Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Bundling up with some good books for a Winter's Respite

Happy New Year,folks, and I hope you've all gotten a good start off to 2018 there. I am most fortunate to begin this brand new year with a Winter's Respite readathon, hosted by Michelle Miller of Seasons of Reading.

This literary get-together has gone from a week long event to a month long one, giving us all more time to read and share our bookish thoughts with each other. With the subzero conditions most of us are experiencing,weather wise, right now, that is a perfectly timed great idea.

I'm going to continue with some of my regular reading(plus start my Series-ous Reading 2 project) as well as join in on the readathon fun, so let me show you a few items from this particular TBR, starting with Murder on The Orient Express, Agatha Christie's ultimate mystery classic.

This locked room case has quite an unique twist, as the title train becomes snowbound just as the murder of a suspicious passenger,Mr. Rachett, has been discovered. Nearly everyone on board is a suspect except for famed detective Hercule Poirot, who happened to take this trip in order to give input on another case. This is the first Poirot novel that I've read and so far, the pacing is excellent.

Granted, I did see the 1974 film adaptation(with my renewed interest being peaked by the recent  movie version starring Kenneth Branaugh) and have watched a couple of other Poirot headlined films,including Death on the Nile which also headed for a fresh new remake as well.

 However, experiencing the story on page has a crispness to it that allows you to absorb the plot on it's own terms. All star casts are fun but at times, can be a little distracting when looking to see whodunit.  At some point, I'll catch the latest cinematic version but for the moment, taking this mystery train word by word is turning into a true thrill ride:

 For more old school style mystery, I'm heading from shore to ship with Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House by Stephanie Barron. We find Jane Austen visiting one of her naval brothers,Frank, in Portsmouth in 1807 where her sleuthing skills are called upon to help one of his fellow officers.

Seems as Frank's good friend,Captain Tom Seagrave, has been accused of murdering a French officer after he surrendered his vessel, a serious violation of the Articles of War. To prevent Captain Seagrave from being unjustly hanged, Jane seeks a witness for the defense among the French prisoners of war held at Wool House, a task that endangers more than one life.

Having enjoyed catching up with Barron's Jane Austen mysteries last year, it is nice to go on a bit more with the series and with Persuasion being my favorite Austen novel, hearing more about British naval captains is a true treat indeed:

In addition to rereading the first two books in the Dark Tower series for my Series-ous Reading 2 challenge(already underway with The Gunslinger), I thought that I would revisit a more current Stephen King read.

Finders,Keepers is the second book in the Bill Hodges/Mr. Mercedes trilogy and in some ways, it's almost a stand alone story. It begins with the robbery and murder of reclusive author John Rothstein, whose iconic coming of age Runner novels have motivated the demented Morris Bellamy to take revenge for being disappointed in the journey of his literary hero.

A major part of the take from the robbery are Rothstein's notebooks, which contain two unpublished Runner books, but before Morris can read any of them, he is sent to prison for a different crime. The only thing that keeps him going is the thought of retrieving his literary loot. Meanwhile, many years later, a young boy named Peter Saubers finds the trunk containing the notebooks and money from the heist, the latter he uses to help his financially troubled family.

Peter does wind up reading the books and becomes a major fan of Rothstein's work. However, as he grows up, the money runs out and selling those notebooks could provide for his family even more. By this time,Morris has gotten parole and is determined to find those notebooks at all costs.

 The events of Mr. Mercedes do tie into the story but it's a great thriller with book lover themes which can be appreciated by die hard readers everywhere:

For something a little less intense, I chose a book from my latest library haul that fits right into a rather joyous real world event.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan was originally inspired by the union of British Prince William and Kate Middleton but with his younger brother Harry about to marry American Megan Markle, this regal romance feels right in tunes with the present times.

Our leading lady is US. born Rebecca "Bex" Porter, who falls in love with Nicholas, Prince of Wales who happens to be in line for the throne of England. Their love is true but the immense spectacle of media scrutiny(made worse by the antics of their publicity seeking siblings) causes Bex to doubt if following her heart is worth being followed by the public eye for the rest of her life.

This sounds like a good romantic romp and I'm hoping for something along the lines of Notting Hill, that charming Hugh Grant-Julia Roberts movie where falling in love with an international film star is just as tricky as a royal affair,plus some humor mixed in for silly sweet flavor:

These aren't the only books I intend to get to during this readathon but with any luck, I will have finished them up before the month ends. With the chance of more snow to come this week in my neck of the woods, curling up with a good book sounds cozier by the minute.

 Perhaps an episode or two of Gilmore Girls in the background would really set the readathon mood off ,preferable one with Lorelai's sense of snow in full affect, a sense that I share in spirit:

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