TBR Thursday 143…

Episode 143…

I’ve been remarkably restrained in my book acquiring so far this month. Unfortunately after a manic burst of reading for a couple of weeks, I now seem to have slowed to a crawl again. So a moderate drop of just 1 in the TBR – to 217. And unless a miracle happens I’m going to fail to achieve my Goodreads challenge target of 125 – I’d need to finish 10 books before the end of the year. Not impossible… but not likely!

Oh, stop whining, Alice! The simple answer is to read more books…


Courtesy of Princeton University Press. Princeton keep offering me books that fall well outside my normal reading range – sometimes they work for me, sometimes they don’t. Will this one? Hmm, we’ll see…

The Blurb says: Curves are seductive. These smooth, organic lines and surfaces–like those of the human body–appeal to us in an instinctive, visceral way that straight lines or the perfect shapes of classical geometry never could. In this large-format book, lavishly illustrated in color throughout, Allan McRobie takes the reader on an alluring exploration of the beautiful curves that shape our world–from our bodies to Salvador Dali’s paintings and the space-time fabric of the universe itself.

The book focuses on seven curves–the fold, cusp, swallowtail, and butterfly, plus the hyperbolic, elliptical, and parabolic “umbilics”–and describes the surprising origins of their taxonomy in the catastrophe theory of mathematician Rene Thom. (FF says: Good gracious!) In an accessible discussion illustrated with many photographs of the human nude (FF says: Eh??), McRobie introduces these curves and then describes their role in nature, science, engineering, architecture, art, and other areas. The reader learns how these curves play out in everything from the stability of oil rigs and the study of distant galaxies to rainbows, the patterns of light on pool floors, and even the shape of human genitals (FF faints). The book also discusses the role of these curves in the work of such artists as David Hockney, Henry Moore, and Anish Kapoor, with particular attention given to the delicate sculptures of Naum Gabo and the final paintings of Dali, who said that Thom’s theory “bewitched all of my atoms.”

A unique introduction to the language of beautiful curves, this book may change the way you see the world.

* * * * *


Courtesy of the author. I was contacted by the publisher on behalf of the author of this one, on the grounds that since I love Holmes and Three Men in a Boat, I might also love this mash-up pastiche. I shuddered and got ready to haughtily refuse… but then I read the “look inside” sample on Amazon and found myself chuckling jollily. I suspect it’s going to be loads of fun…

The Blurb says: 221b Baker St., London, early 1890s. For three Victorian slackers—to say nothing of their dog—becoming Sherlock Holmes’s neighbors is very nearly the death of them. Jerome and his friends are planning a jaunt when Miss Briony Lodge calls at Baker Street. The beautiful young schoolmistress is in deadly danger. But what match are a bank clerk, a lawyer’s assistant, a dog and a novelist for an international gang of desperadoes? None whatsoever. It would take an intellect of Sherlock Holmes’s proportions to set things to rights. Or maybe, perhaps, an otter.

* * * * *


Courtesy of NetGalley. I usually love William Boyd (but sometimes don’t!), so I have high hopes for this one. I’ve been delaying it because I’m currently listening to another Boyd book on audio, Brazzaville Beach – loving it, but for some reason it’s taking me forever to get through…

The Blurb says: A philandering art dealer tries to give up casual love affairs – seeking only passionate kisses as a substitute. A man recounts his personal history through the things he has stolen from others throughout his life. A couple chart the journey of their five year relationship backwards, from awkward reunion to lovelorn first encounter. And, at the heart of the book, a 24-year old young woman, Bethany Mellmoth, embarks on a year-long journey of wishful and tentative self-discovery.

The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth depicts the random encounters that bring the past bubbling to the surface; the impulsive decisions that irrevocably shape a life; and the endless hesitations and loss-of-nerve that wickedly complicate it. These funny, surprising and moving stories are a resounding confirmation of Boyd’s powers as one of our most original and compelling storytellers.

* * * * *

Bah Humbug!

I have a tradition of watching, reading or listening to A Christmas Carol over the festive season, and like to try out new versions if I can. This is one of Audible’s own full-cast original dramatisations (which regulars will know I’ve been loving this year) and stars the wondrous Derek Jacobi as Dickens (I’m assuming the narrator of the linking bits)…

The Blurb says: ‘If I had my way, every idiot who goes around with Merry Christmas on his lips, would be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. Merry Christmas? Bah humbug!’

Charles Dickens’ ghostly tale of sour and stingy miser Ebenezer Scrooge has captivated readers, listeners and audiences for over 150 years. This Christmas, Audible Studios brings this story to life in an audio drama featuring an all-star cast.

Starring: Sir Derek Jacobi as Dickens, Kenneth Cranham as Ebenezer Scrooge, Roger Allam as Jacob Marley, Brendan Coyle as The Ghost Of Christmas Past, Miriam Margolyes as The Ghost Of Christmas Present, Tim Mcinnerny as The Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come, Jamie Glover as Bob Cratchit, Emily Bruni as Mrs. Cratchit, Jenna Coleman as Belle, Joshua James as Young Scrooge and Hugh Skinner as Fred.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads or Audible UK.

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Do any of these tempt you?

* * * * *

34 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 143…

  1. I’m not generally a lover of pastiches, myself, FictionFan, but The Mystery of Briony Lodge does look like fun. I’ll look forward to hearing what you think of that one. And I’ve always thought audio is such a great way to experience A Christmas Carol. Glad you’re giving yourself that opportunity.

