Personal Canon

Literature Reviews

Martin Edwards (ed.), Various Authors: Blood on the Tracks

The January “side read” — topic: Murder by Transport — for the Appointment with Agatha / Agatha Christie Centenary Celebration group read (blog master post HERE; Goodreads group HERE): For me, another reread after first having read this collection only last year, but decidedly one of my favorites among the British Library Classic Crime short […]

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Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Spider’s Web

Spider’s Web is a screwball drawing room murder mystery comedy mashup with bits of Christie’s own Bundle Brent books (The Secret of Chimneys and The Seven Dials Mystery), as well as bits of the Hitchcock comedy The Trouble with Harry thrown in for good measure.  The result is an evening’s entertainment of pure hilarity — […]

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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 […]

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Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Lie

This play, even to longstanding fans of Agatha Christie, must necessarily come as at least as great a surprise as to writer and director Julius Green, who discovered it in 2018 (apparently, along with a number of other plays — though at least those listed HERE were in fact already known and available in print […]

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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 […]

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Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Man in the Brown Suit

This was the monthly “main” read in the Appointment with Agatha / Agatha Christie Centenary Celebration group read (my blog master post can be found HERE; the Goodreads group is HERE): Like almost all of Christie’s spy / political conspiracy novels, this won’t ever be one of my all-time favorite books by her — parts […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.   […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Terry Pratchett: Hogfather (Annual Holiday Read)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 24 – Hogswatch, Book: Read any Terry Pratchett book or a book with a pig on the cover. So, I listened to Hogfather today … and that’s my Festive Task reads done and dusted! (I may do another couple of non-book tasks tomorrow, though.)     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Other Hogfather-related Posts: 16 […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Festivus Scale of Strength: Weighty Books

  24 Festive Tasks: Door 20 – Festivus, Task 2: The Scale of Strength: Pick 3 of your weightiest tomes and place them on a scale.  Tell us the total weight. I used Shakespeare’s Complete Works, my copy of the illustrated guide to Houses of the National Trust, and Eye to Eye, a collection of […]

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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 […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Santa in Literature: Theodor Storm’s “Knecht Ruprecht” and DEATH as Department Store Santa in Terry Pratchett’s “Hogfather”

24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Task 2: Share with us a paragraph / quote / description / image of your favorite Santa Claus / St. Nick depiction in popular culture, and then tell us why it resonates with you?” E.g., here is the description of Father Christmas from The […]

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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:

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Ngaio Marsh: Off With His Head (aka Death of a Fool)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 – First Day of Carnival, Book: Read a book about starting over, rebuilding, new beginnings, etc., or a book where things go “BOOM!”, or with fireworks on the cover.   I decided on a minor Ngaio Marsh mini binge, following up Tied up in Tinsel (my NYE book) with another one […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Ngaio Marsh: Tied Up in Tinsel

24 Festive Tasks: Door 23 – New Year’s Eve, Book: Read a book about starting over, rebuilding, new beginnings, etc., or a book where things go “BOOM!”, or with fireworks on the cover.   For this square, I decided to use my reread of Ngaio Marsh’s Tied up in Tinsel, which is a book where […]

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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.   […]

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Literature Reviews

Arthur Conan Doyle: Round the Fire Stories

This is a group of stories originally published individually in Strand Magazine (and other magazines), and in book form first in 1908. A subset of seven stories were recently republished under the title Tales for a Winter’s Night, and I think overall the editors of the republication did pick the stronger bits of the lot. […]

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