Posted by: Matt | August 28, 2007

A New Challenge

Reading the Author

I had decided not to do any more challenges. They were restricting my reading too much.  I wasn’t able to pick my next book on a whim, it was already decided by the challenges I was doing. But I’ve been seduced into joining another. This one will be starting shortly, it begins in September, is called the Reading the Author Challenge and will be hosted at Incurable Logophilia. It will run through the end of the year. The idea is to pick an author and read at least four of their books. It sounds like such a good idea I have to participate. Besides, there are a couple of authors that I would like to get to know better. I am leaning towards choosing Neil Gaiman as my author, but have not ruled out Philip K. Dick or Ian McEwan.

If I choose Gaiman the books would be:

If Philip K. Dick:

  • The Man in the High Castle
  • The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • Ubik

Which can all be found in the Library of America collection entitled Philip K. Dick: Four Novels of the 1960s.

If Ian McEwan:

So head on over and sign up for the challenge!



  1. I keep vowing to give up on reading challenges too, but then they look so good! I liked American Gods and I loved Good Omens. Funny, that one.

  2. I’ve never tried a challenge, Matt, but that sounds like an interesting one, one that might be very beneficial, in fact.

    I’ve discovered a new author, Karin Fossum, and have read one of her books this month already and I’m working on a second one…with two more on the shelf waiting for me. Sounds like I’m inadvertently going to meet this challenge, a first for me.

  3. You know what? I saw this challenge before I saw your blog and immediately thought, I think I’ll do Neil Gaiman! lol Soo, if you go with him, you’ll have a partner in crime. 😉

  4. I don’t know if I could complete this challenge. I find that unless I’m reading a series of books, I don’t like to read novels by the same author in such a short period of time. The main reason for this is because I don’t like being exposed to the same style of writing repeatedly.

    For example, I’m a big fan of Stephen King, but if you take a look at his more recent novels you’ll find that he uses a lot of casual speech and dialects (especially from Maine).

    I suppose it ultimately depends on the author, but everyone has their repertoire of literary tricks that can potentially affect my own writing.

  5. Thanks for mentioning the challenge here, Matt. And I’m glad you’ll be joining in! I know what you mean about challenges dictating next book selections, however. I haven’t done many and I enjoy them when I do but I also love being able to just pick up a book that I want because the first page or the back cover looks interesting. I’ve been wanting to read a few authors more in depth for a while now and this challenge is a way to force me to do it.

  6. Carrie K – I’m not sure which of those two will be the fourth book I read, I guess I could always read them both!

    Sam Houston – I’m not familiar with Karin Fossum but it does sound as though you’re going to complete this challenge without even intending to. You might as well go through your name in!

    Eva – At this point it is pretty much decided that I will be reading Neil Gaiman, I look forward to comparing thoughts!

    Kevin – I can see what you’re talking about, except for it affecting my writing, since I don’t write. 🙂 And sometimes it can really burn you out reading the same author repeatedly but I think I can handle four in a four months as I’ll have other books I’ll be reading too.

    verbivore – No problem, I think it’s a great idea, and I like to advertise great ideas. I think the length you chose for the challenge is a good one, that way I won’t get burned out.

  7. About how long is it taking you to finish one book? I’m impressed by how much you’re reading, but I just can’t imagine myself finding the time to get so much done. You’re much more dedicated than I am, but you have to be a fast reader.

  8. I wish I could take up this challenge but I’m doing toomany others. Nice lists though.

  9. Kevin – It’s probably taking me about a week and a half to finish a book, but it depends on the length, size of the font and complexity of the prose. I’m not sure how many hours as I’ve never timed my reading.

    Stefanie – This will be my third challenge but one of them will end soon so I’ll be back to a more manageable two.

  10. Wow, lots of choices! I was recently introduced to Gaiman through Stardust, the movie. When I went to half price books today, I was disappointed that I couldn’t find any of his work. Good luck with the challenge!

  11. […] at A Variety of Words and Eva at A Striped Armchair will be reading Neil Gaimans books. This is an author I’ve never […]

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