Monday, 25 August 2014

Statistics and 2014 Challenges

I've spent an hour climbing up and down a ladder cleaning out the gutters on the second floor; well, at least the one at the back of the house. So half the house is done now, will finish the rest over the long weekend, weather permitting. The dogs have had their walk and both are tuckered and resting on the floor beside my chair, so I think I'll write up a quick Blog entry before I head downtown. I spent an hour this morning going through my To-Be-Read (TBR) book list in Goodreads and thought I'd provide some info on genres, numbers, etc that are there. According to my goodreads page, I've got 580 books on my TBR shelves. As a point of fact, when I add a book to my TBR list, it actually resides on one of the book shelves in the house. So I've got a good 6 years worth of reading available; shouldn't need a kindle or such for awhile then.. Woo hoooo!

Now the numbers which follow might not add up to 580, but it gives a general picture of the types of books I've got on my shelves. Firstly, I've got approx. 330 books written by male authors and 250 by female authors, so a fairly equal representation. Now next, let's look at genres. You'll note that the majority are mysteries. I didn't break down by sub-genres, mystery, thriller, spy, etc but I will say there is a fair mix of those sub-genres. So let's see what type of mix I've got -

Mystery - 385
Humour - 10
Fantasy - 20
Classic - 35
SciFi - 20
Fiction - 40
Horror - 10
Poetry - 5
Travel - 5
War - 10
Biography - 15
History - 5
Adventure - 15
Sport - 5

I guess that's a fair mix. In my next Blog it'll be 2/3 of the way through the year.. (Wow! Already??) I'll provide a bit of a look at how my reading has been going on this year and maybe look ahead to the next 4 months. But for now, I want to take a look at one of my challenges for 2014; my Bed-Time Authors challenge. Basically these are the books that I choose as my bed-time reading. The plan this year was to read two books by each author in order to try and make a dent in some of the many series that I've got lining the book shelves. So far, I've completed 26 books, or 13 different authors:

1. Agatha Christie - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (4 stars) and N or M? (4 stars)
2. Jefferson Bass - Carved in Bone (3 stars) and Flesh and Bone (3 stars)
3. Margery Allingham - Death of a Ghost (3 stars) and Dancers in Mourning (3 stars)
4. Lee Child - Killing Floor (3.5 stars) and Die Trying (3.5 stars)
5. Kate Ellis - Playing with Bones (4 stars) and Seeking the Dead (4 stars)
6. Nevada Barr - Endangered Species (3 stars) and Blind Descent (3 stars)
7. Victoria Thompson - Murder on Astor Place (3 stars) and Murder on St. Mark's Place (4 stars)
8. Peter O'Donnell - Sabre-Tooth (3 stars) and I, Lucifer (3 stars)
9. Karen Irving - Pluto Rising (3.5 stars) and Mars Eclipsed (4 stars)
10. R.D. Wingfield - Night Frost (4 stars) and Hard Frost (4 stars)
11. John P. Marquand - Your Turn Mr. Moto (3 stars) and Mr. Moto is So Sorry (3 stars)
12. Jo Nesbo - Nemesis (3.5 stars) and Cockroaches (3.5 stars)
13. Julie Smith - The Axeman's Jazz (3.5 stars) and Death Turns a Trick (3.5 stars)

My current author is Dorothy L. Sayers, author of the Lord Peter Wimsey mystery series. Whose Body is the first in the series and so far I'm enjoying very much. I also have the 2nd book in the series, Clouds of Witness, and that will be my next Bed-time book. All things being equal I should be able to read at least 8 more authors by the end of December, if I can manage two per month. I think I'll focus on those authors who have the most books on my shelves, even if it means that I might repeat the odd author. If I can manage 8 more authors (16 books), these will be the ones I plan to read.

1. MC Beaton (author of two series, Agatha Raisin mysteries and Hamish Macbeth series.) I have 13 books on my TBR shelf. I'll read one of each; Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, the first Agatha Raisin mystery. I have read one previously, but want to be properly introduced. Death of a Gossip is the first book in the Hamish Macbeth series and I've not read any of this series.

2. Ngaio Marsh (author of the Inspector Alleyn mysteries) I have 13 books in this series on my shelves. Last year I did a month's focus on this series and read 4 books. The two I will read in 2014 as part of this challenge will be - Enter a Murder (Book 2) and Death in a White Tie (Book 7)

3. Ellis Peters (Author of the Cadfael books). I've read quite a few books in this series, but there still remain 10 unread. I'll read The Sanctuary Sparrow (Book 7) and An Excellent Mystery (Book 11)

4. WJ Burley (Author of the Wycliffe mysteries) This is another series in which I've read 3 or 4, but there are still at least 10 others on my book shelves. I'll start with the 2nd book in the series, Wycliffe and How to Kill a Cat and finish with Book 3, Wycliffe and the Guilt-Edged Alibi.

5. Ian Rankin (author of the Rebus books, plus others) - I have the complete Rebus series and have worked my way about half through it, so will continue with Inspector Rebus, starting with Book 12, The Falls and continuing with Book 13, Resurrection Men.

6. John D. MacDonald (author of the Travis McGee mysteries) I read four books in this series last year and enjoyed very much. There are 10 more awaiting my perusal so I'll try two more, starting with Book 6, Bright Orange for the Shroud and Book 7, Darker Than Amber.

I'm not sure which other authors I'll read. It will depend on where I am in 2014 when I finish Mr. MacDonald's books. I'm leaning towards Agatha Christie, it would be nice to finish with the author that I started out the year reading. We'll see. Anyway, lots of good reading ahead. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year.

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