Last year (2010) I completed the “50 Books in 52 Weeks” challenge and finished with a total of 62 books read in the year – not too shabby considering I did not read one single book in September and I really only read on my Monday to Friday commute.
I started the challenge, not to encourage myself to read more, but to motivate myself to record what I actually read. I now have a lovely spreadsheet with various columns and tabs which makes a really handy reference file. There was a time when someone could mention an author and I’d remember all the titles I’d read by them – well, those days are gone! As long as I remember to record what I read I should avoid multiple purchases or borrowings of the same book in my dotage years.
To more fully entrench the habit of recording I’ve decided to continue this reading challenge through 2011. I see that some people challenge themselves to 75 books after they’ve completed the 50. That might be a bit ambitious for this rush hour only reader but I’m willing to give it a try!
On a recent walk I came across this “reading room” …… set up exactly as I’ve photographed it!
January started off well with 6 books finished:
Cadillac Jukebox by James Lee Burke – the 9th book in the Dave Robicheaux series. I feel like I am following an old friend now when I read these and am so glad they were recommended by a couple of people back in the Vox days. Characters pop in and out of the books and I love the way James Lee Burke writes – I can almost “feel” the character interactions.
The First Rule by Robert Crais – a Joe Pike story. Crais wrote for Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, and L.A. Law; the first books I read by him featured his Elvis Cole PI. Joe Pike works alongside Elvis and this is a book where he takes centre stage for the first time. A crime novel which is witty and fast-paced.
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson (Jackson Brodie). In December I read Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories where she introduced policeman turned PI Jackson Brodie which I just loved, loved, loved. This is the second book in the Brodie series and he has retired and followed his girlfriend (relationship developed in the first book) to Edinburgh where he spends the whole book being in the wrong places at the wrong times. Another great read.
When Will there be Good News by Kate Atkinson. When you’re onto a good thing stick to it! The third Jackson Brodie book – the books are loosely interwoven and I think this is the best of the three (I think there is a 4th coming out soon). Great crime fiction and hard to put down. I would suggest reading the books in order.
Sunset Limited by James Lee Burke. The 10th book in the Dave Robicheaux Mysteries. I think this is one of the weaker books so far in the series. Broody and volatile Robicheaux is taken back to the murder of a union activist decades old when the activist’s son & daughter come back to the area. It was still a quick read but there were things in the story that did not tie up well.
Purple Cane Road by James Lee Burke. The 11th Robicheaux book – at this rate I’m pretty sure I will finish the series of, currently, 18 books by the end of the year! This story was a really good thriller; a woman on death row for killing a man who molested her as a child; corrupt police; an attorney general with a shady past and a revelation about Robicheaux’s mother……