Weekly Reads – 9 January 2022

We’re one week into the new year–how is it treating you? I have to say that this year has started off on all cylinders for me. It’s been go-go-go since the holidays ended, and it is taking a toll. I sat down to read today and promptly fell fast asleep. Fortunately, the kids have 4-day school weeks for the rest of this month (Thanks to observed holidays and teacher work days), so hopefully I will have a chance to catch up on some sleep.

One of the things taking up a lot of my energy is Girl Scout Cookie Sales. Pre-orders just started on Friday and my daughter had great plans to canvas our neighborhood with door hangers. Then….she got her booster on Friday and was completely out of it on Saturday. She’s still not 100%, but we were able to get about 3/4 of the neighborhood done. We’re crossing our fingers that the weather holds and we can finish the rest on Monday after she gets home from school. (And, if anyone needs a cookie dealer, you can visit her site here.)

My son has started his own little adventure. We’ve been looking for something for him to do. Sports are not his thing and he was having trouble finding and activity that interested hi, Well, we’ve found it! He’s joined our local Code Ninjas and is going to be learning to code. He went for his free session this weekend and loved it! We’ll see how it goes, but he can’t wait to go back this coming week!

Okay, onto the books (before I fall asleep again). As usual, I’m linking up with Kathryn at Book Date and her It’s Monday…What Are You Reading? blog hop.

Since the first of the year, I’ve finished:

The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence #1) by Agatha Christie
Date finished: January 4, 2022
Rating: 4 stars

My quest to read all of Agatha Christie is still in its infancy, but it was time to meet Tommy and Tuppence. I’ve only previously read And Then There Were None and some Poirots, so this book was completely different from what I expected.

While the mystery here is well-crafted and kept me guessing, it is not what I will remember from this book. Instead, the characters of Tommy and Tuppence took this one over. They are very much of their time, which is the 20s and very fun. I especially liked that, while the two are nearly balanced, Tuppence is definitely the stronger and smarter of the two.

I do think I’ll have to weave the Tommy and Tuppence books in among other Christie series and I think too much of them at once can become tiring but am looking forward to reading them as they mature.

The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #17) by Louise Penny
Date finished: January 6, 2022
Rating: 4.5 stars

I was apprehensive as I started this one. All the Devils Are Here was probably my least favorite of the Gamache books and a lot of fellow readers whom I trust said they had trouble with this one. Ultimately, this became my favorite of the series so far.

Two things, beyond the usual level of quality from Louise Penny, made this a winner. First of all, the mystery kept me guessing until the end. There were a lot of elements to the mystery, but unlike the previous book, they were easy to follow. The end of the book did set my heart racing, and then brought tears to my eyes.

The other element was that–FINALLY! AFTER 16 BOOKS!–Isabelle Lacoste is truly in the mix of the story! She has always been there, but always somewhat on the periphery. This is the first book where the team is Gamache, Beauvoir, and Lacoste–not Gamache and Beauvoir, with Lacoste off working on some secondary angle of things. I’ve liked her character from the first installment of this series and I am so pleased that she finally gets the credit she is due. I also loved the annoying sibling dynamic between her and Beauvoir, something that was only hinted at in the past.

To be fair, this is a troubling book for a couple of reasons. It addresses things like crowd-mentality, which we are dealing with in reality. I also know that a number of people have problems with the “Covid is over” feel of this book. That is an issue I can appreciate, but it is not one I dealt with. For me, it was almost comforting reading a book about the “after Covid times.”

This book may not be for everyone, but it was perfect for me. If you’ve been reading the Gamache series (because, yes, you need to read it from the beginning), I would highly recommend this one, with the caveat that it may be a book you decide you need to read at a later date.

Since the first of the year, I’ve started:

This is just a quick rundown of what is currently going. Hopefully some of them will be finished by next week!

  • The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
  • Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
  • Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie
  • We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry (an audio re-read for my book club)

8 thoughts on “Weekly Reads – 9 January 2022

  1. I went on a huge Agatha Christie spree in high school. I know I read some Tommy & Tuppence books but I really don’t remember them. I remember more about Miss Marple and Poirot. I should revisit some of her books. They were always fun, quick reads.

    Code Ninjas sounds like a lot of fun! I hope your son has found his niche and that your daughter feels better.

    Enjoy your week!


  2. I have only read a couple of books by Agatha Christie. I admire you for trying to read all of her books. Come see my week here. Happy reading!


  3. I hope you are able to catch up on some of your sleep, Melinda. I feel like this month is a calm before the storm starts back up for us. LOL Yay for cookies! I wonder if your new cookie will taste differently than ours. I wish we were allowed to do pre-orders. There’s a cookie rally this weekend at the L.A. County Zoo, although we won’t be attending. I think our sale kicks off toward the end of the month. Code Ninjas sounds like so much fun! I am glad your son has found an activity he will enjoy. The Madness of Crowds sounds especially good. I really need to start at the beginning and work my way through her series. It’s interesting that she set it in post-COVID times. I have seen a few authors on Twitter post about the dilemma of how to address (if at all) COVID in their books. I think it would bother me only if the handling of it wasn’t true to the story being told, if that makes sense.

    I hope you have a great week!


  4. You can’t go wrong starting the year with Agatha Christie and this will be the year I finally read Louise Penny! GS cookie season took up so much of my energy in years passed… I was a leader for years and our house was even the cookie depot once or twice. Glad your son found an activity his is excited about, too! Hope your week is off to a good start.


  5. It does sound hectic in your world. I remember those days with kids.

    I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the Louise Penny book. It’s always tricky to write something that won’t be published until many months later, I think.


  6. Life has been crazy here, too. Good luck with the cookie sales and to your son with his coding. So glad he found something he enjoys.

    I bought my mother-in-law that Hercule Poirot collection for Christmas. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks for sharing your books and for visiting my blog.


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About Melinda