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January 1, 2012 / John Sheridan

Reading Challenge for 2012

I like to set goals for my reading each year – usually this is just in terms of volume but having reviewed my reading over the last couple of years I decided to set some more specific goals for 2012.

So far these are:

1. Volume Target of 36 – that’s 3 books per month, given I work fulltime and have kids as well, reaching this goal is a challenge all by itself. In fact, I’ve only managed it once in the last 3 years.

2. “New To Me” Authors – for the last couple of years this has hovered around 6 – 8, I would like to get this up to 10 for 2012.

3. Geographic – I’ve a tendency toward American fiction and in the last couple of years have expanded into Nordic as well as maintaining an interest in the burgeoning Irish crime scene. I’m going to try to make room for some other territories this year – target of 5 outside of the aforementioned regions plus an increase in the specific Irish output as well. I also need to read some more authors from my near neighbour in the UK given the solitary UK book I read for 2011.

4. TBR – the dreaded TBR pile is seriously out of control with a number of excellent authors and books sitting there crying out for attention so I have to rescue at least 10 books from the TBR pile this year.

5. The Classics – I’ve neglected the likes of Chandler, Hammett, MacDonald et al so will try to include at least 3 of the “classic” authors in 2012.

6. Series – I’ve made some inroads in the last couple of years into various series that I would like to continue in 2012, specifically Martin Beck by Sjowall and Wahloo, Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct, Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole and a re-read of Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder. The latter especially needs attention given the publication in 2011 of “A Drop of the Hard Stuff” (Amazon, Amazon UK) and “The Night and the Music” (Amazon, Amazon UK).

Anyone have any other targets in mind?

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4 Comments

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  1. surexpress / Jan 1 2012 8:09 am

    Looking forward to Book Series reviews from you. Happy 2012!

  2. C.T. / Jan 1 2012 1:06 pm

    I really like these resolutions, especially the one about the dreaded TBR list. I’ll try to do the same, although my series reads will be different. I want to read the rest of Louise Penny’s Three Pines series and William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor series.

  3. Gigistar / Jan 26 2012 2:08 pm

    Hi John,
    I share resolution #1 with you! I mainly draw from my ever-growing TBR list (otherwise what’s the point of compiling one in the first place, btw?), allowing only for occasional unplanned, last-minute reads to sneak in.

    One more resolution I did for 2012 is the following: ok, I finally painfully realized that I’ll miss out on a lot of great books, no matter how hard I try. Life’s too short to read all I’d love to read. Therefore I’m not going to read stuff that in my personal “blogosphere” doesn’t seem to average more than 4 stars out of 5. So I decided I’ll focus mainly on great stuff, great reads, things universally acclaimed as valuable (of course I’m talking about our preferred genres – noir/mystery/thrillers, you name ’em).
    I’ll try to vary authors and styles, but I’ll take little chances: if I have to burn 6 hours (the average time it takes me to read a 350 pages book) then I’ll do it with stuff that people with a similar taste as mine have adored. Nothing less.

    Currently reading: Untouchable by Scott O’Connor
    Next in line: The Cold Kiss by John Rector

    • John Sheridan / Jan 26 2012 9:38 pm

      I’m currently doing well on the first challenge but the rest not so much. I’ve been lucky though because I’m on a hot streak with my last 6/7 books all being of 4/5 star standard. Don’t have either of the books you mention on my TBR list – yet!

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