Friday, February 1, 2013

Reading in January and Pick of the Month


In January I read ten books, which is a lot for me. All of the books except one were under 300 pages and a few were closer to 200 pages, which is why I got so much read. Not all of the books I read were mysteries; two were science fiction. And one was a blend of mystery and science fiction.

The two books that were strictly sci-fi were: Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein and The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov. Both books were vintage sci-fi and I enjoyed them very much.  The End of Eternity is not a mystery but reads like a thriller.


These are the mysteries I read:
  1. The Man Who Liked to Look at Himself by  K. C. Constantine
  2. Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
  3. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
  4. Archie Meets Nero Wolfe by Robert Goldsborough
  5. The Case of the Angry Actress by E. V. Cunningham
  6. The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov
  7. Publish or Perish by Margot Kinberg
  8. The Smoke by Tony Broadbent

The Crime Fiction Pick of the Month meme is hosted at Mysteries in Paradise. Bloggers link to summary posts for the month, and identify a crime fiction best read of the month. Check out the link to see the other bloggers picks.

I don't really have a clear favorite this month. I rated all of the books I read at 4 stars out of 5 at Goodreads, and that just means I enjoyed them all. The only one I had any issues with was The Case of the Angry Actress by E. V. Cunningham, which is why I am having a hard time writing a  review for that novel.

I guess I would split my vote between the three vintage mysteries I read this month: Murder at the Vicarage, The Thin Man and The Caves of Steel.


14 comments:

  1. All great picks! I do love Asimov's venture into SF mystery though!

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    1. I agree. I have enjoyed re-introducing myself to Asimov this month.

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  2. Sounds like a good month Tracy. I am going to give Asimov a try sometime.

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    1. I hope you like his writing. I did have a lot of fun reading this month.

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  3. Tracy - I'm glad you've had such a good reading month. I always think it's a better month when one has several good 'uns to choose from than when there are a lot of duds. Can't say's I blame you at all for your choice either. So many people forget that as well as being a brilliant scientist Asimov was also a talented author of crime fiction.

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    1. I wish every month was such a mix of good books and varied settings. In February, more sci fi, some social justice themed books, and more vintage. Looking forward to it.

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  4. Good reads, Tracy. I haven't read an Agatha Christie since this year began. THE MAN IN THE BROWN SUIT is next on my list. And I think I have THE THIN MAN in ebook format. Must check it out.

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    1. I think I will be reading The Man in the Brown Suit soon, also. I have enjoyed all the Christie books I have read so far (in the last few months).

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  5. Christie, Asimov, Hammett, Heinlein...that is a good month. I didn't read as many "books" but was pleased with all the reading I got done for the month. Especially since I have several 'in the works' reads that I started in January that will crop up as completed reads in February.

    All of my experience with Christie has been with audio books. I need to actually "read" one of her books sometime. She is a delight.

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    1. Christie is the only author that I think might be fun to listen to as an audio book. I don't get the appeal of audio books, but I can see that listening to the right person doing Poirot's accent could actually improve the book. I don't know that I have even watched any adaptations of Christie books, except for Murder on the Orient Express, which is a another movie we can watch over and over.

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    2. If you listened to the right audiobooks you would understand. For example, there is almost no greater pleasure than to listen to Neil Gaiman read his own books. Wow!

      I have listened to both the actor who plays Hastings and the actor who plays Poirot read Christie's Poirot novels and each one of them does an excellent job. I've also listened to all of her novels narrated by Emelia Fox. She does a wonderful job. The 7 Dials mystery is my favorite. But overall I think my favorite Christie audio is The Mysterious Mr. Quin. Whether you read it or listen to it I highly recommend this collection of short stories.

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    3. I have no experience with audiobooks so cannot judge, but I do realize that the reader / narrator makes a real difference. Thanks for all the info. When my grandmother lost her vision (many years ago), books on tape were hard to find, but made a real difference to her. Nowadays there are so many options.

      Also thanks for the recommendation for The Mysterious Mr Quin. I am not a short story fan but so many people recommend them, so I have to push myself to try them.

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  6. The Caves of Steel is my pick of the month too. Though I haven't posted for this meme. I read The Maltese Falcon and enjoyed it very much. I look forward to read the Thin Man. Great reads for the start of the year!

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    1. Very glad to hear that you liked The Maltese Falcon. I plan to read it sometime this year. From what I have heard, the rest of Hammett's books (other than The Thin Man) are extremely hard-boiled and I wasn't sure if I would like the other ones as well.

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