Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August Wrap-Up & P.O.M. Award

I'm enjoying another year of tracking reading progress and statistics for all things bookish on the Block. I will also be contributing to Kerrie's Crime Fiction Pick of the Month. Here's what happened here on the Block in August.... 
Total Books Read: 10 (yikes! almost cut my reading pace in half)
Total Pages:  2,599
Average Rating: 3.35 stars
Top Rating: 4 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 50%
Percentage by US Authors: 60%
Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  10%
Percentage Mystery:  80%
Percentage Fiction: 90%
Percentage written 2000+: 10%
Percentage of Rereads: 0%
Percentage Read for Challenges: 100% {It's easy to have every book count for a challenge when you sign up for as many as I do.}  
Number of Challenges fulfilled so far: 14 (34%)

Well....we're going to have to do something about that. There are way too many books that need reading for challenges and I'm still running a bit behind schedule if I'm going to get 40,000 pages done by the end of the year. And now for the P.O.M. Award in Mysteries.

As mentioned above, Kerrie had us all set up for another year of Crime Fiction Favorites. What she was looking for is our Top Mystery Read for each month. Of the ten books read in August, six were mysteries,  and one was non-fiction with a mystery tie-in. Here are the mystery-related books read:

The Avenging Parrot by Anne Austin (4 stars) 
Conundrums for the Long Week-End by Robert Kuhn McGregor & Ethan Lewis (4 stars) 
The Old Die Young by Richard Lockridge (3 stars)
The Cases of Susan Dare by Mignon G. Eberhart (3 stars) 
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (4 stars) 
Keep Cool, Mr. Jones by Timothy Fuller (3.5 stars) 
Death in Kashmir by M. M. Kaye (3.5 stars) 
Glass on the Stairs by Margaret Scherf (3.5 stars)
August saw three four-star winners on the docket--The Avenging Parrot by Anne Austin, a Golden Age Mystery, Conundrums for the Long Week-End by Robert Kuhn McGregor & Ethan Lewis, the non-fiction offering featuring Dorothy L. Sayers and her sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, and Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, a fictional story based on a real-life historical crime.
Conundrums is a very interesting work that examines each of the Wimsey stories,
tying them firmly to both the events in Britain and the world during the "Long Week-End"--the period between the two World Wars--and to the life of Dorothy L. Sayers. And Alias Grace
is a well-told tale of true crime, giving a voice to the perceived culprit and leaving the reader to determine just how culpable (if at all) Grace was. The research and historical detail are impeccable. A very absorbing piece of fictional history. But this month's P.O.M. Award goes to....

The Avening Parrot, this month's only straight mystery to grab four stars. Austin's book
is a lovely Golden Age mystery with clues fairly planted and the opportunity for the reader to solve the mystery before Dundee breaks the case. A handy map is also provided as so often happens in the books of this period. Dundee is an appealing young detective. He's sure of his ability to make a detective of himself, but not so cocky as to alienate the reader (or his colleagues...too much). He makes some mistakes and works hard to find the right answers as well as trying to smooth the ruffled feathers of the more experienced officers. The solution may be a little more obvious to modern readers, but I suspect it may have proved a bit of a puzzle for Austin's contemporaries.

1 comment:

fredamans said...

10 books is more than me so it has to be decent. ;-)
Happy September reading!