In Remembrance: Agatha Christie

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AFP/Getty Images from BBC America website

AFP/Getty Images from BBC America website

Novelist, bestselling author and most translated author ever in history, Agatha Christie was born on this date, September 15, 1890. People love to say: she outsold everything except the Bible. She’s being celebrated all over the world this month. I’m a new fan so I felt inspired to write a little about what I’ve read by her and it’s not much. I do understand her appeal and why her work continues to entertain readers and will continue to entertain readers for years to come. She was clearly the best in writing clever plots among other things.

Obviously, she enjoyed the craft. As a reader, you can tell when a writer loves what they are doing. Her characters are memorable. I still remember the humor provided by Ms. Lucy Eyelesbarrow from 4:50 From Paddington. However, Miss Marple is my absolute favorite sleuth. She’s the grandmotherly type whose nosy but clever. Most of the books I’ve read have featured her.

This time last year I wrote asking for recommendations and I’ve since went on to read a whopping three books from her backlist (don’t laugh too hard): Sleeping Murder (1976), The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) and And Then There Were None (1939). All of them were enjoyable. I continue to cherry pick her books and always enjoy reading what other readers love about her work. However, I do think it’s time to give her Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, a shot this year. So, watch this space.

Which Translation is Best?

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Crimeandpunishmentcover

Readers, I need to pick your brain. So, I’ve made up my mind to read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky but Amazon sells different editions with different translators. What it all boils down to is who is the best translator? The names I’ve seen floating around are 1) David Magarshack 2) Constance Garnett,  3) Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsk and 4) David McDuff.

Do you have opinions on any of these translators? Recommendations are appreciated and thanks for your help.

Pic Credit: “Crime and Punishment cover” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

Titles: Wash, Rinse and Repeat

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Sound alike/look-alike titles are a thing and an annoying thing, too. I find it kind of gimmicky. I did a post on this several years ago pointing out the too similar sounding book titles or names.  It’s amusing to see books that stick to the sound alike/look-alike trend no matter how ridiculous.  Especially for lengthy series.  Just take a look at the titles for Peter James’ Roy Grace series someone tweeted today:

Show of hands… who has read them all? I’m sure his books are great reads and with titles like that, you won’t forget what series you’re reading. Maybe. However, Peter James isn’t alone in naming his books with sound alike/look-alike book titles. Kathy Reichs does the same thing. My case in point and I skipped the first five books because the titles didn’t start to sound alike until we get to Bare Bones. Obviously, bones is a major theme in this series and no wonder since the author herself is a forensic anthropologist. Continue reading

Reader Award Time

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winner

Since everybody else is judging and handing out awards these days, I thought I’d join in and award books that I’ve read in the genre under different categories. The pool of books will be from what I’ve read in the five years since I’ve blogged here. Please note: this is a fun exercise only. Further disclaimers: This post may contain silliness and other things you may associate with bored people who have too much time on their hands. Judging panel consists of only one person: me but you’re welcome to join in. So, let’s get this party started, shall we? (more)

Readers: What Gets You Out of a Reader’s Slump?

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Girl Reading

I’m experiencing a full-blown reading slump. Having recently stopped and started several books within the past couple of weeks, I decided to stop trying.

At first I thought I should just reread some of my favorite books in the genre. That didn’t work out so well. I rarely reread anything and once I did try to do that, I set it aside almost immediately.

I’m just curious to know what usually snaps you out of a reading slump? I’m going to go with reading something different. Usually that helps. Anyway, wish me luck! I hope to find my reading mojo soon.

photo credit: Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading Her Kindle, After Mary Cassatt via photopin (license)

Price Drops on Some Kindle Books

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Readers, this post is for you. I’ve been getting some alerts for price drops this morning and thought I’d share a few of the lower priced mysteries that I thought you all might be interested in. I haven’t read all of these but I will highlight which ones I did. Please note that the deals are U.S. based and might be geo restricted. If I had my way, those two things wouldn’t be a barrier to readers accessing great books at great prices. Continue reading