TBR Thursday 147…

Episode 147…

You see, the thing is, it’s not my fault! No, really, it isn’t! I haven’t bought any books this week, nor requested any from NetGalley – I’ve been good! And yet, still my TBR has gone up again – by 2, to 216. This strange phenomenon is as a result of publishers forming a conspiracy to break my legendary willpower by sending me unsolicited books and too, too tempting catalogues. What’s a girl to do?? And meantime my reading has dropped off because I’ve been distracted…

(Poor Rafa – retired injured again. So sad!)

So anyway, looks like I better get some reading done…

Factual

Continuing my bid to read some of the books that have been on my TBR for longest, I bought this one in June 2013. Still sounds interesting! Fortunately it’s a Kindle version so at least the pages won’t have turned yellow…

The Blurb says: Paris and London have long held a mutual fascination, and never more so than in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when they both vied to be the world’s greatest city. Each city has been the focus of many books, yet here Jonathan Conlin uncovers the intriguing relationship between them for the first time. It is a history of surprises: Sherlock Holmes was actually French, the can-can was English and the first restaurant served English food in Paris.

Tales of Two Cities examines and compares six urban spaces – the street, the cemetery, the apartment, the restaurant, the music hall and the nocturnal underworld. The citizens of Paris and London were the first to create these landmarks of the modern cityscape. By borrowing, imitating and learning from each other they invented the modern metropolis and so defined urban living for us all.

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Classic Horror

Courtesy of the publisher, Oxford World’s Classics. This is part of a newish hardcover range from OWC. I haven’t had time to look at the inside properly yet but the outside is much more gorgeous than the picture makes it look. The Great God Pan was recommended to me on one of my horror posts by fellow blogger Grass and Vanilla, so this seemed like the ideal opportunity to read it, along with many other stories by Arthur Machen…

The Blurb says: Perhaps no figure better embodies the transition from the Gothic tradition to modern horror than Arthur Machen. In the final decade of the nineteenth century, the Welsh writer produced a seminal body of tales of occult horror, spiritual and physical corruption, and malignant survivals from the primeval past which horrified and scandalized late-Victorian readers. Machen’s “weird fiction” has influenced generations of storytellers, from H. P. Lovecraft to Guillermo Del Toro – and it remains no less unsettling today. This new collection, which includes the complete novel The Three Impostors as well as such celebrated tales as The Great God Pan and The White People, constitutes the most comprehensive critical edition of Machen yet to appear. In addition to the core late-Victorian horror classics, a selection of lesser-known prose poems and later tales helps to present a fuller picture of the development of Machen’s weird vision. The edition’s introduction and notes contextualize the life and work of this foundational figure in the history of horror.

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Vintage Crime

This is one of the books for my Murder, Mystery, Mayhem challenge. I thoroughly enjoyed Ethel Lina White’s The Wheel Spins, so I have high hopes for this one…

The Blurb says: Also published as The Spiral Staircase. Helen Capel is hired as a live-in lady-help to the Warren family in the countryside. She enjoys the eccentric household and her duties, but her peaceful and simple life is soon disturbed by a series of mysterious murders in the isolated community.

As Helen’s employer, Professor Sebastian Warren, battens down the hatches and locks all the doors of their remote country house, the eight residents begin to feel safe. But somewhere out there lurks a murderer of young girls. As the murders crawl closer to home, Helen starts to wonder if there really is safety in numbers—and what happens when those numbers start to dwindle?

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Fiction

For the Reading the Russian Revolution challenge. Ken Kalfus lived in Russia for some years and the Soviet Union appears in quite a lot of his work. I love his writing, so I’m looking forward to this one…

The Blurb says: Ken Kalfus’s mesmerising first novel is about two events that become milestones in the history of the modern media: the death of Tolstoy and the murder of Lenin. One young filmmaker was there. The story begins in 1910, as Leo Tolstoy lies dying in Astapovo, a railway station in provincial Russia. Members of the press from around the world have descended upon this sleepy hamlet to record his passing for a public suddenly ravenous for celebrity news. Cinema is the newcomer, and Nikolai Gribshin arrives to capture the extraordinary scene and learn how to wield his camera as a political tool. At this historic moment, he comes across two men – the scientist, Professor Vorobev, and the revolutionist, Joseph Stalin – who have radical, mysterious plans for the future. Soon they will accompany him on a long, cold march through an era of brutality and absurdity, as science struggles with superstition. Brimming with intellect, humour, and rich, inventive storytelling, The Commissariat of Enlightenment is a novel of ideas that brilliantly evokes the tragi-comic world of revolutionary Russia as well as the birth of today’s image-based society. 

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NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads.

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

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49 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 147…

  1. Something is very wrong here…they all do. I think you need to do better and get a job lot of new buys , gifts, and netgalley requests chosen purely on a LadyF won’t like THESE algorithm.

    And to part echo noveldeelights, but also with mathy intent. 216 is kind of okay, but I think, given the relationship between 2 and 6, you need to add a quick 100. 316 should follow..

