I've never really done a reading challenge. This year I committed to Roni Loren's Read and Watch Challenge. (You can get all the details here. ) Basically, every month has a word and the reader finds books based on the word. It is very open interpretation and personalization which is what drew me to the challenge in the first place.
January's word was "Begin". I played with the idea for a while until I decided to "begin" a new series. This one even "begins" with the first letter of the alphabet! Perfect!
I dug through my mother's massive pile of hardbacks. I'll save that story for a future blog post but let me just say now: Please, please if you are an avid reader/collector of books, have a plan for them when you pass on.
Anyway, I finally found A is for Alibi . I missed it twice because mom actually had a hardback compilation of A, B, and C in this series. It looked like I was curled up in my recliner with a Webster's dictionary.
I so wanted to like this book. It launched a wildly popular series. I love mysteries. Sue Grafton is one of the reigning queens of this genre. I wanted to like it so very, very much.
The best word I can come up with is: Meh.
As several people have pointed out, this book was written over thirty years ago. I knew that going in so I don't think that was my issue. The references to payphones, rolodexes and the heroine searching for information in an actual library with directories gave it a cool touch of nostalgia.
I think my lack of enthusiasm stemmed from the "Just the facts, ma'am." style of writing that was popular with mysteries at that time. The character development takes a backseat to the plot. But, it's the backseat that faces outward in the old-style Station Wagons. You know someone's there. You can see the back of their heads in the rearview mirror but that's the only glimpse you catch of them.
I've been told the series gets better and the writing style shifts to more of what I'm accustomed to reading. So, I will probably give it a few more letters before I abandon the series completely.
The Watch part of the challenge is to watch a movie or TV show related to the theme word. Scott and I decide to "begin" a new series on Amazon Prime. I think there are already several season so we're late to this party, but GRIMM is awesome!
It's a cop drama with a a twist. Nick Burhardt is a detective but he soon finds out he is descended from the Grimm Family. Yes, THAT Grimm family.
The episodes are based on very loosely on the fairy tales. Each one starts with a quote from the original stories. It's cool to try to guess which story they're using and how they're going to twist it.
I love the complexity of the characters and the sprinkles of dry humor that set it apart from regular crime-solving shows. There's also the fun twist that those we see as normal people are actually monsters (some friendly, some not-so-much) that only Nick can see transform.
We flew through season one and are midway through season two.
It's not too late to join the challenge.
February's word is: RETRO
So, chat with me some. Have you read the alphabet series? Do you completely disagree with my assessment? Have you watched Grimm? Do you love it?