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Topic: 2014 Mystery Challenge - NINE month check up

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Geri (geejay) -
Subject: 2014 Mystery Challenge - NINE month check up
Date Posted: 6/10/2014 5:03 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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With everyone's assistance I came up with the diversity mystery challenge for 2014.  I finished the challenge, how about you?

Also, I've been considering categories for next year.  I've considered grabbing categories from past challenges.  then I thought maybe use the sub categories under Mystery/Thriller on PBS or the genres from SYKM.  Not all but a taste of this and that and maybe something a bit different like romantic suspense.  I don't remember that in a past challenge.  I thought of having a door stopper that was always a challenge, 400 pages or more.  It seems the publishers are allowing authors to write "big" books and I'm reading 400 pagers all the time.  Not really but, I've read more than one lately and even tackled 11-23-63 which was over 800 pages.

From SYKM this is the list:

Cozy (traditional)                           Police procedures                                   Sherlock Holmes
Gothic suspense                             Psychological suspense                      Spies & secret agents               
Holidays                                         Real people                                       Thrillers
Humorous mysteries                      Romantic Suspense                           True Crime
Paranormal (ghosts, psychics, etc)  Science Fiction & Fantasy                Vampires
Pets                                                                                                        Young Adult   .

From PBS these are the sub genres:

Under Mystery                              Under Thriller

Anthologies                                    Crime
British detectives                           General
Canadian detectives                        Historical
Cat sleuths                                     Legal
Cozy                                               Medical
General                                          Political
Hard boiled                                    Psychological Thriller
Historical                                       Spy Stories & Tales of Intrigue
International Mystery & Crime       Supernatural
Private Investigators                      Suspense                                                     
Reference                                       Technothrillers 
Series
Sherlock Holmes
Women Sleuth

Got a favorite you'd like to see included in the 2015 challenge?  Let me know and your pick could be there.  yes



Last Edited on: 10/1/14 4:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 6/10/2014 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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I still have 4 to read for the main challenge but have some of the bonus categories finished. I had a bit of a reading slump, and a mystery slump before that, so I haven't added much lately.

Was 11-23-63 worth it? King can sometimes be unnecessarily wordy. That annoys me when a book is way longer than it had to be just so the writer could shove a bunch of extra words in it.

 

 

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/10/2014 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I finished the main part of the challenge, I have those five books left in the bonus section.

Barb, I hadn't read a King book for quite a while.  It repeated the story to a degree because when the MC would go back to his own time and then return to the previous time he had changed the past.  Then he threw in things like he went back in time and killed or had Hitler killed to prevent the Holocaust among other things.  I think it took me about a week to read it on my Kindle, maybe a bit less.  It seemed like I couldn't read fast enough.  

Date Posted: 6/10/2014 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
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I have four to finish. Having a hard time finding a spy one as I don't care for spy/thriller too much. I could have finished a long time ago, but decided to take my time. I do a lot of challenges on Goodreads, too, so that adds to the pile.

I loved 11/23/63 and could hardly put it down. As Geri mentioned, there is some repeat when he goes back and has to reset time, but not overly much. King can be pretty hit and miss anymore. I used to read everything he put out, put stopped that quite a few years ago and pick and chose now. My all time favorites are the Dark Tower series with the Gunslinger and The Stand.

Interesting subcategories, Geri. They might up the challenge and add some new books to investigate.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/10/2014 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Mary M have you tried Ken Follett's books?  Some might be a bit dated but I've always enjoyed his books.

I was the same way with 11/23/63.  I simply couldn't put it down.  It's been years since I've read one of Kings books.

As far as the categories one possibility is to use those that haven't been used in the past.  I sure didn't realize there were so many on PBS!

 

    

Date Posted: 6/23/2014 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
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Like the idea, Geri.  Of course, I vote for Brit detectives/police!!!!! LOL  Sounds like it might get me into some new authors.  I have to admit that, every now and then, I find a gothic to read.  Suppose it stems from more years ago than I am going to admit to when those were the big thing in mysteries.  And, when I can't find anything that appeals to me or am tired of the usual stuff, I grab a romantic suspense.  A lot of them are very good and more suspense than romance.

Date Posted: 6/23/2014 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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Like the idea, Geri.  Of course, I vote for Brit detectives/police!!!!! LOL  Sounds like it might get me into some new authors.  I have to admit that, every now and then, I find a gothic to read.  Suppose it stems from more years ago than I am going to admit to when those were the big thing in mysteries.  And, when I can't find anything that appeals to me or am tired of the usual stuff, I grab a romantic suspense.  A lot of them are very good and more suspense than romance.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/23/2014 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Yes, Marla, I knew the Brit category would be your favorite.  I have a tentative list but can't decide on the Bonus category or categories.  Colors, countries and states have been done.  Maybe award winners?  I did like grand master category this year.  How about read six books written by the Grand Master from the date you graduated from high school?  Hee-hee.  For me that would be Ellery Queen.  High school is arbitrary nothing is set in stone now it's too soon. 

SYKM has 17 categories we could expand the challenge and eliminate a bonus or two. 

PBS has 12 sub genres under mystery that I'd consider using and 10 under thriller.

Date Posted: 6/24/2014 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
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I've finished the Main Challenge except for History Lesson and Just the Facts. I've also finished Bonus Challenges 1 and 2. From optional Bonus Challenge 3, I still have to finish the Moldy book, two states from the Home & Travel (haven't found titles yet), and Mysteries Go to the Movies. All in all, I think the 2014 Challenge was very well designed.

