My A to Z of books

Earlier this week, I updated my A to Z list of reviews published since I started my blog.  Scrolling through, it got me thinking about all the books I’ve read in the last few years, how similar they are an how different.  As it’s Friday and I had no review to post, I thought it would be fun to share some of the things that jumped out at me reading through…

I really like reading about murder, and crime fiction makes up the largest share of the list closely followed by thrillers/suspense.  I can’t resist a bit of murder and mayhem it seems, especially police procedurals.  My favourite books with a body count are…


Pop Goes The Weasel by M. J. Arlidge, the second in the Helen Grace series, this one had me feeling sympathy for the killer as well as the victims – hard to do

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza, the first in the Erika Foster series that has a brilliantly opening that sets the scene for the rest of the book

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson, a modern twist on strangers on the train that still keeps popping into my head months later

Why Did You Lie? by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, the first book I’ve read set in Iceland but hopefully not the last if this clever story with it’s claustrophobic setting is anything to go by

Salt River by James Sallis, though I could have picked any of this trilogy featuring a small town sheriff with a dark past.

The most common letter is T, closely followed by A.  That’s because a lot of books start with The or A.  There are 74 books that start with the letter T and 69 start with The.  My favourite of these?  Hard to say but ones that stand out are…

A26 by Pascal Garnier, a dark tale and a grim setting that drew me in and wouldn’t let me go.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan, which was sadder than I thought it would be and morally complex.

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker, a story that was a lot different than the one I expected and much more interesting as a result.

The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson with it’s quirky take on office politics and conformity.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang which gave me an insight into Korean society and it’s codes and social morals

Girls are really popular in the books I read, not women but girls.  It has been a general theme in recent years and I suspect this would apply to quite a few of you out there.  My favourites were…

Cinderella Girl by Carin Gerhardsen, a clever take on a police procedural that involves a missing child and abandoned baby.

Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro, a novel that reads like a collection of short stories that provide snapshots from the life of one young girl as she grows up to be a woman

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, which I didn’t think I’d like as much as I did as an unreliable witness tries to convince people she has witnessed a crime

The Girls by Emma Cline, a beautifully written story based on the Manson family about a young girls almost disastrous involvement with them

Lost Girls by Robert Kolker, my first foray into true crime, this looks at the investigation into the Long Island serial killer and five of his/her victims

Names also seem to feature quite heavily, with Emma being the most popular one.  My favourites were…

Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway by Sara Gran, a detective with a difference and crimes that are off the wall

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, a wonderful story and a clever idea with an old lady with dementia trying to find her missing friend

Watching Edie by Camilla Way, with shades of single white female, this is a thriller about childhood friends and obsession

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton, my first ever cozy and I loved it with it’s fun characters and Cotswold setting

Sebastian Bergman by Michael Hjor, my first ever review on the blog, this is a Scandinavian crime thriller with a psychologist who is a profiler unwillingly dragged back into his job with the national police

And finally in the recurring themes is family, always a juicy subject for authors as so many are dysfunctional and most hold secrets.  My favourites were….

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver, which looks at the American (and our) epidemic of obesity, told by a sister who is watching her brother slowly eat himself to death

Freedom’s Child by Jax Miller, one of the most different books I’ve read with a wild central character (Freedom) looking for her long abandoned children when she finds out they are in danger

Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas with one of the most manipulative mothers I have ever come across who treats her children shockingly

My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni, the first in a series staring a great female detective who is trying to find out what happened to her long lost sister

The Mistress’s Daughter by A. M. Homes, the true story of one of my favourite author’s encounters with the parents who gave her up for adoption – you might not believe it if it was fiction

And that’s it for now.  Do you read in themes? If so, what ones?







  1. What a fun way to analyze your reading! I see several books there that I enjoyed…(Elizabeth is Missing, Watching Edie, etc.)….and as for the “girls” in the title, I had to laugh, as I read several books with that word in the title last summer. I called it The Girls of Summer.

    Enjoy what comes next.


    • The Girls of Summer I like it. It was so true though and it seems to be continuing. It was fun just looking back. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed some of these books.


  2. I think if we are drawn to particular genres, over time we are bound to collect categories of books we’ve read with similar themes or subject matter. It is certainly useful, I think, to look back from time to time and consider our favourite reads in these categories and why they stand out for us. Thank you for sharing – this is a lovely post:)


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