Reading - December 2021

Guitar Magazine (December 2021 / Issue 399)
Guitar Magazine (January 2022 / Issue 400)
I've been subscribing to magazines since the early 1990s - blimey, almost thirty years! The titles have changed - Q, Select, Vox, Uncut, The Word, Private Eye, Top Gear, Guitarist, just off the top of my head - but there was always something arriving on my door mat once a month, sometimes several somethings. I think it started with Q, but it's ended here: Guitar is the only magazine I subscribe to now, and it is stopping its print edition and moving entirely online. The final edition isn't anything special, which unfortunately highlights how expensive it is for what it is, given that I can get the same content now for free via a browser. Still, I'm a bit sad that I won't be getting a shiny new magazine through the door any more.
How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by The Oatmeal/Matthew Inman (2012)
A very nice surprise Chanukah gift from the kids. I first read The Oatmeal ages ago and while the humour is always exactly my thing, it can be very funny. This is a collection of comics that have been published on the web site (e.g. Cat vs Internet) and some new comics, and comes complete with a big pull out poster of the title comic. (As an aside, why do they do this? Once it's folded up in order to go inside the book, it's useless as a decent poster because you'll never get the fold lines out!)
We Can't Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon (2021)
Most of the romantic novels I read feature characters who are adults, with jobs and sometimes families to look after - and the target audience is presumably also adult. "Young adult" romantic fiction is about and for teenagers. It's a while since I was a teenager, but I can still remember what it felt like (as I am sure most people can - apparently impressions and memories formed while your brain is still developing are more vivid), and it's nice to be reminded of the intensity of emotions around a first love or crush. This book evokes that very well, and the story is a sweet one of a girl finding her own wishes for the future as well as understanding her feelings for someone else. The fact that the main character is Jewish also appeals, as does the fact that it's never over-explained.
Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan (2016)
This was the source material for the slightly-above-average Christmas schlock movie Christmas on 5th Avenue that we watched earlier this month. The book has exactly the same story arc that any Silhouette/Harlequin/M&B novel does (in fact, it's on the Harlequin imprint MIRA) but at somewhat greater length, which made it feel like it was padded unnecessarily. The plot makes slightly more sense here than it does in the film, but it's still very predictable. That said, I enjoyed it!
No Time Like The Future by Michael J. Fox (2020)
I seem to have inadvertently missed out the third Fox life installment (A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Future) but I suspect that it's fairly similar to this and to his other books: an engaging, readable mix of stories from his recent life and thoughts on what it means. He's consistently open about what is happening to him, but perhaps slightly less reflective on how privileged he is to have the world's best medical care available to him - the privilege afforded by both his fame and fortune.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (1934)
I caught a bit of the 1974 film on the tellybox over Christmas. I don't think much of Albert Finney's Poirot though, and Kenneth Branagh's 2017 version isn't on any service we have, so I thought I'd read the book again. The actual solution is very imaginative of course, but it's shorter than I remember, and Poirot basically solves it in about fifteen minutes. (And the book is nearly ninety years old! Not my copy, which dates from the 70s.)

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