I started the month of very badly in terms of reading. Until this week, I was genuinely scared that I would finish one book this month. Thankfully, in the past week, I have finished 3 audiobooks and am nearly finished with the physical book I’m reading. That one has taken me ages but I’m going to push on. It just feels as though I’ve put too much time into it now to leave it unfinished. As it’s now October, it’s been a year since I officially started rereading as many Agatha Christie novels as I could. I lost steam partway through, so I decided to start the month off with a Christie. I might try and fit in a few of her spookier books for Halloween but we’ll have to see how I go for the rest of the month. For now, I’d better review the one I’ve actually read.
Recently I did a survey for a well known publisher and one of the final questions was “which celebrity would you like to see publish a book?” A question which sums up the world of publishing. It’s not about the writing or the story. It’s about the personality. Publishing houses will give a contract to every famous person who wants to write because they know people will buy them. Even though I love Richard Osman, I wasn’t convinced that his debut novel would be worth bothering with. He was just another famous name being given the chance to write a book because they knew it would sell. Though I had my issues with the first book, I actually enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to see what Richard Osman came up with next.
My second Agatha Christie novel of the month and one that I was excited to read again. I don’t think her standalone novels really get enough love these days. I guess most modern readers are automatically going to pick up books starring Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. They’re her most famous literary creations, so why wouldn’t they go for them first? The problem is, some of her greatest novels are actually the standalones. Yes, her most famous ones tend to star the great Belgian but some of them are a little overrated. Not bad but definitely way too hyped.
I’ve been feeling dreadful all week, so I haven’t been reading much at night. In order to keep on top of my reading, I managed to sneak in an audiobook at work. As I’ve been feeling rotten, I decided it was only right that I treat myself to an Agatha Christie. I’ve not been reading her as regularly lately, so I’m diving back in with 2 Agatha books this month. Starting with this one. It’s one of the ones that I always tend to forget about but not because I dislike it. It’s just not one of those books that I automatically think of when I have an urge to read some Agatha.
I started August by reviewing an ARC, so it only seemed right to finish it with one. This was another book that I got access to thanks to The Book Network. It sounded like fun and I love a story set in Scotland. I also thought it would be the perfect size to finish before the end of August. I find it really annoying to get most of the way through a book but not finish it in time. It starts the month off badly if you ask me and I need September to go perfectly. I’ve got a lot of letters to cross off and a book club pick that isn’t one of them. Meaning I’m looking at 10 books at least in the next 27 days. It would be easy for a different reader but my focus has been so up and down lately. Who knows how I’ll do.
I had a pretty good Saturday all in all. I didn’t do anything exciting. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I was sorting out books that I need to unhaul and get rid of old Instagram props that I no longer use. What made it better was listening to Agatha Christie’s The Thirteen Problems as I did it. Although, the production wasn’t that great. I know a lot of people prefer Joan Hickson’s narration but I get a bit tired of it. She doesn’t really differentiate between characters and I find that really irritating. You have to pay closer attention to who is talking and, in book like this, it’s important to know who is talking.
When I get chance, I need to make a list of every Agatha Christie novel and cross off the ones I’ve read since October 2020. That way I can keep track of how I’m doing with my reading challenge. It will also help me plan how many I can fit into the next few months. I’m not going to get through them all before October this year but I’ll try and do as many as possible. We’re over halfway through the 12 months and I’ve only read 15, so I really need to get a move on. At least I’ve already got one more crossed off in June. I’m focusing more on Miss Marple at the moment and this one also let me cross off another letter for my monthly reading challenge.
The great thing about Agatha Christie is that she has so many damn books. This means that there are still plenty that I haven’t read yet, so I still get to experience them for the first time. As much as I love reading Christie again and again, there’s nothing like reading one you’ve never read before. So, it was about time that I picked up one of my unread Christie novels. I don’t think that I’ve actually read any of the Superintendent Battle books before but I’ve seen some of the adaptations. This book was adapted for ITV’s Marple but they changed the story pretty dramatically. I decided that I needed to find out how it really turned out.
I didn’t finish my previous read, Strange Weather In Tokyo, until Saturday and I was busy for most of Sunday. So, I knew that I needed to pick a quick read for today’s review. I always read less during the week because of work, so I decided to listen to an Agatha Christie audiobook instead. On days when I don’t have to do much writing, I find it easy enough to listen to books as I work. If I’m doing any kind of copywriting, it becomes trickier. Nobody wants me to start typing out Poriot’s speech about who the murderer is. Well, nobody who would be browsing our website anyway. This is a book that I’ve been meaning to include on my big Agatha reread because I love the concept. It’s classic Christie and classic Poirot. With work being so stressful at the moment, it’s been great to be able to shut everything else out and just listen instead.
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.