It has been far too long since I last made an update here (and, among other things, I'm pondering switching from Joomla to WordPress to see if that might motivate me) so when I saw this floating around the internet, I figured I'd answer all 20 questions here. If anyone is interested?
Favourite genre to read?
Can I say "Speculative Fiction" and thereby cover the field? My favourite genres are Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I also read quite a lot of Horror, and I always enjoy a good Thriller. Often these genres overlap -- I'd call SF & Fantasy setting genres, while Horror and Thriller are plot genres, so give me a good Horror Thriller in a non-mundane setting and I'm happy.
Although, that said, I don't mind Urban Fantasy either.
Basically, I've never been very good at picking favourites...
2014 was also a slow year for me. I think I'd almost go so far as to say that 2014 was my Annus Horribilis; certainly I didn't seem to be particularly productive with anything. My heart just wasn't in it. Neither were my kidneys.
2013 was a slow year for me, book-wise. Apparently. I only read 26 books, and there were a couple of large gaps during which I was too focused on other projects to do much reading. (And since 2014 was, uh, not a good year—for many reasons—I never finished typing this up until April 2015!)
There are several small gaps, a month or more in length, between various of the 30 novels I read in 2012. In almost all cases, these are a sign that I was having trouble getting into the book in question. This doesn't necessarily mean they were bad books -- I had quite a few distractions in 2012, not least of which was the commencement of my final, concerted effort to finish off the writing of Episode 3.0: Attack of the Stiff...
For some reason, I have a huge gap in my "date completed" data, spanning almost a whole year (from April 27, 2010 to April 24, 2011). Is it really possible that I went an entire year without reading a book? Or did I just momentarily forget what a geek I am, and stop recording the date of completion? I know of at least one book which I must have read in that time, but that aside, my memory is as blank as my database.
Come to think of it, what did I do for that year? Maybe I was abducted by aliens to fight an interstellar war, then given a (rather rude) brain-wipe before being dumped back on my doorstep...? Surely somebody would have noticed?
So anyway, with that said, it seems to make sense to combine the books I read for both years into one list (containing, sadly, a mere 28 books!)
2009 was the year I first started recording the date I finished reading books; May of this year is as far back as my records go. While it is an incomplete year in my database, I still managed to read (and record) 37 novels.
The Girl with the Long Green Heart (1965)
"She had a grifter's soul."
by Lawrence Block
From their website, "Hard Case Crime brings you the best in hardboiled crime fiction, ranging from lost noir masterpieces to new novels by today’s most powerful writers, featuring stunning original cover art in the grand pulp style." Some of the books they publish are fairly new, some -- like this one -- are older than I am. You will probably be able to track down their books through their website; I've been finding them in the cheap bins of my local book stores. This particular book (#14 in the series, although since they're all unconnected, standalone novels it really doesn't matter what order you read them in) I found at the newsagent's across the street from Caboolture train station while I had a couple of hours to kill, waiting for a train.
Despite the fact I'm apparently collecting these books, I wouldn't consider "crime" to be my genre of choice. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel!
As the result of a recent conversation, I decided that it might be worth producing a list of all the books I'd read in a year (along with some brief commentary.) This decision was solidified by something I just heard in a podcast: that the average person reads five books a year. (Of course, this information was followed by "but the average person will listen to 17 audio books a year", and comes from a company selling audio books, so I'm not sure how accurate it is!)
Now, I do a lot of listening in the car -- to podcasts, most often, with a few audio plays (and even the occasional audio book) thrown in -- and I don't manage to read as much as I would like (so many distractions, so little time.) However, I'm fairly confident that I read at least 17 books a year. While I may write the occasional review of a novel, I generally don't have the time -- so this format may be of passing interest to somebody.
Anyone out there interested in what Pete is reading? :-)
Oh, and for those who are wondering: no, my memory is not that good. I have external memory: I'm just the sort of sad little geek who keeps a database of all his books, and as I read each one I add the date I finished it!