About Me

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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.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

6th Canadian Book Challenge Roundup (Part I)

The 6th Canadian Book Challenge ended on Sunday, June 30. The 7th Canadian Book Challenge began the next day, July 1, which is Canada Day.

I managed to complete the 13 books for the 6th Challenge but it was a cliffhanger with my 13th review published minutes before midnight on June 30 in Saskatchewan. One of the advantages of living in a country with 6 time zones is that I could still have published an hour later and it would have been before midnight in the Mountain time zone of Canada.

The Challenge went well overall. Host, John Mutford, at his Book Mine Set blog set out the following information:

     Let's see what the stats say:
      - We've read and reviewed a total of 1041 books! 
      - The grand total for all 6 years combined is 5179.
      - Of the people 59 who participated, 31 finished (reached 13 or
     more books)
      - Irene read and reviewed a whopping 70 books. Impressive!  
      - The most popular author reviewed was Alan Bradley, with 24
     reviews. Though Margaret Atwood had the most books
     reviewed (11). Bradley's reviews were spread over 5 books (and
     their audiobook versions).
     - The most popular book reviewed was a tie between Will
     Ferguson's 419 and Alan Bradley's Speaking from Among the
     Bones. Each had 8 reviews.

Once again in 2013 I find myself in another circumstance, the Challenge this time, having neither read the most popular two authors during the past year nor the most popular two books. I have not read any Award winners in 2013 as far as I know. For most of the Awards I have barely read any of the shortlists.

I was curious about Irene having read 70 books and went over to her blog site. Irene Roth has a website devoted to Canadian book reviews. It is http://canadianbooksblog.wordpress.com/. On the site she provides short reviews, usually about 3 paragraphs. on a variety of books. Most are picture books or young adult books or poetry.

It is a reflection of our wired and wireless age that the Challenge is hosted by a writer living in a city, Yellowknife, north of the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories.

There have been intriguing logos for each of the Challenges but the 6th Challenge picture of a Mountie in his red serge tunic is an iconic Canadian image.

In my next post I will go through the 13 books I read for the challenge.

It is a beautiful summer evening as I write this post sitting on my deck looking through the darkening trees at the western sky. The pure blue sky is tinged with pink as twilight descends. If only there were no mosquitoes.


  1. Bill, many congratulations! The statistics of this Challenge are impressive too. Participation in a book challenge must inculcate discipline in the book reader. I have often thought of enrolling in one but, as matters stand, I may not fulfil my commitment. I usually go for a limited self-challenge such as reading five books by a single author, back to back, and sometimes even those go for a toss.

  2. Bill - Congratulations on finishing the challenge. I've been thinking about your comment about the digital age, and what a difference that has made in terms of things like hosting this challenge. It's quite true that one can live nearly anywhere know and be in touch with the world.

    Thanks for suggesting Irene's site. I'm going to have to pay that a visit - it sounds quite comprehensive.

    I'm looking forward to reading your reflections on the books you read.

  3. Prashant: Thanks for the comment. I think you would find a Challenge an interesting reading experience. I rarely read books by the same author back to back. I have found it diminishes my interest in the author and I focus too much on any flaws.

  4. Margot: Thanks for the kind words. Being a blogger has made me think more about the global village in which we live.