It's book week 5 in our 52 books quest and the author of the month is Agatha Christie. I've been bouncing around the list, instead of reading chronologically, and currently have Why didn't they ask Evans?, Mystery of the Blue Train, and Sad Cypress in my reading stacks.
Read Agatha Christie 2023 Motive and Methods February's readalong challenge is Partners in Crime, from one of her Tommy and Tuppence short story collections. Which I don't have in my stacks and will have to wait until my buying ban is over. :(
The Royal Reading Room recently covered Agatha Christie during their Christmas Interlude which including a video discussion between Vaseem Khan, Dreda Say Mitchell, Robert Thorogood, and James Prichard on the Legacy and Life of Agatha Christie which was quite interesting.
I finally completed George Saunders A Swim in the Pond in the Rain which has been sitting on my shelves for quite a while. I finally applied myself and got into it. Saunders analyzes 4 Russian Authors and their short stories: Antov Chekhov’s In the Cart, The Darling, and Gooseberries; Ivan Turgenov’s The Singer; Leo Tolstoy’s Master and Man and Alyosha the Pot, and Nikolai Gogol’s The Nose. All the stories were good and The Nose made me laugh, Tolstoy made me cry, and the rest of the stories made me think. I annotated the heck out of In the Cart and disagreed with Saunder’s view of The Nose. I didn't think it was a walking nose, but someone who had his nose, but I could be wrong and Saunders may be right. I'll have to go back and reread it again. What I enjoyed most of all was Saunders and his analysis which is something I always had a hard time doing in literature class. The symbols and analogies, the how’s and why’s. And his tips on writing were invaluable. And as with all writing books, like Stephen King as well as Ray Bradbury, once I read how they write, I wanted to read their books. Will be adding George Saunders to my reading list. (Book 11)
Cleared my palate with an angsty romance: Susan Wigg’s The Winter Lodge, #2 in Lakeshore Chronicles series. She's grieving the loss of her grandmother when her house catches on fire which prompts the reappearance of Chief Rourke McKnight whom she'd been avoiding after a certain night together 4 years prior when they through her husband and his best friend was killed overseas. (Book 12)
I also finished Peter Tremayne’s first book in his historical fiction Sister Fidelma series – Absolution by Murder - set in 7th century Ireland and was quite good. Also the sister was a member of St Brigid at Kildare which is grand since today is St. Brigid’s day. It was quite interesting to read the history about the Synod and the differences between the Roman and the Celtic churches. I liked Sister Fidelma and will probably read more of the series. (book 13)
I'm in the midst of several books again. I heard it described by someone, I can't remember who at the moment, who described it as an omnivorous reader, devouring more than one book at a time. I think I like that description better.
I'm currently reading 2034 by Elliot Ackerman and Admiral James Stavridis, an alternative geopolitical thriller about the next world war in 2034 between America and China in the South China Sea. It is really good and scary. China has developed cyber warfare and are refusing to back down from their possession of the South China Sea They have technology that wipes out all electronics and communication so the U.S. battleships keep getting destroyed. Which means the U.S. needs to go back to analog tech which some of the commanders are totally against because they love their technology. But the president is also threatening to go Nuclear which has caused a pause in the action. (Book 14)
I'm dipping into an anthology of fantasy short stories by Devon Monk with A Cup of Normal.
Non fiction wise, I’m not done with Haruki Murakami yet so reading Novelist as a Vocation as well as Writers and their Notebooks edited by Diana Rabb. I'm enjoying Writers, better than Novelist at the moment. Plus the historical set in 1910 - Against the Ice - by Ejnar Mikkelsen which is an arctic survival story.