Agatha Christie Week And BBAW

BBAW_Celebrate_Books

This week is both Agatha Christie Week and Book Bloggers Appreciation Week (BBAW). For me they go together. Today’s assignment for BBAW is this:

Talk about a book you read only because you discovered it on another book blog.

In my case it was more about the bookS and how I’m reading them. You see I’ve been reading Agatha Christie’s books off and on for over forty years. I own about half of the eighty books she wrote and I read them from time to time.

When I started blogging I became aware of a challenge, the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge, sponsored by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. The objective of the challenge is to read all of Agatha Christie’s writings in order of publication. It has led me to explore some of her books I wasn’t interested in before. I prefer the stories of Miss Marple but, thanks to Kerrie and this challenge, I’m growing fond of Hercule Poirot. And, by reading them in order, I see how Agatha Christie developed as a writer. So, I owe a big THANK YOU to Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise.

agatha_christie_rc

I consider myself a great fan of AC and like all fans I’ve collected a few other items besides just her books. In celebration of Agatha Christie Week I’d like to share with you some books from my personal library about the author and her work.

ACGill1. Agatha Christie: The Woman and Her Mysteries by Gillian Gill (The Free Press, 1990) This one is my favorite. In writing this book the author’s goal was to ferret out the mystery of the mystery writer’s life. Ms. Gill used personal interviews and public papers but more importantly she immersed herself in Ms. Christie’s writings. She read the entire body of work, which she calls autobiographical. The book traces in chronological order, the events of Christie’s life and compares that to her books. Ms. Gill developed a deep admiration for Ms. Christie and it shows in the book.

ACMorgan2. Agatha Christie: A Biography by Janet Morgan (Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 1984) This is the authorized biography. Ms. Christie believed that the public did not need to know anything about her except her books. After her death Ms. Christie’s daughter decided it was time for an official biography and turned all of the private papers over to Ms. Morgan as well as access to over 200 of Ms. Christie’s contacts. The result is an in-depth biography that is full of family pictures and a pleasant tribute to the author. I like it along with the one listed above.

ACBedside3. The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie by Dick Riley and Pam McAllister (Frederick Ungar Publishing, 1979)  This book is fun. The table of contents is a listing (by date) of all Christie’s works.  Each of her books has a one to two page summary of the plot (no spoilers) that has been helpful to me. By scanning the summary it will usually jog my memory as to whether I’ve read the book or not. There are some additional special articles and photos of book covers. There also some trivia on Agatha Christie and also England.

ACAuto4. I also have a copy ofAgatha Christie: An Autobiography (Harper Collins, 1977)  This is easy to read and as charming as her other writings. It’s a good recitation of her childhood, her two marriages, motherhood and her career as a writer. Because she was so reclusive and private about herself, it doesn’t really tell everything. I didn’t expect her to discuss her divorce but I had hoped she might say something about her 11-day disappearance. I’ve read it once and have just kept it for reference. It’s fun to refer to occasionally.

ACEngland5. Agatha Christie’s England (Getaway Guides) by Judith Hurdle (RDR Books, 1999) I’m still hoping for a chance to go to England and visit some of the sights mentioned in Agatha Christie’s books. This Getaway Guide highlights London and areas outside London that are still available. Of course, I knew private homes would be out of the question. This guide features all the public places and includes quite a number of maps. Also, in the back of the book you’ll find a nice sample itinerary for a 7-day and a 21-day tour. One of these days you just might find me at Bertram’s Hotel or maybe Torquay.

I have a couple of other books on my wish list that I think would round out this library quite nicely. I’m hoping you might also have some suggestions you can share with me.

What’s your favorite book about Agatha Christie?

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18 Responses to Agatha Christie Week And BBAW

  1. Kerrie says:

    You have an enviable set of books there Joy. Many thanks for sharing them to visitors on the blog tour.

  2. BooksPlease says:

    Some good books there, Joy. I haven’t read any of them. The last one looks very interesting (they all do) about AC’s England. I only have one book about Agatha Christie, which I bought yesterday. It’s “The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie” by Charles Osborne. I’m writing a bit about it and where I bought it in my AC Blog Tour post on Monday – a place where she used to live (not Torquay). I hope you’ll visit and let me know what you think.

