Following in a long tradition -- established last year -- here's the wrap-up on the reading and writing I did in 2005.
I read 156 books this year, up a little from last year. Here are my Top Ten, in alphabetical order by author:
THE POET, Michael Connelly
THE MAN WITH THE IRON-ON BADGE, Lee Goldberg
CASSIDY'S GIRL, David Goodis
THE COMING OF CONAN THE CIMMERIAN, Robert E. Howard
HOME IS THE SAILOR, Day Keene
BLONDE LIGHTNING, Terrill Lee Lankford
THE COMPLETE WESTERN STORIES OF ELMORE LEONARD, Elmore Leonard
CREEPERS, David Morrell
BIG CITY GIRL, Charles Williams
HILL GIRL, Charles Williams
You really can't go wrong with any of these books.
Over on the writing front, I wrote 5524 pages of fiction, my all-time high. This translates into 14 books, and a little over 1.1 million words, the first time I've hit the old pulpster level of a million words a year. Also, 13 of my books were published in 2005 under six different names, including my own. This isn't a record. I had 14 books published in 1998. I sometimes hesitate to talk about how much I've written because some people always think that if something is written fast, it can't be any good. My theory is that all writing is words on paper, and if the right words are on the paper, it doesn't really matter how they got there. But the good thing is that, love 'em or hate 'em, the books are out there and people can judge them for themselves.
So it was a good year professionally. My best wishes to all of you for a fine 2006.
Merrick by Ben Boulden, 2017
3 hours ago