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    • Sadly, I’m right off contemporary crime and in a classics and vintage kick, so I fear much of what’s coming up may be designed to tempt you. I’ll certainly do my best, anyway!

      Hahaha – it was close this week! When one of my fave publishers sent me their catalogue with the terrifying sentence “Let me know if anything catches your eye” I had to practice extreme self-restraint! My initial list ran to 50, but I eventually whittled it down to just four. For now… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Those pesky publishers, sending you interesting books! How dare they? I blame the authors for writing them, the buggers. This is a fine selection, FF, I could quite easily be talked into reading any of them… so please don’t try! My TBR is big enough as it is! What we need is some truly awful tomes worthy of your famous one star reviews. If one doesn’t show up soon, I’m going to deliberately write one under an assumed name… 😉

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  3. No purchases or requests?! Such willpower..lol I need more discipline, but too many books that tempt me. The cover on the crime book is super creepy!

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    • I know – it should have worked, right? It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!! Isn’t it? I have a sneaking suspicion it won’t really match the story based on the only book of hers I’ve read, but we’ll see…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You know, FictionFan, I’ve always thought those publishers were suspicious characters… As to your books, the White is, of course, a classic. And I’m glad you mentioned it, too. I keep meaning to include one of her books on my Spotlight feature and still haven’t done it. The Kalfus looks interesting, too…

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    • They definitely seem to be in a conspiracy to break me down, Margot! Even the postman was laughing today as he delivered the third parcel this week! 😉 I’m looking forward to the White – it’s one of the 100 Books challenge that most appeals. And I have high hopes for the Kalfus – it’s one of his early books so it’ll be interesting to see how he started out… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I still like the sound of Tales of Two Cities and can’t think why I’ve kept putting it off – shiny review copies getting priority, I suppose! I’m not sure about the cover of the White book – it doesn’t seem to match the kind of writer I think she is, but we’ll see…

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  5. The only one to catch my attention here is Some Must Watch, so my TBR is safe for another day! Poor Rafa. I read that he’s injured — again. Fortunately for him (and us!), all he needs this time is a bit of rest and healing, and he’ll be back on the court. And he’s still No. 1!!!!!

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    • I have high hopes of Some Must Watch, since I’ve enjoyed another of her books. It’s so sad that so many of the top players spend so much time fighting injuries – I think they have to look at scheduling or something. I hate to see athletes constantly having to have surgeries just to keep going…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I won’t be tempted, I tell you – I just won’t! Except…. maybe……. the Machen, or the White, or……..
    Get thee hence, Satan!

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    • Hahaha! That’s how I feel every time I look at these publishers’ catalogues! The Machen looks like fun and sadly so do all the other ones in the hardback OWC series – I feel it’s going to be hard to resist. Poor me! 😉

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  7. Haha I love how you claim no requests from NG and then mention catalogues from publishers… Some Must Watch caught my eye but I already the other of her books that you mention on the list. My willpower is strong today.

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    • Well, it wasn’t my fault!! I didn’t even request their catalogues, but it would have been rude to just ignore them, wouldn’t it? 😉 I’m looking forward to Some Must Watch – I get the feeling it’ll be quite creepy…

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  8. You are tempting me with the Ethel Lina White! I so enjoyed her story Waxworks in the Christmas Crime Classics collection I read last month. I’ll wait for your review, though, before officially adding it to my TBR. I’ve gone through it again today, deleting a few older additions, and now I’m at a positively paltry 423!

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    • Yes, I thought I had the Waxworks story in a Kindle collection of her stuff but turns out I don’t – I have a later novel with the same name that was based on the short. But I already had this one on my TBR, so Waxworks will have to wait now sadly. 423!! Goodness, you’ll need to add some more quickly in case you run out… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for introducing me to the Grass and Vanilla blog! I’m very excited about it. Also, in an attempt to relate to your love of tennis I’ll leave you with this comment-why do tennis players wear such fabulous outfits? I’m jealous of the fun clothes they get to wear, in fact it makes me wish I was a tennis player just so I could wear those cute little dresses and neon headbands…

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  10. It’s tennis time again already?! Whoa! For some reason, I accidentally landed on a channel showing competitors trying to get a spot on the United States figure skating team, and now I’m excited about the Olympics. *sigh* I hope it doesn’t become my personal tennis.

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    • Haha – I used to watch tons of figure skating but it seems to have disappeared from our mainstream channels (no good Brits at the moment) and I never remember to hunt it down on cable. I’m going to try not to get sucked back in… tennis watching takes up too much of my time already… 🙂

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  11. It’s definitely not your fault FF, what are you to do?! Vintage crime always appeals to me and the Conlin book looks fascinating – rest assured you are adding to others’ TBRs as well as your own 😀

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    • I’m glad you understand – I’m simply an innocent victim here! Yes, I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get around to the Conlin – it still appeals to me just as much as when I got it, back in the Dark Ages. Always happy to share the problem… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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