Sunday, 15 February 2015

Reading my books - The Listerdale Mystery

I used to read a lot.  I could get through a book in just a few days and was a voracious reader.  I cannot remember a time when I didn't read, indeed I cannot remember ever not knowing how to read.  Books have always been my constant companion and joy.

However, over the last few years my reading has been abysmal.  I have read less and less books as other things have taken over my time.  As I wrote here, I have still been gathering books though so this year I decided to make a concerted effort to read my books.

Having selected my first six, I finished the first one in January, that I reviewed here.  I have now completed the second.  The Listerdale Mystery by Agatha Christie and have already started on the third.  I think that means that I have probably already read as many books this year as I did in the whole of 2014!

The Listerdale Mystery is a series of very short stories.  They are written in the usual style of most Agatha Christie books and there are familiar names and ideas.  I can see that many of these stories were either taken as shorter versions of some of her longer tales, or that these shorter versions were perhaps the start of something that expanded into a full length book.

Most of the stories were easy to work out, but there were definitely some twists and turns that I wasn't expecting.  It was easy to read, especially as the stories were so short.  Perhaps not the most challenging literary work, but I don't like to read things that are "difficult" I want to read something that I enjoyed.

Overall I would say that I liked this book and I would certainly recommend it to someone who wants to start reading Christie's work as it is easy to dip in and out of.  It would suit a young person and adults alike.  There is nothing gory, just good old fashioned mini mysteries.  In fact it reminded me in a way of the very old TV series Tales Of The Unexpected in some ways, which was a good thing.

There are lots of other Christie books in my pile waiting to be read, so it will be interesting to see how the longer books compare with this short story collection.  I would recommend this book though!

I am finding these book reviews harder to write than I imagined they would be.  It is partly because whenever I have written essays about books in the past there was no need not to reveal too much, indeed, there was a need to talk about the story or contents of the book in great detail.  Writing a review in this way though is different as I don't want to give away any endings.  There is a definite skill required to write book reviews!  I am therefore not just looking forward to reading more books, but to working on my reviewing skills as well.  I had no plans for this to be a double challenge when I started out, but it has turned into that, funny how things go isn't it.

If you would like to share what you are reading now or if you have read this book and have anything to share please let me know in the comments.



  1. Like you I have periods when I read voraciously, 7 -9 books a week, then dry periods when I don't even pick a book up. I have ordered a stack of books from the Amazon second hand section all with free postage as I spent just over £10, not bad for 6 books. I do go to the library most weeks and take books out, sometimes they are just plucked at random because I will not be reading them. That is not as silly as it seems, the libraries are kept open if used, many of them have opening hours directly linked to the number of books issued per week. I am reading a light fluffy confection by Milly Johnson, chewing gum for the brain, quite amusing if predictable. I do like thrillers and action books, I picked up the latest Simon Kernick a few days ago in the charity shop. Goodness knows when I will open it, I would rather sew at the moment.

  2. HI Amy and I always like reading a book review. I used to read so much but just don't take the time to do it now. I should get back to it. Hope you're doing well and have a great week.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  3. As you know, one of my challenges this year is to start reading Agatha Christie books in chronological order. I'm now on the second one and enjoying it very much.

  4. Challenges are good for us and I'm glad you are enjoying your two-for-one challenge!! ;) blessings ~ tanna

  5. As time challenges have prevented me from reading as much as I used to, audio-books have taken over a larger spot in my life and I am really loving them. I can drive and listen to them as well as knit or crochet with them on. Happy Sunday,

  6. I've had this problem - I haven't read much since I finished my degree two years ago. I'm blaming all the academic documents I had wade through! I know it's not just that though - a friend recommended "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" by Rachel Joyce to me and I loved it so much that it's spoilt me for so many other books I've tried to read because they just haven't been as good. I'm trying to get back into the habit again this year, so I'll be interested to see your reviews xx

  7. I have several reviews on the blog,if you need some tips.
    Jane x

  8. Hello Amy,

    Over the past few years my reading has almost dwindled, that is why I started to read childrens' books.
    I am almost sure I've read The Listerdale Mysteries, as I've read almost all Agatha Christie.

    I look forward to your reviews.
    Good luck with your reading.


  9. I know what you mean Amy - I started this year with my new plan to do monthly book reviews (as you've read!) and I found it trickier than I thought with my January reviews. It's hard to say what you think without giving away too much!!
    Maria x

  10. Hi Amy, I use to read lots, OH used to moan I always had my nose in a book but as other hobbies have taken over I haven't read so much. I have just finished a Patricia Cornwall historical novel and I like a bit of chick lit for quick reading. I think its a nice idea to do a book review and I look forward to you writing more.

