Coming in December – My Big Book Year

So a Big Book Year, what’s that all about? “A Big Year”, refers to the life of a birdwatcher, it’s a year in which a bird watcher will try and see the largest number of species that they can, often within a confined geographic area. As a naturalist I’m familiar with this concept, with friends disappearing off for long periods of time, evenings, weekends, chasing the next number or species on their list, but what’s that got to do with books?

Well, this year I set a target via Good Reads to read thirty books in 2011. I reached this target in less than six months, which I was amazed at, the most books I’ve ever knowingly read before in a year is thirty-seven books, so reaching my target so early meant revising that target upward, so I doubled it to sixty. I reached that target a month or so ago, now I’m just seeing where I get to by year end. At the time of writing I’m at seventy-two books and reading!

But this year has been so much more than numbers, I’ve discovered so many “new” authors. It’s made me think as to why this year has been different. Well first probably because I got a kindle at the start of the year, which has made reading more accessible for me, you can carry thousands of books in one small device, rather than one or two paperbacks where ever you go. Second because I’ve been writing much more myself, and “hanging out” with other writers in various social media circles; Twitter, Google+ etc. I’ve also been “featuring” many more book reviews and guest posts on my blog, I’ve been participating in “virtual tours” for authors. Reading their books, reviewing them and then having them on my blog for an interview or a guest post. As a result I’ve also had a lot of “free” books, those given to me for review. In fact much of this has over taken my writing. I think I’ve written less of the current work in progress than I would have liked, but what I have written has been influenced by the other things going on and as a result has been a better result.


I’m planning to go back over my year on my blog during December, pick out my top thirty-one books in ascending order, with my top pick coming on New Years Eve. There are some more guest posts planned, and at least one “virtual tour”.

Expand Below the Line if you want to see the Seventy-Two books read to date in order!

Burning Angel – James Lee Burke


Rose In A Storm – Jon Katz

Dead Like You – Peter James

Iron Lake – William Kent Krueger

A Morning for Flamingos – James Lee Burke

First Thrills – (edited by) Lee Child

Dante’s Numbers – David Hewson

Deal Breaker – Harlan Coben

The First Rule – Robert Crais

Dead Simple – Peter James

Gardening Philosophy for Everyone – (edited by) Dan O’Brien

Open Season – C J Box

A Troubled Man – Henning Mankell

Sixty Days and Counting – Kim Stanley Robinson

Season for the Dead – David Hewson

Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm – Jon Katz

The Villa of Mysteries – David Hewson

Dead Man’s Grip – Peter James

Field Notes on Science & Nature – (edited by) Michael R Canfield

Virals – Kathy Reichs

The Sacred Cut – David Hewson

Fire Season – Philip Connors

Borkman’s Point – Hakan Nesser

The Ice Princess – Camila Lackberg

Wild Thoughts from Wild Places – David Quammen

The Fifth Woman – Henning Mankell

The Innocent – Vincent Zandri

The Sentry – Robert Crais

Cimarron Rose – James Lee Burke

Crusader Cross – James Lee Burke

Macbeth – David Hewson & A J Hartley (audiobook)

Short Lean Cuts – Alex M Pruteanu

Over Sea and Under Stone – Susan Cooper

Darwin’s Radio – Greg Bear

The Remains – Vincent Zandri

Concrete Pearl – Vincent Zandri

When No One Is Watching – Joseph Hayes

Promissory Payback – Laurel Dewey

Unrevealed – Laurel Dewey

Back of Beyond – C J Box

Lake Charles – Ed Lynskey

Dexter in the Dark – Jeff Lindsay

Adventures of Cash Laramie & Gideon Miles – Edward A Grainger

The Lizards Bite – David Hewson

The Cleaner – Brett Battles

Judge Dredd 14 – John Wagner

Savage Run – C J Box

Silverbirch – Rob Kaay

Last Car to Elysian Fields – James Lee Burke

The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson – Kim Stanley Robinson

Freight Train Across The Outback – Simon Worrall

Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy

Dinosaur In A Haystack – Stephen Jay Gould

Nine Dragons – Michael Connelly

90% of the Game is Half-Mental – Emma Span

Off the Grid – Nick Rosen

Dull Knife – C J Box

The Road to Somewhere – James A Reeves

Suicide Run – Michael Connelly

Moonlight Rises – Vincent Zandri

The Savage Altar – Asa Larsson

Adventures of Cash Laramie & Gideon Miles II – Edward A Grainger

An Angel With Fur – Russell Blake

A Stab In The Dark – Lawrence Block

Shed Working: The Alternative Workplace Revolution – Alex Johnson

Swallowdale – Arthur Ransome

Angle of Investigation – Michael Connelly

On a Rooftop in London – Helen Babbs

Remington and the Mysterious Fedora – Chuck Waldron

Dumb White Husband vs The Grocery Store – Benjamin Wallace

Carnival for the Dead – David Hewson

Naked Addiction – Caitlin Rother