Saturday, October 31, 2015

October Wrap-up and 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: 11 (gotta read more if I'm gonna finish those challenges)
Total Pages:  2,573
Average Rating: 3.27 stars
Top Rating: 5 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 27%
Percentage by US Authors: 45%
Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  18%
Percentage Mystery:  73%
Percentage Fiction: 91%
Percentage written 2000+: 18%
Percentage of Rereads: 9%
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: 25 (60%)

There are still 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 eleven books read in October, eight were mysteries. Here are the mystery-related books read:

The Red Box by Rex Stout (4 stars) 
At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie (3 stars) 
Happiness Is a Warm Corpse as edited by Alfred Hitchcock (3 stars) 
The Ghost Writer by John Harwood (3 stars)  
Ax by Ed McBain (3.5 stars)  
Murder on Cue by Jane Dentinger (3 stars) 
There Hangs a Knife by Marcia Muller (3 stars) 
The Vanishing Corpse by Ellery Queen (3.5 stars)

October saw only one five-star book, Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Unfortunately, the Guide is not a mystery novel. And our only four-star winner is The Red Box by Rex Stout. It has
all the components for a delightful Wolfe and Goodwin mystery in place. Wolfe is prodded into taking on a case and Archie is in good form goading his boss and tossing off witty wisecracks. Saul Panzer and the boys see a little action, Cramer chews through a cigar or two, and a hapless assistant D.A. blusters and threatens to take away Wolfe's license. There's even a brave young heroine to root for. But I'm afraid I'm not going to hand the P.O.M. Award over to Mr. Stout. He's walked off with that prize at least twice over the past few years. No, this month's surprise winner is...

Ed McBain with Ax, the eighteenth entry in the 87th Precinct series. This was a surprise for me too because despite Sergio over at Tipping My Fedora  and his fabulous reviews, Carella and company just never sounded like my particular cup of tea. But when I came across a few of the novels in the little pocket-size editions that I love, I decided to grab them up and find a way to work them into my reading schedule. This is the first novel I've read by McBain. Rumor has it--both from Sergio and Goodreads--that this is not McBain's best work. Well, if this isn't his best....then I've certainly got some good reading ahead of me. Because I enjoyed this thoroughly. There are false clues as well as genuine clues and they are all checked in a very nice police procedural. 


Cleopatra Loves Books said...

Sometimes the surprise finds are even better because they are unexpected. I have this one on my TBR so maybe I need to see if I enjoy it too.

fredamans said...

You did great. I find I need to read more too though.
Happy November!