desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
 The first post in my promised "Kindle tour".

 Since the Kindle lists things alphabetically, Dame Agatha's collection comes up first.  There's currently 18 items in it - but the Agatha Christie collection does not include titles that are listed in my Desert Island collection, or the separate collection of Christie shorts.

 I don't have all of her work on Kindle, although it's mostly represented in my print collection (with a few titles that I didn't like) since Harper Collins put out some lovely trades.  I do keep my eye on Kindle Daily Deals to add to the collection.

 The collection includes: Murder on the Links, Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Five Little Pigs, Towards Zero, Poirot's Early Cases, The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side, 4:50 from Paddington, At Bertram's Hotel, A Murder is Announced, Murder in Mesopotamia, Endless Night, Peril at End House, Lord Edgware Dies, The Murder at the Vicarage, and Sparkling Cyanide.

 There are also a few titles that aren't strictly Christie mysteries.  John Curran's Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks is in here (which I found fascinating from a writer's POV, just seeing some of the different paths she didn't take), as well as Clues to Christie, which is a sort of roundup of Christies work.  It also includes the new Poirot mystery by Sophie Hannah, called The Monogram Murders.  It was a decent read, but I'm glad I got it on a Daily Deal and not in HC.

desertvixen: (behold here is poison)
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
2010 Answer: Agatha Christie, Amanda Quick, Peter David

I still can't pick just one.

So, there are two authors who could probably mostly fill one of my bookshelves by themselves.  Their books were among the first to be downloaded onto Kindle.

Agatha Christie is still my favorite, although this time she is joined by Georgette Heyer.  The two of them have given me many, many happy hours of reading.

Christie is all about the plots.  How will it get pulled off this time?  I enjoy the characters, but many of them are sketched rather than drawn and finely detailed, despite the fact that Christie's plots hinge on people and how they act.  I love the novels.  I love the short stories.  I love the plays.  I've always been a Poirot fangirl - Murder on the Orient Express was my first Christie - but I've come to appreciate "Aunt Jane" and all the other detectives who populate the books, even if they don't intend to be detectives. (Emily Trefusis of The Sittaford Mystery comes to mind.)  The romantic elements often seem quick and spare, but fit the sentiments of the times.  She also does a good job of sketching in social details.

Heyer is all about the characters.  The characters make the story, whether you love them or hate them. The stories live and breathe.  Heyer made the Regency what it is, and everything else is an imitation - many of them enjoyable, but they lack what makes a Heyer story live and breathe.  Her mysteries are good as well, and her other historicals.  She inspired a lot of writers (including a close second place Lois McMaster Bujold, who acknowledges her in the intro to A Civil Campaign, and who has at least one Heyer-inspired moment - Miles' ride in the end of Barrayar marks him very clearly as a possible Darracott descendant) as well she should have.

Both are well worth reading.  In fact, both could probably have their own 30 day meme.


The Rest of the Meme )


Oct. 19th, 2013 11:31 am
desertvixen: (Initial D)
 Fridays make me happy, especially with the stupidity at work.

 Ordered the MV's Halloween costume - she is going as Clawdeen Wolf from Monster High.

 I finished my comfort read of Murder on the Orient Express (one of my favorite Christies) and am now having a "why didn't I ask for fic about THIS?" moment.  Watching (or rather, listening) to the movie now.  There are differences in source material, but they both work wonderfully.

 ETA: I forgot to mention yesterday that there is a slight fault in the Kindle version of Murder on the Orient Express.  It is missing at least one sentence from the scene where Poirot is interviewing Greta Ohlsson and asks about her roommate (Mary Debenham)'s dressing gown.

 I need to polish off my NYR tonight so it can get uploaded tomorrow.  Then maybe I should knock out some of the homework.  Now getting off the Internet to finish watching the movie and read a little.

desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)

So, we had a little bit of a pause.  For one thing, I finally decided (as in, just now ordered it) to replace my Kindle with one of the older ones rather than waiting for the Paperwhite.  If I want to read in the dark, we have these inventions known as booklights.  The iPad is also an option.  The other is that I got a little wrapped up in reading for school, so not focusing much on free-time reading.

Back to the meme!

