30 Books in 30 Days - Day 30: the book you're reading right now
Given the rate at which I tend to get through books, it's almost impossible for me to write a blog post about my 'current' book. When I updated this list, this is the book I was reading. I've since read at least another two, but am only a few pages into the third so don't really have anything to say about it yet! However, it seemed fitting that there should be an Agatha Christie in this series of blogs. I've read all of her books, many of them multiple times and have started reading some of the follow-up books by Sophie Hannah.
This particular one was on my list to re-read recently because it dealt with obsessive love and the destructive consequences of it, which is one of the themes of my MA dissertation. It also happens to be one of my favourite Poirot stories, partially because of its setting - I've longed to go to Egypt and cruise down the Nile since childhood. However, this particular copy, a facsimile of the original hardback edition is particularly special to me because of where it was purchased. Not only is it a beautiful book, but I bought it in Hatchard's of Picadilly. The carrier bag it came in sums up the shop - old fashioned, good quality and stylish. Although I've been in a few times to browse, I've never had anything specific in mind to buy before and I wanted whatever I bought to be a 'pretty' book that I would keep. I'd actually gone in with a view to buying one of the Terry Pratchett hardback editions, but saw the shelf of Agatha Christie's and fell in love with the cover of this one. Everything about it reflects the book itself, from the historic statues towering over the insignificance of the 'modern' human struggles on the little boat, to the style being that of a 1930s travel poster. It went straight into my basket along with the Terry Pratchett and now has pride of place on my bookshelf of special books.
Many of the characters would be unlikeable in real life, but in Christie's hands, they are given such careful treatment that the reader can sympathise with them and their troubles and see them as imperfect humans rather than a plot device. At all times their actions are in-keeping with their nature and Christie never misses a step in their characterisation. There is a reason why her books are enduringly popular and this, in my opinion, is Christie at her very best.