52 Books (ish – don’t judge me) A Year

And so, after nearly a whole year, I have finally completed my resolution to read and review 52 novels. That is what I did.

Sort of.

The real (main) idea was simply to read more because for the last couple of years I’ve only read a handful of books and I love reading. The secondary idea was to have a go at a review or two because I enjoy that as well. How did I really do? Here come the stats!

I read a grand total of 26 novels, 1 play, 3 loo books, 4 (officially) kids books, my first e-book, a science book, a CV, a biography on Shakespeare, 2 autobiographies, some letters written by horses, at least 3 really bad books, a good few short stories, a Pratchett, a practical guide for wartime American soldiers, a social reading project book (mammoth count of 5 books because it was huge) and 1 non-finisher. And I reviewed them all! Even if some reviews were very short. I’ve tried some new genres and re-discovered my love of Science Fiction. More importantly I have read more! I think the most I read in a week was 4 books. Unheard of.

I have also found a plethora of weird photos online.

So, that’s that. I will continue to make more time to read. I collected a good number of book recommendations and will enjoy reading them at my leisure. I hope to continue to review the ones I like too.

Which brings me to my 2013 resolution…

Read and review 20 books AND write 13 short (or long) stories.


We’ll see how it goes. And, oh yes, next year… no cheating!


And finally, book 52: Joined-Up Thinking (Stevyn Colgan)

My mind is befuddled by all the facts in this book. But I like a book full of facts. Facts and the odd innuendo. It’s the sort of book you’d read a chapter of here or there (maybe but not exclusively on the loo) and then have to read it again every other day to try to learn then regurgitate in the pub.

Why not take the book to the pub? You’ve obviously not met my friends. If they knew I got most of my facts from a book they’d be very disappointed. Where they think I get my facts from is another debate entirely.

8/10 – It’s just like those conversations you (I) had as a kid which start off with yesterday’s botched chemistry experiment, to clouds and tennis then end up with Henry III and pickled onions. Really interesting.

Book 42: A Scanner Darkly (Philip K Dick)

“Entering the phone booth, he did a phone thing.”

Is the best line of any book I’ve ever read. I also enjoyed (for very different reasons):

“If I knew it was harmless, I’d have killed it myself.”

I did like this. If there ever was an advert against drugs, this is it! It was really freaky how we know a lot more than the main character does about his motives and actions.

Of course, any book containing random German has to be excellent.

7/10 – enjoyed it, freaked me out a bit, but I found it a little difficult to understand the phrases used.

Book 41: Back Story (David Mitchell)

The comedian.

Mitchell still comes across as a nice enough guy. There’s a sweet chapter about Victoria. I like his bit on agnosticism.

And it made my laugh.

I’m not going to give an autobiography marks out of 10 because that would be silly. I had to read it so quickly because I’ve already sold the thing (for a profit).

In other news, still reading The Quincunx – although, hilariously, I’ve almost finished it (this does not mean that I am not still counting it as 5 books!). This just goes to show that it’s not necessarily that I read slowly…

The Quincunx #quincunx

This is my first, very quick, comment on the book. I am trying to get ahead, deliberately, because I was always a swot but also because I can be a slow reader who is constantly distracted by life and other miseries.

Anyway, I have motored ahead today and I just want to comment on how fantastic the book is shaping out to be. Personally, I find the Dickensian style gratifyingly easy to read and being able to translate the odd bit of Latin makes me feel clever (like I said, I was always a swot). I am completely drawn into the story which is both incredibly well set out and intriguing, the more you read the greater the mystery and the thicker the plot. I’m kind of glad that the book is as long as it is! I have high hopes for the rest.

I am very much looking forward to sharing thoughts with the others reading it at the moment. I hope they are enjoying it as much as I am!

Also, in the 52 books a year stakes, I reckon this counts for at least 5 separate entries.

All further comments will be made via this blog: http://meandmybigmouth.typepad.com/scottpack/