The New Year of 2014 is off to a busy start. I’ve spent most of the last week substitute teaching in one of Phuket’s largest municipal government schools in addition to working at two different language schools. My schedule hasn’t allowed as much time for reading as I would like but I have still managed to finish one book this month and another is nearing completion. I may need to read shorter books if I want to meet the goals I’ve set for myself this year!
Those goals include improving on last year’s reading totals — 77 books and 18,153 pages read. By contrast, in 2012 I finished 50 books and 16,283 pages. In 2014 I’d like to complete an average of nine books each month and wind up with a total of at least one hundred. Of course, I’d rather read for quality than mere quantity but I believe I can strive for both.
In the month of December, I finished 11 books and 1900 pages — the same number of books as in November and almost 300 pages more! Since I began keeping track in January 2010, I’ve read 76,502 book pages and finished 347 books.
BOOKS FINISHED – DECEMBER 2013:
1. The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting by Philip Hensher (2013)
2. The Bone Fire by Christine Barber (2010)
3. First Class: A History Of Britain In 36 Postage Stamps by Chris West (2013)
4. Eight Million Ways To Die by Lawrence Block (1982)
5. The Everything Family Christmas Book by Yvonne Jeffrey (2008)
6. Santa Claus’s Christmas Trivia Challenge by Jonathan Ozanne (2008)
7. The Haunted Man And The Ghost’s Bargain by Charles Dickens (1848)
8. Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World At War, December 1941 by Stanley Weintraub (2011)
9. Why Reindeer Fly by Catherine Winchester (2009)
10. When The Sacred Ginmill Closes by Lawrence Block (1986)
11. The Twelve Days Of Christmas (In Thailand) by Janice Santikarn (2010)
Unfortunately, I don’t have the “minutes read” stats for December as my little Acer tablet with the tracking apps died a day before New Year’s Eve. That’s okay, though. I was tiring of trying to remember to start the timer every time I began to read!
Somebody recently asked me what my favorite book that I read last year was. I just can’t decide on one particular favorite but I was especially pleased with the two Colin Cotterill novels I read (both set in southern Thailand), the first two by Christine Barber (both set in northern New Mexico), Alex Grecian’s The Black Country, The Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors, and The Lincoln Letter by William Martin. And, of course, Lawrence Block has yet to disappoint me — I began reading all of the Matthew Scudder mysteries in order (many of the later ones will be re-reads). He’s got a new book in the Bernie Rhodenbarr (“Burglar”) series — published on Christmas — that I’ll need to buy very soon.
I currently have fifty titles in my To Be Read (TBR) list. I have all of these loaded onto my Kindle. I’m currently reading The Sherlockian by Graham Moore, Justin Cronin’s The Twelve, a history of Ellis Island, but seem to have set aside Stephen Nissenbaum’s The Battle for Christmas now that the holidays are over. I’m set to start reading A Feast For Crows by George R. R. Martin in the near future but that could change. Books that I would like to buy in the near future include The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons by Lawrence Block, Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman, Christine Barber’s When the Devil Doesn’t Show, and compilations of noir stories set in Bangkok and Phnom Penh. And I just found out that the third installment of Cotterill’s Jimm Juree series, The Axe Factor, is due to released in April.
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