Ideas for a Future Challenge:

Crimes other than murders, e.g., Bank/Casino/Jewelry Heist, Kidnap, Burglary, Forgery/Counterfeiting, etc.
    (These aren't on SYKM, but could easily be found by a Keyword search on PBS.)
Job categories: Technology, Teachers, Farmers/Ranchers, Reporters, Scientists, Photographers. 

Different historical periods (per SYKM)
MC Diversity: African or African-American, Native American, Asian or Asian-American, Hispanic,
   Jewish/Quaker/Amish/Shaker/Mormon.
  

Date Posted: 6/24/2014 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
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Mary M.C. - Geri mentioned Ken Follett. I would recommend his Eye of the Needle, which I read back in the 70s. A German spy/assassin washes up on a British island during WWII and is taken in by a lonely woman. Very suspenseful. It was made into a movie starring Donald Sutherland.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/25/2014 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Oh Mary, good suggestions!  I was thinking of teachers myself, I like the job diversity, something other than cooking of some kind.  I read about the food and get hungry.  laugh

I like the other crimes too.  I'm currently reading one that involves a bomber.  An inept bomber, so far the major injury was a nail in the hip of a police dog and a corkscrew in a carousel horse.  

Plus, I certainly agree about Eye of the Needle.  I liked Night Over Water too.  That's on a plane flying from Europe to New York filled with lots of tension.  In fact I was just looking at the titles of his books and nodding, thinking yep that was a good one, oh yeah so was that.  cool 



Last Edited on: 10/1/14 4:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 10/1/2014 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I've been piddling with the 2015 challenge.  Right now I have some old categories, some new categories.  Currently 12 in the main challenge and 12 in the bonus section.  I debated about including something for a second bonus, a personal challenge like all the states or maybe just a certain number.  Maybe foreign countries one from each continent... Then maybe just leave it at 24 books which would be 2 books a month.

Any thoughts?   

Date Posted: 10/1/2014 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2009
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I like having the various location challenges.  And a new to you challenge is alway great.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 10/1/2014 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
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I have finished 7 out of 12 in main challenge and all 6 in around the world. Still working on other bonus challenges.

I like the idea of bonuses set in different states and countries

Date Posted: 10/2/2014 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2011
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I have finished the main challenge! Under the rules I also finished the Route 66 bonus (books set in 6 of 8 states), but I'm going for all the states so I have one left! I'm still working at finishing up the bonuses, but some I may never get to. 

I loved the diversity in the main challenge. What I read was a nice mix of familiar and brand new.

For next year...  I really liked the Route 66 bonus because it was a location challenge with some guidelines. What if the next 'around the world' challenge had a similar theme? Maybe countries that have hosted the Olympics - off the top of my head, trying to think of a category that would span enough countries. (I'm only on my second cup of coffee, and I got up an hour earlier this morning!) 

I also enjoy having an award winner category of some kind. I'm not sure I'd want to read 6 from Eric Ambler (Edgar Grand Master the year I graduated from high school). But I could definitely read one - and maybe one other award winning, or nominated, book from that year. Another milestone marker might be the year of one's 21st birthday. (Gee, I just took a look at the 1975 Edgar list at SYKM - I've only heard of ONE book, and that's because it was made into a movie! (Fletch, by Gregory McDonald)

A Young Adult category might be fun, if the challenge is like this year -- read one each of several different categories. There are some outstanding books being written for youth these days. 

I'm game to try just about anything. I've found some great new authors trying books to fit categories I wasn't sure I'd like.  

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 10/2/2014 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
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Oh, good suggestions Lori.  I like the Olympic idea.

Also, like the award winner from the year of high school graduation.  Maybe refine it a bit, like from the Grand Master of that year.  21st birthday, I looked at the Grand Master for that year and never heard of him!  What a shame, the man was a prolific writer! 

There ya go, new to me author.  devil

Date Posted: 10/6/2014 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2011
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My 21st birthday year, Edgar awarded THREE grand masters! Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy B. Hughes, & Daphne DuMaurier. The year before - no grand master. Wow. (I never heard of Dorothy Hughes!)

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 10/6/2014 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
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Well, Lori, you'd really have a choice.  I've heard of Dorothy B Hughes in fact I think I might have read the book she wrote in 1963.  Now, I've never heard of the man who won in 1964, my 21st.

I think that would be a fun award winning category.  Or maybe make it either high school or 21st birthday, hmmm something to think about.  :) 

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 10/8/2014 8:46 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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And, I think I have the 2015 challenge put together!  Subject to revisions right up to the last minute of course! 

12 main books, 12 bonus books and an optional bonus that I think we'll all grab and go with.  Suggested by someone here.  Not telling! 

I was tempted to make the main challenge 24 with my optional bonus.  24 is two books a month and I don't think any of the categories are difficult since I went with mystery genres, some we all love and some aren't favorites but okay, I'll suffer to read one of those... of, pretty good book!   devil

I like a challenge to make me "read on e of those" but I'm not fond of having to purchase a book to fit because I can't find one to order on PBS.  I've done that with past challenges.  Maybe this time I'll have more than two on my own TBR!  cool



Last Edited on: 10/8/14 8:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/11/2014 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2011
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Oooh, I'm looking forward to seeing the 2015 challenge! I also appreciate the opportunity to try something I normally wouldn't pick up on my own with the challenge. I've discovered some authors I really enjoy that way!