Posts Tagged ‘agatha christie’

My reading goals for 2016 are: mysteries and histories. 

I love mysteries so much, stand alone and those in a series. I want to catch-up with my favorite detectives and if that means a year of not-so guilty pleasures then so be it! Thanks to Hamilton the Musical I’m interested in learning more about American history, so those are on the list too. I think biographies and histories will be a bit more hit and miss. 

I kicked off January with “The Impossible Dead” by Ian Rankin. I’ve fallen big time for Rebus again, and I can tolerate Malcolm Fox. Actually, Fox is growing on me and I love what Rankin has done with Rebus-Clarke-Fox dynamic. It’s all good. 

The rest of January was spend on Ron Chernow’s 800 page tome on Alexander Hamilton. Dear god I love Alexander Hamilton. This is such a good book. It’s a cliche but history is ALIVE on those pages and I learnt so much. I was sad when I finished it. Sad not to be reading about Hamilton at my 5am “me” time slot. (Fresh from reading Hamilton I went to the UK to ready to proselytize and you know what Brits aren’t as interested in our founding fathers as I am. What gives?)

On the audiobook front I finally finished Diana Gabaldon ‘Written in my Own Hearts Blood’. Roller coaster of emotion and tied in nicely with Hamilton, and I need another Jamie and Claire hit. I squeezed in a quickie mystery with Jacqueline Winspear ‘Leaving Everything Most Loved’ – Maise Dobbs I have missed you! This was a transitional story for Dobbs and I was glad that some of the characters/storylines were finally being wound up and new things are on the horizon. 

Come February I was in the UK with Zoey and Nomi, and I had high hopes to read all of  ‘Team of Rivals’ BUT as gripping as Doris Kearns Goodwin book is I needed something lighter to get me through 5 weeks of solo parenting. So I threw myself into Agatha Christie’s ‘They Do It With Mirrors’, ‘Saints of the Shadow Bible’ by Rankin and started another Maisie Dobbs mystery. I barely listened to my audiobook in February, when I had a chance to listen to something I blasted out Hamilton because Brits you need to embrace Alexander. When I’m back next year I expect EVERYONE to be word perfect. 

Hoping March will be the month I dig in to Lincoln, and perhaps go back to Washington and Jefferson. 

I feel like I have barely seen Alex this week as he has been off at one nerd event or another, and today was no exception. He sneaked out of the flat around 6:30am to spend the day with some agile Prodigy fans or something.  So I got to spend the day tied to my desk trying to sort out my Pompeii study notes (ugh – I am so behind it is making me quite wobbly but there is still time!).

Whenever I study at my desk I stream BBC radio shows as my background noise. My preference is for crime dramas as I love mysteries, and every week there is always a fresh batch of shows from various BBC Radio stations. I have found that I never tire of Agatha Christie (no matter how familiar I am with the story), but I am willing to try detectives I am less familiar with. (I discovered Donna Leon’s Inspector Brunetti through a radio adaptation for BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Play.) Today I listened to Hercule Poirot – Five Little Pigs,  some Paul Temple and then a repeat of a contemporary police drama set in the British Museum (double score!). After that I stumbled upon Clarissa with the dreamy Richard Armitage as the dastardly Lovelace. Oh it was such a good adaptation. Richardson is such a dry writer but they really pumped it up so you were left hanging after every beat.

By 6pm I was starting to loose my concentration to I decided to switch my base of operation to the sofa, and watch a bit of telly whilst pulling out all the articles I need to read through and mark up tomorrow. Oh tomorrow is going to be so much fun, and I’ll be running through highligher pens like there’s no tomorrow (except there is and it’s Monday). I ended up watching two episodes of Survivors (BBC America) and The 39 Steps (PBS’s Masterpiece Classic aka BBC).

I honestly haven’t made up my mind about Survivors.  Some story threads and characters I find really compelling, and others I find myself fast-forwarding through. I like that there are flashes to the creepy lab where they are working on a cure for the flu that has obliterated the population but I don’t want it to become the focus now that Abby is trapped there. I will say that I think this is the best thing Max Beesley has been in since Bodies, and it’s almost as disturbing.

I’ve got a feeling that I am going to get some stick from my mum for actually liking the latest adaptation of The 39 Steps. There have been countless adaptations of John Buchan’s spy caper (including an amazing stage version that is well worth seeing – even Alex enjoyed it!) and if you grew up in the UK one version or another of it was always on the TV at Christmas. In fact, a Bond film, The Great Escape and The 39 Steps is the holy trifecta of Christmas Day movies.  I can see why some may have thought this version was a bit limp but I like it being over stylized, and enjoyed the chemistry between Richard Hannay (Rupert Penry-Jones) and the chick he picks up in Scotland.

All in all I’ve had a productive study day, and soaked up lots of drama via the Beep. Tomorrow Alex will be around but hopefully distracted enough with F1 so I can break the back of my Pompeii reading pile.


  • Agatha Christie mysteries on BBC Radio 4
  • Count down to the holidays is in full swing
  • The week is going better than expected
  • Back in the yoga routine
  • Oatmeal with sliced almonds and dried fruit
  • Hot water bottles


  • It is freezing, and let’s face it’s only going to get colder
  • Dithering over booking theatre tickets
  • Looks like we may have to move (depending on what they put the rent up to)