Online Reading Challenge – December Wrap-Up

Hello Readers!

We’ve made it through another year! Hurrah! I hope you’ve enjoyed our reading explorations!

This month’s inspiration film was The Maltese Falcon, a classic detective film starring Humphrey Bogart. It’s the quintessential private detective movie with a twisty plot, a mysterious woman and a jaded detective.

The book I read this month was The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett (he also wrote The Maltese Falcon which the film is based on), which checks many of the same points including a twisty plot and a mysterious woman (or two). This one is set apart by the detectives though – in The Thin Man they are Nick and Nora Charles, a crazy-rich couple who solve crimes when their social calendar of cocktails and banter allows.

Nick and Nora are the kind of wealthy people that could quickly become super annoying but instead, this pair is funny and charming, madly in love with each other and kind and generous to those in need.  Quite frankly, the mystery – which I found a little hard to follow – was secondary for me (I’m  not a big mystery reader so that’s not a surprise) Instead I enjoyed the characters and the atmospheric setting – I could almost hear the clinking of martini glasses and see the sharp clothes. This book is an enduring classic for good reason!

How about you? How did your reading go this month? Let us know in the comments!

We may be done with the Online Reading Challenge for this year, but the 2021 Challenge begins on January 2! Be sure to check back for all the details!

Online Reading Challenge – December

Hello Challenge Readers!

Here we are with the last Challenge of the year (what a year, right?) This month our inspiration film is the classic, The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart. For me, the film is nearly incomprehensible – I still don’t understand the fuss over the statue – but it’s still a great film, with several famous character actors, an incredibly stylish black-and-white film noir feel and Bogart at his charismatic best. So what kind of books does this film inspire?

Of course, you can read books by Dashiell Hammett who wrote the book our film is based on as well as classics such as The Thin Man and The Red Harvest.  One of his contemporaries, Raymond Chandler, wrote several outstanding detective novels including The Big Sleep and Farewell My Lovely. 

Others to consider include James Ellroy (The Black Dahlia, L.A. Confidential), Ross MacDonald (the Lew Archer series) and James Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity and Mildred Pierce). Newer authors include Patricia Highsmith (Strangers on a Train), Robert B Parker (the Spencer series), Lawrence Block (the Matthew Scudder series) and Mickey Spillane (the Mike Hammer series).

I am planning on reading The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett about married private detectives Nick and Nora Charles and their dog Asta. It’s supposed to have lots of fun. snappy dialogue and has inspired a radio show, a television series, movies and even a Broadway play.

What about you – what will you be reading in December? Let us know in the comments!