Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Sofa Shelf - Full of Murder and Mystery

So three books read this week means three more books to go on the shelf. No change in the authors though:

The Case for Christmas - Lee Strobel

This is a book that is taken from the The Case for Christ which I have just read. In terms of size The Case for Christmas is just a sliver in comparison. Anyway my aim in reading this is to see if it works as a book in its own right - and of course at the hottest time of the year it is the perfect time to be reading a book about Christmas!

Kim - Rudyard Kipling

I like Kipling. That is something that I have discovered over the past couple of months. I've tried the short novel in Captains Courageous and his short stories in The Jungle Books and now I want to try one of his longer novels. Just to make sure I actually do like his writing.

A Murder is Announced - Agatha Christie

Another one that I have watched Joan Hickson star in but I have forgotten who is responsible so it should be a surprise. I love the way that this novel starts - with an announcement in the local newspaper that a murder will happen. Intriguing.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Sofa Spotlight - The Murder at the Vicarage, Agatha Christie

For a long time now I have wanted to read the detective novels by Agatha Christie. So I thought, what better place to start than with Miss Marple and The Murder at the Vicarage? Growing up I can remember watching Miss Marple on TV, played by Joan Hickson, who in my mind is brilliant as Miss Marple, no matter what EG says. The Murder at the Vicarage was a favourite of mine to watch and that influenced my decision.

When I started I wasn't sure about the writing style. It wasn't what I had been expecting and I didn't like it very much. But it did grow on me and by half way through I was hooked. Knowing how it ended from watching it on TV didn't matter, because somehow I managed to forget and spent a long time trying to work out who had done it. Towards the end I had either worked it out or remembered who was the culprit and so I had the satisfaction of being right when the murderer was revealed.

I would say that if you have never read an Agatha Christie novel you should try this one. I'm guessing fans of Christie will have already read it - and if you haven't, what are you doing? Get on and read it.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Sofa Spotlight - The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling

If you've been following you will know that I enjoyed my first experience of Rudyard Kipling's writing in Captains Courageous. So although I do not in any way enjoy Disney's version I did want to read this book. (And not just because the cover had a picture of a tiger).

My first mistake was to think that this was a book with two novels. I was three stories in before I realised that it was a collection of short stories. Not being a fan of the short story I was frustrated, but as I was reading on a train I couldn't really express that frustration. Part of my annoyance came from the fact that I was enjoying the stories about Mowgli and I wanted to read more of those.

Thinking that I wasn't going to like the rest of the book I was close to losing interest. But I kept going and found my favourite short story of all time, 'Rikki-tikki-tavi' which was a story about a mongoose that protects a colonial family from a pair of cobras.

So although I wasn't sure at the start this is a book that I found to be a good read. The lesson I learnt from it was - read the blurb first!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Sofa Spotlight - The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel

It's taken a while but I have finally finished The Case for Christ. If you've been following my progress through this book you will know that I have found parts of it challenging and it is an informative book if nothing else.

Strobel is an engaging writer. Previous experience with his books hasn't been brilliant. A few years ago I tried to read The Case for Faith and although I did finish in the end it was hard work. I'm ashamed to say it took me just under two years to get it finished. So starting The Case for Christ came with some worry that it would be hard work and be with me forever. But happily that hasn't been the case.

The book is made up of fourteen chapters, each one looking at a different piece of evidence for the accuracy of the biblical accounts of Jesus. Bit of a plot spoiler here - Strobel finds out that those accounts are accurate. His investigation into the evidence isn't brief or vague, it is full of detail, some of them so intense that they made me wince at times.

Anyway one that I would highly recommend.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

I got it right!

I had my suspicions and as it happens I was right. Yes I had worked out who committed the crime in The Murder at the Vicarage. Which is pleasing, but I still have a chapter to go so you will have to wait for my final opinion, and also if you want to know who was behind it you need to get the book.