Alphabet Soup Book Tag:  A is for Author

Alphabet Soup Book Tag: A is for Author

This is an original tag created by Shawn the Book Maniac:


1. A is for Author: A good book by an author whose first name or last name starts with the letter A. (First names are too easy, so bonus points for a surname; double bonus points for first and last name!)

2. A is for, well, “A”: The last book you read with the article/one-letter-word “a” in the title.

3. A is for Angry: A book that pissed you off

4. A is for Awesome: A top read of recent years

5. A is for Aaah!: A book whose title includes at least three a’s (bonus for more than three!)

6. A is for Annoying : A character that drove you up the wall

7. A is for Ambivalent: A book you’re still not sure how you feel about

8. A is for Anticipation: A book (new release or not) that you’re very much looking forward to reading

9. A is for Actually: A book you didn’t expect to like, but did

10. A is for Affected: A character, book, or writer you feel is pretentious

11. A is for How’s It Going, Eh?: A book you liked by a Canadian writer, or one you want to read

12. A is for Anticlimactic: A book you thought fizzled out at the end

13. A is for All The BookTubers: Tag a swack of people


A.G. McDonald:

A Journey Through Books:

Argyle Dinosaur:

All The World’s A Page:

Always Doing:

Amy Gets Lit:

Another Book Vlog:

An Enthusiastic Reader:

Alex Black:

Alan Moreton:


hello and welcome back to focus today is tag Tuesday and I happen to the tag I was tagged by Shawn the book maniac to do his alphabet soup tag which I think he's good he said he's gonna make a regular kind of tag feature on its channel this tags letter is a so all the prompts and hopefully all the books I chose have an A prominently featured he's in the title a character name or the name of the author so prompt number one is for author choose a book whose author's surname hopefully begins with a that is a good book and so I chose the man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren Nelson Algren was a fairly popular and respected American writer in the 1950s and 60s I believe the man with the Golden Arm yeah won the very first National Book Award it says it right there on the cover and he wrote throughout the 1950s and 60s this book essentially involves a character who was wounded during World War two became addicted to morphine moved back to Chicago was a car dealer in back-alley casinos unhappily married hope to get in with a mom and make his fortune and ended up living in a flophouse and killing himself so on that cheery note prong number one is done I really like the man with the Golden Arm and I don't know if many people today have read it so if you've read it to be interested in seeing that Oh prompt number two is a is for a name of book with the word a in the title and chakra I know you're surprised to see another Balzac novel this was not my intention but the only one that I could find easily or really supposed to be last book you read with a in the title was a harlot high and low by honoré de Balzac which you know contains several I think of his most important characters including the thief vacherin who manipulates lots of people to give you what he wants and it's a fairly sad tale oftentimes Balzac's tales are prompt number three is a is for angry a book that pissed you off that book is a book I read just recently and reviewed on this channel and indigenous peoples history of the United States since it starts with an A I thought it fit really well this is a book essentially about the mistreatment of indigenous peoples in the United States by the United States government going all the way back to before there was the United States and colonial imperialism all the way through your current US policies towards Native Americans okay problem number four is a is for awesome a top read of recent years and so I'm gonna go with the book that it was in my top tens list which I read some time ago and that's shadow without a name so notice that haze in the title this is a book about essentially a fictional program to replace important Nazi leaders with body doubles and then the confusion that comes up between their impersonators and themselves and whether or not the right people have received justice but I really liked it it's by ignacio padilla so shadow without a name is an awesome read of recent years from nur v is a is for a book which has at least four three a's in the title this one was harder than i thought but I was gives me an opportunity I think for one of the first times I hold up a book by Patrick O'Brien in fact this is the first book in the Opry Metron series and it's master and commander and there are three A's in that if you are interested in kind of adventure historical fiction set on a British 18th century British sailing ship these are the greatest books and I love them very much prompt number six is a is for annoying a character who drove you up the wall so I would I choose Alphonse from evil Oh steve-o's a life notice a life and then the character's name also is Alphonse phonce oh he's a relatively grasping somewhat hapless confused weak-willed man who is easily talked out of things including love with his boss's daughter he falls in love with her she with hey while they're writing a novel together in the end someone talks him out of that relationship he leaves when he comes back she's married to someone else and essentially realizing this life has come to nothing he commits suicide number 7 a is for ambivalent a book you're still not sure about and I picked the antiquarian by Gustavo for her own pet Ryu that's how I'm saying his name I read this book a couple of years ago and it was really really really interesting it's set in kind of a mythical South American city in which there may or may not be trafficking in human corpses and inhuman body parts and it centers around a rather macabre book shop and a hospital for the mentally ill and it is actually still in my mind unclear exactly how that whether the resolution of the novel was real or imagined anyway so that's why I'm still unsure about it the antiquarian problem number 8 a is for anticipation a book you're looking forward to reading whether this new release or not and so since this is July and I plan on participating in Jane Austen July I chose Jane Austen's notice the a Northanger Abbey notice the a so I am looking forward to reading this and this is one that I understand that is not as high a regard as some of the others and being somewhat of a contrarian that makes it sound like to me that's it maybe in the running from my favorite Jane Austen novel once I read it from him rot prompt number nine is a is for actually a book that you enjoyed but you didn't expect to enjoy and so I'm gonna stick with you know nineteenth-century British literature and I'm gonna go with and Bronte's the tenant of Wildfell Hall I read this last year for Victo Burr and I liked it so much more than I thought it wasn't really of all the books I think I've read recently this book is the biggest surprise from Norton is a is for affected a book or a character or writer that you feel is pretentious and I chose bin learners leaving @osha station for two reasons I think the book is pretentious I think Ben Lerner it's pretentious pretentious and I think the narrator central character of this book is in fact pretentious and I have to be honest this is one of those books that I've waited a long time to read and I was really really disappointed it but notice it fits the category because at OCHA ends in you know begins and ends and a founder or eleven is how's it going a as in thick away Canadians a a apparently I wouldn't you know want a stereotype that being a Canadian thing except you know Sean's Canadian he put it in there so this would be a book by Canadian author you've read and you liked or that you're looking forward to reading or you want to read and the obvious answer here is Alice Monroe but I don't have an Alice Munro book to hold up so the other Canadian author who's you know I have a book owner of his I still want to read is Michael on dachi two A's in the skin of a lion which somebody told me recently is like a prequel to The English Patient patients some way I think so I'm looking forward to reading that and also Alice Monroe Sean from room 12 a is for anti-climactic a book you thought fizzle at the end and that book was Ian McEwan's atonement knows it starts with an egg this is one of those books where I started reading it I really liked the set up I thought it felt like a typical Ian McEwan book and then at the end I just I just didn't buy the story and I didn't buy the resolution of the story and I didn't buy the resolution that one of the stories we've been told was fake and the real story was different I don't know if he read atonement or not this is just probably Ian McEwan's I think most famous novel in though even though I don't think it's his best in fact I think atonement is the last Ian McEwan novel I read if you're looking for a good Ian McEwan novel I think enduring love is his best book so problem number 13 is to tag a swak of booktubers so I have a list here of booktubers who I want to tag to do this which is quite extensive so I want to tag a G McDonald I want to tag a journey through books I want to tag argyle dinosaur I'd like to tag all the world's a page always doing amy gets lit another book blog an enthusiastic reader Alex black and Alan Morton and it's sticking with the a theme of this alphabet soup tag all of those channels channel names begin with an A anyway if I listed you there I hope you'll do this tag it was pretty fun and it got to gave me a chance to talk about some books I don't think I've ever talked about and of course to you know bring up Balzac again anyway let me know what you think in the comment section and as always thank you for watching