Day 12 – Favorite Kindle title that is also on your bookshelf

I thought I had purchased Murder on the Orient Express for the Kindle, but apparently not.  I'll remedy that when the new Kindle arrives.

So, instead I am going with After the Funeral (also known as Funerals are Fatal, which I sort of prefer) by Agatha Christie.  Partly because I have a thing about stories with dysfunctional families, and partly because I love the mystery, and the clue that someone's figuring things out hinges on.  And, lastly, I love Agatha Christie.

I'm not as fond of the televised version but it does depict that moment quite well.  I just didn't care for the sex thing they threw in, just because it didn't much fit with the book.


The Rest of the Meme )
desertvixen: (prickly and pretty)

Days 1-15 )

Day 16 – Favorite female character - Much like I couldn't just list one, I bring you a top 16 list - because female characters are awesome, and don't get enough love, IMO.

#16 - Cherry Ames (Cherry Ames series) - I prefer the Cherry-during-the-war stories, because after that, they were a little on the silly side sometimes.  Cherry is a nursing student when we meet her, and dabbles in detective work.  She's fearless and cheerful and not super goody-goody.  She's fun, and I like that the books have been reissued. 

#15 - Charlotte (Charlotte's Web) - I know she's not a human female, but she gets stuff done.  And she's smart, and uses her words.

#14 - Elizabeth Shelby (Star Trek: New Frontier) - Peter David's brought her a long way from the two TNG episodes she appears in - he's given her humor, back story, and a willingness to go along with the crazy, because it just might work.  She gets to be authoritative without being considered a bitch. 

#13 - Kristy Thomas and Mary Anne Spier (Baby-sitters' Club) - Yes, I'm serious.  I love the "best friends who are opposites" thing, and I like that the relationship between the two of them feels real.

#12 - Amelia Peabody Emerson (Amelia Peabody series) - I enjoy reading about her, although maybe I wouldn't want to be in her path when she's on a mission.  (Plus, every time I read the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys novel that's set in Egypt, I wonder if she's the reason the tour guide is named Mrs. Peabody.  It gives me a giggle.)

#11 - Elizabeth Bennet and Fanny Price (Jane Austen) - These characters couldn't be less alike.  Yet they both make their respective books worth reading. 

#10 - Ariadne Oliver and Jane Marple (Agatha Christie) - They each have their own style, but I like them.  Mrs. Oliver, a mystery novelist (sort of a self-insert of Christie) insists that if we had a woman at the Yard, crimes would get solved.  Miss Jane Marple of Mary St. Mead solves all her crimes through knowing human nature - and knitting.

#9 - Laura Ingalls Wilder, Caroline Quiner Ingalls (Little House) - When I was a kid, I really liked Laura, and identified with her (especially as I had dark hair, dark eyes, and vivid imagination).  As I get older, I find I like Caroline more and more - and admire the courage both characters show.  (They're also the only "real" characters to make the list)

#8 - Parker Brown (Nora Roberts, Savor The Moment) - She's the sister of Delaney in yesterday's question, and "her book" is coming out in November, so I am quite excited.  She's organized and cool under pressure, and she gets stuff done. 

#7 - Jenny Chawleigh Lynton, Lydia Lynton, Kitty Charing, Ancilla Trent, Anthea Daracott (Georgette Heyer Regencies) - There's several wonderful female characters in the books, but these five are at the top of my list.  Jenny is from A Civil Contract, which isn't very romantic and dashing, but is touching and real.  Lydia is her young sister-in-law who consistently steals the scene.  Kitty is the heroine of Cotillion - she seizes hold of an opportunity to change her life, and she's smart enough to realize that she's found a better man than the one she had dreams about - and she helps out the people around her.  Ancilla Trent is a governess, and the heroine of The Nonesuch, in which it's nice to see the bluestocking get her man and the spoiled brat man-trap to get no one.  Anthea Darracott is one of the dysfunctional Darracotts in The Unknown Ajax, and deserves an award for not killing any of her relations.

