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January RandomCAT -- Your name in print

2019 Category Challenge

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Edited: Dec 16, 2018, 12:21pm Top

The big sister said, Once upon a time, there was a----
----princess, the little sister said.
Rabbit, the big sister said.
Rabbit princess, the little sister said.

-- Lauren Groff, "Dogs Go Wolf", from Florida.

Isn't it weird seeing your name, or the name of someone you know, in a book? For this challenge, read a book where a character (or the author) has the same name as you or someone you know. It can be first name, middle name, or last name. It can be the name of a famous person you've met. It can be an actual person you know who's been interviewed for (or is the subject of) a non-fiction book. It could be someone you know who's written a book! Have fun stretching the parameters of this challenge!

And feel free to come back any time during the year, not just in January, if you happen to come across someone you know in your reading later in 2019 :)

(Hat tip to RidgewayGirl for sending me the quote up top, which is what inspired this challenge)

Dec 14, 2018, 7:03pm Top

I have a few relatives with the last name of McNally, so I'll continue my re-read of the Archy McNally detective series with McNally's Caper, by Lawrence Sanders.

Dec 14, 2018, 7:34pm Top

Unfortunately, my book club isn't reading The Underground Railroad until February. The villain in that book is named Ridgeway. But if I don't find something else, I can always read Reasons She Goes to the Woods by Deborah Kay Davies. We share a middle name. Or something by Alison Lurie or Alison Gaylin (we share the same first name).

I'm glad that the finding of a rabbit princess in literature tickled you as much as it did me when I spotted it.

Dec 14, 2018, 8:22pm Top

I think I'll read What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg (same first name).

Dec 14, 2018, 8:39pm Top

>3 RidgewayGirl: I fully endorse counting books for the January RandomCAT in February if they fit the parameters ;)

Dec 14, 2018, 9:04pm Top

I was hoping to read The Vengeance of Mothers by Jim Fergus in January and this works perfectly for RC. My brother's name is Jim and his daughter is Kelly. Kelly is the last name of one of the characters in the book.

Dec 14, 2018, 9:08pm Top

I have a few books in mind for this one. Where'd you go Bernadette by Maria Semple because my sister is named Bernadette. My sister gave me a book this past year with my first name in it, but I cannot remember the name of the whole book. I just remember it having Monica in the title. I believe the book is Killing Monica by Candace Bushnell. I just need to find the book.

Dec 14, 2018, 9:16pm Top

>2 rabbitprincess: my maiden name is McNally, which is not a very common name. Maybe some of your relatives are some of my relatives.

I thought that quote was where you got your online name! Now I’m wondering where rabbitprincess came from.

Dec 14, 2018, 9:37pm Top

I may try to read The Royal Wulff Murders by Keith McCafferty since Keith is my brother’s name.

Dec 14, 2018, 10:18pm Top

>4 dudes22: Excellent!

>6 clue: Ooh, a double play! Nice!

>7 crazy4reading: Wow, Bernadette isn't that common a name, so that is very cool. I hope you can find the book with your own name in the title; that would make an interesting pairing of books.

>8 raidergirl3: "rabbit princess" was part of a nickname for my first rabbit. Very long story ;)

>9 LittleTaiko: Nice! We have a Keith in our family as well.

Dec 15, 2018, 12:44am Top

I know one author with my last name, but I'm not a fan. Not sure about my first name. Hard to find which books will have a character with my name, but I'll see what I can come up with!

Dec 15, 2018, 12:48am Top

Love this one! Do different spellings of a name count? I have just "discovered" the Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King so thinking of dipping into book 2 in the series.

Dec 15, 2018, 3:03am Top

My bookclub is reading The Name of the Rose in January, and if I remember rightly, one of the main characters is William of Baskerville, and William is one of my middle names.

I've also got quite a few Roberts and Michaels on my TBR shelves, but no Greaves, alas.

Dec 15, 2018, 3:27am Top

Does it need to share your current name or could I (finally) read a book my mother wrote - we used to share a surname until I got married and ditched it (no-one could ever spell it!).

>13 Robertgreaves: closest I could get would be Robert Graves, but he's missing a letter. What's an "e" between friends though.

Dec 15, 2018, 3:32am Top

>14 Helenliz: I thought about Robert Graves but I read I, Claudius with y reading group this year. A bit soon to read it again this year.

Dec 15, 2018, 3:46am Top

>15 Robertgreaves: there's always the sequel, Claudius the God. It picks up when Claudius is made Emperor.

Dec 15, 2018, 7:48am Top

I am reading Take Someone Like Me by Jayne Buxton.

