January’s Books 2016

This January I read 10 books and reviewed 6 of them. I’m really pleased that I’ve managed to read 8 of my To Be Read Books, 4 of them by Agatha Christie:

  1. In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward (TBR) – her debut novel. This is crime fiction, a complex and puzzling mystery that kept me glued to the book as the mystery of the kidnapping of two girls 30 years earlier is re-investigated.
  2. The Shepherd’s Life: a Tale of the Lake District by James Rebank (TBR, Non Fiction) – an account of a shepherd’s year, arranged by the seasons.
  3. Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie (TBR) – a string of disasters, involving not only a murder, but also a faked air disaster, radio-active pearls, a leper colony, and secret laboratories all part of a vast organisation masterminded by a wealthy and powerful fanatic.
  4. A Month in the Country by J L Carr (TBR) – As an old man Tom Birkin is looking back to the summer of 1920 when he was asked to uncover a huge medieval wall-painting in the village church of Oxgodby in Yorkshire. A beautiful little book and one to re-read – I loved it.
  5. Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie (TBR) – a murder mystery set in Ancient Egypt, set on the West bank of the Nile at Thebes in about 2000 BC.
  6. Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie (TBR) – a year after the death of Rosemary her husband, convinced she was murdered, holds a party to remember her, when a second death occurs.
  7. Lustrum by Robert Harris (TBR) – the 2nd in his Cicero trilogy, set in Ancient Rome beginning in 63 BC – fascinating.  It brings life in Ancient Rome to life, and brilliantly portrays the characters and their struggle for power.
  8. Dictator by Robert Harris – the third in his Cicero trilogy. This covers the last 15 years of Cicero’s life. I wrote about the beginning of this book in an earlier post.
  9. The Pattern in the Carpet: a Personal History With Jigsaws by Margaret Drabble (LB) – a mix of memoir, Margaret Drabble’s own personal reflections on doing jigsaws and the history of jigsaws and of children’s games and puzzles.
  10. The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie (TBR) – Superintendent Battle is called to Chimneys, a stately home, to investigate a murder, involving diplomatic intrigue, international crime, and a jewel thief known as ‘King Victor’ – entertaining in a Wodehousian style.

I enjoyed all of them and am aiming to write reviews of the Robert Harris books and The Secret of Chimneys before the details fade from my mind.

Three books tie for my Book of the Month because it’s impossible to choose between three excellent books in completely different genres. They are  A Month in the Country by J L Carr, Lustrum by Robert Harris and A Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward – which is also my Crime Fiction Pick of the Month (See Mysteries in Paradise for more Crime Fiction Picks).

Bks Jan 2016

7 thoughts on “January’s Books 2016

  1. Eight off your TBR pile is excellent. A good reading month for you. After I’ve finished RH’s Pompeii I shall be looking into the Roman trilogy by him that you’ve read.


  2. Agatha Christie has been one of my favourite writers ever since I discovered her books at age 14. I haven’t read Sparkling Cyanide and The Secret of Chimneys yet, but I hope I get to read both this year.


  3. You had some very good reads this month, Margaret! I’m glad you found so many that you enjoyed. And I really must read that Cicero trilogy!


  4. Looks like you’ve read a great mixture of books; and it can only be a good thing that you have 3 favourite books! I had a rather mystery reading filled January which made me think of you.


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