#6 - Prudence Merryweather, Emily Faringdon, Lucinda Bromley, and Venetia Jones (Amanda Quick romances) - Prudence is one of my favorites because she's a peacemaker and problem solver, and drives a hard bargain.  Emily was really the first romance novel heroine who made me think that she was worth reading about - and I sympathized with her habit of withdrawing into fantasy to get away from the reality of her family.  Lucinda and Venetia belong to the Arcane Society novels (with Caleb and Gabriel from yesterday, respectively).  They get things done and keep me entertained.

#5 - Eve Dallas, Delia Peabody, Nadine Furst, Louise Dimatto, Mavis Freestone, and Charlotte Mira (JD Robb "In Death" series)
- These are the core female members of the series, and I love them.  More importantly, I love the way they work together and play off each other, and everything does NOT have to revolve around men (unless they're a criminal).  They have work lives and personal lives and they act like real people.  Eve is prickly and pragmatic, Peabody soothes all the people Eve irritates, Nadine wants her next media accomplishment as much as she wants to breathe, Louise is the crusader, Mavis keeps an eye on everyone's mental health, and Dr. Mira provides the insight.  I can't wait to see what they're up to next.

#4 - Judy Bolton (Judy Bolton series) - She's considered to be more feminist than Nancy Drew, and she actually grows and changes.  I enjoy reading her, although I don't like the later books as much.  In one, she really impressed me when comparing her two suitors, noting that one wants to do things for her, and one wants to do things with her.  She's smart enough to pick the second one.  She also has a temper, and sometimes acts without thinking.  She's worth reading.

#3 - Anne Shirley Blythe (Anne of Green Gables) - I already talked at length about the Anne of Green Gables books, so let me just say: She's delightful.  She gets lost in daydreams, loses her temper, and never loses hope.  She also doesn't give up, and while she might be accused of having rose colored glasses, she really doesn't - at least, she knows when to take them off.

#2 - Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan and Alys Vorpatril (LMB's Vorkosigan Saga) - I love Aral Vorkosigan, but I don't think he would be as interesting without Cordelia.  The two of them together make a formidable team, and they share a talent for cutting through to the heart of things, so to speak.  Alys handles all of the social things (which on Barrayar is much needed) and ensures everything is done Properly - or people suffer. 

#1 - Nancy Drew (Nancy Drew series) - Yes, I am serious.  I love her, in her various incarnations.  She has provided me with many a break for a tired-out brain that can't take one more serious book.  From the original Nancy in the 1930s (yes, there are class/race issues in the books, but Original Nancy takes charge and has adventures) to the revised "yellow spine" Nancy Drew, in which the books were updated (i.e., let's get rid of the lazy Irish stereotype and bad dialect for anyone NOT white) in which she lost some of her moxie and got more correct, to the 80s and 90s, when she got back into action and flirted with Frank Hardy, to the newest update, which I'm not liking so much.  And yes, I write Nancy Drew fanfic, because she's fun to read about, and fun to play with.

Days 17-30 )

desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)

Day 1 of 30 )

Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times  - So this question makes me wonder what kind of audience this thing is geared for, because there are LOTS of books I've read more than 3 times. 

I'm going to go with a Christie triple feature: Murder on the Orient Express (Murder in the Calais Coach), Cards on the Table, and After the Funeral (Funerals are Fatal).  These three probably rank as my favorite mysteries featuring Poirot.

Orient Express/Calais Coach (I have copies under both titles) is just fun to watch.  I like the whole stuck-on-a-train aspect, and it's probably one of the few books where you actually root for the murderer(s).  It also has an excellent AND faithful movie adaptation, which makes it a little more accessible.  It makes an excellent book for when I don't want stress, I just want to enjoy the ride.

Cards on the Table features a race of sleuths vs. criminals.  It's fun to read, especially how the different detectives deal with the different criminals.  I don't play bridge, so that part of the book gets boring, but the rest is pretty good.  There is a Suchet adaptation, but it changes things slightly (for one, in the TV adaptation, it doesn't come down to last criminal alive, so helps the tension some) and I think it preserves the spirit of the book.

After the Funeral captures my imagination, although I'm not sure exactly why.  I think it has to do with the dysfunctional family angle, because I really enjoy those in my fiction.  It also has a Suchet adaptation that changes some aspects, but preserves the story's spirit.  It makes another good mental vacation.

Days 3-30 )


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