Monday, April 9, 2012

Introducing: The Agatha Christie Book Club

If there's one thing you all must accustom yourselves to on this site, it's me acting like a spazzy fangirl. Should Jane Austen herself rise from the dead and stroll into my living room, I would be the very model of politeness and decorum, but on here? Uh-uh. This is my turf, and there is a no-holds-barred policy on geeking out.

I thought it wise to make my patterns of behavior clear before I dive into this post, because of the many things I spazz out about (Patricia Polacco, Megan Whalen Turner, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, bubble wrap...), Dame Agatha Christie is front and center on that list.

What's the point, I hear you ask. Say "spazz" one more time and I'll garrote you with your own socks, I hear you threaten. No need to be so violent! (Besides, I am currently barefoot, so the sock option is unavailable.)

The point is that Vicky of Books, Biscuits, and Tea, and Anjana of Kindle and Me have joined forces to co-host an Agatha Christie book club! Efficiently titled The Agatha Christie Book Club, members will read one Agatha Christie novel per month, in order of publication date. At the end of the month, said members will convene at an online "tea party" to discuss the book.

There are several reasons why this idea has me so excited:

1) I LOVE AGATHA CHRISTIE! You all really have no idea. I wrote two separate final exam papers on Christie in college. This woman was the first mystery writer (and thus far the only mystery writer) to completely stump me every single time. I have never correctly guessed the murderer, not once. More impressively, she doesn't pull a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and hoard clues. The villain can be guessed by correctly deciphering the clues given, provided that the reader is... well, smarter than I am, I guess.

2) The books are short. Her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, is only 124 pages long. We're all busy with life and other things, and we're only reading one book per month, so the goal is completely doable. I don't know about you all, but I don't need any more stress.

3) The books are cheap. Book Depository and Amazon both list many of her paperback editions as low as five bucks. The first book we're reading, the aforementioned Styles, is even available for FREE download from Project Gutenberg.

4) The books seem endless. In her very prolific lifetime, Dame Agatha Christie wrote 66 novels and 14 short story collections (and that's not counting her highly successful plays!). She is (according to Guiness Book of World Records) the best-selling novelist of all time and her works are the third-most widely published works, behind only William freaking Shakespeare and the Bible.

Should any of you be interested in joining, the process is really quite simple. Skip on over to Vicky's page and sign up. That's all. We'll be starting with Styles in May, so you'll have an entire month (or a month and a half, if you start now) to acquaint yourself with the delightful Detective Hercule Poirot in his debut novel.

You can also follow Vicky, Anjana, and myself on Twitter. Members of the book club can update reading progress (or just say silly things about Poirot's mustache) via the hashtag #ACBC.