Reading books and blogs in 2009

My favourites among the books I've reviewed in 2009 will soon feature on Euro Crime, but in the meantime, here are my reading statistics for the year:

I read 105 books in 2009.

Of these, 42 were translated into English from other languages.

Of the 105 books, 51 were by women, 54 men.

40 of the books I read were by authors new to me – and of these, 30 (to my knowledge) were debut novels.

I published 81 book reviews this year, mostly on Euro Crime or Petrona. I wrote 16 more book reviews which are in the press at Euro Crime. The remaining 8 books are unreviewed, either because I didn't find enough to like or because I read them on holiday while I was offline from any form of electronic input medium for a couple of weeks.

All my book reviews are archived here, categorised by genre and country of author.

Turning to blogs, I discovered four new blogs in 2009 which I enjoy reading very much, and commend them to anyone who has not yet discovered them:

Confessions of a mystery novelist by Margot Kinberg*

View from the Blue House by Rob Kitchin

Big Beat from Badsville by Donna Moore

Crime Watch by Craig Sisterson.

* Additional commendation for consistently thoughtful posts and a friendly, active discussion salon.

Of the blogs to which I already subscribed before 2009, I'd like to mention some of my favourites (criteria are at least 2 posts a week):

Crime fiction:

Crime Scraps (Norman)
DJ's Krimiblog (Dorte)
Do you write under your own name? (Martin Edwards)
Euro Crime blog (Karen)
It's a Crime (Crimefictionreader)
Mysteries in Paradise (Kerrie)
Reactions to Reading (Bernadette)**

[Added later: International Noir Fiction (Glenn Harper)** ]

** Additional commendation for consistently excellent book reviews.

Reading (any genre):

Random Jottings (Elaine)
Reading Matters (Kim)


Comment Central (The Times: Hattie Garlick and Daniel Finkelstein)
Debtonation (Ann Pettifor)
Don's Life (Mary Beard)

I love lots of other blogs, many of which provide interesting links to external sites, but the above-named are the ones that consistently provide engaging (to me) content on a regular basis (I've excluded a few favourites that would have been included but which don't post very often).


16 thoughts on “Reading books and blogs in 2009

  1. What an interesting analysis, you are so well organized. This post is an inspiration for me to do a similar analysis on the 64 books I have read in 2009. Thanks for the mention.
    Petrona is one of the main resources, along with Euro Crime, for crime fiction fanatics.

  2. Thanks to both of you. Norman, my “organisation” consists of writing down books when I’ve read them in a long-rejected “Tracy Beaker” exercise book!

  3. I am very proud indeed that you regard my blog as one “that consistently provide engaging content on a regular basis”! You cannot have subscribed to it before 2009, however, as my first anniversary is on Thursday 😉

  4. I walk to work most mornings and usually spend a few minutes with google reader while eating my breakfast before starting the day’s meetings and nonsense and to find such an unexpectedly nice thing awaiting me was a delight. Thank you.
    I definitely return the compliment to you for both this blog and the reviews you write for Euro Crime. I have startked keeping a record of who recommends the books I read and though I’ve only been doing this for a couple of months your name is definitely featuring most heavily.
    I concur with you about the excellence of the other crime fiction blogs you mention but now I’m off to check out the other links…none of which I know.

  5. Great list, Maxine – and although I’ve only read a few of these, those that I have read are truly excellent!

  6. Sorry, Dorte, to me you have been around for a longer time than a year: I mean that in the nicest way!
    Thanks everyone for your kind comments, I enjoy writing book reviews and I’m glad they are useful on occasion.

  7. Lordie! Maxine –you have been prolific.
    Excluding books –I need to read to keep up
    with my profession–I thought –I was doing
    well with 66 fiction read during the year–from
    17 different countries.
    Maxine—did you count Sjowall +Wahloo as a man
    or a woman?!

  8. Simon – a woman I have to admit! I didn’t want to count them twice and inflate my total (though I have read three by them this year), and so as Sjowall is still alive I counted her in.
    As you can tell, apart from reading and working, I live a very quiet life! I think you probably got round more countries than me, though.
    Elaine – not at all – your blog is a joy and always brings a smile to my face.

  9. Thanks for flagging up my blog, Maxine. I’ve just come back from 16 days in Oz, and seeing this appear in my bloglines reader felt like a particularly special welcome. Am always chuffed that someone appreciates my reviews, as they’re a labour of love.

  10. I hope you had a lovely time, Kim. I saw your haul of books on your blog…..;-) I find the reviews on your blog consistently interesting, whether or not I’m likely to read the book. It is clear that they are a labour of love which is one reason I like them. They are also well written and argued.

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