Dec 15, 2018, 9:51am Top

I'll be reading Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger. My middle name is Gail.

Edited: Dec 15, 2018, 10:30am Top

>12 lkernagh: >14 Helenliz: Yes! If you think it counts, it counts :)

>11 LibraryCin: You can always come back and post later on if you happen to encounter someone with your name!

Dec 15, 2018, 11:22am Top

>1 rabbitprincess:, What a fun idea!

I'll plan on reading The House by Christina Lauren, which I meant to get to in 2018 and never quite did. My middle name is Lauren.

Dec 15, 2018, 1:24pm Top

I'm torn. This might be the perfect chance to finally read Kelly: More Than My Share of It All by Kelly Johnson, aeronautical and systems engineer, who designed many of Lockheed's famous aircraft. Multiple people - mainly engineers- have asked me if I was named after him. I was not. I have had his autobiography on my wish list for many years now. However; I'm in a reading funk and doubt I'll be wanting to read about aircraft design any time soon.
I may try a re-read of Little, Big, the book from which I took the name Violet Bramble.

Dec 15, 2018, 1:33pm Top

>21 VioletBramble: Both of those sound great! And as someone who almost never reads CAT books in their assigned month, I totally think you can count the Kelly Johnson book for this challenge. Also, totally adding that to my own to-read list :)

Dec 15, 2018, 1:46pm Top

>1 rabbitprincess: What a great idea. I love the quotation in your opener!

However. my first reaction was dismay - the chances of "Vivienne" in print would be a rarity. A quick LT search found a George Gently mystery Gently where she lay by Alan Hunter that was originally titled Vivienne - Gently where she lay.

Dec 15, 2018, 2:06pm Top

>23 VivienneR: That's why I expanded it to middle name, surname, or the name of someone you know :) My real name hardly ever appears in stories, and if it does, it's spelled wrong :-/

Edited: Dec 15, 2018, 2:35pm Top

>19 rabbitprincess: I'd like to pick something out just in case that doesn't happen, but yes, if I come across something, that would be great!

(And I really do try to read them in the month "assigned"!)

Edited: Dec 15, 2018, 2:36pm Top

This is easy-peasy for me as my surname is HOLMES. I have read all of the Sherlock canon but he appears in so many other books by various authors.

Dec 15, 2018, 2:44pm Top

>24 rabbitprincess: I know how you feel about your misspelled name. The only place I see my name spelled correctly is here on LT or on official mail. It's funny to see greetings cards arrive with my name having corrections scribbled on top of each other.

Dec 15, 2018, 2:45pm Top

Who knew? So many choices once I started thinking about this. I am currently reading the first in the Tana Woods, Dublin Murder Squad series, In the Woods. The two detectives have commonalities with two of my children (Adam (son) aka Rob and Cassie (daughter)). So if I am ready for it, I'll move on to another in the series, maybe The Likeness. If not, I have read only one Louise Penny and her first name is my middle so that would move me forward in that series, A Fatal Grace I'm sure there are many others, but its hard to know the character names until you jump into the book or do the research on one in your TBR.

Dec 15, 2018, 3:05pm Top

>28 beebeereads: You could choose a display of "Your Books" that includes "People/characters" from Common Knowledge.

Dec 15, 2018, 4:13pm Top

I've never seen anyone with my name spelled the way I do in a book. The only Traci I know of is Traci Lords, and as fascinating as her life might be, I think I'd pass on reading a book about her if there is such a thing. I did, however, go very traditional when naming my own children, so I may have more luck with one of them: Brandon, Emma, and Henry. I'll have to do some poking around in my library and see what I can come up with.

Dec 15, 2018, 4:34pm Top

I am thinking of reading The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis. The protagonist shares my first name, Nina.

Dec 15, 2018, 6:33pm Top

>30 virginiahomeschooler: - There is an author I read whose name is Traci DePree. Her books are characterized and tagged as Christian fiction which I know some people don't like to read. I found them a nice story.

Dec 15, 2018, 6:39pm Top

>30 virginiahomeschooler: Emma Woodhouse's father's name was Henry. Two for the price of one :-)

Dec 15, 2018, 9:04pm Top

When I was growing up, there were very few Allisons although in the past 30 years or so, the name has become much more popular. Still, most women spell Alison the feminine way with one L. Mine is spelled the "masculine" way with two LLs. I was amazed to find 4 female Allisons (as their first names) spelled with 2 LLs when searching for "authors named Allison" on the web.

(Actually, I think that Allison is no longer used very often for a man's first name. I was named after my grandfather, whom I never knew; he was nearly 90 years older than me since he was 48 or 49 when my father was born, and my father was nearly 40 years older than me.)

Thus, I will be introduced to a new-for-me author for this challenge.

Dec 16, 2018, 1:39am Top

>34 sallylou61: Well, I learned something new! I never knew Allison was a man's name at all! (And I always assume it's spelled with two Ls!)

Edited: Dec 16, 2018, 3:17am Top

I have on my shelves a slim mystery by someone I know from a non literary context. Perfect for this challenge.

Dec 16, 2018, 8:30am Top

>36 sushicat: Awesome! :)

Dec 16, 2018, 9:16am Top

I have a close friend in a Monica Ferris book I have read. I read it years ago and will have to find it again.

Dec 16, 2018, 10:31am Top

>32 dudes22: Thanks for the tip. I'll look her up.

>33 Robertgreaves: My Emma was actually sort of named for Emma Woodhouse. She wasn't my favorite character, but I loved her name. I hadn't thought about Henry being in there as well.

Dec 16, 2018, 12:06pm Top

Fun theme, RP! I have two books that I may read for this, See How Small by Scott Blackwood, as the author's first name and my last name are the same. Also I am planning on reading City by Clifford D. Simak who shares a first name with my favorite brother-in-law.

Dec 16, 2018, 12:18pm Top

>39 virginiahomeschooler: - I just thought of a comparison. I found the books similar to the Gail Fraser Lumby series, if that gives you an idea.

Dec 16, 2018, 4:37pm Top

This is a fun one! I am going to let it simmer while I think. Immediately obvious options include Elizabeth Taylor, James Baldwin, Ellen Hart or Ellen Gilchrist, Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym...

Dec 16, 2018, 4:39pm Top

I wish I had not already read both of Kate Southwood's published novels. Our names have nothing in common but we were friends in graduate school (she was working on her MFA while I earned my doctorate in psychology) and had many evenings of enjoying Irish whiskey and conversation. I think that would count for this challenge.

Dec 16, 2018, 4:41pm Top

>43 EBT1002: Yes! That would definitely count :)

Dec 16, 2018, 7:36pm Top

>42 EBT1002: Great choices! I love Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Pym!

Dec 16, 2018, 8:15pm Top

I'm planning on reading Still Alice by Lisa Genova, which was given to me by my good friend Lisa.

Dec 16, 2018, 8:17pm Top

>46 LisaMorr: A double Lisa! Excellent work :)

Dec 16, 2018, 9:19pm Top

>30 virginiahomeschooler: I work with a Traci, but sadly she hasn’t written anything so that won’t help you much. :)

>34 sallylou61: My middle name is Allison with the two l’s. Never knew that it was considered the male form of the name.

Edited: Dec 17, 2018, 4:54am Top

I have a lot of Lisa Scottoline on the shelf, I think I'll read Accused. We share the same first name.

Dec 17, 2018, 8:20am Top

>34 sallylou61: >48 LittleTaiko: All the Allisons I knew growing up were female and had 2 Ls in their name; it wasn't until I started working for a UK company and started to meet Alisons with 1 L. And have never met a male with the name (one or two Ls!).

Dec 17, 2018, 10:04am Top

>34 sallylou61:, >35 LibraryCin:, >48 LittleTaiko:, >50 LisaMorr: . Here's what Wikipedia has under the heading Alison (spelled with one L), under the subheading popularity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alison_(given_name)

The name is first recorded in Scotland in the 12th century. It was popular until the early 19th century and, spelled Allison, was the 45th most common name given to baby girls in the United States in 2005 (Allyson was #253; Alison, #259; Alyson, #468; Allie, #256; Ally, #656; and Alice, #414).4 In 1990 in the United States, Allison was the 228th most popular name for women of all ages; Alison was #347, Allyson, #775; Alyson, #981; Allie, #764; Ali, #2434; and Alice, #51.5 Alison in any spelling did not enter the top 100 baby names in 2005 in England and Wales.6

Allison last entered the top 1000 baby names for males in the United States in 1946, when it ranked #968. In the 1910s it ranked from 667 to 981 with an average of #835, and in the first decade of the 20th century, it ranked as high as #927.7

4 Popular Names by Birth Year: Dec 2007 Ssa.gov
5 "Most Common Female Names in the U.S." mongabay.com.
6"Most Popular Names for Births in England and Wales 2005". behindthename.com
7 Campbell, Mike (2012). "Popularity for ALLISON in the United States, percent Used, Male". Behind the Name: the etymology and history of first names. Retrieved 31 August 2013.

In the body of the article, it lists 23 females with the name of Alison and 3 with Allison (if I counted correctly) and in a separate list of males, 3 American men spelled with 2 LLs and 4 Brazilian footballers with various spellings. The females are all from English speaking countries.

This might be more than you ever wanted to know about the name!

Recently, it seems to me, that some people have been naming babies with "unusual" names, sometimes with original spellings.

Dec 17, 2018, 11:40am Top

>51 sallylou61: Growing up, I first met another Alison when I was a teenager and she spelled her name Allyson. My name was constantly misspelled to have 2 Ls. That and an insult from my grandfather, had me switch to going by my middle name in high school (the year I got breasts, he nicknamed me "Big Al." It was not appreciated).

Dec 17, 2018, 11:53am Top

True story: I once knew someone called Alison who married a guy whose surname was Allison.

I was going to give this challenge a miss, but I've wanted to read Jackie Kay's Red Dust Road for a while so I'm thinking about getting it with my Christmas money from my parents. Over on the ROOTs group I even had someone ask me if I *was* Jackie Kay (I wish I wrote like her!!!).

Dec 17, 2018, 1:54pm Top

>52 RidgewayGirl: . I hated being call "Al" when I was growing up. Using my middle name, Louise, was not an option since it was my mother's name. When I left home for boarding school in senior high, I picked Sally Lou as a nickname. I used it through my first two years of college (at a small college). When I transferred to a large university, I went back to Allison, which I have used all my adult life except for LibraryThing.
When I created my log-in for LibraryThing, I didn't remember I had used Sally Lou at college and added the year I graduated from high school in my log-in.

Dec 17, 2018, 6:25pm Top

>53 Jackie_K: YES!!! :D

>52 RidgewayGirl: Ew, worst nickname ever! :(

Dec 17, 2018, 8:16pm Top

>51 sallylou61: That is interesting! I'm in Canada, but obviously for the name Allison, we are more influenced by the US, with the more common female name with 2 Ls!

Dec 17, 2018, 9:10pm Top

>51 sallylou61: Thanks for the explanation. Hardest thing for me was to consistently spell Alison with one L... I eventually got it though!

>52 RidgewayGirl: Oh myyy... Grandfathers can be tough sometimes...

Dec 19, 2018, 7:14pm Top

Aha! I can read the Ramona books, by Beverly Cleary. My cousin is named Beverly.

Dec 19, 2018, 9:15pm Top

>58 LadyoftheLodge: Oooh, fun! My Mom's name is Beverly!

Dec 20, 2018, 4:31pm Top

>59 LibraryCin: I had a really hard time finding anything with Cheryl, my first name, or my last name.

Dec 20, 2018, 10:36pm Top

>60 LadyoftheLodge: Not sure if you like memoirs, or Dancing with the Stars, but my head immediately went to Cheryl Burke, who I believe has written a memoir. :-) Not likely everyone's "thing", though!

Dec 20, 2018, 11:20pm Top

>60 LadyoftheLodge:
The Darkness Knows by Cheryl Honigford - murder mystery set in 1930s Chicago. It would also fit the amateur detective category I read somwhere (was it in the Pop Sugar Challenge?)

Wild by Cheryl Strayed - recently divorced, Cheryl decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone. It was made into a movie with Reese Witherspoon. This has been on my TBR list for a while!

Life is But a Dream: On The Lake by Cheryl Shireman - first in a series. Apparently a romantic/mystery/thriller. Looks like a light read.

There is also an author called Cheryl Holt - her books all have bare-chested men on the front!

Dec 21, 2018, 8:13pm Top

>62 JayneCM: The Darkness Knows sounds like something that is right up my alley.

Dec 21, 2018, 8:40pm Top

>63 LadyoftheLodge: It is on my list now too! I love the cover art.

Dec 22, 2018, 12:42pm Top

Can't really find any authors I'm interested in with my first name, so I'm going with Gillian Flynn who has the same first name (with the same spelling) as my middle child. Have two of her books, but have not yet read Sharp Objects, so that's my choice for this challenge.

Dec 29, 2018, 8:11am Top

My first name is uncommon, but an author search for it resulted in an avalanche of erotica, not my thing. I looked elsewhere using my grandfather’s surname and got a possibility. Maybe I can find it through the library system?

Dec 29, 2018, 9:00am Top

>66 fuzzi: Hope the library system can help you out! Also, I think you're going to have to write a book in a different genre to counteract the erotica ;)

Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 9:03am Top

>68 fuzzi: hahaha!

Earlier this month I met someone with the same first name...only the third time in almost 60 years.

