Looking at the number of books I've read this month, four, it would appear that I haven't been reading very much. Not true. One, unfinished, behemoth of a book has taken up much of my reading time and the books listed below were slotted in around, read as light relief.
65. The Pale Horse
- Agatha Christie
66. The Cornish Coast Murder
- John Bude
67. Bon Voyage: The Telegraph Book of River and Sea Journeys
edited by Michael Kerr.
This was an enjoyable collection of worldwide voyages covering oceans, seas and rivers. I enjoyed hearing about the launch of the Queen Mary in the 1930s and how she ran aground. Martha Gellhorn's D Day experiences stowing away in one of the hospital ships was rivetting and I plan to look into that and her a bit more. For me, the most interesting section was 'The Americas', specifically river trips on the Mississippi and Missouri. I definitely want to read more in that vein. If I have a minor complaint it's that there were a few too many cruise liner trips included. Some people the book made me want to read more about: Henry Stanley (of Stanley and Livingstone fame), Arthur Ransome, Martha Gellhorn, Robert Louis Stevenson (I own a book of his letters), Hammond Innes (I used to love his books), Thor Heyerdahl and Tim Butcher. To be honest that's the joy of this kind of book, they lead to many more interesting books and people. I believe there's another book in the same vein about railway journeys so I will be reserving that from the library at some point.
68. The Murder of My Aunt
- Richard Hull.
Edward Powell lives in deepest Wales with his aunt, and loathes both of them. He's a complete snob about everything, food, cars, music, you name it... nothing is ever good enough for him. Mildred, his aunt, adores Wales and the village they live in, Llwll... what she struggles with is her nephew, Edward. The two of them are at permanent loggerheads, constantly bickering, point scoring and embarrassing each other in public. Edward eventually comes to a decision: he must murder his aunt. The question is, how? Well this was something of a different whodunnit as it charts Edward's attempts to do away with the dreadful aunt. The trouble is, he's every bit as dreadful as she is and although I enjoyed the humour and the quirkiness of the book I did find the constant carping wearing and could not empathise with either of the main characters. Of course, once the point of view changes, about two thirds into the book, you get a different perspective and all is not as it seems. Rural Wales put on a good show in this and was easy to picture as I've been around a lot of it... I felt as though the author got Welsh country folk spot on. And yet again another lovely cover.
So, I'm still reading these two:
Three quarters finished with both. Moby-Dick
is the aforementioned behemoth and the Richard Briers is my bedtime read and as such is perfect.
Planning to read these two this month.
The Year of Living Danishly
by Helen Russell will be my 10th. and possibly last book for the European Reading Challenge
until I start again in the new year. And In the Garden of the Beasts
by Erik Larson will be my final book for the World at War
And finally I'll be dipping into these three lovelies as and when I have time closer to Christmas.
From the left, The Everyman Book of Christmas stories, The Mistletoe Murder and other stories
by P.D. James, and The Christmas Chronicles
by Nigel Slater.