About Me

My photo
Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thoughts on 600 Books Read since January 1, 2000

On January 1, 2000 I decided to list the books I was reading and make notes about them.

Initially I would write 1-2 sentences about a book. My intention at that time was to keep track of books read rather than review them. I wanted to track how many books and the type of books I was reading each year.

The first book was:

     1.) Scandal at the Savoy by Andrew Rose – The story of 
     the 1923 murder trial of Marie Fahmy. (Jan. 3/00)

As a lawyer interested in real life lawyers and trials as well as legal mysteries it was a good first book. I still remember it had a vivid description of a trial with an undeserved acquittal for a lovely woman accused of killing her foreign husband.

By the end of 2001 it was clear I was reading about a book a week. In a good year I would read about 50 books.

It is a pace I have maintained for 11 ½ years. This year is an especially good year for reading books. I have already read 40 books.

I have read a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. The proportion has always been heavily skewed towards fiction. In recent years the percentage of fiction read has climbed. About 80% of the books I currently read are fiction.

Within fiction I have focused on mystery fiction.

By the number of books read for authors I have read Michael Connelly the most with 15 books. Next would be Robert Crais with 13 books. Rounding out the top 3 is P.D. James with 11 books.

About the time I started listing books read I made the decision to read every Saskatchewan based mystery I could find. I have found 27 mysteries. I have read all of them though I do not have reviews on some of the Gail Bowen books as the series started in 1990.

Much of my non-fiction reading has been in history. I have a specific interest in World War II.

During the years I have read about 235 different authors of fiction and 115 authors of non-fiction.

P.D. James and Mark Zuehlke are the two authors I have read who write both fiction and non-fiction.

About 2003 I decided I wanted to remember more than titles and the theme of a book. I started writing reviews and occasionally wrote to authors. In the reviews I have tried to describe the books, provide an opinion on the book and reflect on the book in some way.

The milestone books, by number, have been:

1.) 100 - Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst

2.) 200 – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

3.) 300 – Rain Storm by Barry Eisler

4.) 400 – Telling Lies About Hitler­ by Richard J. Evans

5.) 500 - A Most Wanted Man by John Le Carre

Starting the blog has opened my mind to world fiction. Until reading other bloggers I had not thought about how much my reading of mysteries was centered on North America. I am confident the quality of my reading has improved by looking for books from different parts of the world.


  1. Bill - Thanks for this reflection. You make a very well-taken point that reading other blogs helps one get a real sense of what's out there in terms of books one might not have considered. I know that I've learned about many, many new-to-me authors and books from terrific blogs such as yours. Lev Vygostky theorised that knowledge is socially constructed. The blogosphere is increasing evidence that he was probably right.

  2. Interesting to read your stats. And I had absolutely no idea either that blogging would lead to so many new reading experiences - or interesting acquaintances all over the world!

  3. Margot and Dorte: Thank you for the kind comments. The world is a smaller place since I became a book blogger.

  4. Congrats on the milestones. I agree with all of you -- I'm reading LOTS more of the rest of the world than I used to. Hooray for book bloggers!

  5. Karen: Thanks for the comment. I have been enjoying your blog. The rest of the world has alot of great mysteries.