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In the Beginning...
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

My first foray into Poirot's world, and it won't be the last. Expect a delightful classic mystery that's equal parts snappy and clever.


Currently reading: The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin



Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

My first foray into Poirot's world, and it won't be the last. Expect a delightful classic mystery that's equal parts snappy and clever.


Currently reading: The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin
Hercule Poirot's Christmas is the only one I've read and that was quite good.



A system of cells interlinked
Line War - Neal Asher




Final book in the Agent Cormac series of science fiction books. Excellent end to an excellent series.

Next up...

The Discoverers : A History of Man's Search to Know Himself - Daniel Boorstin

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"Thereís absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP





Good book
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Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.



I read a few reviews about this book and it is beautifully written, beautifully wrought Quite a serious story, but I think we ll see more fine works from this writer (new to me) May I ask how you choose your books?
. I d like to read it sometime, based on your suggestion, but no time in the holiday season. Probably after the new year. Of course I could find more time in this busy season , perhaps, if I gave up nattering and chattering on this site..........nawwwwwww......too much fun.



I read a few reviews about this book and it is beautifully written, beautifully wrought Quite a serious story, but I think we ll see more fine works from this writer (new to me) May I ask how you choose your books?
. I d like to read it sometime, based on your suggestion, but no time in the holiday season. Probably after the new year. Of course I could find more time in this busy season , perhaps, if I gave up nattering and chattering on this site..........nawwwwwww......too much fun.
I choose my books based on reviews in The New Yorker & The New York Times. I read them on my Kindle app & I buy them from amazon.com. If I donít like the book, I can get a refund within 7 days. So all the books I have listed here are excellent as I very quickly return a book that is not good.



Tom Baker Reads A Christmas Carol (Audiobook) Ė 9/10

Probably the fifth year in a row that this has been a staple listen for me. Tom Baker's versatile performance is special enough but the sound design and music subtly supports him and builds up the atmosphere, being festive, emotive and eerie.



Started another anthology book this week, Murder Under the Christmas Tree.

My ratings for the first three short stories:

The Necklace of Pearls by Dorothy L. Sayers ó 6.5/10
The Name on the Window by Edmund Crispin ó 6.5/10
A Traditional Christmas by Val McDermid ó 6/10
Some more from this book:

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
by Arthur Conan Doyle ó 8/10
The Invisible Man by G. K. Chesterton ó 6/10
Cinders by Ian Rankin ó 4/10



Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878Ė1928


Great book if you're interested in Soviet History. It didn't get a full score because i feel a Lenin or Trotsky book during this period would be alot better as their role then was alot more interesting, it obviously focused on them alot but it focused alot on Stalin pre-power too. Volume 2 should be amazing though as that's 1929-1941 the post Bolshiveik purges through to going to war with Hitler. It only came out this year going to buy it soon.


The First Family: Terror, Extortion and the Birth of the American Mafia


About early New York Mafia Families which would evolve into the ones we know today. Solid book, it's well written for a mafia book and has some good stories. I know that a fair amount of it has been debunked now though, for example it says Ignazio Lupo was Underboss to Giuseppe Morello who was boss of the gang that would become known as the Genovese Crime Family. It has since came out that Lupo was boss of his own gang that would eventually become the Gambino Crime Family, also the gang Morello led while it had deep connections to what became the Genovese Family wasn't really the same thing. Morello headed a New York based Crime Family made solely of members from Corleone, Sicily, around five years after Morello was imprisoned his gang was taken over by other Corleonesi and when he was released in 1920 he started a war against them. The war would be resolved in 1922 and Morello would join a new family as Underboss led by Italian born but American raised Joseph Masseria, Masseria lead the first truly Americanized Family making people from all over Italy members as well as American born people as long as their parents where Italian, up to that point the families had largely been from one area in New York. The (using later names for the Crime Families) the Gambino's were from Palermo City, The Bonanno's from Castellammare Del Golfo and the Lucchese's who split off from Morello's group around 1920 would largely be his gangs successors from Corleone. The rest of the families would start to follow suit from Masseria leading to the whole New York Mafia being Americanized and larger than most other families in the country since you didn't have to be from a certain place in Sicily to join a family as long as your family was Italian.

Anyway, it's a good starting place and i would have loved this five or so years ago. There's stiil alot of great information in this book, new information has came out that changes the situation depicted here though so i doubt i'll be returning to it.




Started another anthology book this week, Murder Under the Christmas Tree.
Getting towards the end now, with only two more to go. The last two rated as follows:

Death on the Air by Ngaio Marsh ó 7.5/10
Persons or Things Unknown by Carter Dickson ó 4.5/10



Warning: does not play well with others
The Hunted
(2017, Meagan Spooner)
4/5

A different retelling of Beauty and the Beast

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If you give off signals that you donít want to belong, people will make sure that you donít.



The Day of the Locust - Nathanael West - 8/10
The story is intriguing enough if youíre in to Hollywood sleaze, though itís focused less on general H-wood, and more on a small cast of lower tier aspirants. Apart from Homer, the characters are all shades of despicable too. I loved the ultra high-strung dwarf though. His intro was one of the funniest things Iíve read in a while. The often metaphorical writing holds a lot of power; easy to see why itís revered.
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I never could get the hang of Thursdays.


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I need to stop reading YA books that get overhyped on goodreads. They are invariably underwhelming.