If you've been ambling down this trail with me for very long, you know I've had decades-long problems with Golden Age mysteries. One of the problems is just the way it is when one tries to compare apples with oranges. Golden Age mysteries tend to emphasize plot over character, and I'm a reader who prefers character over plot. But I keep plugging away, trying to find mysteries during that time period that I like. I seldom have success-- especially with the Queen, Dame Agatha Christie herself.
I've never been able to finish a full-length Agatha Christie mystery. She is a woman of her times, so I can find the inherent racism difficult, but my real problem with Christie has always been her smugness. As I've read her novels, I can hear her whispering in my ear, "See how clever I am? So much more clever than you, m'dear. You'd never be able to create these complicated plots!" You're undoubtedly correct in your assumption, madame, but kindly refrain from rubbing my nose in my inability.
But I keep trying because (1) I don't like to fail, (2) she is the Queen of my favorite genre after all, and (3) the television adaptations of her work are some of my favorite viewing. There's gotta be a way!
I am happy to announce that I've finally had a breakthrough. I've learned that if I stay away from novels and read her short stories that I can actually enjoy and appreciate the shorter fiction. It's as though the woman didn't have time to be smug in her short stories (although it did creep into one of the Miss Marple stories I read). I'm so pleased with myself that I'm going to mosey out to the corral and give all those links an extra carrot before I... head 'em up and moooooove 'em out!
►Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- The crazy story behind the first book published in the (future) United States.
- How Bullwinkle taught kids sophisticated political satire.
- Anyone besides me remember Marty Robbins?
- On the ubiquitous, economy-shaping, library-defining Billy bookcase.
- The real Winnie-the-Pooh has been revealed to have been a "Growler."
- From Gone Girl to Doctor Foster, the lure of the vengeful woman.
- Why literature's greatest detectives are all obsessed with food.
- How to start a silent book club.
- A brief history of book burning, from the printing press to internet archives.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- Europe's famed bog bodies are starting to reveal their secrets.
- An ancient Egyptian pharaoh may be the first known giant.
- A student found an ancient Canadian village that's 10,000 years older than the Pyramids.
- A skeleton stolen from an underwater cave in Mexico was one of America's oldest.
- Major Roman ruins have been discovered underwater off the coast of Tunisia.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- African wild dogs sneeze to vote on group decisions. Gesundheit!
- Thirty-one adventurous dogs exploring the world.
- Prize-winning images capture birds in all their feathered glory.
- Stress is killing these tiny lemurs, and the story is in their hair.
- A southern Arizona winery is mourning the death of Trevor the Peacock.
- A mysterious Amazon animal has been spotted for the first time in eighty years.
- The world's parasites are going extinct, and here's why that's a bad thing.
- How forest forensics could prevent the theft of ancient trees.
- How Zika virus could be used to fight brain cancer.
- The unlikely medical history of chocolate syrup.
- Flexible batteries may soon be printed right on your clothes.
- How getting fish hooked on drugs could help fight opioid addiction.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- Eleven literary destinations every book lover should visit in the fall.
- The world is running out of...sand?
- I would love to visit this exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum: Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.
- The Hide and Seek World Championship will take over an Italian ghost town.
- Lost languages have been discovered in one of the world's oldest continuously run libraries.
- King's Cross Station was filled with Harry Potter fans for the celebration of a special Back to Hogwarts Day.
- See the most northerly active sand dunes in the world.
►I ♥ Lists & Quizzes◄
- The seven must-read Sherlock Holmes stories.
- The ten best female detectives in fiction written by women.
- Ten college courses to read along with this semester from your couch.
- Which Stephen King novel are you? (I'm The Shining.)
- Top ten books on postwar France.
- Nine books by women that won the Pulitzer Prize.
- Seventeen movies that are cleverly disguised Shakespeare plays.
- Eleven of the worst marriages in literature.
That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!