Friday, December 2, 2016

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

It's time to put together my wrap-up post for October. I also have a contribution for Kerrie's Crime Fiction Pick of the Month. This year is rapidly heading to the finish line. Will I finish off the 20-ish more books needed to defeat all my reading challenges? We'll have to see. Meanwhile, here's what happened here on the Block last month.... 
Total Books Read: 10

Total Pages:  1,984 [thank goodness for the Jekyll book at 477 pages or this would have been a much lower number]
Average Rating: 3.42 stars
Top Rating: 5 stars 
Percentage by Female Authors: 40%
Percentage by US Authors: 60%
Percentage by non-US/non-British Authors:  0%
Percentage Mystery:  80%
Percentage Fiction: 190%
Percentage written 2000+: 10%
Percentage of Rereads: 20%
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: 23 (66%)

Well....took a bit of a hit in the reading pace this month--holiday season is upon us and it's cutting into my reading time. It still looks like I might just finish 160 books over all, but there are still way too many books that need reading for challenges and although, I've made my basic goal of Mt. Everest for the Mount TBR Challenge, I'm not sure I'm going to get to the top of Olympus as hoped. 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 November, eight were were mysteries (or near-cousins), one was a mystery-related non-fiction book, and one was a SF Choose Your Own Adventure. Here are the mystery-related books read:

Black Widower by Patricia Moyes (2.75 stars) 
The Life & Times of Miss Jane Marple by Anne Hart (4 stars)
The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie (4.5 stars) 
The Mystery of Chimney Rock by Edward Packard (5 stars) 
The Jekyll Revelation by Robert Massello (3 stars) 
The Dream-Detective by Sax Rohmer (3 stars) 
Beverly Gray's Mystery by Clair Blank 3.5 stars) 
Cocktails & the Killer by Peter Cheyney (2 stars) 
Do Not Murder Before Christmas by Jack Iams (4 stars)
And now it's time to look for our P.O.M. Award Winner. The only book to grab a five-star rating this month was The Mystery of Chimney Rock by Edward Packard. This Choose Your Own Adventure story was a favorite when I was young and upon re-reading it I could definitely still see the appeal. But I'm going to pass over it for the P.O.M. Next in line is Dame Agatha Christie's The Body in the Library, another favorite and another re-read. Dame Agatha has been honored with a P.O.M. before, so we're going to move on to the four-star winners. Only one of the two is a true mystery, so our November Pick of the Month is....

Iams is a brand-new author for me and I'm glad I have two more of his titles sitting on my TBR stacks. I plan to savor them. This is an extraordinarily fun American mystery from the 40s. I caught on quickly to the motive behind the murder and the culprit, but Iams does such a good job with his characters and the narration that it doesn't matter so much. This is a perfect mystery for the holiday season--set at the right time and a quick, fun read that fits nicely between all the seasonal activities--present-buying, card-writing, decorating, etc. Highly recommended for those looking for an interesting, light mystery for the holidays.


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