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The Mystery Crime Reading Challenge

2013 reading challenge for mystery lovers

The Crafty Book Nerd

How I discovered the Mystery book challenge

Last year (2012) I discovered The Classics Club reading challenge and shortly after I ran across the Short Story Reading Challenge. Both intrigued me. A few months earlier I had even started a list of classic books that I wanted to reread but hadn’t actually gotten around to it. In addition, the idea of focusing on more short fiction and nonfiction had been hammering my battered brain for some time. Accepting a formal challenge drew me in because I thought it might actually move me off my duff to get a little more reading done. It did.

I found this latest reading challenge the same way I found the others: book bloggers. Book bloggers, bless ’em, they are a reading community on steroids. Not only do they read books, they share books, blog about books, host reading challenges to read books, conjure 24-hour readathons, and talk books 24/7. Click through the community and before long you’ll find some sort of reading challenge or readathon that casts its spell over you.

What is the Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge?

This challenge is similar to most others except the books read come from the mystery genre. The challenge is hosted by Amy over at The Crafty Book Nerd. Her favorite authors include Agatha Christie, James Patterson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, so she “thought that having a reading challenge for 2013 that includes mystery/crime novels and short stories would be fun.” I agree.

It’s simple enough. Anyone can play. Even if you don’ t blog, you can participate through GoodReads or even Flickr. The book count ranges from 5 all the way up to 30+. With a little planning, it’s not difficult to reach your set goal.

Why I joined the mystery reading challenge

Well, I love mysteries and always have. Going back to the days when I read Edgar Allan Poe’s detective short stories and slurped up Nancy Drew novels like they were liquid candy, mysteries always topped my book stacks. In fact, mystery has remained the one constant type of fiction that I’ve read all along, even during my excursions into the classics, nonfiction, books on writing, science fiction, and even some romance. I particularly love those novels and stories that fall into the subgenre of psychological suspense.

My days of reading have diminished over the last 4-5 years and last year I promised myself that I would change my ways. I currently have a couple of bookcases full of unread mysteries, some I garnered during my days at Borders Books, and some during my writer conference days when it was way too easy to buy a suitcase or two of books, especially when the books could be shipped (Thank you Book Expo.) Others are the result of rather costly excursions to the books stores and, worse, working at Borders Books for more than four years. (That employee discount was really hard to ignore.)

My mystery and crime reading plan (2013)

Books can be classic mysteries as well as today’s bestsellers, so you’ll find a mixed bag here.

  • 5-year finish date:     December 31, 2013
  • Most looking forward to read:
  • Most reluctant to attempt
  • Currently reading: 
  • Last read:

Finished: 0/15+

This is my preliminary list. I’ll be adding specific titles over the next few days. The challenge seems to be focused on fiction; however, I’m going to break my books into both a fiction and a nonfiction (NF) list as I do have some NF that I want to read.

  • Every Harlan Coben book that has remained unread
  • At least 2-3 of Thomas H. Cook’s books
  • Michael Connelley’s books since about 2006 or 2007 (Could he not be quite so prolific?)
  • John Hart’s last two novels
  • The complete works of Edgar Allan Poe (Yes, it’s a definite reread.)
  • Back issues of the annual Best American Short Story collections
  • At least one Sherlock Holmes novel
  • Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

Why not join me and 60+ other mystery book lovers on this mystery book journey? Read more at The Craft Book Nerd 2013 Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge

  • Amy Yingling

    Vikk, so glad you will be reading with us over at The Crafty Book Nerd in 2013!
    Amy Yinging
    The Crafty Book Nerd

  • Vikk Simmons

    Hey Amy, Happy to do so. I’ve been on the hunt for such a group. Thanks so much for the welcome!