Murder on the Orient Express- Quite the Journey!

murder-on-the-orient-express-agatha-christieSo I don’t know if you guys remember my Bookish Confessions where I said “I’ve never read an Agatha Christie book and I don’t plan to”… well apparently I lied. Not intentionally, but because of a few eager comments on that post, my curiosity was sparked. And then, thanks to a *brilliant* review by my friend Lashaan over at Bookidote, I knew I had to read it!! I ended up picking it up in a bookshop, thinking “let’s see what all the fuss is about”, and, one thing led to another, I got hooked!

No word of a lie- I’m actually experiencing a bit of a slump here, so I hardly expected a murder mystery written over 80 years ago to do anything  about that- yet I couldn’t for the life of me bring myself to put this book down.

First of all, I enjoyed the intriguing, somewhat atmospheric start. I found the characters vivid and delightfully drawn. I even found some of Poirot’s line’s chuckle worthy:

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(I know in context it’s just to show how perceptive Poirot is- but c’mon, what a 21st century insult- I was instantly rooting for him after that)

I will admit, not being a big mystery reader, I was pretty clueless about what was going on in the middle and I won’t pretend I followed a lot of it. For me personally, I felt it lagged a little. Even so, plotwise, I wouldn’t criticise it for that, because in the end…

WOW what a finale!! It made everything worth it!! I can’t say anything because you *do not* want to be spoilt for it. But even I, as a mystery virgin, found myself going “ohhh” as the clues slotted into place. Little things that had me frowning early on suddenly had me smiling as it all made sense. What’s even more impressive is for a book of its age, it felt fresh and completely not what I expected. I never saw that coming.

Unbelievably (at least for me), reading this has completely changed my mind about checking out Christie’s work. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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Have you read this? Did you enjoy it? And- I can’t believe I’m asking this- any other Agatha Christie books you can recommend? Let me know in the comments!

My Top Ten Wintry Books

AHH IT SNOWED LAST NIGHT!!! WINTER IS HERE!!

winter is here

(alright that was a more terrifying affect than intended 😉 )

Okay- for reelz, it never normally snows in London, so I’m enjoying how pretty it is right now. And, rather appropriately, the post I had planned for today is actually about wintery books! Specifically my top ten wintery books! Let’s get to it:

snow child

Snow Child– the clue is in the title 😉 This exquisite tale, set in the fairy tale land of the Arctic winter, warmed me from the inside- I seriously recommend Snow Child for a cosy night in. And speaking of fairy tales…

bear and the nightingale

Bear and the Nightingale– as was pretty obvious from my gushy review the other day I LOVED this book. It’s a magical retelling of Russian folklore and if nothing else, you are guaranteed spectacular descriptions of snowy landscapes 😉

secret countess

The Secret Countess– Eva Ibbotson is a childhood favourite of mine and one of the reasons for that is her beautiful, mythical writing style. Her books are always enchanting, but this one in particular is romantic and heart-warming and perfect for this season (NB also known as A Countess Below Stairs)

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone– speaking of childhood books, nothing says Christmas quite like Harry Potter. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t secretly dream of Christmas at Hogwarts?

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The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe– but if we want to talk a Christmasy dream come true, we’d have to go visit Narnia! I know, I know, Narnia is technically cursed to always be winter in Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe– yet that doesn’t stop it being so beautiful!

christmas carol

Christmas Carol– yes, yes, I know I’m reeling off the classics now- it’s just this is a classic for a reason. Obviously everyone knows the story, but I finally read this over Christmas last year and can tell you now it was *perfect*.

the railway children

Railway Children– honestly, I think children’s books are great for this time of year. And since it’s already a tradition that they show the movie version on the TV every year (at least in the UK) why not pick up the book? It’s moving, it’s got beautiful themes about family and it’ll make you happy in the end.

little women

Little Women– romance is what I’m looking to read most winters- and I don’t think you can get much better than this classic. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and it might even make you do both at the same time. Easily one of my all-time favourite books.

ivan-denisovitch

One Day in the Life of Ivan Densovitch– okay who said anything about all the books on here having to be happy? Sometimes winter gives us the chills- so if you want something a little darker, then this is the book to go for. It’s one of those quintessential books about the Soviet Union if you’re interested. (And at the risk of sounding like a book pusher, this is the kind of book everyone needs to read at some in their lives)

 

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Murder on the Orient Express- I read this the other day (review to come soon) and the atmosphere was exactly right for a cold evening. The intrigue, the characters and the DRAMATIC twist all made for a thrilling read (kudos goes to Lashaan@Bookidote for finally convincing me to pick it up). What a great book for the winter period!

And that’s it! What do you think of my list? Agree? Disagree? And do you have any winter favourites to add? Let me know in the comments!