Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

My goal for January is already completed. A few days ago I finished Agatha Christie's autobiography, and I enjoyed it immensely.

I have always been hesitant to read any biographies or autobiographies, and if I have read any, it was only because I had to for a class. (I honestly cannot remember if I have or not). I was worried about reading Agatha Christie's too, just because I was afraid that it would be a dry, monotonous, boring read. But then I realized, Hey. This is an autobiography, written by Christie herself, so if I enjoy her writing style in her novels and memoir, then I should have no problem with the story of her life. I was proved correct.

This certainly wasn't a dry read about the chronological everyday events in a person's life. Christie writes it just as she would probably be telling it to someone in person; she writes about the random memories as they come to mind. She does start off "in the beginning", (one has to start somewhere), but there are continuous flashbacks and flashforwards as they relate to the topic at hand.

I enjoyed reading about her earlier years, before she started writing. It was great to be able to have a window into someone's life at the time period. I never knew how much of Christie's own life and experiences are reflected in her stories, and as I was reading the autobiography, I realized that nearly all of her stories stemmed from some aspect of her life, or included a small trivial item in it from her childhood, like a toy that she had. It almost makes me want to go back and reread her novels again to pick up on each true-to-life subject. Almost. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the stories, I'm not about to spend another two years rereading them.

There were a few points in the telling of her life that I questioned whether or not she remembered accurately, or was even maybe embellishing on. In her memoir, Come, Tell Me How You Live, she told a story about a member of the church mistakenly thinking that she and another passenger were husband and wife. He was slightly deaf, so they had a difficult time explaining to him that they were not in fact married, and when he finally did understand, he replied that they should be, clearly thinking that they were "living in sin". She wrote the memoir during the 1940s and claims that this incident occurred while traveling to (or from) an archaeological dig being conducted by her second husband Max. However, in her autobiography, which she began writing in the 1950s, but was not published until the 70s, she attributes this anecdote to a time before she had even met her second husband, when she was traveling for the first time by herself, after her first marriage dissolved.

It's a minor detail, and one that I'm sure would have been easy to mix up, but I'm surprised that nobody had caught it. But I suppose that they probably hadn't read both back-to-back like I had, therefore having the memory fresh in my mind, prior to her autobiography being published.

All in all, it was a delightful read. And now I can put Agatha Christie back up on the shelf and start exploring my next author of choice, Alexandre Dumas!

My goal for the end of February is to finish reading The Count of Monte Cristo. This shouldn't be too difficult as I have already read the book (a favorite of mine) once, years ago, and have seen the movie multiple times, but I'm afraid that it may be a little too "heavy" to read with two little ones running around all day. After that, I will move on to his other works. Wish me luck!


  1. Ooh reading more is one of the things on my 2011 list too... I am glad to find a place to get some inspiration!

    Your background of old books is amazing. Old books are a favorite of mine.

  2. Glad to be an inspiration! I once made a list of all of the "classics" that I wanted to add to my repertoire. I think I am halfway through it. Once I hit Jane Austen, I HAD to read ALL of her books, then stumbled across Agatha Christie and the Classics were put aside to complete my goal of finishing all of her novels.

    To date, my favorite authors are Austen, Christie, and Dumas.

  3. Hi, Krista! I LOVE biographies/autobiographies. They appeal to voyeur in me. I'll put Agatha Christie on my list.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. You're welcome, Jenni. And thank you for stopping by here as well! Enjoy the book!

  5. Krista: I am very happy to meet you. I am your newest follower. I love your site!

  6. Thank you, JJ. I'm delighted to have another follower!

  7. I need more Aggie in my life :)
    I love her style.
    I'm also an a fan of old Murder She Wrotes :)

  8. Juju, I couldn't agree with you more. I LOVE "Murder, She Wrote"!


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