Another round up of the books I have been reading recently. I am wondering if I will be able to fit in one more of these before the end of the year - aka another six books before Christmas. I've got at least four books sitting on my bedside waiting to be read, so I'm setting myself the challenge to get through at least those. I am definitely reading less now than I did over the summer, as my commute is shorter and there just doesn't seem much point in reading in only 10 minute bursts. One of the few downsides of my new job!
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The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. I'm not quite sure about how I feel about new authors taking on famous characters - this is a 'new' Hercule Poirot, and as I love Agatha Christie's originals I gave it a go with some trepidation. It was a perfectly fine murder mystery - it kept me engaged and I didn't guess the ending which is always a good thing, but it did lack the elegance of Christie's originals.
Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang. I've wanted to read this ever since I saw Jung Chang speak a few months ago, as she was such an inspiring speaker. This was a long read but a good one, and a fascinating insight into the life of Empress Cixi - who was instrumental in modernising China and opening it up to the west.
George Valentine's Retirement Plan by Laurence Cooper. This was a fun, easy to read caper. It's the story of George and his wife Dot who are selling up their detective business in order to retire, when George takes on one last job, which naturally does not turn out quite like he'd hoped! I loved that it was set in South London so I recognised all the places!
Think Like a Freak by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. I am a bit of a freakonomics fan, and I love their podcast, so was excited to finally get around to reading their latest book. The only downside? They had already recycled most of the content on the podcast, so there wasn't much that was new to me. If you haven't listened to the podcast and are interested in an easy to read book about Economics and looking at everyday things in a different way this is a quick fun read though.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. This was a book club book, and we ended up voting it 6/10. A bit meh. I got drawn in by the mystery, but the characters and the plot line were so unbelievable that it made it difficult to feel immersed in the story.
The Fire Engine that Disappeared by Maj Sjowall and Pia Walloo. This is an Swedish detective novel from the 1970s, and I don't feel like it has aged well. The female characters were 2D and basically non existent, the men pretty samey and dull, and I didn't even find the mystery that engrossing. A bit of a Meh read.