  11. I used to read all the time but it just got harder to find the time with all the other competing demands. I tend to read more in the summer when I can sit outside. At the moment I'm reading 'The girl on the train' which has been in all the papers - so far so good. x

  12. Oh my dear, we are so much alike! Like you, I love books but I find that eyesight does not allow me to read as much as I used to. I ADORE Agatha Christie! I think I have written a post about her myself, but hey, I can't swear on it in a court of law!
    Book reviews...don't know why, I just want to say, "Here's a good book, READ IT!!" LOL.

  13. Lots of book-love in Blog land this week! Your reading will bring you loads of pleasure Amy. I agree it's hard to review books without giving too much away! X

  14. Nora Roberts. I *love* Nora Roberts books. I've read some of them so often the characters feel like old friends. :o)

  15. Like you, I used to read several books per week. I still go on reading binges sometimes, but real life intervenes too frequently to allow much of that. Agatha Christie is a favourite author of mine and I enjoy re-reading her tales in spite of knowing the ending.
    Currently I'm reading P.D. James' Unnatural Causes, and I have All the Light We Cannot See waiting to be opened.

  16. I love Agatha Christie books, haven't read one in years. You'll know what I'm reading already, from my Year in Books posts. Just finished Gone Girl which was really good. I know what you mean about not giving the plot away in a review though! I try and be led by what the blurb on the back of the book says.

  17. Finding time to read is hard. I grab half an hour at lunch. It is a huge pleasure though, so worth making time for xx

  18. Same here, I used to read voraciously and so look forward to the time of day I could sit and read, now it's more rare. I shall look forward to your reviews, I've never read an Agatha Christie xx

  19. I haven't read any Agatha Christie since the 70's - but really enjoyed them at the time. I have read three books in the last two weeks because all of them were really excellent. But if a book doesn't quite grab me it takes a lot longer - a really good book is a joy but for me they are rare.

  20. I have tried and tried to read Agatha Christie and I just can't get into her books. I wish I could because I love mysteries and hers are well-written. I'll have to try again sometime. I'm glad you're making some time to read; it isn't easy! I love to read and can read lots when I get the chance, I just wish that could happen more often.

  21. Love agatha!!! in fact, we just got a couple audio books of Hercule Poirot for our last trip....didn't get to them, but still have them queued up!!!! Just finished Hare with the Amber Eyes.....excellent read!!!

  22. It is funny how things work out! I think your reviews give just enough and make me want to pick the books up myself to have a look! Wishing you a week full of goodness Amy!! Nicole xoxo

  23. As you saw in my challenges for this year, I'm trying to read more too (just like you I read my childhood/teen years away), but then along came kids etc. I've just finished The Yorkshire Shepherdess and have started on Allotted Time. I've actually never read an Agatha Christie novel, but have seen some on TV many, many years ago, but have so many others to read, that I won't be putting her on my list for a long time to come. Well done with writing the reviews and am glad it's you and not me. I'm too much of a clux for that sort of thing. Looking forward to more. Take care.

  24. Good review, I have not read any Agatha, but have looked at them in the library. I like watching them though, preferring the newer versions. I'm trying to read more too, and so far I am not doing to bad, its nice to take the time to try to finish a book this time! :)

  25. Oh that tricky problem of reviews; like a striptease; how much is too much?
    I can't remember if I've ever read this one; but I love Agatha Christie stories enough to re-read them again and again. Sometimes I truly forget the ending but more often than not I know who and read to see how!!

  26. Hey Amy,
    I know what you mean about writing books reviews. I find it very hard. I sometimes think it would be better to tape myself discussing what I thought and then posting that instead. Maybe I will for the next Year in Books post. That would be fun. My favourite Christie book is The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd. My Mum is a huge fan.
    I think it's great that you've got your reading mojo back again. I would read all day long if I could!
    Leanne xx

  27. it's tricky writing the posts isn't it - i always mean to pick out a favourite quote, as I love it when others do that, but I keep forgetting, or don't have the book to hand when I write the post!

  28. I adore Agatha Christie and her characters and have just finished Sophie Hannah's The Monogram Murders which is a tribute to Hercule Poirot. Somehow it wasn't true to Christie and I didn't really get into it. I'm now reading The Mangle Street Murders M. R. C. Kasasian and so far I'm really enjoying it!


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