It’s becoming something of a tradition that I read at least one Agatha Christie book each month. Not only are they super easy to get through but they just make me feel happy. Considering what the past 12 months have been like, we all need to dedicate more time to the things that make us happy. Christie is not only a fantastic writer but she has an incredibly wicked streak. As I say every time I review one of her books, she understands people and what might compel them to commit murder. In my recent rereadings of her novels, I haven’t actually read any Miss Marple stories yet. I think in terms of the books, I prefer a lot of the Poirot novels but who can’t love Miss Marple. I also think the ITV adaptations of these novels were fabulous. They made a few changes and modernisations but they capture the spirit perfectly. The adaptation of this novel is definitely one of the better ones.
What have you been reading this week?
I love the idea of a 4-day working week. Starting working on Tuesday was a lot less stressful than it will be tomorrow. Although, I can’t say that it’s been a good week but that’s mostly because the other guy in my role was on holiday. That means I was doing the work of 2 people over a shorter period. Friday was a particularly rough day and I was glad to see the weekend. I really need some time off. I can see things only getting busier over the next few weeks. So, I’m also getting ready for my reading to drop off dramatically too. I’m already struggling to read and am having to resort to audiobooks to get me through. I’ve got nothing against them but I’m not exactly concentrating on them as much as I should. I’m about to tackle our super short book club read, which I hope will get me out of this funk. But we’ll see.
I don’t understand how January and February could be so easy to complete yet March nearly ruined me. I don’t know if it’s because it’s my birthday month or because I’ve just found myself in a bit of a rut. Whatever it is, I was sure that I’d never be able to spell out this simple 5 letter month. It’s not as if the letters are that bad. I had plenty of options for each but that didn’t make it easier. Still, I finished it. Let’s take a look a how.
I have been a lover of Agatha Christie for a long time but I’ve never read any of the novels that she published under her pseudonym, Mary Westmacott. Mostly because of the way they’ve been labelled. If there’s anything more likely to get me to avoid a book it’s referring to it as a romance novel. It’s not that I think romance novels are bad but it’s just not my thing. Love is a fact of life but that doesn’t mean I need to read about it for 200-300 pages. I will read the odd romance every now and them but I prefer something a bit darker. Give me a love story full of grisly murder and maybe we can talk. Otherwise, I’ll probably look elsewhere. Although, I decided that I couldn’t really call myself a true Christie fan if I didn’t at least try to read her other books. Why pick this one? It was the first one I saw and it crossed off a letter on my monthly reading challenge.
Who is the best author to go to when you’re falling behind in your monthly reading challenge? Agatha Christie is definitely one of the best writers for getting me back on track. I always enjoy her books and they’re usually really quick reads. Meaning I can cross off a couple of letters in a matter of days and stop stressing about it so much. So, I picked up a quick standalone novel. I realise that in my re-readings, I tend to focus more on the Poirot or Miss Marple novels. Well, apart from And Then There Were None which I never stop banging on about. But this is definitely one of her best. There’s a reason why it was included on my suggestions for where to start reading Christie books.
I quite a few books last week but not all of them really warranted a full size review. So, I decided that it was in everyone’s interests if I just shoved them all together in one post. That way, I don’t have to struggle to find the words to fill a whole post on a short book and you aren’t subjected to my waffle. It also means that I won’t make the mistake that I did earlier in the week and give me review the wrong title. Sorry for anyone who read my review of When No One is Watching and expecting it to be about Come Again instead. Not sure how that happened.
I finished Twleve Nights about 2/3 days before the end of 2020 so I had a bit of a conundrum about what to pick next. I wanted something that I could definitely finish in time because I hate the idea of carrying a book over. I feel like a failure and I don’t like that it skews my final count. I picked this one up even though it’s the longest book I’ve read for ages because I was being cocky. Of course, when it got to the morning of the 31st, I still have about 200 pages to go. Considering we were babysitting my niece during the day, it didn’t leave me with a great deal of time to read either. So, as soon as she left, I retreated to my room and didn’t come out until I’d finished. As it turned out, I finished it in about 2 hours, which goes to show how much more I could achieve if I just took the time to read properly. Anyway, I did what I wanted and got it finished. But was it the best book to choose as my final book of the year?
How could I not read this during my Agatha Christie month? After all, it’s 100 years since it was first published. 100 years and Agatha Christie is still an important part of the literary canon. The fact that this year sees the release of another adaptation of Death on the Nile only proves that. As a writer, she is so often dismissed as being a writer of cosy crime but she has continually shown her longevity. It’s ridiculous to think that people still underestimate her but that’s always been the problem with the literary canon. And I understand that there are more than a few unsavoury moments that haven’t aged particularly well over the years but she’s not alone there.
November is here and we’re about to go back into lockdown, so it’s kind of like it March again. Supposedly for a month but we’ll see how that goes. If I do get furloughed, at least I can use my time getting on top of my TBR. I’m currently reading my 71st book of the year. That’s 21 above my original target of 50. I doubt I’ll be able to double it but I’ll get bloody close.
Number of books read: 7
Number of rereads: 6
Number of physical books: 4
Number of ebooks: 2
Number of audiobooks: 2
What have you been reading this week?
So, another lockdown has been announced in England starting from next week. Of course, as it the usual way with this government, it’s coming too late and will disrupt more lives than were necessary. If they’d listened to the science in September we could have done it for two weeks. If they’d listened Labour in early October we could have done it for two weeks. But it’s too late now and we’ll be in it for at least a month. Probably longer. I’m starting to think my boss might furlough me. As he told me last time, my colleague has already been furloughed so it my turn. But we’ll see what happens.