Thursday 8 July 2010

Progress Report: The Books Wot I Done Read So Far This Year

Well we're over halfway through the year now (ooh, doesn't time fly!), so I thought it was about time for an update on the books I've read in the first six months of 2010. And it's been a successful year so far, I'd say. I can't remember reading this many books since the early 1990s, when I was languishing on the dole. Good job I've been making a note of them on Facebook's Visual Bookshelf application, otherwise I'd never have kept track.

Here, then, are the books wot I done read, in the order (roughly anyway) wot I done read them:

The Green Man by Kingsley Amis
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming
The Hacienda: or How Not to Run a Club by Peter Hook
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
The Way Home by George Pelecanos
The Wrong Side of the Sky by Gavin Lyall
Point Blank by Richard Stark
The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
The Man with the Getaway Face by Richard Stark
Moonraker by Ian Fleming
Killy by Donald Westlake
The Outfit by Richard Stark
The Mourner by Richard Stark
The Score by Richard Stark
The Jugger by Richard Stark
The Split by Richard Stark
The Handle by Richard Stark
The Blunderer by Patricia Highsmith
The Most Dangerous Game by Gavin Lyall
The Damsel by Richard Stark
The Rare Coin Score by Richard Stark
The Hot Rock by Donald Westlake
Dig My Grave Deep by Peter Rabe
Modesty Blaise by Peter O'Donnell
The Green Eagle Score by Richard Stark
The Glass Cell by Patricia Highsmith (nearly finished)
The Passage by Justin Cronin (over halfway through)

Of course, this list doesn't include the books I've picked up intermittently but haven't got very far with, i.e. Beautiful Shadow, a biography of Patricia Highsmith by Andrew Wilson; A View from the Foothills, Chris Mullins' political diaries; and Adventures on the High Teas, Stuart Maconie's look at soft southerners. It also doesn't include the innumerable comics and graphic novels I've read; I've probably made a note of most of those on this blog somewhere, but you'll have to look for those yourself if you're remotely interested.

So, those caveats aside, what can we ascertain from this list? Well, first of all, I've read (or nearly read in the case of those last two) thirty books so far in 2010, which puts me well within reach by year's end of the magic fifty espoused by WalkerP and his fellow fifty-bookers. It's been a good year for crime: about twenty of these books fall within the purview of crime fiction. Conversely it's been a bad year for nonfiction, with Peter Hook's The Hacienda the lone entry there.

Most-read author of the last six months is, unsurprisingly, I'm sure, Donald Westlake, either as himself or as Richard Stark: he racks up an impressive thirteen entries. But I'm also continuing to make headway through the Highsmiths: another three of Patricia's novels read so far this year, making it eleven in total from her. I've also devoured three Bond novels (taking my total up to four), two Gavin Lyalls, one Kingsley Amis (so that's four total for him), and then one each of everyone else on the list – not to mention, of course, the requisite partridge in a pear tree.

So there you have it. Let's see how well we're doing by the end of the year...


  1. Impressive! I like your focus as well. I'm just too scattebrained, but it would be cool to pick a genre or sub-genre or even a small group of authors and just focus on them for an entire year. (and thanks for the shout-out!)

  2. De nada. And I'm only focused 'cos I get terribly obsessed about particular things and can't let them go. Your tastes are admirably more catholic.