#329: Reading Round-Up for 2017

The end is nigh!  So here’s a breakdown for those curious about various aspects of my reading from these last 12 months.  No, there aren’t many of you.  This is a niche blog, I’ll admit.

Here’s how my TBR from the start of the year fared:

1. TBR 2017

Take out those Carrs (it’s mainly Carrs) and I did pretty well, until you see how the books on my TBR stack up as a proportion of the books I read this year:

2. Origin 2017

There’s a definite acquisition bias here: I bought or was given a lot of books in 2017.  Possibly it’s all the recommendations from this blogging beginning to manifest in finally tracking some titles down, but equally the increase in GAD reprints plays a part.  Anyway, that’s 129 books read in 2017, and here’s a breakdown month-by-month of the e-books, tree books, and 8 volumes of Case Closed:

3. Format 2017

Aaaaah, August is a glorious time of year…

Those Case Closed volumes — wonderful stuff, it really is — lend an obvious skew to my non-English reading, too, which breaks down thus (novels and single-author anthologies only):

4. Tranlsations 2017

Excluding 4 multi-author short story collections, the 125 remaining books were written by a total of 102 distinct authors, counting collaborations like Ellery Queen or Kelley Roos as two people.  Excluding translators, the gender breakdown and first-time authors pie charts look like this:

5. Authors 2017

From here the obvious question is what the multi-author anthologies look like and so, looking exclusively as those collections, we have  48 authors divided up in the following ways:

6. SS Authors 2017The sterling work done by Locked Room International in putting out The Realm of the Impossible would make a nationalities breakdown a nightmare of untold proportions, but the only non-English stories came from that anthology.

Taking an average date for individual stories in these collections as the year of publication for that collection (so that one story does not have the same weight as a full novel), the decade-by-decade breakdown of my reading looks like this:

8. Decades 2017

A clear and unsurprising predeliction for the 1930s there, with interest tailing off as the decades advance — seems about right.  The spike in the 1990s can be accounted for by Case Closed again, and the 36 books from the last seventeen years would largely be due to the amount of modern SF I read which is not commented upon as part of this blog.

The mean individual year of my reading therefore works out to be:

1965.169355

Or, in other words:

Tuesday, 2nd March 1965 @ 7.32 pm

Given the sheer number of books read by not just English-speaking authors but English authors, this would most likely be UK time, but I can’t find anything interesting in history from the UK at that time on that date.  At that time in the US, however, The Sound of Music was most likely permiering in New York.

748e92b0-a8e7-0132-99f1-0e01949ad350

My reading in 2017, people.

I took part in two reading challenges hosted by Bev at My Readers Block, but a sudden an unexpected laptop/water interaction in the summer led to the hasty transfer of data between machines and the loss of my Vintage Mystery Cover Bingo card.  The Follow the Clues Challenge was duly completed, however, running to 51 books across the year and ending up looking like this (click the image for a bigger version):

Bev is hosting these two challenges again next year and as I rather enjoy them I’ll be taking part in both, with my shiny new “Just the Facts” Vintage Mystery bingo card granted extra triple-locked security measures to ensure completion:

Just+the+Facts+Golden+Card

Which I think brings things to an end for 2017.

Looking ahead, here’s the current picture for 2018:

9. TBR 2018

Exciting times!

35 thoughts on “#329: Reading Round-Up for 2017

  1. This post is a thing of majesty. Can’t wait to see your new book ‘Graphs of the Impossible’ out soon. A great year all round, thanks for the hard work! I’ll need to borrow some Detective Conan from you. Have you ever the Kindaichi case files? Its (one of my) book dreams that I’ll find a complete set for less than my annual wage.

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        • Tokyo Pop released the collection in England through the 90’s and early 2000’s around 40 volumes I think it was, and there seemed to be done. But I read on Ho Ling’s blog that Sato started it up again a few years back and it’s still going. It’s also a manga so maybe the manga was what was filling the gap in the middle. But it’s the Tokyo Pop set that I would like. Those are the only English translations, but they have become strangely mythical and therefore expensive as is that annoying trend with some things!

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      • TokyoPop only released 17 volumes of the original Kindaichi series, which are nearly all self-contained stories. Kindaichi the Killer stretches across two volumes and you have to read The Legend of Lake Hiren before The Undying Butterfly, because the murderer from the former reemerges in the latter. Other than that, you can read them in any order you want.

