Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quarterly Checkpoint #3 for Mt. TBR Challenge

This quarter I have read 17 books that count toward the 2012 Mt. TBR Reading Challenge. Combining that with the 22 books read for this challenge in March, April, May and June, I have completed a total of 39 books.

I completed this challenge on July 4, 2012, when I finished reading The Sleeping-Car Murders by Sebastien Japrisot. I will continue tracking novels I have read this year from my To Be Read stacks, because I want to know how well I have done in reducing my TBR stacks. Unfortunately I don't get rid of most of these books and I still don't have enough room to store all my book, read or unread.

Books I have read (with links to reviews):
  1. Whiskey Sour by J. A. Konrath
  2. The Information Officer by Mark Mills
  3. The Sleeping-Car Murders by Sebastien Japrisot 
  4. Flesh Wounds by John Lawton 
  5. Death of a Russian Priest by Stuart Kaminsky
  6. The Suspect by L. R. Wright 
  7. Under World by Reginald Hill 
  8. Bullet for a Star by Stuart Kaminsky 
  9. A Lily of the Field by John Lawton
  10. Night at the Vulcan by Ngaio Marsh
  11. The Property of a Lady by Anthony Oliver
  12. Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
  13. Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
  14. The One from the Other by Philip Kerr
  15. A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr
  16. Lament for the Bride by Helen Reilly 
  17. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
This challenge is hosted by Bev at My Reader's Block and it was the first challenge I ever joined. It has been a great motivator for me to really dig into my TBR stacks, shelves, and boxes, and I am looking forward to continuing it next year. Check out the fun at this post and the quarterly checkpoint post.

Answering two questions from Bev for this quarterly summary of progress...

Looking ahead to next year's challenge: Is there a level that you'd like to see added?  
I think a level at 30 or 35 books would be good (but I have no suggestions for names for those levels). I would probably challenge myself to 30 or 35, but I would not go as high as 40... even though I will surpass that level this year.
Have any of the books you read surprised you--if so, in what way?
I had two surprises. One was my reaction to Whiskey Sour. I expected to like it better. It was a quick read and enjoyable. But... I don't generally go for humor in mysteries, and there were creepy and graphic elements, and for me, they did not blend well. I liked the dynamic between the two partners, they reminded me of Jane Rizzoli and her partner in the Rizzoli & Isles TV show (not in the books). That part seemed very realistic, believable. If I read more books in a year, I would probably continue this series. As a slow reader, I have to pick and choose and I don't think I will find time to continue it.
I was also surprised by my reaction to the two Jacqueline Winspear books: Pardonable Lies and Birds of a Feather. On the one hand, I loved the setting and the theme. The novels are set in Europe in the time period following World War I and revolve around life following the war and the effects it had on people's lives. But I found the solution of the mystery to be less satisfying than the overall story in both books. I did not like the emphasis on Maisie's feelings or intuition. There were far too many coincidences. Usually I am not this picky with mysteries and I know there are other mysteries with these "problems" that I have enjoyed. So it is hard to figure out exactly why I was so critical of these.
This quarter I only read three books for the Vintage Mystery challenge (one was not from the TBR stacks), and I have to pick up my reading in that area. On the other hand, I read 5 books by authors I have never read before, so that is a boost to my progress on the New Authors Challenge.

1 comment:

Bev Hankins said...

Congratulations on already finishing! Glad to see you're still climbing the TBR mountains, though.