Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, December 31, 2018

Taking a Winter's Respite to ring in the new year of reading

Happy New Year's Eve, folks and hope your celebrations to say farewell to this past year go off without a hitch. As for me, I'm checking my list of books set aside for the Winter's Respite readathon  over at Seasons of Reading.

Thanks to hostess Michelle Miller, this month long readathon gives us a chance to catch up with our TBR piles,dive into those books gifted to us during the holiday season(or picked up at an end of year sale!) and generally relax with some good reads. Most of my selections were Christmas presents and I'll be happy to open them up indeed:

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE: This debut novel by Gail Honeyman has become a much talked about book, recommended highly and chosen as a selection for Reese Witherspoon's book club(she's also turning it into a movie).

The leading lady of the title is living a very quiet life, going from office to home and not much else. Part of the reason that she keeps to herself is due to a rather troubled childhood which gave emotional as well as physical scars.

However, someone from work decides to befriend her. Raymond works in the IT department and appears to actually see Eleanor as a person instead of a figure to be avoided or mocked. Slowly but surely, she starts to join the outside world and begins to learn of the options out there in order to discover the type of existence she truly wants.

I have high hopes for this book but am willing to take it on it's own terms. Hype can work both for and against a novel but I have a feeling that this story is worth taking a chance on, much like it's heroine:

NINE PERFECT STRANGERS: Liane Moriarty's latest story is set at a wellness retreat, where a mixed bag of guests such as romance writer Frances, worried about her continuing career success, and young Zoe, staying with her parents as a means of coping with the anniversary of a tragic event.

As everyone gets to know one another, concern arises about the agenda of Masha, the director of Tranquillium House. Her odd requests and isolating programs for the attendees are certainly a distraction from their everyday woes but is there a method to her supposed madness or not?

I've enjoyed Moriaty's work in the past and like that she added a writer into the mix here for a bit of meta fun. From what I've heard about this book, some of the story is meant to be a bit satirical about the spa craze, which puts me in mind of T. C. Boyle's The Road to Wellville(a better book than the movie makes it out to be)set in modern times-should be interesting to see where Moriaty takes this concept there:

THE ABC MURDERS: My interest in Agatha Christie's works continues and yes, also spurred on by the news of a new adaption. This Poirot tale has him hunting down a killer who uses the alphabet to target his victims, placing all of London in a state of fear.

Poirot teams up with Inspector Japp, the official head of the investigation with his co-horts including Dr. Thompson a forensic psychiatrist determined to reveal the killer's motive and Inspector Crone, a man that harbors doubts about the effectiveness of Poirot's methods. Along for the ride is Poirot's old friend Arthur Hastings, eager to lend a hand as well.

While I am a Miss Marple lady, Hercule Poirot has grown on me a bit and even though I won't be able to see the current BBC version starring John Malkovich, it is a timely excuse to explore this engaging mystery:

In addition, I have Jasmine Guillory's The Proposal(thank you, Stacy, for that Bookish Secret Santa gift!) and a couple of titles released earlier this year, The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes-Gower and Kate Morton's The Clockmaker's Daughter.

The latter takes place in an old English estate known as Birchwood Manor, a home lived in by many yet has only one true resident. Lily has walked the halls of Birchwood for decades as a protective spirit, looking to intervene when necessary for such folks as Edward, an artist dealing with a diamond theft on his property and Jack, a newly arrived photojournalist.

When an archivist named Elodie discovers a photo of Lily among her research into the history of Birchwood, that find leads to a reveal that brings more than one hidden story to life. Morton does love to weave elaborate yet emotional drawn tales and this winter may be a good time to dive into this one:

The Winter's Respite starts at midnight this January 1st and ends on the 31st of the month, so there is plenty of time to get those pages a-turning. Best wishes for a Happy New Year to Michelle Miller and all of the other reading friends who are signing up for this bookish beginning to 2019.

Also sending a Happy New Year to anyone taking part in any of the other wonderful readathons out there as well as all who are hoping for a fresh start on so many fronts in the year about to arrive. The coming cold season should be a grand time for bundling up in a cozy spot and diving into a good book that will keep your spirits warm and bright:

1 comment:

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Happy New Year! Looks like you have some great reading lined up. Sitting here trying to wrap my head around Malkovich as Poirot. He's a great actor though so he'll probably be good. Of course, Suchet will always be Poirot for me.

Glad to have you with us again. Happy Reading!