Friday, March 23, 2018

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles
by Agatha Christie
narrated by Hugh Fraser

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 1920
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 4

Hercule Poirot series:
The Mysterious Affair at Styles 1920
Murder on the Links 1923
Christmas Adventure (short story) 1923
Poirot Investigates (short stories) 1924
Poirot's Early Cases (short stories) 1974
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd 1926
The Big Four 1927
The Mystery of the Blue Train 1928
Black Coffee (play novelisation by Charles Osborne) 1997
Peril at End House 1932
The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest (short story) 1932
Second Gong (short story) 1932
Lord Edgware Dies 1933
Murder on the Orient Express 1934
Three Act Tragedy 1935
Death in the Clouds 1935
The ABC Murders 1936
Murder in Mesopotamia 1936
Cards on the Table 1936
Yellow Iris (short story) 1937
Murder in the Mews (four novellas) 1937
Dumb Witness 1937
Death on the Nile 1937
Appointment with Death 1938
Hercule Poirot's Christmas 1938
Sad Cypress 1940
One, Two Buckle my Shoe 1940
Evil Under the Sun 1941
Five Little Pigs 1943
The Hollow 1946
The Labours of Hercules (short stories) 1947
Taken at the Flood 1948
Mrs McGinty's Dead 1952
After the Funeral 1953
Hickory Dickory Dock 1955
Dead Man's Folly 1956
Cat Among the Pigeons 1959
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (short stories) 1960 not published in the USA
The Clocks 1963
Third Girl 1966
Hallowe'en Party 1969
Elephants Can Remember 1972
Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case 1975

First sentence(s):
The intense interest aroused in the public by what was known at the time as 'The Styles Case' has now somewhat subsided.

The heiress of Styles has been murdered, dying in agony from strychnine slipped into her coffee. And there are plenty who would gain from her death: the financially strapped stepson, the gold digging younger husband, and an embittered daughter-in-law.

Agatha Christie's eccentric and hugely popular detective, Hercule Poirot, was introduced to the world in this book, which launched her career as the most famous and best loved of all mystery writers.

My two-bits:

I've been reading a lot of thriller and mystery related books lately. Also, watched episodes of Hercule Poirot mysteries. AND, am now inspired to finally read/listen to stories from the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie. She has an amazing collection of works. So, I started from the beginning.

While this first story in the Poirot series is the start of it all, it is not an origin story for Poirot. The story jumps right into a mystery which is told from another character's perspective, Hastings, who is a friend of Poirot.

Poirot get pulled into this mystery as a side character doing his own investigations and solving it with the big reveal in a room with the assembled suspects.


* Listened to audiobook version.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Goodbye, Vitamin
by Rachel Khong

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Contemporary, Humor
Hardback: 208
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
Tonight a man found Dad's pants in a tree lit with Christmas lights.

Her life at a crossroads, a young woman goes home again in this funny and inescapably moving debut from a wonderfully original new literary voice.

Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she'd realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth's father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her all her grief.

Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.

My two-bits:

This is a humorous, yet serious perspective of a young adult in a caregiver role for a father experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer's. The gradual transition of the relationship between father and daughter is also presented by way of short observations of daily living.


* part of Tournament of Books 2018 (here)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lulu Anew by Étienne Davodeau

Lulu Anew
by Étienne Davodeau

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2015
Publisher: NBM Publishing
Genre: Literary, Women's Fiction, Graphic Novel
Hardback: 160
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
I can only tell you what I know about Lulu.

At the end of yet another unproductive job interview, Lulu, on a whim, takes off for the shore just to get away from it all. She’s got a husband and kids left bewildered but it’s nothing against them. This is just her time, getting away from the grind and with no other plan than savoring it. Surprised at her own temerity, she meets other people on the edge of the world. It wasn’t meant to be for long. It wasn’t meant to be anything but in the end thrilling, fun, and possibly dangerous, this improvised experience will make of Lulu a different woman.


My two-bits:

LOVE how the premise of the story grabbed me which holds true from the first page of the story to the end.

The story is told through different perspectives other than directly from the main character, Lulu, which was refreshing and different than the norm.