  1. Ah, Man With the Golden Arm, havent heard anybody talk about this for a long time! I really liked it (I read it, I have to admit, because Algren was Simone de Beauvoir's lover…).

  2. I love this tag and enjoyed hearing your take. Unpopular opinion in these precincts: I really liked Atocha. I sought Lerner out first after reading his first NYer story. I do seem to have a higher
    tolerance for pretentious work than I used to. If I do this tag I will probably have to default to Jonathan "too good for Oprah" Franzen.

  3. Hello Brian, so glad you liked The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which I thought was beautifully written when I first read it it. I have already scripted this tag after watching Shawn's channel, but now I am official! A is for Alan!

  4. For me as well, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was a wonderful surprise. Anne Bronte certainly is just as good a writer as her more famous sisters. It’s too bad that Charlotte, as Anne’s literary executor, suppressed it being reprinted. She claimed it was too scandalous which is pretty funny coming from the author of Jane Eyre. Maybe she was concerned it might outshine her own work. Hmmm?

    Frank Sinatra won an Oscar for his portrayal of the heroin addict in The Man with the Golden Arm.

  5. Hi Brian.  Did you see the movie adaptation of The Man With the Golden Arm, and if so, what did you think of it?  A Life sounds intriguing, I'll have to check it out.  This was fun Brian, thanks

  6. This was freaking awesome, eh? 😜. So many books and authors I’d never heard of or certainly not heard you talk about. Just fantastic!

    I’m certainly with you on Ben Lerner– I bailed on that one very early, and I don’t think you’ll blame me. 🙂

    Thank you for mentioning Alice Munro, which will probably make Donoghue apoplectic. Did you see what I did there? Apoplectic…?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *