John Buchan (1875 – 1940) was an author, poet, lawyer, publisher, journalist, war correspondent, Member of Parliament, University Chancellor, keen angler and family man. He was ennobled and, as Lord Tweedsmuir, became Governor-General of Canada. In this role, he signed Canada’s entry into the Second World War. Nowadays he is probably best known – maybe only known – as the author of The Thirty-Nine Steps. However, he wrote so much more that is worth reading: fiction, poetry, short stories, biographies, memoirs and history. In his lifetime, he published over 100 books.
You can find out more about John Buchan, his life and literary output by visiting The John Buchan Society website.
I’m going to devote 2018 to reading (and in many cases, re-reading) twelve of John Buchan’s books: a different book each month. You can find my reading schedule below and I would love it if other followers of this blog were to join me. You do not have to read every book or follow my schedule although it would be great if you did so that we can compare notes on our reading experience month by month.
My intention is to post an article introducing each book at the start of each month (no spoilers!) and then publish my review of the book at the end of the month. Simply comment on my review post with a link to your own review on your blog or on Goodreads. If you don’t have a blog, then just put your thoughts about the book in a comment.
If you like the idea of this reading challenge, leave a comment at the bottom of this post to say you’re participating. Alternatively, simply wish me luck. If you share your participation or your reviews on Twitter, please use the hashtag #ReadJB2018.
If you need any further gentle persuasion, click here to read my Top Ten Recommendations For People Who Think They Don’t Like John Buchan
January: The Power House – an early adventure story introducing the character, Sir Edward Leithen
February: John MacNab – a light-hearted story about a poaching challenge
March: Mr. Standfast – Richard Hannay’s third outing with influences from Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress
April: Greenmantle – another adventure for Richard Hannay set in WWI
May: A Lost Lady of Old Years – historical romance set during the Jacobite Revolution
June: The Half-Hearted – a novel with the themes of commitment and duty
July: The Watcher by the Threshold – a short story collection
August: Huntingtower – adventure set in Scotland introducing the character, retired grocer Dickson McCunn
September: Castle Gay – a second outing for Dickson McCunn
October: Witch Wood – historical fiction set in 17th Century Scotland
November: Memory Hold-The-Door – Buchan’s memoir, reportedly one of John F. Kennedy’s favourite books
December: Sick Heart River – Buchan’s elegiac last novel, published posthumously