March Round Up

They say variety is the spice of life and that’s certainly being the case this month for me. From crime fiction to spiritual prose to Swedish Literature and classic English novels. March definitely wasn’t dull.

I began the month by reading By The Pricking Of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie. This is the first book by her that I’ve read which is foolish really because the minute I opened the book I knew I should have tried her stories much earlier. I had this discussion with a friend recently in whom I share similar bookish tastes. We both agreed that there was something about her writing that had always put us off. I’m now a convert and advise anyone with reservations to give her a go.

Next up was a book wholly different, The Buddha In The Attic by Julie Otsuka. The book is more of a novella, condensed to a sparse two hundred or so pages it broods on the collective lives of a group of Japanese women who cross the Atlantic in search of the American dream. Otsuka has a dreamy lyrical voice and I felt transported and mesmerised by her prose. This is unlike anything I’ve read in a long while and it made a welcome break from the norm.

I then moved onto the classic Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee, a book that soothingly tells the charming story of Lee’s life growing up in the rural countryside in a more simple and peaceful time. It made the perfect accompaniment to the lovely weather we have being having. This book was this months book group and I can’t wait to meet up with the gang to discuss it later this week, my review will follow shortly. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

I then went back to crime but with a twist in the form of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. You can probably tell from my last review that I loved the book and I now can’t wait to read the next two. What does everyone else think of the millennium Trilogy?

And lastly I started but haven’t yet finished The Lord Of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon and Home to Roost Tessa Hainsworth. The Lord of Misrule has being long listed for the Orange Prize this year and so far I have conflicting thoughts on the book so will hold back before I make my mind up. Home to Roost is a transporting story set in idyllic Cornwall and I’m already detesting rainy Manchester and dreaming of the beautiful Cornish coast.

So what did everyone else read last month and do you have any plans for April? Any recommendations or books that’s stood out for you last month?

I don’t have any solid plans however I do plan to get a bookshelf for my new house which is very exciting as my poor books have been stacked in musty boxes for the past two years. it will be my pride and joy and I’ll definitely post pictures.

Happy Reading everyone.

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By The Pricking Of Thumbs by Agatha Christie

Christie masterfully blends murder and mystery and sets it to the backdrop of quintessential England in this charming and spellbinding story.

When Tuppence and Tommy decide to visit elderly Aunt Ada all either of them can imagine is stuffy rooms, sleepy old women and arthritic complaints.  But from the moment they set foot in Sunny Ridge home for the elderley Tuppence has a funny feeling, wild rumours circulate about poisoned coco and a child lurking behind the fireplace but surely this is just hearsay? Sunny Ride is an innocent home for elderly ladies…isn’t it?

 But when Aunt Ada suddenly dies a few weeks later Tommy and Tuppence are forced to return and collect her items, amongst them is an old picture of a beautiful house that was given to Ada by one of the residence, none other than Mrs Lancaster, the lady who talked so abundantly of murder and poison.

Tuppence is sure she recognises the house and wants to consult Mrs Lancaster, yet mysteriously she has being recently removed from the home by distant relatives. Her whereabouts are now unknown. Convinced that something more sinister is behind  it all Tuppence, against Tommy’s wishes, sets out on the hunt for the missing Mrs Lancaster and the truth about the ominous rumours.

But visiting the old house in the painting in the hope of clues leads Tuppence into a world of trouble and a trail far more sinister and dangerous than she could ever have imagined. Very quickly it becomes clear that the secrets Tuppence desperately wants to uncover are being heavily guarded by someone who just as fiercely wishes to protect them.

Dangerous criminal masterminds and child killers. Is this what really happens in the peaceful village of Sutton Chancellor? The temp and pace of the novel quickly quickens reaching fever pitch in a plot line that had my hooked. In fact Christie had me so desperate to find out the ending that I was shocked to find myself very quickly at the last page. The time flew by, had I really finished it so quickly? But like all good crime thrillers should be By The Pricking Of My Thumbs is addictive to the last.

My only criticism with this book would be that the ending was a little hasty and rushed. I thought that many of the smaller mysteries of the book were left only vaguely explained. Christie seemed in such a rush to tie things up, I could have read much more.

This is the first Agatha Christie book I’ve read but it wont be the last. I had always put of reading her work. Why? Well thinking about it now there really was no good reason. What does everybody else think about Agatha Christie, are you a fan? Can you recommend anymore of her titles? I’d love to hear what you think.

I’m back in the world of blogging….

I must apologise to my readers because I hug my books has being a little quite of late. I haven’t purposefully neglected my blog, I’ve being in Paris for the past week and frustratingly couldn’t get access to the internet. Not being able to access your blog certainly makes you realise how much you miss it.

It was great to come back however and see all of the wonderful comments left and to check out everyone else’s blogs and what they had been reading. I didn’t do my usual monthly wind up post last month due to being away, however I thought I would briefly share with you here my reading experiences in February.

The month began with the brilliant The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks which was kindly recommended to me by Sammy Dee as part of my Day Zero challenge. For years people have being telling me to read this book and yet I’ve always put it off. Something about the blurb and it’s promise of unprecedented violence put me off. More fool me because not only was the book amazing but it was one of my favourites this year.

 Next up was Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay, this book as you will see from my review blew me away and had me captivated from the first to last page. The book formed part of a book tour hosted by TLC book tours, I must again thank them for asking me to take part, again this was one of my favourite books this year. I’d highly recommend this story, especially to those interested in Russian history and ballet.

Last up was Moby Dick by, this is the book up for discussion at our next book group meet this week. Therefore I will refrain from saying too much about it now. I’m still not completely finished the book but I think I can be forgiven for that when it’s such a weighty number.

I don’t have too many concrete plans for March, I need to finish Moby Dick by Herman Melville and I’ve recently also started my very first Agatha Christie book, By The Pricking Of Thumbs, after that I’m keeping my options open. Does anyone have any recommendations, after all my recent ones have being brilliant. What’s everyone else’s plans for March and did you read anything interesting in February?

On another note my blog will be a whole year old this month. I will be running a quiz and giveaway to celebrate so do keep an eye out for that. Happy Reading everyone.