    • It really does look well done, Margot – I chuckled several times just at the sample. I have my fingers crossed he can carry it off throughout the book – it’s quite short! And I’m really looking forward to this new version of A Christmas Carol… 😀

  2. What a wonderful cast for A Christmas Carol. I just saw a stage production of it last week. It was excellent! And what an excellent cast Audible has assembled. (Guess they’re shoehorning Sir Derek in. But who wouldn’t??)

    The curves book also sounds intriguing as does the mystery.

    • Isn’t it a great cast? Oh, I haven’t seen a stage production of it for years – what fun! I once had the great joy of seeing Patrick Stewart do his one-man show of it – a treasured memory! Haha – I admit, I’m gradually working my way through everything I can find that Jacobi has done on audio – I think I’ve become a fangirl… 😉

    • Haha – the curves book appeals to me too, but the blurb did make me laugh, so I just had to comment on it… I’m anticipating and dreading some of the illustrations equally… 😉

  3. Briony Lodge looks interesting — an otter??? And you can’t go wrong with A Christmas Carol, whether in audio, print, or video format. As for that one about curves? Well, ahem, I’ll be interested to hear your take on it (something hints to me that it wouldn’t be my cuppa — probably all those body parts, ha!!)

    • Haha – the otter intrigues me too! It does look like a nice bit of fun though, and well-written, I think, from the sample. The curves one should be… interesting! 😉 I’m really looking forward to A Christmas Carol – it sounds like a brilliant cast! 😀

  4. A Christmas Carol sounds excellent. The Rep is doing it as it’s “pantomime” this year – with a female Scrooge! Guess who isn’t going – bah! humbug!

  5. Please please read the Seduction of Curves soon as I want to read your review!! Of all Charles Dickens’ books A Christmas Carol remains my favourite – I remember vividly reading it for the first time (aged 10) when it was the best looking book in the scant classroom selection after we moved and I changed schools – yes, I didn’t want to move, I didn’t understand the local accent and I certainly didn’t think much of the books on offer although fortunately there was a town library that had better books.

    • Hahahaha – I feel it may be another where I should have maybe paid more attention to the blurb before agreeing to it! 😉 I love A Christmas Carol. I can’t actually remember when I first read it – I think I possibly saw adaptations of it first, which might be why I’m still so enthusiastic about trying different versions of it now. Ha – our school library was limited too, but it’s where I first met Anne of Green Gables… 😀

    • Hahaha! The blurb in the curves book did make me laugh, so I felt I had to comment. I hope the book entertains me as much as the blurb did… 😉 I still struggle to concentrate on straight audiobooks but these dramatisations are fab… I have high expectations of this one! 😀

  6. I’m disappointed that the Audible isn’t available in the US. I would have liked to give that one a try. At least the pastiche is available digitally. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I think I’ll give Three Men in a Boat a reread first though.

    The Boyd isn’t available either but I have Restless sitting in my TBR. Maybe I should start there before acquiring more books? Noooooooooo, I don’t think so.

    I suspect the Seduction of Curves will be a vicarious read. I’m looking forward to your review.

    • Oh, from my end it looks like it is available over there – at this link… https://www.audible.com/pd/Classics/A-Christmas-Carol-Audiobook/B01MRVPMA3

      But I’ve been told before that even when it looks that way to me, sometimes it doesn’t appear to US residents – weird!

      The pastiche sounds like loads of fun – I suspect I’m going to read it this weekend as a little light relief from some of the less cheerful stuff on my menu. Re-reading Three Men in a Boat sounds delightful, though – I’ve re-read it so often I can practically quote the whole thing…

      Haha – I think I have two other Boyds waiting but I still wasn’t able to resist the new one. Hopefully it’ll turn up over there soon – I wish they’d co-ordinate the publishing dates!

      Hahahaha – sometimes I wish I was better at saying no… 😉

  7. Blast blast blast blast blast. How did I miss Boyd appearing on Galley?

    Probably took my eye off the ball. The same way I stared at a TBR of 217 and the next phrase ‘re missing Goodreads target of 125 which could be achieved if you read 10 books by the end of the year, and tried to square the maths e.g. But 217-125 surely means 102 books to read by the end of December, not 10?

    I think I lost the plot, looking at the dozens of reviews I’m behind on……

    • Oh, pity! I’m really looking forward to it – it seems as usual to be getting mixed reviews but it appeals… Have you ever read his Brazzaville Beach? I’ve just finished listening to it on audio (the wonderful Harriet Walter) and it’s one of his absolute best! It shall be getting a rave review…

      Hahahaha – no, no! I mean my GR target is to read 125 books in 2017 – and so far I’ve only read 115 (although it’s gone up to 117 now)! Good lord, the only way I could get my TBR down to 125 by the end of the year would be with some serious book-burning… which given how freezing it is, might be a good idea…

  8. My 12-year-old nephew said I must rectify the oversight of not having read ‘A Christmas Carol’, Fiction Fan. I am going to do that this month. 😊

    • Hurrah! Your nephew is obviously a child of great taste and wisdom beyond his years… 😉 It is a great story though, and really sums up the spirit of Christmas. Hope you love it!

Please leave a comment - I'd love to know who's visiting and what you think...of the post, of the book, of the blog, of life, of chocolate...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.