Sunday, September 1, 2013

August Wrap-Up & POM Award

And.....the numbers fall again--from 22 books last time to only 14 books this month. Ah, well. August is always a busy month--what with the start up of college and a hectic work day.  Anyway...I'm continuing to combine my monthly wrap-up post with Kerrie's Crime Fiction Pick of the Month over at Mysteries in Paradise. And here we go with the August totals:  

Total Books Read: 14
Total Pages:  4,003 [the good news is that while I read fewer books, the page count is almost the same!]
Percentage by Female Authors:  67%
Percentage by US Authors:  43%

Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  21%
Percentage Mystery: 71%
Percentage Fiction: 100%
Percentage written 2000+: 21%
Percentage of Rereads: 21%
Percentage Read for Challenges: 100% {It's eas
y to have every book count for a challenge when you sign up for as many as I do.}  
Number of Challenges fulfilled so far: 16 (53% --would have been higher, but I picked up another challenge.  Story of my reading life.)

AND, as mentioned above,
Kerrie has started us up for another year of Crime Fiction Favorites. What she's looking for is our Top Mystery Read for each month. In July, twelve of the books I read count as mysteries:

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (5 stars)
Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr (3.75 stars)
The Long Farewell by Michael Innes (4 stars)
Death in the Air (aka Death in the Clouds) by Agatha Christie (4 stars)
The Scarlet Macaw by S. P. Hozy (4 stars)
The Monster of Florence by Magdalen Nabb (2 stars)
The Door by Mary Roberts Rinehart (2 stars)
Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh (4 stars)
A Bullet in the Ballet by Caryl Brahms & S. J. Simon (2.5 stars)
Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering (4 stars)
The only five-star winner is A Study in Scarlet by Doyle--one of several re-reads this month.  I've tried to make it a rule that the POM Award is not given to a re-read...which also disqualifies four-star contestants Death in the Air (Christie) and Death at the Bar (Marsh).  That leaves us with three more books with four stars each: The Long Farewell by Michael Innes, The Scarlet Macaw by S. P. Hozy and Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering. The Long Farewell is another academic-related novel by the master of odd mysteries. And I do love the academic mysteries--particularly when there are dotty dons littering the landscape. We've got several here--and they are being as eccentric and inscrutable as one could wish.  On top of that there are some fine red herrings, interesting conversations, and a midnight farce in the library.  The Scarlet Macaw is less a mystery than a careful examination of stories and how they are told--an examination of who we are and how we got that way and a parable of love. loyalty, and loss. So--while it is an excellent book--I think I'll have to pass it by for the POM. Rules of Murder is a delightful mystery written in the Golden Age tradition and set in the 1930s.  It takes all the "commandments" for mysteries as given by Father Ronald Knox and breaks every one of them.  Therefore, the POM Award for August goes to....

I highly recommend this fun historical mystery.  I'm looking forward to the next installment.


Red said...

14 books in a month is still pretty great! And I can't believe you started another reading challenge! I can hardly manage one.

Bev Hankins said...

Red: I'm addicted. I can't help myself.