Friday, March 1, 2013

Reading in February and Pick of the Month


In February I read nine books, a very good reading month for me. I am reading more this year (so far). Again, this month I read a few non-mysteries. I read one book that is categorized as military science fiction: Old Man's War by John Scalzi. I read a classic of American literature: To Kill a Mockingbird. And I read an entertaining and informative non-fiction book: Sticklers, Sideburns and Bikinis: The Military Origins of Everyday Words and Phrases. I haven’t written a post for that last book, but I hope to find the time to do so, because it is a very good resource of interesting facts about words and history.

I have read six mysteries. My list includes only one vintage mystery this month. I read books by three authors that I have never read before (Mosley, Hall, and Bidulka).

The Last Houseparty by Peter Dickinson
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
Crooked House by Agatha Christie
The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer
Amuse Bouche by Anthony Bidulka
Detective by Parnell Hall


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 liked every mystery I read this month. But I did have two that stood about the rest.



Crooked House is an amazing Agatha Christie novel, with an ending that is surprising and shocking. It has so many aspects that I like: the setting, post-World War II, in London; a strong woman in a primary role; interesting characters. But it is Christie’s skill with the plotting that makes it very special.

The Tourist
by Olen Steinhauer is the start of a trilogy by an author I was already impressed with. This book is a spy thriller set in the present day; Steinhauer’s earlier books were part of a historical mystery series. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this book as much as his others.

So I split my vote for favorite mystery of the month between the two. I just can’t put one above the other. They are so different.

14 comments:

  1. An eclectic list Tracy. 'Crooked House' is one of my favourite AC books and I like the protagonist too. And the ending is very shocking too. You obviously had a very productive reading month. Looking forward to your March reviews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Productive and fun. By the way, I am now reading The Loyal Servant by Eva Hudson on my Kindle. Only a little ways in but enjoying it.

      Delete
  2. Tracy - I like your choices; Sarah's right that they're nicely varied. I'm glad you liked Crooked House so much. I think she took interesting risks with that one and they came off beautifully. Thanks for the reminder of how good that novel is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Margot. I hope that I have as much luck in March.

      Delete
  3. Oh my, Tracy you are putting me to shame! This has been a very poor reading month for me. Hopefully March will be an improvement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am reading much more each month in 2013 than I did last year. shorter books? I don't know. I am sure I will have some slow months.

      Delete
  4. Very good month! I need to add Crooked House to my list for our May anniversary trip. We tend to grab an Agatha Christie mystery to read together when we do our annual trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An anniversary trip. That sounds like fun. It is great that you both enjoy Christie.

      Delete
  5. Well read, Tracy! Nine books in 28 days is really good. I'm going in the other direction. I have never read Anthony Bidulka before though I have heard so much about his books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Prashant. I plan to continue reading Bidulka's series and hope I continue to enjoy it.

      Delete
  6. Good going in February, that's a lot to read in such a short month! I'd like to hear more about that non-fiction book you read, that sounds really interesting.

    Marie
    http://www.girlvsbookshelf.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sticklers, Sideburns and Bikinis by Graeme Donald is very good, informative and readable. I have read one other book by that author that I also enjoyed. I will be reviewing it some time in March.

      Delete
  7. Sorry it's taken me so long to comment: captcha was giving me fits yesterday. I like your varied list, and it's definitely a sign that you know how to keep yourself out of reading ruts. Happy reading this month, Tracy!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks, Rebecca. I am looking forward to seeing what you read and review this month.

    ReplyDelete