Dec 29, 2018, 9:59am Top

My name actually came from characters in a book that my mother read shortly before I was born. I haven't read the book, although I own a copy, so this may give me the nudge to finally read it. A Prologue to Love by Taylor Caldwell.

Dec 29, 2018, 10:00am Top

>69 cbl_tn: And I'll add that I am glad I thought of asking my mother which book my name came from before she died. My father would not have known the answer to that question!

Dec 29, 2018, 10:22am Top

>69 cbl_tn: That's a wonderful choice! :)

Dec 29, 2018, 10:36am Top

I'll probably read Tai-Pan by James Clavell as my father, brother, husband, and son all have James as a first name. (My father and husband use Jim, my brother James, and my son is Mitch for his middle name.) Also that book may well be my oldest book that I never got around to reading getting me a double!

Dec 29, 2018, 4:31pm Top

I'll probably read The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. My father's name is John.

Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 5:48pm Top

Search doesn't appear to be working for me, at least not for names. I tried the shortened form of my first name and my legal first name. Then selected Authors from the left menu. Also tried selecting Common Knowledge, hoping a character might come up. Nothing.

Also tried both of those for my last name, and I KNOW something should have come up. Lots of somethings by the same author Rudy Wiebe. I do not want to read something by him (I haven't liked what I have read by him), but I hoped maybe to find another author with the name. Nothing came up under author or common knowledge for that, either. :-(

Dec 29, 2018, 7:06pm Top

>74 LibraryCin: try a web search instead of an LT search...LT has been buggy the last few days.

Dec 29, 2018, 8:09pm Top

Since I love James Baldwin's work, and since I want to see If Beale Street Could Talk at the cinema, I'm going to read this one for January.
It's the B in my username. :-)

Dec 29, 2018, 8:12pm Top

I've tentatively chosen The Mill in the Floss since my father's name is George.

Edited: Dec 30, 2018, 1:32am Top

>75 fuzzi: Thank you! I will give that a try!

ETA: I guess I like to try here first to see if there is already something on my tbr. It's more obvious here!

Dec 31, 2018, 4:21pm Top

Just to confirm: knowing the author counts here? A college friend that I have kept in touch with is writing a series of novels based on her family history in the middle peninsula area of Virginia. Confederate Like Me was her first book and I haven't had a chance to read it.

Dec 31, 2018, 4:43pm Top

>79 witchyrichy: Of course! That's definitely seeing the name of someone you know in print :)

Dec 31, 2018, 5:15pm Top

So in the noble tradition of picking names out of romance novels to give to real people, I totally did it to myself when I transitioned female-to-male. Maybe I will just reread one or both of the books I got them from, again. :)

Glitterland by Alexis Hall
The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles

Jan 2, 2:25am Top

For January I am reading Lethal White by Robert Galbraith.

The client in the book is named Billy which happens to be my son's name and on ME as a tattoo.

Edited: Jan 4, 9:36am Top

I finished Die Eisprinzessin schläft by Camilla Läckberg, where the victim's mother is named Birgit. And I'm also counting a lovely picture book, Ein Hund für viele Katzen by Michael Foreman, which was translated by Birgit Rezny.

edited for touchstone

Jan 3, 10:34am Top

I read and quite enjoyed The Royal Wulff Murders by Keith McCafferty which featured an artist/private investigator/fisherman living in Montana. Not something you see in your usual mysteries. :) My brother's name is Keith which is how this ties in for the challenge.

Jan 3, 1:58pm Top

I'm reading Longarm and the Sins of Laughing Lyle. Lyle is my given name. Lyle ho-ho's his way through a life of sinister crimes in the Old West beginning with robbing a bank, locking the employees and customers inside, and setting fire to the building. I read this to see if the name would elicit some special reaction on my part, but it doesn't seem to do so, perhaps because the character is not developed in any way other than as an unambiguous villain. I had never heard of any series before with over 400 books, so Longarm must have had fans.

...Where are the saintly Lyle's of the world?

Jan 3, 2:22pm Top

My book group is meeting to discuss The Underground Railroad this month, so I'm rereading that as I read it back in 2016, when it first came out and want to refresh my memory. The worst person (in a book with plenty of terrible people) is named Ridgeway, which I resent, but it does fit this CAT nicely.

Jan 3, 6:46pm Top

>86 RidgewayGirl: Oh I'm glad you're reading that one for this challenge! :)

>85 bkinetic: Over 400 books?! Wow!

Jan 4, 8:17am Top

I've finished my selection!

