Wednesday 20 January 2016


2015 and another year over and another boring blog post, more for my own amusement than any other reason.

The statistics......My Holy Grail target of 120 books was met  - the final count was 132!

Book length………..

600 pages plus -- 1
500 pages plus – 0
400 pages plus – 4
301-400 pages – 12
201-300 pages – 39
101-200 pages – 36
51-100 pages – 22
Under 50 pages – 17
Audiobook - 1 (I suppose I could have found a page count but didn't look!)

Male – 102
Female – 17
Co-authored – 1 = 0.5 male, 0.5 female
Undisclosed - 12. (Stark Holborn is a pseudonymous author and won't tell me whether he/she is a dude or dudess, even when I asked with a pretty please.)

1 more than last year I think, but with an increase of about a dozen on my reading total for 2014, a decline percentage-wise in the number of books read by female authors. Unless of course Holborn is a female, but I'll never know.

USA – 82
England – 28
Scotland - 5
Australia – 3
France – 3
Ireland – 2 (Republic - 2, Northern - 0)
Canada - 2
Britain - 2
Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Germany, South Africa, - 1 each
The USA continues to rule!

Format …….
Digital – 64.5
Paperbacks – 53
PDFs - 8.5
Hardbacks – 5
Audible - 1

Over 90 on the Kindle in 2014, a bit of a resurgence for the paperback last year.

I do like the feel of a paperback!

Type of read…….
Fiction – 127
Non-fiction – 5

3 more non-fiction than last year.

I've finally dispelled my misconception that I read on average 1 non-fiction book a month! Deluded or what.

Year of publication…….
2015 -- 34
2014 – 39
2014 - year of the book!
2013 – 11
2012 – 6
2011 – ZERO
2010 – 3
2000’s – 3
1990’s – 1
1980’s – 16
1970’s – 6
1960’s – 3
1950’s – 4
1940’s – 2
1930’s – 2
1920’s – 1
1910’s – 1

Still a self-confessed fan of 70’s and 80’s pre-tech crime fiction, I’m pleased to have read more of these than last year. I’m not surprised at the paucity of pre 40’s reads as I don’t go for early 20th Century books. I do like newer books obviously.

New v. old authors ……..

132 books read,

73 never before tried authors,

59 previously read which includes 2nd and 3rd books and indeed 12th books from authors who featured in the 83 count. 

I do like trying out new authors, though the figure is 10 down on last year. 
I can still try newbies in 2016, I just ought to read some already in the tubs.

Most prolific…….

Stark Holborn - 12 (or 1 big fat Nunslinger), 
Bill Pronzini - 6, 
Max Allan Collins - 5, 
Benedict J. Jones and Evangeline Jennings - 3 each,
Anonymous-9, Pascal Garnier, Todd Luchik, Carolyn Weston, Paul D. Brazill, Jay Stringer, Matt Coyle, K.A Laity/Graham Wynd - 2 each  

One shot wonders - 87

Pre-owned or bought and then read – 40
Copies from authors - 26
Copies from publishers/publicists - 28
Munseys - 2
Project Gutenberg - 2
Net Galley - 27 (Library - 12)
Edelweiss - 3
Internet - 1
Owned books, updated version sent by author - 3

My figures are kind of skewed as the book Nunslinger was downloaded from Net Galley as a single beast and expired before I could read it. I got the book from my local library and as it had been published in 12 episodes, counted it as 12 books rather than one in my stats - sneaky huh?

I do need to read more of my own books though and should turn down more requests in the future. 


On my arbitrary and subjective rating system of 1 - 5 STARS, with my minimum hope when cracking a book open being a 4, I enjoyed more than endured last year. Late in the year, I introduced half marks on the basis that some weren't quite perfect reads but were better than a 4. It's all arbitrary anyway.

5 STARS - 26
4.5 STARS - 22
4 STARS - 73
3.5 STARS - 1
3 STARS - 7
2 STARS - 2
1 STAR - 1 

Nearly 1 in 5 scored top marks!

The vast majority I read were really enjoyed, only 10 scored a 3 or below.

2 x 2's and 1 stinker - Chester Himes - The End of a Primitive

Funny enough, one of my 2 STAR reads - Sax Rohmer and this 1 STAR were both choices for my participation in Rich Westwood's Past Offences - Crimes of the Century meme. Of late, I have chosen better books to read! 

