Christmas has been and gone whilst I’ve been away from the blogworld. For days I didn’t even switch on the computer, what with getting ready for Christmas, which this year included moving loads of boxes we haven’t unpacked so that our son and his family had room to sleep at the weekend, and I had a cold, which didn’t help at all. Anyway we had a good time.

I had some books (my favourite presents) for Christmas, all of which I now can’t wait to read. No doubt I’ll be writing about them later – they include Agatha Christie’s autobiography, and her Secret Notebooks and a book on the Eleven Missing Days, all of which I’ve dipped into.

Meanwhile I’m still ploughing through Drood. I have very mixed feelings about this. Ann wrote the other day on her blog Table Talk that she has a problem with books centred on people who really existed and I think that is part of my problem with Drood.

Drood himself, of course, is a fictional character, but most of the book is about Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, both of whom don’t come across as  people I would want to meet. But I want to know more about them, if only to find out what they were really like, and to read more of their books. I’m glad I’ve already read Collins’s The Moonstone, because the plot of this is detailed in Drood.

The other stumbling block I have with Drood is that there is far too much detail and emphasis for my liking on horrific opium induced nightmares. On the other hand I want to know how it ends, so it is keeping me turning the pages, although I am tempted just to skip to the last few pages.

The snow is still here, thawing just a little bit today, but we ventured out yesterday to the next town, over the border in Scotland and joined the library. I restricted myself to borrowing just three books – two on the history of the Borders and The Music Room by William Fiennes. I have The Snow Geese by him, which I’d really like to read soon – but it’s still in a box somewhere.

12 thoughts on “Miscellaneous

  1. Margaret, so happy that you had a nice Christmas. I know that moving is a lot of work. We’ve done it many times, but we’ve been in our current house for over 10 years now. Amazing. I have Drood here in a stack somewhere. It is really a long book. I’ve been enjoying your updates on it. I’ll no doubt get around to it at some point. Glad to hear your experiences in your new home and also to hear what new books you’ve checked out at your new library.

    By the way, I’ve had some changes in my life in the last little while and I am going to start up my blog again in the new year. Stop by after January 1st and see me if you get a chance. Hope you have a wonderful New Year!


  2. I agree about having trouble with fiction involving people who actually existed – it makes me very uncomfortable! I certainly don’t mind actual historical settings; in fact, I appreciate that, but I don’t like to have my historical understanding of people and the roles they played “tainted” by imaginings!


  3. Glad to hear you had a great Christmas. I like reading about your Agatha Christie book gifts. I have the autobiography and enjoy it. I haven’t heard of the Secret Notebooks so I hope you’ll share those with us. Have a happy new year celebration.


  4. >Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, both of whom don’t come across as people I would want to meet

    I have that notion myself, at least with regards to Dickens…though I am planning a reread of Pickwick soon.

    >Agatha Christie’s autobiography, and her Secret Notebooks and a book on the Eleven Missing Days…
    did you ever see that movie with Dustin Hoffman called Agatha? I might have asked you this already, but I saw it ages ago and remember liking it at the time.


  5. Glad you had a nice Christmas! I didn’t spend a lot of time on the computer either, but that’s okay! I’ll be curious to hear about the Agatha Christie books you got–I have a biography of her as well. I also don’t always like fictional stories using real people–sometimes it works and sometimes it really doesn’t. Happy reading in 2010!


  6. So glad to hear that you’re settling in and looking forward to hearing more about the books you’re reading. I’m not big on fictional accounts of real people. I loved them when I was a kid but would then want to know what they were really like. Now I prefer to go straight to non-fiction sources. Because I’ve heard so much about Wolf Hall, it’s an exception. Even so, I haven’t got to it yet.


  7. Thanks for all your comments.
    Kay, it’s good to hear from you and I’m so glad you’re going to start up your blog again. I’ll be looking out for it.
    Stacy and Geranium Cat thanks for your good wishes.
    Rhapsody, indeed I feel that my understanding of Dickens and Collins has been “tainted”!
    Lezlie, The Moonstone is a much better book than Drood!
    Margot, the Secret Notebooks by John Curran was published in September. It includes two unpublished Poirot stories and is absolutely fascinating.
    Jane, I haven’t seen that movie. There was a programme many years ago on TV about Agatha’s disappearance that caught my attention and when I heard of this book I was interested again.
    Danielle, I’m planning to read the Agatha books soon, so I’ll be writing about them here. I’d be interested to know what you think of the biography you have.
    Lilian I think you’re right about going to non-fictional sources. Novels featuring real people are going to be low in my reading priorities from now on, although Wolf Hall has had such good reports that I will be reading that too.


  8. BP, it’s interesting what you say about feeling that you would not like Dickens and Collins because this was one of the problems that I had with Gaynor Arnold’s ‘Girl in the Blue Dress’. I almost gave up on it; not because there was a problem with the writing but because I hated what it was doing to my vision of Dickens. Mind you, I may have a pair of rosy tinted spectacles that it was good to have cleaned.


  9. Interesting comments about Drood. It’s sitting on the coffee table in the lounge and might even be my next read. I’ve read The Moonstone but so long ago I can’t remember a thing about it. Hope that won’t matter.


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