I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Agatha Christie is a sure-fire way to cure your bookish blues. After taking a long time to read Monsters, I knew that I had to do something drastic to get me back into reading. On Sunday I stuck on the audiobook version of this novel and didn’t turn it off until the end. I listened as I took my week’s Instagram photos and went about my general weekend business. It’s always glorious listening to a Christie audiobook. Not that it isn’t glorious reading it yourself but there’s something about an audiobook that just enhances the cosiness. Regardless of the reason, as soon as I was finished, I felt much better about life and reading. I’m renewed and ready to get a few more books off my TBR this month.
You may have noticed that I’ve not really been around lately. I had every intention to post on Monday and Wednesday last week but, when it came to it, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ve been falling behind with my reading of late and was nowhere near finishing a book in time. So, instead of a review, I was planning on writing something about recommendations for Mental Health Awareness Week. I sat down to write and I just crumpled. All my energy was gone and I had no suggestions for the post. For my own mental health, I decided to take a bit of a break. When it came to my Sunday Rundown, I decided to not post either because I’d posted so little and barely having read anything. It wasn’t exactly going to be a very good rundown. I’m starting this week in more of a positive mindset. I’ve finished not one but 2 books over the weekend and have high hopes for my next one. It should be a quickish read all going well. So, I should be back in the swing of things in no time.
I’m still continuing with my plan to try and read at least one Agatha Christie novel per month. My original hope was to have as many finished as possible before October this year. I’d secretly wanted to read them all before them because 71 books in 12 months seemed more than doable. Of course, my inability to stop buying books and increasing my TBR really put those plans to bed. But that won’t stop me going back to the books I love. I don’t reread enough anyway and Agatha always makes me feel better about the world. That could be considered weird considering her books are so full of awful people but her books are like a warm hug. Reading them is a really great counterbalance for the crappy few months we’ve been having.
So, we’re at the start of the new month and I’m telling myself that I’ll make more time for reading in May. I was so close to not finishing my monthly reading challenge again and was reading Lanny right up to the last minute. I had such high hopes for myself. It was such a short read that I even thought I’d manage to fit another book in before the end of the month. That clearly didn’t happen and I found myself on a mad dash to get the last few pages in before April 30th was over. I just about managed it and crossed off my final letter of the month. I had wanted to read this book for ages, so I do kind of wish that I’d read it at a better time. I’ll probably have to go back at some point and give it the time it deserves. Maybe I’ll even try the audiobook. I’d be interested to see how they handle it. But for now, I’ve got to try and get my thoughts together to writer this damn review.
As I mention far too often, I’m currently taking part in a virtual book club. It’s something my friend set up at the start of the first lockdown and one that I joined after a couple of months. I never thought of myself as a book club kind of person but I’m really enjoying discussing the books every week. My major problem is having nothing of interest to say, which mostly happens with books that I don’t really like. When the monthly pick is an underwhelming book, I tend to forget a lot about it before the meeting. Part of the reason that I try and read the book as close to the deadline as possible. Luckily for me, there has only been a couple of duds since I joined. In fact, it’s been a great range of titles that I’m really glad to have had the chance to read. This month, I wasn’t particularly drawn to any of the potential titles, so I didn’t even vote. Considering how it’s turned out, I think I’ve learnt a valuable lesson about taking responsibility for yourself.
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.
As much as I enjoyed Klara and the Sun last month, it did leave me with a great desire to reread this beauty. I read a fair few reviews that described the ending of Ishiguro’s latest novel was the most heartbreaking of his career. Yes, it was sad but the most devastating ending? He’s an author who doesn’t think twice about leaving you on the edge of an emotional precipice but I found Klara quite tame in comparison to his earlier work. Particularly this one. I honestly believe that The Remains of the Day has one of the saddest endings I’ve ever read. Yet, it’s a sad ending with hopefulness. This really is quite a book and it was definitely about time that I reread it.
I first found out about this book because of Instagram. I’d been following Harriet Young (thesenovelthoughts) for a while so I had been aware that she was writing her first novel. When she was looking for funding on Unbound, it didn’t take a lot of persuasion for me to preorder it. I was fascinated by the story and the history of the Pendle witch trials. I’ve been waiting to read this one for a long time and, when it arrived last moth, I couldn’t wait to start reading it. Of course, it was just a huge coincidence that it also crossed off one more letter on my Spell the Month Challenge.
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.
March hasn’t been the month that I thought it would be. I expected to read way more than I have. The fact that I’m falling behind my target it starting to get me stressed, which is also making it harder to concentrate on reading. It’s a shame. I didn’t manage to finish any of the novels that I’m currently reading for today but, thankfully, I can post a couple of super quick reads. One of them was something I read at the start of the month haven’t been able to get out of my head. The other was one I read on a whim this evening. That’s just how it goes I guess.