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June 28, 2012 / John Sheridan

Half year review

Coming to the midpoint of the year so time for another progress review on the various challenges I set myself.

1. Volume Target of 36 – I’m doing well on this as I’ve finished 25 so far and number 26 would be finished if i wasn’t typing this blog entry instead but I feel comfortable counting “Lake Country” by Sean Doolittle. This actually is on target to be a record year for me which is a bit of a surprise.

2. “New To Me” Authors – for the last couple of years this had hovered around 6 – 8, I would like to get this up to 10 for 2012. Whoa, 17 new-to-me authors already this year. I can attribute this to writing this blog otherwise I just wouldn’t be anywhere near this number.

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. Ok, not so good. 2 anthologies (1 short stories and 1 non-fiction), 2 Irish & 1 Norwegian. The rest I’m guessing are American.

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. Much like the first quarter, during the second quarter I’ve mainly been reading recent releases with the TBR pile remaining sadly neglected.

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. Still no progress to report.

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. And still absolutely nothing to report here either!

My favourites so far this year are:
Alpha by Greg Rucka
Clawback by Mike Cooper
A Detailed Man by David Swinson
The Dispatcher by Ryan David Jahn
Phantom by Jo Nesbo
What It Was by George Pelecanos
and I’ll be adding Lake Country by Sean Doolittle when I finish it and write it up.

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