Since I’ve been on a reading tear lately, I’ve been spending more of my thrifting time looking for books. It’s a goldmine, you guys. This was a recent “haul” from Goodwill, and it all came to under $25. I will confess that I have only started to leaf through the Chateaux of the Loire book, and swoon over its beautiful photos. I plan on giving it a thorough read however, as it appears to address the history and architecture of the area in some detail. I have briefly traveled through the Loire Valley some 13 or 14 years ago, but I only saw a couple of chateaux (Versailles and Amboise). One of my travel bucket list items is a longer trip, with many more stops — Chenonceaux, Chambord, Azay-le-Riday. I’ve been obsessed with French history since I was a child, so seeing some of the real life places I’ve read about countless times is a bit like, well, visiting Disneyland.
Moving on, the Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell book was a stroll through the memory lane of my early/mid 20s. The clothes! The endless ‘which character do you most resemble’ discussions! The Mr. Big obsession! The latter was probably the worst of it. Sometime in my early 20s, I got hung up on a guy who was textbook “he’s just not that into you”, but who kept popping up often enough to leave me wondering “what if”. Needless to say, he totally became my Mr. Big (minus the swanky lifestyle and ex-wives) in my very active imagination. I don’t blame the show for my emotional immaturity … but the whole thing was kind of an ode to emotional immaturity (ahem, I’m looking at you, Carrie). Anyway, the book was a lot of fun, although I wish it contained more in-depth analysis of the characters. And the clothes too. Speaking of which, if you don’t follow the Instagram account @everyoutfitonsatc, you should.
I also read the (not Christie penned) Poirot novel which was … kinda looney. In the best way (I lost track of the number of plot!twists! but there were a good dozen probably) and in the worst way (if you stopped to think about it, most of those plot twists were totally improbable). It didn’t feel like a typical Christie novel, although I can’t put my finger on why — perhaps the looney plot. (Christie wrote some doozies, but this was like Murder on the Orient Express + And Then There Were None x 1,000.) I also found the narrator/second banana character to be really odd. Dim policemen are a staple of Poirot novels, but such characters are easier to swallow or overlook when they’re not the ones narrating the plot. As it was, I swung back and forth between thinking Catchpool was extraordinarily thick, and thinking he was somehow complicit in the murders and pretending to be thick. Since I love Christie’s novels, I am totally on-board with the idea of her characters (Poirot, Miss Marple, Harley Quinn) being revived by new authors, but this particular iteration was more of a miss than a win for me.
Lastly, I am currently reading Faithful Place. It’s slower going than the other Tana French novels I’ve read. I’m less than a third of the way through, though, so it’s too early to tell if I’m going to love it or hate it. Based on my past experience, I’m probably going to end up being hooked by the story, and then eventually let down by the ending. Side note: do any French protagonists *not* have a complicated and/or mysterious personal life?
No interesting articles this week (sad face) so if you’ve read something good online, share your recc’s in the comments.