelf cleaning, and I rarely turn away a free book. It’ll be read sometime.

I have wanted to read Robert Asprin‘s Myth Adventures series since my early teens. I had several of the books from the middle, but never the first one. This was before the days of ‘OMG I can buy anything I want on the internet!’ Also before the days of my actually having money to buy books. Anyway, times have changed, and now I have the first two Myth Adventures books ready to be read.

Be kind. I have not yet read Margaret Atwood or Jane Austen. I am aware that I am a terrible person. I will correct my mistake sometime in the future.


Which of these books have you read? If you have any recommendations for works by any of the above mentioned authors, let me know in the comments. My Amazon wishlist could always use more books.


38 thoughts on “A is for…

  1. I have read Austen and Atwood. Rest are new to me too.

    You’ll find many recommendations for Austen, but for Atwood, I’d like to suggest Penelopiad. It’s a lovely book which tells Homer’s Odyssey from the POV of Odysseus’s wife Penelope. It’s not very popular, but reading it makes you realize how patriarchal Greek society was.

    • That actually sounds like a great book. I just finished reading The Odyssey a little while ago, so it’d be a nice addition to my reading list. I’ll put it on my wishlist right away, thanks!

  2. I don’t think not having read certain authors make you a terrible person. Not every author for everyone. Also, usually the more people are recommending you a book or a movie, the more you feel hesitant about it… or is it just me? 😀
    Happy A to Z!
    MopDog – The crazy thing about Hungarians…
    Multicolored Diary – Tales of Colors

    • It’s not just you. Usually, if my friends are recommending a book or movie, I tend to be hesitant, but for some reason if a complete stranger makes the recommendation, then I go for it. I think it’s because if I read something a friend recommends and it’s terrible, then I have to go through our entire friendship secretly knowing they have terrible taste, but if it’s a stranger then it doesn’t matter, ’cause I don’t have to look that person in the face every other week and question all their preferences and decisions. 😛

  3. I’ve never read any of the books listed, but you’ve got me sold on The Blade Itself. Uploading it to my Kindle as I type away. I’m all about violence, swearing, and sex in book because.. well because that’s what really happens in life. It’s so much easier to relate to! Throw in a paranormal plot twist and I’m on cloud nine, haha!

    • Don’t feel bad. There are so many books out there, there’s no way anyone could read all of them. Which is a shame, I’d certainly want to, if I could.

    • Phew, then I’m not alone! She was always conspicuously absent from high school reading lists, and we never read her in university either. When I was building my bookshelf I took some recommendations and she was among them, so there she sits now.

  4. My BA is in English/Humanities, but of the authors listed I’ve only read Atwood and Austen. I’m interested in Abercrombie though (I realize the context, but I type that and laugh). Looking forward to reading more of your posts during the challenge.

    • The English classes I took in university were my favorite. I read Lucky Jim in university. The hard part though was having multiple classes a semester in which professors assigned a book a week to be read. I don’t think I’ve ever read so fast in my life.

      Abercrombie has made his way into my top five favorite authors in a very short time. You won’t be disappointed.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I’ve read Austen and Atwood, and liked Atwood better if I remember correctly. 🙂 There are so many great books out, only so many hours for reading in the day, I have a long To-Read list myself.

    • I agree. I look forward to holidays just so I can lock myself up in my house and read for hours at a time. I read until I get headaches sometimes, and that’s when I know it’s been a good day.

  6. Kingsley Amis – probably best to stick to the earlier stuff, it’s funnier, though I liked The Old Devils too which I think is a minority taste.

    Margaret Atwood – favourite is The Blind Assassin. My husband loves her latest trilogy (starting with Oryx and Crake) but it just doesn’t appeal to me.

    Jane Austen – well what can I say? Have read them all many times. My favourite heroine is the eponymous Emma and Mr Darcy will always be Colin Firth to me. *Swoons*

    • Just added Old Devils. I’ll give it a try. I likes Kingsley Amis’s writing, the further into Lucky Jim I got. I think it’s an acquired taste.

      I have Onyx and Crake on my wish list already, I think, but having not read any Atwood at all, I’m taking any and all suggestions, thanks!

  7. I will totally nerd out and say that Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of my favourite books ever, but her Northanger Abbey is also fun. If you do enjoy P&P, then watch the BBC mini-series of it (the one with Colin Firth!). I have read some Atwood and I think she’s a very talented writer, but I’ll admit that I haven’t read the Oryx & Crake stuff yet. People are raving about that trilogy, so it might be a good place the start! (A friend of mine really loved The Year of the Flood — which is the second book.)
    Happy reading!!

  8. Atwood’s “The Blind Assassin” was such a good read that I will have to look for the book in your photograph. I did not know it existed. Thank you!

  9. Jane Austin way back in school days. I love using book bub where you get a daily email with 3 or 4 books based on your profile of interest and you can quickly load or not. I usually get the free books or the .99 books.

    • Yeah, these were the only two at the book store when I went for my last books splurge. If you can’t find them in a bookstore or on Amazon, you could always try Abe Books. I go there whenever I’m looking for a rare or out of print book. It’s usually pretty easy to find what I’m looking for there.

  10. Funny, some of those books you mention were vital staples of my collection as an aspiring writer in my teens. For the record, that has been more than 20 years ago. I landed on Robert Asprin when I was 13, and his style of fantasy-farce is what kicked off my first serious writing efforts. To this day, I strongly recommend the first 6 books, chronicling Skeeve’s formative years. Piers Anthony, I discovered later. He never made quite as much of an impression on me, but his reading is still pretty fun. Jane Austen has a snarky, high-brow humor that never dates itself. The miniseries of P&P starring Colin Firth is a good, faithful introduction for those who aren’t ready to stomach the novel. For additional reading, I’d recommend Isaac Asimov. I can’t get into his sci-fi–not because it’s not awesome, but it’s just not my thing. His own favorite work was “Murder at the ABA”, a mystery. If you can get your hands on that one, it’s worth the trouble.

    • Thank you for the comment! You have filled in all the bits that I couldn’t. 😀 Asimov is on my amazon wishlist at the moment, and has been for a little while. I’m hoping now that I’m older, sci-fi will appeal a bit more.

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