Monday, 25 April 2016

Sofa Shelf - Whales, Railways and Depression

Three new books, hooray, and all very different.

Depression: Looking up from the Stubborn Darkness - Edward T Welch

One I have read before but one I hope to keep coming back to. Not because I suffer from depression but because there are many pockets that are almost like gold mines for useful information on living the Christian life.

Moby Dick - Herman Melville

This is a beast of a book! But I like a challenge so here goes. All I know is that it is about a whale - Moby Dick - and that it... actually that is all I know. Reason for buying - it is the Vintage version and it was second hand so only a pound. (I love the covers of Vintage Classics) Bargain.

The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie

Continuing to make my way through her novels this is one I have been looking forward to. I can remember the first time I saw this on TV and I think may well be my favourite Poirot mystery. Oh it's brilliant! Also involves a railway guide. Can't wait to read it!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Sofa Spotlight - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie

The more I read Poirot's adventures the more I love Poirot. And indirectly his friend Captain Hastings. Hastings doesn't feature in this story but Poirot still refers to him in the way that only Poirot can - with harsh endearment.

But onto the murder. As I've said Hastings isn't in this story so he isn't narrating it. But it still is first person narration, the narrator being the neighbour of Poirot. And so we see Poirot through another person's eyes, and enjoy another person's bewilderment at Poirot's eccentricities.

Other important plot background is that Poirot is meant to have retired, which is why he is living in the country next door to the village doctor. Who apparently reminds Poirot of Hastings. Until the murder takes place no one knows Poirot's true identity, apart from Roger Ackroyd who knew Poirot in the city. Poirot is upset by the murder of his friend and so lends assistance, which is just as well because if he didn't I'm not sure the murder would ever get solved!

If like me you have seen the TV adaptation of this you might be surprised by the ending of the book. For me the jury is still out on which is the more satisfying ending.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Sofa Spotlight - The Children of the New Forest, Captain Marryat

I love this book. It's fun, heart warming and exciting. Although it doesn't start out as very fun as it is set during or just after the English Civil War (my history is a bit hazy) and follows the lives of four children whose father was killed during one of the battles. He was fighting for the King and his house is burnt down, with his four children supposedly inside.

But they weren't inside because they had escaped to the New Forest (hence the title) and the book follows them as they learn a new life with one of the keepers. Which seemed to involve running from one side of the forest to the other a great many times. But it's nice, they have their adventures and help the people that they meet and the tension is never too much to handle - it won't keep you all night!

The only issue I had with it was that the end seemed a bit hasty. I felt like I knew the characters and I just wanted a little more time to say goodbye. But other than that it was very enjoyable and is perfect if you want a nice read with a hot chocolate. Much to my delight I have found that this was not the only book written by Captain Marryat, so no doubt soon I will be on a quest to find them.

Another random fact (at least I think it is true) is that Captain Marryat is buried vertically (as in feet first in the ground) so that he can look out to sea.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Sofa Spotlight - The Heart of Singleness, Andrea Trevenna

This is not a long or a heavy read, and I had it finished in a couple of sessions. For me it wasn't a groundbreaking book, but then as I said in the previous post I enjoy being single. I think my reason for reading it was curiousity because I'd never read a book on this subject before.

Having said that, it was a good book and I would recommend it if singleness is something that you find difficult. Trevenna is very good at bringing the focus back onto God and what He says about a person's identity in the Bible. This is the place to come if you want to get your thoughts realigned with God's Word and rethink what you think about yourself and relationships.

The great thing about this being so short is that you can spend time thinking about the challenges in the book without feeling like you are never going to get to the end of it. On the flip side, a short book means that you can't cover everything in depth, but I don't think that was Trevenna's purpose with this book.