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.
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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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?