Everyone loves a good mystery and Agatha Christie knows that. Agatha Christie was a British author who penned numerous books, one of the most well-known being The Murder on the Orient Express. She had a pretty interesting life and she actually disappeared shortly after her first husband asked for a divorce. To this day, no one knows what happened in the ten days that she was missing. She remarried later and was very happy. Her intuitive mind really heped when it came to constructing her novels. Her favorite character that she uses in a number of books is Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective who parallels Nancy Drew in the way he is used over and over again. The people in her books are also very elegant and refined. The way her characters interact with each other is with subdued formality. I say subdued because they are still conversational. She talks in a high-class sort of fashion and even implements some French often throughout the text. Her mysteries are often very twisted and leave the reader guessing through the entire novel, you really don’t know who the killer is until the end of the book, and it is always a shocking revelation. Most readers enjoy her books and they are obviously still read today; on my copy of The Patriotic Murders, it says over 500 million copies of her books have been sold. This shows that she is still relevant and important in society today. In popular culture, Christie has been depicted on television, showing that her legacy lives on. For example, on a Doctor Who episode called ‘The Unicorn and the Wasp,’ Christie’s disappearance is a result of an encounter with an alien called a vespiform. In the end of the episode, the Doctor shows Donna an Agatha Christie book that had been published in the year 5,000,000,000. Even though the show is fictional, it goes to show that Christie is relevant in all genres and society in general. Agatha Christie’s books are cherished and adored by fans and it undoubtedly will be the same for years to come.
How do we know what we know about history? Careful accounts and discoveries have made the amount of information we know on our backgrounds larger and more finite. Historical novels, whether fictional or realistic, help us out even more by describing what life was like back then and how people dressed, acted, and behaved. Without them, we would lose the important part of history that makes us human. Historical books (and not just textbooks) teach us things that we actually wouldn’t have learned from reading a textbook. However, this post may be a little biased since my favorite genre of books is historical fiction. Historical novels can be based in fact or fiction. The fact comes from things that actually happened and the fiction is filler that the author thinks will make an entertaining story. Movies can be this way, too; when it is ‘based on a true story’, it is just that, some filler has been added to make the story flow better or look different, but most usually coincide to the actual events that happened. Take Titanic and Gone With the Wind for example: one about a tragic ship accident and the other based during the time of the American Civil War, with Sherman’s March to the sea being mentioned. However, there was most likely no one named Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt Bukater on the Titanic, and if Scarlett O’Hara was actually real, she is a long-forgotten Southern belle. Whatever the case, historical fiction is exciting to me because I find history itself so interesting. Learning how people lived over one hundred years ago is something I find so fascinating and I totally wish the Doctor and the Tardis were real. So whenever they invent time travel, sign me up. I want to learn about these distant times authors write about and live them.
I’ve always wondered why we put books into genres. The word comes from Latin, meaning “kind” or “sort”. In my opinion, books, like people shouldn’t be labeled. For example, if people were books, a flirtatious woman would be romance, a typical teenager would be young adult, and a detective would obviously be a mystery. I feel like books shouldn’t be given labels. Some books don’t even fit into their defined genres. No novel is like the other and a genre shouldn’t define them. I do understand that humans function by putting things into categories and it’s safe to say that my life is as categorized as much as I can make it. Categories are how we organize information and make it easier to understand. However, with all of the new books being written and published, it’s becoming increasingly harder to categorize them into a genre. Take Hunger Games for example. Wikipedia classifies it as adventure, dystopian, science fiction, and action. Personally, I would’ve just called it a young adult novel. This is just one representation of how genres can be confusing or misleading. I’m not a fan of science fiction so if someone told me that Hunger Games was a science fiction novel, I probably wouldn’t read it. However, it has become a massive fandom and I have read them and enjoyed them, but I don’t consider it to be science fiction. The categorization of books also makes me wonder what authors who write these books think about genres. Do the authors set out to write a certain genre? If they don’t, do they agree with the genres that have been placed on their books? This may not be the most persuasive argument but it was just something that was on my mind. What do you think about genres?