Viking's Dawn by Henry Treece (my middle name is Dawn)
Young Harald and his father, Sigurd, sign up to travel with Thorkell Fairhair on his ship, The Nameless. Harald's father is injured and must be left behind, but Harald voyages with Thorkell and his colorful band of Vikings, meeting with adventures and misfortunes all along the way.
This one was more engaging and entertaining than I suspected it would be. For a children's book, it doesn't sugarcoat Viking life and the ending is bittersweet, which is refreshing, to be honest.

Jan 4, 10:16am Top

>88 scaifea: ack! A Book Bullet and it's only January 4th!

Jan 4, 2:39pm Top

>89 fuzzi: Woot!!

Jan 4, 2:47pm Top

I am counting my reread of Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer here as my brother's name is Jeff. I enjoyed this one even more the second time around.

Jan 4, 5:54pm Top

>88 scaifea: >89 fuzzi: I took this bullet too! Glad to see the trilogy is still in print - you can get the three books in one called Viking Saga.

Jan 5, 7:06am Top

>92 JayneCM: Tucking that nugget away for later, in case I decide to continue with the story... Thanks!

Jan 5, 7:13am Top

>93 scaifea: It is only the 4th day of 2019 and I am already desperately battling against my 'not buying any new books this year' plan as I so want to get the Viking Saga now! Maybe I will get lucky and see it secondhand somewhere - fingers crossed.

Jan 5, 8:01am Top

>94 JayneCM: Fingers crossed and good luck!

Edited: Jan 5, 8:42am Top

>94 JayneCM: too late. Yesterday I ordered Viking Saga from Ebay, for $7 USD.

Jan 5, 4:58pm Top

Well, thanks to Amber's review in >88 scaifea: and Jayne's mentioning of the trilogy in >92 JayneCM:, I now own this viking omnibus. :)

Jan 5, 7:10pm Top

>96 fuzzi: >97 DeltaQueen50: Great! Hope you enjoy it! I have it sitting in my cart at BookDepository - my cart is always full there! I will have to check ebay though.

Jan 6, 10:14am Top

>98 JayneCM: I've gotten some great deals through Ebay, and their guarantee policies are SO much better than Amazon's.

I also recommend bookfinder.com!

Jan 6, 11:17am Top

I feel that I've started something here... Ha!

Jan 6, 5:33pm Top

>100 scaifea: you did, it's all your fault!!!

Jan 7, 6:19am Top

>101 fuzzi: Sorry not sorry! Ha!

Edited: Jan 7, 1:10pm Top

I have completed See How Small by Scott Blackwood for this month's RandomCat. My last name and the author's first name are a match.

Jan 7, 3:52pm Top

I finished Beekeeping for Beginners by Laurie R. King over the weekend (first name match but different spelling). A quick novella read and, IMO, a good companion read to The Beekeeper's Apprentice as it presents how Russell meets Holmes from Holmes' perspective.

Jan 7, 10:31pm Top

I found an author who shares my first name (Donan Berg)-- amazing as I've never met a person who shares my first name. Sadly, the writing is not good. Should I finish the book because of the amazing name sharing or give up to find something better?!

Jan 8, 3:21am Top

>105 donan: I think this challenge is meant to be fun and/or rewarding. If reading that book is neither, I suggest you give it up or just skim the rest of it!

Jan 8, 3:47am Top

>105 donan: >106 amaranthe: Agree! Unless it is short or you don't have much left to read, I would abandon it. Our reading time is too short as it is!

Jan 8, 10:17am Top

>105 donan: Also, I feel like you can still count it for the challenge even if you don't finish it!

Jan 8, 11:14am Top

Finished another book that fits here, The Council of Twelve by Oliver Potzsch. One of the characters is named Barbara, I have an Aunt Barbara. I've just started another book that fits for another aunt, Patricia, Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith.

Jan 8, 8:24pm Top

>105 donan: Yes to abandoning it! That's a shame that the writing didn't live up to the awesomeness of finding your name in print.

Edited: Jan 9, 11:35pm Top

I have reread Glitterland by Alexis Hall which has a character with my first name, and The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles which has a character with my second name (the character's first name). I still like both books extremely. Of course I am cheating by reading books I know are good instead of taking a risk on an unknown, this time...

Edit: Also I just noticed that all these books in the NARC series by Mel Keegan have a character called Mischa, which is my dog's name. The dog was named after a character from a different series though.

Edited: Jan 11, 1:40pm Top

Finished The House by Christina Lauren--Lauren is my middle name. This isn't at all what I expected, and I can't say that I actually enjoyed a whole lot of it. There was a great, creepy concept at its heart, but it was more about YA Romance and flirting than the horror that the blurb/cover advertised. Full review (um, rant?) written...

