11 March 2011

Tackling a Backlist

Deciding to read an author who has been publishing books for 10 or more years is a serious undertaking. Fellow Word Nerd Bethany as done this a few times with authors like Michael Connelly and Robert Parker.

I have been considering tackling Agatha Christie's backlist. She's one of those authors that spans so much of the mystery genre and has such a large influence that I thought it would be a fun romp through history to read her books. Reason two: she is referenced in Connie Willis' novels Blackout and All Clear. One of the characters in those titles loved Agatha Christie's novel so much, that when I found The Mysterious Affair at Styles available for check-out on my MP3 player, I decided to go for it.

I liked how Poirot solved the mystery. And how Hastings serves as Poirot's Watson. It amused me quite a bit. I decided that Googling Christie's novel list and getting the next few novels queued would be a good idea.

And then I found this pdf file Agatha Christie: Reading Order. See that? An eight page file for the author of back list.

Part of me wants to run the other direction. After all, I remember thinking that Connelly's was too long. And part of me thinks, really? The woman must be on to something.

I have the second title on hold for checkout. I'm looking forward to it. And I've revised my initial timeline of finishing the backlist by next fall. It's a little more open ended now.


B.E. Sanderson said...

Ooo, I love Christie. But even given that, I haven't read all her backlist. I just hit the highspots - Murder in the Calais Coach (aka Orient Express), Three Blind Mice, And Then There were None, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. etc. Over the years, I've tried to work through Erle Stanley Gardner's backlist, but he was prolific. And now I've found Vince Flynn, so I'm working on that, too. Add in all the new books I want to read and I'll never get anything else done. Ack. ;o)

Bethany K. Warner said...

Point of Fact: I gave up on Robert Parker, much to the chagrin of my dad who loves Parker. I am failing in my daughterly duty in this regard.

I look at all the urban fantasy series out there and how much I love UF and just wonder when I'm going to get to it all. I'm trying to not start anymore series until I knock off a few that I'm in. We'll see how well that work.

Stacie Penney said...

I have the worst time picking out books that I don't have a referral for. I always feel like I have to finish them.

I'm going to try to do most of Christie's through the audio library. Between my commute and my running, I have about 14 hours of listening time a week.

I need a new urban fantasy series. Or three.