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.