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Topic: FIRST QUARTER CHECK-IN, 2011 Mystery Challenge

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Subject: FIRST QUARTER CHECK-IN, 2011 Mystery Challenge
Date Posted: 3/22/2011 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Hey Ladies and Gentlemen! Can you believe that we are nearly through the first quarter of the year?  Astounding, isn't it?!

I know this is a few days early but since I will be out of town and away from a computer for most of next week, I wanted to throw this up so people have a place to go to discuss their progress, or lack thereof, in the current challenge. The ongoing challenge discussion thread is pages long so I know a lot of reading is going on.

So, how are things going?  Have you completed the challenge?  Are you as far along as you had hoped or bogged down?  Are you finding titles to fulfill the category requirements?  Have you come across unexpected gems or disappointing dogs (no slight of actual dogs intended!)? Do you feel like the challenge is challenging you?  Are you stepping outside your usual reading comfort zone? Paper, plastic, or BYO? cheeky

Date Posted: 3/22/2011 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,134
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I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge, and am a little more than 1/3 finished, which means if I continue at this speed I'll finish before the end of the year.  I'm farther along in this challenge than I am in my others, which makes sense because mysteries are my favorite fiction.

The best books I've read so far are Echoes From the Dead, Dark Winter and The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.  The only book I didn't enjoy much was The Andean Express--which isn't a surprise because the only books I thought I'd have trouble with were a few of the location ones--SA, Australia and Asia.  I enjoy a wide range of mysteries so none of the other categories were/are worrying, with the exception of finding someone I'd like with my initials--and I've heard some not so good things about the author I chose so we shall see! I'll keep an open mind.

Diane

 

Date Posted: 3/22/2011 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I'm half done with the original 12 challenge categories, and have just a few of the color and location ones done. So far the only real dud was Orange Marmalade by somebody I can't recall, which I gave up on and passed on and picked something else.

Since I read a pretty broad spectrum of mysteries (and other books too) normally, I can't really say that these challenges stretch my wings or take me outside of my usual sphere of reading very much. It's always cool to try new authors though, so I'm enjoying doing this as much as I always do, and it's doubly enjoyable reading the threads and seeing folks discover authors I love.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 3/22/2011 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I guess I should respond as well!

I've completed 5 of the 12 in the challenge and I'm reading the 6th for that category right now.  I have four colors of the rainbow bonus left and two continients though I'm on my way out the door to pick up the new Joe Pickett mystery by C.J. Box and that will be my North American Continent. (I'm also going to see Chuck tomorrow night at a local mystery book shop.  Can't wait!) 

I had Orange as Marmalade on my rainbow bonus as I have it here and I read the first chapter some time ago and didn't chuck it across the room.  I may decide that another book will work better though!  I also found my "Glory Days" book just this morning and added it to my list. I'll be reading an Inspector Morse book that was first published back in...wait for it....1983! I've read all the Morse books published after 1990 and I've seen all the BBC television series but I have not read The Riddle of the Third Mile so this will be fun.  Like visiting with an old friend.

Still holding out hopes that Wendy Roberts will come out with a 4th book in her "Scene-2-Clean" series for the "Scooby" category.  Although, I'm thinking that the Colin Cotterill Dr. Siri books might work for the paranormal category.  Lots of stuff going on in those.  What do you think?  They aren't typical paranormal but there are definitely undertones, don't you think?

Date Posted: 3/22/2011 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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I've completed 6 of the 12 main categories and only one bonus book.  I probably won't worry too much about the bonus categories this year since I got off to such a bad start and seem to be reading much slower than usual lately.  I have enjoyed most of the books I've read but there has been nothing outstanding thus far.  I have read a couple of books that I would not have read otherwise.  I have the Orange Marmalade book on my list as well but don't know if I will ever get around to it.  My library doesn't have that series and though I have it on my wishlist, I'm not sure it ever really moves.  Soooo........we will see.

So far though, I am enjoying the challenge and I do intend to complete at least the 12 main categories.

Date Posted: 3/22/2011 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2009
Posts: 413
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8/12  main categories completed plus 2 colors & 3 continents.  Loving the challenge!  Even though I have read mysteries for years (over 200 series on Fictfact) I am still learning about new authors all the time.  Well, back to Sanibel Flats (first in the Doc Ford series by Randy Wayne White and the first of his I have ever read). 

Date Posted: 3/22/2011 11:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2008
Posts: 65
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I am late to the challenge, and DNF the first book I picked, 1st to Die by James Patterson. Ah well. I am sure I will complete the 12 main categories at the very least, and have a couple set aside for the bonus rounds.

Through the challenge, I am finding many more books/authors to add to my TBR piles...not a bad problem to have, lol.

I am really enjoying participating, thanks for the challenge!

Date Posted: 3/23/2011 7:52 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 759
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I'm almost finished with the 4th book for the main categories.  I wasn't planning on doing the bonuses, but now I'm thinking I may attempt them...

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 3/23/2011 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I have one more to go in the main category,  four to go in Bonus One and hadn't read anything in Bonus Two.  But, I started Skull Duggery by Aaron Elkins so I think I'll make that my North American book.  It takes place in Mexicao and a some in the state of Washington.  Most of what I read takes place somewhere in the US so picking a North American book wasn't a challenge, it was decideing which one to list.

I have a personal challenge of trying to read a book that takes place in each state and try to get the book off my TBR.  I've done 20 and have eight lined up for reading.  For this Stop You're Killing Me has been a big help! 

 

Subject: First challenge
Date Posted: 3/23/2011 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2010
Posts: 18
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I just found out about this last weekend.  I've never done one of these, but I'll give it a try.

 Thanks, I moved my list.