Jan 11, 10:51pm Top

I share my last name with this author (and I was happily surprised to see that she is also Canadian!):

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant / Joanna Wiebe
4 stars

Anne is being sent to a private school across the country from her California home, on an island in New England. It’s a school with mostly rich kids, so Anne isn’t sure how her dad managed to pull some strings to get her in. However he managed it, she’s hoping for a fresh start with other kids who don’t know her. But, when she arrives, there is something very odd about this school… She is heartened to find someone she knew from California is also there, though, and he seems to be the only person interested in being friends.

I really enjoyed this! Yeah, many of the characters were unlikeable, but they’re teenagers. That didn’t bother me. I was interested and curious to find out what the heck was going on at this school! There were a few surprises along the way, though at least one of them I guessed very shortly before it was revealed, anyway. Unfortunately, it’s one of those books that ended on a cliffhanger. I’m not a big fan of that, but I was hoping, as I read, that it would be the first in a series, and it looks like it’s a trilogy. I will definitely pick up the next book.

Edited: Jan 12, 11:40am Top

I read Red Dust Road by my namesake Jackie Kay - it was a 5* read, I wish I shared her writing talent as well as her name and initial! :D It's her memoir of growing up adopted in Scotland, and her search for her birth parents, which took her from the Scottish highlands to a small village in eastern Nigeria. It was wonderful, highly recommended.

Edited to add: I've just tried to add this to the wiki, but got a 504 Gateway timeout message. I'll try again later.

Jan 13, 12:06am Top

>114 Jackie_K: I saw your review and am taking a BB for this! Looks great.

Edited: Jan 13, 7:28pm Top

I am reading The Darkness Knows by Cheryl Honigford. The book showed up in the pile of mail I had to sort out after returning from a trip. Thanks to my friends here who recommended it to me!

Jan 13, 8:53pm Top

>116 LadyoftheLodge: Hope you enjoy it! I just thought of it as I love the cover and it is 1930s! Can't wait to read your review.

Jan 15, 10:17pm Top

I reread The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. There's a very bad man, a slave catcher, called Ridgeway. It's not a great way to see one's internet name in print, but there it is.

That said, this second time around, Ridgeway was a more nuanced character than the first time. Still terrible and gross, but less one-dimensional.

Edited: Jan 16, 10:17pm Top

I found a book to read with a very close approximation to mine. Young Artists Draw Manga (Christopher Hart's Young Artists Draw by Christopher Hart.

Jan 19, 6:43am Top

I finished Still Alice today by Lisa Genova - very good book about a 50-yr old woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease.

Jan 19, 1:06pm Top

I thought it would be a quick read but instead Vivienne - Gently Where She Lay by Alan Hunter is a slow read, not much happening. It's a good cure for insomnia because I keep falling asleep. The creator of the tv series, with Gently played by Martin Shaw, did an amazing job of the series with little to start with.

Jan 21, 4:27pm Top

I've finished What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg. My given name is Elizabeth. Not as thrilled by this one as some of her other books.

Jan 21, 10:11pm Top

I ended up quite enjoying Vivienne - Gently Where She Lay by Alan Hunter although I did find it slow in parts, typical of Hunter.

Edited: Jan 22, 8:57pm Top

Starting The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

I forgot to mention that one of the main characters in The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco is William of Baskerville and William is one of my middle names.

Jan 23, 3:00am Top

COMPLETED The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Jan 23, 1:27pm Top

I've started listening to The Burgess Boys since that is my last name/maiden name. Hooray for getting to a book that's been on my shelf in print form for several years!

Edited: Jan 23, 4:55pm Top

Although we had a long discussion about the names Alison/Allison (numbers 34, 35,48,50-54, 56) on this thread, I ended up using my middle name Louise for this challenge. Louise was also my mother's, mother-in-law's, and husband's aunt's name. I read Glass Houses by Louise Penny, a tbr book which I have had since last summer.

Jan 23, 3:37pm Top

I finally finished The Darkness Knows by Cheryl Honigford. There were some slow parts in the middle of the novel, but I really enjoyed the setting and time period (1930's Chicago, live radio stars).

Jan 23, 5:13pm Top

>127 sallylou61: My middle name is Louise as well. I have just started A Fatal Grace by Louse Penny. I was late to the party on her mysteries. I am a "start at the beginning" series reader so I have years ahead of me.

I am nearly finished with The Great Halifax Explosion where one of the survivors was named Barbara. This will be my read for the Reading Through Time challenge and I will write more there once the book is completed.