        Did you see that? I commented on early-period Kindaichi without badmouthing Yozaburo Kanari for his cut-and-paste style of plotting.

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        • Now that TomCat has pinned his colours to his mast, I feel I must come out and defend Kindaichi. I very much enjoy Kindaichi – more so than Conan and Case Closed. It has been a childhood favourite, since I was first exposed to the live-action Kindaichi drama featuring one of the two members of the singing duo Kinki Kids (don’t ask me why they chose that name!) as Kindaichi.

          The problem with reading Kindaichi in English is that only the first 17 entries have been translated into English, and finding them at reasonable prices can be challenging. Moreover, the first 17 entries, by Yōzaburō Kanari, tend to be weaker than the later works by Seimaru Amagi. Of the Kanari oeuvre published by , I think the better titles are ‘Foreign Hotel Murders’, ‘Wax City Murders’ and ‘Headless Samurai Murders’ – of which ‘Headless Samurai Murders’, I think, was the best title. Conversely, I didn’t . think ‘Lake Hiren Murders’ or the ‘Opera House Murders’, were very good. ‘French Silver Coin Murders’ and ‘Reika Hayami Kidnapping Murders’ were good, but I don’t think they were included in the TokyoPop translations.

          Some of Amagi’s Kindaichi titles might be available as anime episodes on CrunchyRoll and other legal streaming websites. If you can find ‘Rosicrucian Mansion Murders’, ‘The Third Opera House Murders’ or ‘Jail Gate Cram School Murder’, they would be definitely worth watching.

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        • Well, being displaced seems to be a common feature of we bloggers. I was born in the wrong decade, for sure — I should definitely have been a contemporary of Carr, Penny, Crofts, Lorac, Berkeley, Brand, etc — but I also should’ve been French at the time to keep up with Boileau, Narcejac, Vindry, Lanteaume, Steeman, Very, etc. Frankly, I am disappointment to myself.

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        • See, that was the premise of my novel: a man steps into a cab in New York City and comes out in 1930’s London – whereupon he dashes to the nearest bookstore and spends the rest of his life (and the book) reading.

          The publishers weren’t having it . . .

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        • Jonathan, thank-you, this is a brilliant rundown — I appreciate the overview, it’ll help massively when I do eventually get round to checking this out.

          And, yeah, I’d have to agree that ‘The Headless Samurai Murders’ is a quite magnificent title…regardless of whatever happens between the covers of that particular volume!

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  2. I now officially hate math! Oh, and it’s math, fella, not maths!!! What’s with you people, with your charts and graphs, and your glutinous high teas, and Miss Cavendish the secraTREE, and Benny Hill, who isn’t funny in the least?!?

    I’m . . . I’m a slow reader, okay?

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    • Kind of you to say so; I’d intended to plan this for much longer, then the end of the year came at me in a rush and I had to bodge it a bit. Ah, well…

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      • If this is what it looks like when you bodge it (“bodge”???), I can’t wait till you give us a full-on graphing expo.

        Sorry to hear about the loss of the Scavenger Hunt card…I’m sure (given that massive maze of clues in your Follow the Clues trail) that you had done enough to earn a chance at prizes! I look forward to seeing what you read for the 2018 versions of the challenges.

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        • Well, perhaps in two years you’ll see what I can come up with when I really put my mind to it! Unlikely, though, since I understand Christmas falls at the end of every year and so I’m gonna be busy then, too. Someone shold really look into that…

          Looking forward to these 2018 challenges, many thanks again for hosting.

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    • This all looks so impressive, it might lead me to do a round-up post myself. No, just kidding. I’ve never been impelled that way … But a very impressive analysis. All my best wishes for 2018!

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      • I’m not prone to too much self-analysis where my reading is concerned, but it’s interesting to see my own suspicions borne out in numbers: a clear preference for the 1930s in my detection, the fact that I read comparatively few women across all genres, etc. Gives me something to work towards.

        Next year, a scatter graph!

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  3. You better be planning on posting some Case Closed reviews in 2018! Regular mystery readers need to be told how great that series is.

    And I wish you all the best for the next year.

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    • Well I’ve read the 15 I had, so need to get some more I order to do that — but, yeah, perhaps I should try and feature others forms of mystery more regularly. Just gotta find ’em first…

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  4. Pingback: Final Post of the Year | crossexaminingcrime

    • Thank-you, me too. I was going to confess the size of my TBR, but it was still somewhat under construction and I figured that was a nicer way to end things.

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