I did have a great reading year overall. I managed to complete a few sidebar challenges, but still have some way to go to having a "tidy" blog.

I’ll be doing another post on my favourite dozen or so reads, maybe tomorrow if I can get the post sorted in time.

2014 - READING ROUND-UP AND STATISTICS post for all insomniacs is here.


  1. Interesting to see other people's stats...clearly I'm falling down on my job of finding you some female authors you love as much as the blokes...but then you're not tempting me with all those grifters and n'er do wells either :)

    1. You may well be fighting a losing battle on that score. I do love Anonymous-9 (Elaine Ash) and Evangeline Jennings. I also like Terry Shames and Carolyn Weston, but yes they are hopelessly outnumbered (not necessarily out-gunned).

      Maybe I'll surprise us both in 2016, but let's not hold our breath....

  2. This is really interesting, Col - thanks for sharing. I find it especially interesting that your reading is divided roughly evenly between paper and ebooks; that's the way mine is, too. And it's good to know you had many more good reads than disappointments.

    1. Cheers Margot, I'm always slightly dissatisfied with my year end stats. - I always kind of feel like I've neglected some areas in my reading, but then again, we've all only got a finite amount of time for our passion.

  3. Impressive stats, Col. Well done.

    1. Elgin, cheers - I sacrificed a few hours reading doing this!

  4. Enjoyed reading your year in review for 2015 books. Looking forward to those outstanding novels you loved so much. What happened to Highsmith? Are you still reading her? It doesn't look good that she's been in your sidebar for several weeks now (I think). Hopefully everything is okay?

    1. Cheers Keishon. Well it has been a while hasn't it? Page 178 of 256 in my tiny print Penguin. She's a slow read for sure. I looked at the book and arrogantly thought - two days and I'll be done, but it's the kind of book (and I'm guessing she's the kind of writer) who makes you concentrate when you read her. A bit akin to swimming through treacle. It's okay, but I'm not smitten by her. She's definitely slowed me down.

  5. Amazing stats, Col! I'm going to have to come back and check them out again. I have a good idea about the authors and books you read in 2015. What interests me, though, is the bottom four of your Book Length. Those are the ones I usually read.

    1. Thanks Prashant - I lost an evening's reading manually picking through my spreadsheet. I think I'm still out on my numbers on one of the sections, but hey hoh. I did use the bones of my previous years round-up to help with the formatting otherwise I'd still be struggling with it.

      I record all the relevant information on a spreadsheet as I read a book, or at least I update it at worst when a book or two behind.

  6. Ah, okay. I thought the story picked up towards the middle. She isn't a easy read that's for sure. I thought you'd like her but maybe not.

    1. It's interesting to me how some writers, I can read 100 pages a day - Max Allan Collins, Bill Pronzini two prime examples and Highsmith - 20-30 and I'm exhausted!

    2. LOL. Where are you at in the story? I'm thinking you were reading The Talented Mr. Ripley but you're reading Strangers on a Train. I was captivated from the start so maybe it won't be your kind of book then. You don't read a lot of psychological suspense do you?

    3. Hmm...two murders committed and much angst afterwards by both our protagonists. Mood swings etc. Guy has just been interviewed by Bruno's father's private detective - so I'm guessing it's about to get a bit more interesting. 60 pages from the finishing line!

      Not a massive fan of psychological suspense - no, I'm not. Collins and Pronzini will have a character walk in a room and observe the furniture and the curtains. Highsmith will tell you what effect the colour of the drapes has on the character's mood.... the colour is wrong, they offend his sensibilities and he's probably going to have a few sleepless nights as thoughts of them invade his dreams. I'm thinking.... FFS - it's only bloody curtains.

      Ok - I exaggerate.

    4. 60 pages from the conclusion? Not bad and now I can't wait to read your review since its looking like a 3 so far hahaha or a 2.

    5. I'm sure I'll get there over the weekend. Her other books have just gone a bit lower down the TBR pile - unless of course she blows me away in the conclusion.

    6. Bwahahahaha - not a chance that that ending will change your mind but who knows. Cheers :-)

    7. Love in hope......die in despair

  7. A really good reading year, and as ever I love to see the statistics. Keep up the good work in 2016...

  8. Wow, you tried 73 new authors. That is amazing. (I only read 79 books total.) I really like the stats you keep. Very nice.

    1. Cheers, I do them as I go along on a spreadsheet (sad or what), it still takes a while to break them down though.