Interesting twists and turns along the way for Lulu with support and care from friends.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day with S.A. Dunphy and Kit de Waal

CELEBRATE today with Irish authors!

When She Was Gone
by S.A. Dunphy
-Crime, Thriller
Release date: March 1, 2018
Amazon | Goodreads

When criminologist David Dunnigan receives the shocking delivery of one of his niece Beth's shoes, it reignites the eighteen-year-old investigation into her disappearance - which Dunnigan has always blamed himself for. But is he ready for what he might find?

New evidence links Beth's abduction to an antiquated psychiatric hospital, and on to an Inuit village in the frozen north of Greenland where the parents of Harry, a homeless boy Dunnigan and his friend Miley rescued from the streets, may have been trafficked.

Can Dunnigan survive the hunt, and will he find Beth after all this time?


The Trick To Time
by Kit de Waal
Release date: March 29, 2018
Amazon | Goodreads

Mona is a dollmaker. She crafts beautiful, handmade wooden dolls in her workshop in a sleepy seaside town. Every doll is special. Every doll has a name. And every doll has a hidden meaning, from a past Mona has never accepted.

Each new doll takes Mona back to a different time entirely - back to Birmingham, in 1972. Back to the thrill of being a young Irish girl in a big city, with a new job and a room of her own in a busy boarding house. Back to her first night out in town, where she meets William, a gentle Irish boy with an easy smile and an open face. Back to their whirlwind marriage, and unexpected pregnancy. And finally, to the tragedy that tore them apart.


* found these authors amongst The Irish Times Books to Look Out for in 2018 article (here)

Lovely Books and Things - 3.17.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Happy St. Patrick's Day - going out to get Irish Soda Bread

2. Watching Japanese tv show about making miniature food with miniature appliances (source: image)

3. Studio Ghibli Pop Up Shop



My Neighbor Totoro
by Tsugiko Kubo
illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki
-Fantasy, Japan
Amazon | Goodreads

MY treat from the Studio Ghibli Pop Up shop.

Prize: books and audiobooks

Red Sparrow Trilogy
by Jason Matthews
-Espionage, Mystery, Thriller
courtesy of Simon and Schuster via instagram -Thanks!

FIRST book win from an instagram giveaway! So cool ;-)

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews Amazon | Goodreads
Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews Amazon | Goodreads
The Kremlin's Candidate by Jason Matthews Amazon | Goodreads

AND watched: in theatre

Red Sparrow (2018)
Director: Francis Lawrence
Screenplay: Justin Haythe
Based on book by: Jason Matthews
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Mary-Louise Parker
-Mystery, Thriller | imdb | my rating: 4

Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to 'Sparrow School,' a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

THE origin story for the Dominika character with Jennifer Lawrence doing what she does best. Tough cookie that she is.

AND watched: on Netflix

The Armstrong Lie (2013)
Director/Writer: Alex Gibney
Stars: Lance Armstrong, Reed Albergotti, Betsy Andreu
-Documentary | imdb | my rating: 4

A documentary chronicling sports legend Lance Armstrong's improbable rise and ultimate fall from grace.

THE curiosity of this whole affair is fascinating.

AND watched: at event

The Ito Sisters (2018)
An American Story
Director/Writer: Antonia Grace Glenn
-Documentary | website | my rating: 4

THE ITO SISTERS is a feature-length documentary film that captures the stories of three Japanese American sisters, interviewed in their 80’s and 90’s, as they recount how their immigrant parents struggled to make a life in America at the beginning of the 20th century. The family’s chronicle is set against the backdrop of the anti-Japanese movement in California, a 60-year campaign by politicians, journalists, landowners, labor leaders and others that culminated in the evacuation and incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast during World War II. THE ITO SISTERS is written, directed and produced by Antonia Grace Glenn, the granddaughter of the middle of the three sisters.

THE Presidio Trust presented a screening of this which included a Q&A with director, Antonia Grace Glenn, and lead scholar, Evelyn Nakano Glenn.

GREAT personal story piece to watch and learn about for Women's History Month!


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

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