Last year I decided to pass on participating in any reading challenges reflecting that I wasn’t particularly active on the blog around the New Year. By the time I had picked up the pace again we were several months into the year and it felt like the moment had passed.
I can’t promise that I will be much better about blogging regularly this year but I do want to take on a couple of challenges to give a little focus to my reading. This page will collect any challenges I am working towards and track my progress.
The Japanese Literature Challenge 14
The Dolce Bellezza blog is hosting a Japanese Literature challenge. There are no set goals, just a commitment to read Japanese novels either in translation or the original Japanese between January and March. I have a lot of Japanese mystery fiction in my TBR pile so this seemed like a great prompt to focus my efforts on getting that mess under control.
Bev @ My Reader’s Block is running this vintage mysteries challenge. You can compete in the eras labeled as the Golden (pre-1960) and Silver (1960-1989) ages. I am going to aim at completing all 40 for the Golden Age but probably 8-10 at the Silver age level – wish me luck!
Golden Age (Pre-1960) – 15/40
Silver Age (1960-1989) – 10/40
|Category||Book Selection and Link to Review|
|1. Colorful Crime: |
A book with a color or reference to color in the title
|GOLDEN AGE: Ride the Pink Horse by Dorothy B Hughes|
|2. Murder by the Numbers: |
A book with a number or quantity in the title
|GOLDEN AGE: Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie|
|3. Amateur Night: |
A book with a detective who is not a P.I.; Police Officer; or other official investigator (Nurse Keate, Father Brown, Miss Marple, etc.)
|GOLDEN AGE: The Chocolate Cobweb|
|4. Leave It to the Professionals: |
A book featuring cops, private eyes, secret service, professional spies, etc.
|5. Jolly Old England: |
A mystery set in the United Kingdom
|6. Yankee Doodle Dandy: |
A mystery set in the United States
|GOLDEN AGE: Dreadful Summit by Stanley Ellin|
|7. World Traveler: |
A mystery set in any country except the U.S. or U.K.
|SILVER AGE: Murder at Mt. Fuji by Shizuko Natsuki|
|8. Dangerous Beasts: |
A book with an animal in the title
|GOLDEN AGE: The Black Lizard and Beast in the Shadows by Edogawa Rampo|
|9. A Calendar of Crime: |
A mystery with a date/holiday/year/month/etc. in the title
|10. Wicked Women: |
A book with a woman in the title–either by name (Mrs. McGinty’s Dead) or by reference (The Case of the Vagabound Virgin)
|SILVER AGE: Henrietta Who? by Catherine Aird|
|11. Malicious Men: |
A book with a man in the title–either by name (Maigret & the Yellow Dog) or by reference (The Case of the Haunted Husband)
|SILVER AGE: Inspector Imanishi Investigates by Seicho Matsumoto|
|12. Murderous Methods: |
A book with a means of death in the title (The Noose, 5 Bullets, Deadly Nightshade, etc.)
|GOLDEN AGE: Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers|
SILVER AGE: Monk’s Hood by Ellis Peters
|13. Staging the Crime: |
A mystery set in the entertainment world (theatre, musical event, pageant, Hollywood, etc)
|GOLDEN AGE: Who Killed Dick Whittington? by E. & M. A. Radford|
|14. Scene of the Crime: |
A book with the location of the crime in the title (The Body in the Library, Murder at the Vicarage, etc)
|GOLDEN AGE: Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie|
|15. Cops & Robbers: |
A book that features a theft rather than murder
|16. Locked Rooms: |
A locked-room mystery
|SILVER AGE: Murder in the Crooked House by Soji Shimada|
|17. Impossible Crimes: |
Any other impossible crime (locks not necessary)
|18. Country House Criminals: |
A standard (or not-so-standard) Golden Age-style country house murder
|GOLDEN AGE: Heads You Lose by Christianna Brand|
|19. Murder on the High Seas: |
A mystery involving water
|GOLDEN AGE: Murder on the Enriqueta by Molly Thynne|
|20. Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: |
A book with a mode of transportation in the title
|21. Murder is Academic: |
A mystery involving a scholar, teacher, librarian, etc. OR set at a school, university, library, etc.
|GOLDEN AGE: Love Lies Bleeding by Edmund Crispin|
|22. Things That Go Bump in the Night: |
A book with something spooky, creepy, gothic in the title (The Skeleton in the Clock; Haunted Lady; The Bat; etc)
|23. Repeat Offenders: |
A mystery featuring your favorite series detective or by your favorite author or reread an old favorite
|GOLDEN AGE: The A. B. C. Murders by Agatha Christie|
|24. The Butler Did It…Or Not: |
A mystery where the butler is the victim, the sleuth…(gasp) the criminal…or is just downright memorable for whatever reason.
|25. A Mystery by Any Other Name: |
Any book that has been published under more than one title (Murder Is Easy–aka Easy to Kill [Christie]; Fog of Doubt–aka London Particular [Christianna Brand], etc.)
|26. Dynamic Duos: |
A mystery featuring a detective team (Holmes & Watson; Pam & Jerry North; Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin, or a little-known team that you introduce to us)
|27. Size Matters: |
A book with a size or measurement in the title (Death Has a Small Voice; The Big Four; The Weight of the Evidence; etc.)
|GOLDEN AGE: The Nothing Man by Jim Thompson|
|28. Psychic Phenomena: |
A mystery featuring a seance, medium, hypnotism, or other psychic or “supernatural” characters/events
|SILVER AGE: Black Aura by John Sladek|
|29. Book to Movie: |
A book that has appeared on screen (feature film or TV)
|GOLDEN AGE: The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes|
|30. The Old Bailey: |
A courtroom drama mystery OR a mystery featuring a judge, lawyer, barrister, district attorney
|31. Serial Killers: |
Books that were originally published in serial format (from the pulp era) OR a book that includes three or more deaths–all committed by the same person.
|SILVER AGE: Desire to Kill by Anna Clarke|
|32. Killed in Translation: |
A work that originally appeared in another language and has been made available in English–original publication date determines Gold or Silver Age–OR if your native language is not English, then a work that originally appeared in English which you read in your native language.
|SILVER AGE: A Kiss of Fire by Masako Togawa|
|33. Blondes in Danger: |
A variation on “Colorful Crime.” A book that features a blonde in the title (The Blonde Died First; The Case of the Black-Eyed Blonde) or another shade of hair color (The Case of the Substitute Brunette)
|34. International Detectives: |
A variation on “World Traveler”–but instead of the crime being set in another country, the detective is not from the U.S. or U.K.
|35. Somebody Else’s Crime: |
Read a book that someone else has already read for the challenge.
|36. Genuine Fakes: |
Read a book by an author who wrote under a pseudonym (Josephine Tey [Elizabeth Mackintosh]; Nicholas Blake [Cecil Day Lewis]; etc.)
|37. Hobbies Can Be Murder: |
A mystery that involves a hobby in some way: stamp, coin, book collecting, etc; knitting; birdwatching; hunting; etc.
|38. Snatch & Grab: |
Read the first book you pick up off your shelf or TBR stack/s
|GOLDEN AGE: The Mystery of a Butcher’s Shop by Gladys Mitchell|
SILVER AGE: A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell
|39. I’ve Got You Covered: |
Pick a book to read based on the cover
|40. Get Out of Jail Free: |
One per customer. You tell me what special category the book fits and it counts–the only thing I won’t accept is “It’s a vintage mystery!” The genre/time period is a given.
|SPECIAL CATEGORY: It’s A Kind of Magic|
SILVER AGE: The Magician’s Wife by James M. Cain