Winter Reading Wrap-Up #1

Belle Reading

Sophie: fills her head with thoughts of bad things happening at the luxury hotel where she works including kidnappings and jewel theft.

Also Sophie…

Sees hot guy scaling wall outside of Russian trillionaires room at night in bad weather.

Guy: I’m exercising. It’s a hobby.

Sophie: Okay, well don’t get hurt!

Yes this Winter/holiday season was a little bumpy. A lot of mixed results and I’m going to try to sum them up in order of least favorite to the best of the bunch.

Part 1:

This was about a young woman working as a chambermaid/babysitter/whatever at a ritzy Swiss hotel in the days between Christmas and the big New Years party and includes a whole lot of rich guests, two hot guys, world famous jewels, a psycho child, etc and I’m always willing to say that it’s me and not the book but yeah except for the cat Sophie was just…

I mean besides letting the guy scale the wall and not mentioning to everyone her other greatest hit was conning the granddaughter (whose like 5 or 6) of a rich guest out of her favorite hat so she can conceal some “shit” in it. I say shit because she thought it actually was dog shit but was cake.

Who gets those two things confused for real? Who takes a kids favorite hat to dump it in?

This was just much more wacky, let’s say, than I thought it would be. Much more of a slapstick comedy almost. I’d give Sophie a pass on somethings as being out of her depth but then it does bring up the question why would this place hire a 17-year old American with zero experience when all the other people doing jobs similar to hers (who are of course mostly dreadful) are either experienced or on work study?

The cat was cute. But despite the cat and the snow this one is a pass for me. Unless you are looking for an old-school kind of romantic comedy.

Recommend: No.

Than I journeyed back into Discworld and listened to an abridged version of Hogfather where the Hogfather (Santa) goes missing and Death takes over for him while Death’s granddaughter Susan tries to figure out what is going on.

Truthfully I tried to watch the movie version of this and couldn’t even finish it so an abridged version didn’t bother me at all. The story is there. All the Discworld fun elements. Discworld’s version of Death is always a good time 🙂

And it is slightly more of a Christmas story than some of the other books I read on this list.

Recommend: Yes. I might one day go back and read the whole version but I don’t feel like I missed anything and it’s always fun to listen to Discworld… though the narrator does get a little wild with the voices at times.

I am really enjoying Agatha Christie.

And really terrible at ever figuring out the murderer… I’m like 0 for 3.

Anyway while this book takes place as a family gather for Christmas it’s really not holiday related and can be read anytime easily. Basically a horrible rich father gathers all his children to him (and one grandchild) to rub how much he hates them in their noses and then shockingly he’s killed!

Poirot is luckily enough visiting the local police and gets to help figure the case out. The characters are good if tropey but it’s easy to follow the clues as they investigate (even if you don’t get it!)

Plus (possibly unpopular opinion) I think I’m enjoying Christie/Poirot more than Sherlock Holmes. What I’ve read of Sherlock it never feels like you can guess who did it and a lot of the times he’s pulling it out of thin air. So far these mysteries come together much better.

Recommend: Yes.

Marietta wants to continue with her ballet career but her parents have said her Christmas Eve performance will be her last and then she must marry. And it’s looking increasingly like she must marry a creepy toy maker.

Only one night she gets lost (literally) in a set he built and winds up in another world in this Nutcracker retelling that was actually surprisingly good. I mean I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Nutcracker so I can’t speak too much to an adaptation but it was fun.

I liked Marietta. Kuzniar does a wonderful job with the descriptions of the world and the palace she finds herself in. Seriously I want to go and have parties here there’s like moving gold dresses and truffles falling like snow from the sky.

Yes. Yes. She’s a prisoner and in danger… but snow truffles! I mean based on description alone it does fun but also dark and imaginative fairy tale really well. I also like the relationship that develops between Marietta and two other women in the palace.

Recommend: Yes.

The Holiday Swap is probably the most Christmas (besides the Nutcracker which I totally think could be read whenever) it’s about two twin sisters who after one gets injured swipe lives for a week while she tries to heal.

So one winds up in LA co-hosting a popular baking show and the other at her families bakery in a small town with big Christmas celebrations.

Baking shows and bakeries. Both things up my alley.

Naturally there are hot guys and plenty of hijinks. It was fine. The characters are fun. There are plenty of hijinks the cooking show was the best part. I think they could have gone actually more in depth in the town especially something Charlie does while she doesn’t know she’s being filmed. But if you are looking for a good, fast holiday read The Holiday Swap is a fine one to pick up.

Recommend: Yes.

One comment

  1. I’m adding a few of these to my TBR for later this year! I read my first Agatha Christie book a couple of years ago and loved it. At first, I struggled with her writing style but it clicked into place a few chapters in and I’d definitely like to read some more.

    Liked by 1 person

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