Own Screen Version

Lifestyle Literature Movies Music Reviews

February and March 2021: Reading Recap

Well, go figure.  The first quarter of 2021 is already behind us, never mind that I’m still having to remind myself on occasion to write “2021” instead of “2020” … (and we’re even a week into April already, but let that go). Anyway, since I never got around to doing a “February in review” post, […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Olivia Manning: The Spoilt City

The second volume of Manning’s Balkan Trilogy, which in turn forms the first part of her Fortunes of War story arch (whose second part, equally consisting of three installments, is known as the Levant Trilogy).  The hexalogy is based on Manning’s own World War II expat experience; it was adapted for the small screen in […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Well, talk about a book that you really cannot discuss without sticking spoiler warnings onto it right, left and center!  Christie was initially raked over the coals for its solution — and while her fellow mystery authors stoutly stood by her, it strikes me that it actually does break at least one of [Ronald] Knox’s […]

Read More
Literature Movies Reviews

Graham Greene: The Third Man (and The Fallen Idol)

If you’re coming to this book from having watched the movie starring Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli and Trevor Howard (as you arguably should — Greene wrote the novella as a preliminary exercise for the screenplay), probably the first thing that is going to stand out to you is the changed perspective:  Whereas the […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: A Murder Is Announced

One of my confirmed all-time favorite books not only in the Miss Marple series but in Agatha Christie’s entire body of work. Like in the case of The Man in the Brown Suit and Crooked House, there currently is an audio double feature available combining The Secret of Chimneys (our “Appointment with Agatha” February 2021 […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: A Pocket Full of Rye

As a detective protagonist, like Agatha Christie herself, I prefer Miss Marple to Hercule Poirot, and among all of the Miss Marple books, this is one of my all-time favorites.  Needless to say, this was a (well, actually my umpteenth) repeat visit, courtesy (also on repeat) of Richard E. Grant’s narration as part of the […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Alexandre Dumas: Les trois mousquetaires (The Three Musketeers)

Look, here’s the deal: If you’ve formed your idea of this tale based on its numerous movie adaptations, and / or if you are expecting a saga of gloriously heroic derring-do, swashbuckling and romance, be warned: You’ll be sorely disappointed; maybe you’ll even end up hating the book, because what Dumas actually wrote has almost […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Crooked House

  Spoiler warning: Only go on reading if you’ve read the book and know the solution to the mystery. I already own print as well as audio CD editions of all of Christie’s full length novels, but Audible last year started rereleasing them in “two for the price of one” digital packages, and who am […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

January 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

I only finished eleven books in January, which isn’t a lot by my standards as of the last couple of years, even taking into account that two of the books were decidedly on the long side (all the more as I balanced out the two long books by two extremely short ones).  But I decided […]

Read More
Blog Literature

2020 in Facts and Figures

I already posted my main 2020 in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021 posts a while ago — only on my new blog (separate post to come) –, but I held back on my 2020 reading statistics until the year was well and truly over.  And for all my good intentions when posting my mid-year […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Posthumous Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Sherlock Holmes

24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 – International Human Rights Day, Task 1: Nominate a (fictional) character from one of the books you read this year for a Nobel Prize – regardless which one – or for a similarly important prize (e.g., the Fields Medal for mathematics) and write a brief laudation explaining your nomination.   […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Favorite Rainy Day Reads

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 – Bon Om Touk, Bonus Task: List / tell us about your favorite rainy day reads. I suppose it only takes one look at my list of read books this year to determine my favorite rainy day books, as 2020 was essentially one extended rainy day: Golden Age mysteries and […]

Read More
Cooking - Food - Drink Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature

Christmas Pudding

  One of my annual Christmas Eve rereads: Agatha Christie’s The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding. And we actually do have one this year, too:

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest

24 Festive Tasks: Door 20 – Festivus, Book: Read anything comedic; a parody, satire, etc., books with hilariously dysfunctional families (must be funny dysfunctional, not tragic dysfunctional), or anything else that makes you laugh (or hope it does).   I spontaneously decided to revisit Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest — in the 1977 […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Ellis Peters: The Raven in the Foregate

24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 – International Day for Tolerance, Book: Read a book about tolerance, or outside your comfort zone, set in Paris (seat of UNESCO), by or about a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or about a protagonist (fictional or nonfictional) who has a reputation as a peacemaker.   Earlier this month I reread […]

Read More
Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature Movies

Classic Christmas Mystery Movie Binge

24 Festive Tasks: Door 21 – Christmas, Bonus Task #2: Watch a favorite Christmas movie. I binge-watched three of my annual favorite Christmas movies last night — Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, The Theft of the Royal Ruby (aka The Christmas Pudding), both starring David Suchet, and the Sherlock Holmes episode The Blue Carbuncle, starring Jeremy Brett and David Burke.   […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Links

24 Festive Tasks: Door 19 – Hanukkah, Book: Read a book about light, miracles, featuring Jewish characters, set in Israel, that is the second book in a series, with the word “two” in the title, or with a light on the cover.   I’m using Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Links, which I revisited yesterday […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

A Henpecked Husband’s Revenge

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 – Saturnalia, Task 1: According to imperial Roman sources, the Saturnalicius princeps (“Ruler of the Saturnalia”) ruled as master of ceremonies during the holiday.  His role was possibly a satire on that of the emperor; and he has been compared to the medieval Lord of Misrule at the Feast of […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

A Short Book List for Jonathan Harker

24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Task 1: Create a book wish list for one of your favorite book characters, or pick 3 books for that character to receive from St. Nick. Here’s a list of books that Jonathan Harker might have found useful before embarking on his trip to […]

Read More
Fun and Games Linked Items Literature Reviews

Book Characters Turning Over a New Leaf

24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 – Japanese Culture Day, Task 2: Japanese Culture Day was first held in 1948, to commemorate the announcement of the country’s post-war constitution on November 3, 1946, which was to make a new start for Japan.  Which book did you read this year where someone was searching for or starting […]

Read More