  3. Beth F says:

    I am a fan of biography and autobiography — and of mysteries! — so that part me thanks you for some suggestions. That AC’s England looks great too. Don’t give up so easily, sometimes private homes are open for tour or are open in conjunction with a specific event or festival.

  4. Bernadette says:

    I am odd I think in that I am not interested in knowing much about the authors of the book I love. I do actually like reading biographies…just not of authors. I like to think of the books as bursting fully formed into my life. So I haven’t read any biographies Ms Christie that I can share with you. Sorry.

  5. Molly says:

    As much as I enjoy mysteries, I am sad to say that I have not read Agatha Christie yet. I tried a Poirot book once, but had a difficult time getting into it. I have had several recommend that I start with a Marple book. Would you agree?

    I would think it would be fascinating to read all 80 books in order to not only see how she developed as an author, but also how she developed the characters over time.

  6. Cerrin says:

    I am also not a big FAN of the Agatha Christie BOOKS But I do adore the movies. Something about her characters really come accross for me in the movies that I cant get into with the books.

  7. I have read almost all the Agatha Christies! I own a lot of those too.

    BBAW: Thanking Feminist Review

  8. Margot says:

    BooksPlease: Thank you for the recommendation. I will definitely come to see your review on Monday.

    Beth F: I hadn’t thought of private tours. That’s a great idea. I regularly read the official AC website and their newsletter and I imagine that would be a place those visits might be announced. Thanks.

    Molly: I agree that a good place to start is a Miss Marple. I know you love the cozy murder mysteries and Miss Marple is definitely cozy. Here are a couple to try: Murder at the Vicarage, At Bertrams Hotel, or A Murder is Announced. Hopefully, that will have you hooked.

  9. stacybuckeye says:

    Still haven’t read a Christie mystery (yes, it is embarrassing). I a copy of The Moving Finger, is that a good one to start with? I think it is a great challenge to read them in order, but you would expect that from me right?

  10. Margot: I wasn’t even aware of all the books about Christie until I had just read Miss Lemon’s post over at her blog as part of the blog tour, and now all this?!??!! It’s a regular treasure trove. Thanks for sharing it all.

  11. Norman says:

    What an interesting set of books! I had not read any Christie for a very long time but the festival in Torquay, the opening to the public of Greenway, and Kerrie’s blog has reignited my interest. My own contribution to the Agatha Christie week is up now, although not due with Kerrie till tomorrow I get confused with the time difference.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I haven’t read it yet, but recently acquired a copy of Agatha Christie and the Eleven Missing Day by Jared Cade, about the incident in the 1920s where she disappeared for 11 days. I’m excited to get to it! My favorite Christie is And Then There Were None – still one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read!

  13. Kathy says:

    This looks like the perfect challenge for you. I’m kind of embarrassed to say I haven’t read any of Christie’s work.

  14. Belle says:

    I am so impressed by the Agatha Christie challenge. I think I’ve read (and re-read) most of Christie’s books, but I’ve never done it in order. I have the Bedside, Bathtub and Armchair Companion, but would love to read her autobiography and Agatha Christie’s England. I think I’m off to Bookmooch next to see if I can find a copy!

  15. Pingback: The Week In Review: Remembering Agatha Christie and appreciating book bloggers « Just A (Reading) Fool

  16. Nan says:

    I have the Bedside, Bathtub book and love it. Though I have joined the challenge, I am not reading them in order. I just love the connection with others who love her writing. And I’m with Agatha – mostly I’ll let the books talk, rather than her life. :<)

  17. raneikre says:

    Think I must have read most of AC’s books, some 80 or more, I think. Started to read them when I was in my teens, but I must admit that when I now try to reread any of them, I find that she is a bit too bourgeois, very English “stiff upper-lip” and some times even tending to be a bit racist. Today I prefer the TV-versions, especially the Poirot ones, they are marvelously characteristic of the period. And the actor playing Poirot is just right.
    Randi

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