Jan 24, 1:29am Top

>127 sallylou61: >129 beebeereads: I was "late" to those books last year, though I read, I think, books 4 and 6 out of order, after which it became clear that it is best to read the series IN order! So I quickly read all the books after 6 in order, except the most recent ones which I will get to later. They are pretty addictive. :)

Jan 25, 12:28pm Top

I have completed City by Clifford D. Simak who shares his first name with my favorite brother-in-law.

Jan 25, 8:42pm Top

I read Death in the Blue Lake by André Bjerke. Bjerke was a Norwegian poet who wrote 4 mysteries in the 1940s; this one is the only one translated into English. Bjerke is a family name and indeed I feel a little nit of a thrill as it's an unusual name in the US.

Death in the Blue Lake is a great mystery story. I haven't made up my mind how I feel about the solution, but it is a virtuoso performance. Four stars.

Jan 26, 8:52am Top

Starting Queer City by Peter Ackroyd. My childhood teddy bear (who I still have) is called Peter.

Jan 26, 10:56am Top

>133 Robertgreaves: Aww! :D Great idea for this theme!

Jan 26, 11:06am Top

I read Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher - book eight in his Dresden Files series. To my great delight, there was a character named Nelson in this one - Nelson was my Dad's name, and this is his birthday month, so a bit of serendipity there.

Jan 26, 11:48am Top

Just started The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. These connected short stories have a character with my name, Kathleen.

Jan 26, 12:07pm Top

>133 Robertgreaves: That's a great idea! I also still have my childhood teddy bear, but I don't think there are very many authors called Big Ted around.

Jan 26, 12:38pm Top

I finished Ich freue mich, dass ich geboren bin by Birgit Vanderbeke who is very much the same age as me. The first-person narrator is an amazingly sharp observer for a seven year old.

Jan 26, 10:53pm Top

I finished The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. It was a reread for me and so good even 50+ years after its publication.

Jan 27, 8:14am Top

Jan 27, 11:12am Top

>137 Jackie_K: I had a Big Ted as well! He is 4 ft tall and orange/white and, these days, sits in my study by my desk.

Jan 27, 11:21am Top

>133 Robertgreaves: A wonderful idea. I still have my two childhood companions but I have heard of no authors named either Table Table (at the tender age of four, I was already a weirdo) or Rooster (self-explanatory).

Jan 28, 3:01pm Top

I've read Emsworth's Plum a short work looking at PG Wodehouse's time in my home village. This was written by my mum, with whom I used to share a surname. >:-)

Jan 28, 6:44pm Top

Starting The Last Templar by Michael Jecks. Michael is my other middle name.

Jan 28, 6:57pm Top

>143 Helenliz: That's really fun!

Jan 28, 8:25pm Top

I just realized that two of the books that I've already read this month fit this challenge:

The Children on Troublemaker Street by Astrid Lindgren

Happy Times in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren

My grandmother's name was Astrid!

Jan 28, 11:04pm Top

I also read two Sherlock Holmes mysteries this month. John Watson is a major character in both. My father's name is John.

Jan 29, 9:50pm Top

I finished The Mine, an atmospheric and suspenseful mystery/thriller set in Finland by Antti Tuomainen. I bought this a few years ago at Bouchercon, and rabbitprincess might remember the circumstances, as she was with me at the time.

After hearing the author speak at a panel, I was at a bookseller's booth with the novel in my hand, thinking that I really didn't need to buy more books that day. I opened the book to a random page, saw my name there (actually "Pauliina" with an extra "i", but close enough), and decided that I did need to get it after all, given that my name appears so infrequently in books!

Edited: Jan 30, 1:52am Top

>148 mathgirl40: How was it? I've got the same author's The Man Who Died on my virtual TBR shelf.

Jan 30, 10:10am Top

>150 Robertgreaves: I enjoyed The Mine and would happily read another book by the author, but I admit I'm rather partial to Nordic crime novels.

Jan 30, 9:23pm Top

>148 mathgirl40: Yes! I remember that well! Great choice for this challenge.

Jan 31, 6:29pm Top

I didn't realize until after I had finished it that Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel fits for me here. One of the characters is named Eva wich is the name of my grandmother and a niece. I guess it didn't register while I was listsening because they were using the Spanish pronounciation. I'm also working ono another that fits, but won't finish it today, The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead. My sister is named Christina Josephine, besides the author's name, one of the character's full name is Josephine, but she is referred to as Jo most of the time.

Feb 3, 1:51am Top

>148 mathgirl40: What a great story of finding your name in literature! I just enjoyed a book by Antti Tuomainen which means now I'll be following yet another series.

Group: 2019 Category Challenge

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