Last Edited on: 3/24/11 8:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/23/2011 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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Hi Sharon!  Welcome to the challenge and to the Mystery/Thriller forum.  It's always nice to see a new face.  There is a special thread for the Challenge lists.  I will bump it to the top so you can add your list there and check out some of ours.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 3/24/2011 7:57 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 41,082
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I love these challenges it gets me to read new authors and books I  may not have picked up otherwise.

For the main challenge I have read 5/12 categories.

I am doing the continent bonus I have completed 4/7

I will not do the color one I don't have enough books to do the colors.

Really enjoying it.

Date Posted: 3/24/2011 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2005
Posts: 103
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I'm really enjoying the challenge so far.  I've come across new authors and been prompted to read books that I've never quite gotten around to.

I've read 5 books for the challenge (just finished one this morning) and 1 for each of the bonuses, so 7 books overall.  I've almost finished the 8th book and I started my 9th book.  I also have 2 more books for the color bonus (yellow and blue) out from the library so they will be the next books I read.

The problem I've come across is an author born in New York.  The authors I've come across are ones I've read already.  I'd like to read someone new.  Any suggestions??? 

I've never planned what book to read next so its been strange knowing what I will be reading for the next few weeks. 

 

Subject: Australia
Date Posted: 3/24/2011 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2010
Posts: 18
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Does New Zealand count for Australia?

Date Posted: 3/24/2011 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Oh, I think I'd accept it.  Oceania, right?

Date Posted: 3/31/2011 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,110
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Welcome Sharon!!! 

Well, I think I am doing pretty well with the Challenge.  Since I did not look at my list first, I cannot give exact numbers, but I have probably read 6 or so of the books for the main course and one book for the continent course and one for the color course!!!  Since I am an avid mystery reader it has not yet caused me to read something I might not have ---- but it will for the "supernatural" category --- that is unless we can count Dr. Siri!!!!! 

The best part of the Challenge for me has been meeting the nice people.  I had been a trader only on PBS for quite a while, but had not taken a chance to get to know anyone --- so now I feel I have a circle of friends here and it makes me happy.  I was a member of Frugal Reader and it had a very nice group of people and we "chatted" with one another about our lives, books and such in an amicable fashion --- when that went under I found I really missed the contact and now I feel I have that once again.

Date Posted: 3/31/2011 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Well, it is the final day of the first quarter and I scratched a couple more off my list.  I listened to Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout that counts for the "Golden Age" category, and finished both Cold Wind (North America in the second bonus) and Port City Shakedown  ("Native Son/Daughter") category.  I feel like I've made a great start and if I decide to take a break and just read whatever I want for the next couple of months, I'll be okay.

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2011
Posts: 270
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I'm new to Paperback Swap, and to the Mystery Challenge, though my spouse has been active for a couple of years. He reads science fiction almost exclusively (sometimes he reads science nonfiction!), so he's over on the SF forum working on that challenge. I'm also on a yahoo mystery readers' group, which is trying its first ever challenge this year - just 6 books and I finished it already. So my spouse encouraged  me to take a look at this challenge.

So far, I've finished 5 of the original 12, two of the ROY G BIV, and one of the continents. Six of the books I've read were from authors/series I'd not read before, and that's what I was really looking for - a system to help me look for something new, rather than just picking books at random from the browsing section of the library!

I already read a pretty broad range of mysteries, but the medieval category will be new for me. (Well, I did read The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, but that was a loooong time ago.) It's also surprisingly difficult to find a 'Glory Days' (1975) mystery that I want to read! The Native Daughter category is frustrating, too - the only one I can find is Betty Ren Wright (Wisconsin), and she writes juvenile/YA mysteries. Any suggestions?

Unexpected Gems: Ice Blues by Richard Stevenson (from a series I'd not tried before)

Disappointing Dogs: Liar, Liar by K.J. Larsen - It was just too cutesy & contrived for me. I'm currently working my way through When Secrets Die by Lynn Hightower (We're Practically Twins category), and it is work. I remember why I stopped reading this series - I'm just not crazy about the main character...

I also read a fair amount of fantasy/science fiction (for pleasure), and a lot of theology/religion/philosophy/social issues nonfiction (professionally, and for pleasure).

Thanks for the challenge!

 

Lori Hl.

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Welcome, Lori!  It looks like you have made a great start!  Feel free to jump into any and all conversations on this forum.  We're a pretty friendly crowd. :)

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,110
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Welcome Lori  ---- The 2011 Mystery Challenge is my first as well and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  LeeAnne is correct about the folks involved in this Challenge.  They are extremely friendly and so helpful.  Also they are great ones for recommending new books, authors, series, etc.  It has really enhanced my PBS experience by deciding to take the leap and get more involved on this site.  I had been quite hesitant after reading some of the other forums where some members got down right nasty with others!!!!  Thankfully I have seen none of that here!!!  Again welcome!!! 

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2011
Posts: 270
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Thanks, LeeAnne & Becky! I'm glad to be here!

Lori Hl.

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2008
Posts: 65
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Hi Lori! I am another first-timer to the challenge and am enjoying it :) Looks like you are off to a great start!

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,944
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Welcome to all of you!

I'm doing much better with the challenge this year than last year - I've read 7 out of 12 in the original series and one continent.  I have Orange as Marmalade to read too....I hope I can get through it, Terri!  I also have 3 at least more of the series in the color bonus. 

 

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,110
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Joy --- sounds like you are doing a bang up job this year!!!! 

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Welcome, Lori! Suggestions for your "native son/daughter" category: Mary Willis Walker was born in Wisconsin. She has a short series about a crime writer that's set in Texas...The Red Scream I think is the first one--I remember reading that a number of years ago and it sticks in my mind as I loved the book/story but absolutely HATED the main character! LOL

Cheryl

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