TBR Thursday 156…

Episode 156…

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! A massive drop in the TBR since I last reported! Down 4 to 214! But I’m now stuck in the middle of a bunch of giant tomes and a parcel is heading my way, so the slide has probably come to an end for a bit…

(Apparently he was fine!)

Here are a few more that should fall over the edge soon…

Film History

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster. Last year I was blown away by the experience of reading Arthur C Clarke’s book and watching Stanley Kubrick’s film together, as they were intended to be. So I couldn’t resist this book about the creation of these two masterpieces, or, perhaps, joint masterpiece…

The Blurb says: Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the film’s release, this is the definitive story of the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, acclaimed today as one of the greatest films ever made, including the inside account of how director Stanley Kubrick and writer Arthur C. Clarke created this cinematic masterpiece.

Regarded as a masterpiece today, 2001: A Space Odyssey received mixed reviews on its 1968 release. Author Michael Benson explains how 2001 was made, telling the story primarily through the two people most responsible for the film, Kubrick and science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke. A colourful nonfiction narrative packed with memorable characters and remarkable incidents, Space Odyssey provides a 360-degree view of this extraordinary work, tracking the film from Kubrick and Clarke’s first meeting in New York in 1964 through its UK production from 1965-1968, during which some of the most complex sets ever made were merged with visual effects so innovative that they scarcely seem dated today. A concluding chapter examines the film’s legacy as it grew into it current justifiably exalted status.

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Humorous Crime

The third instalment of Lucy Brazier’s PorterGirl series. I shall stock up in readiness with stacks of sausage sandwiches, copious buckets of tea and a barrel-load of biscuits to fortify myself for whatever skulduggery awaits me in Old College this time… 😱

The Blurb says: “Sometimes the opposite of right isn’t wrong. It’s left.”

Tragedy strikes once more at Old College… The Porters’ Lodge is down to its last tea bag and no one has seen a biscuit for over a week. Almost as troubling are the two dead bodies at the bottom of the College gardens and a woman has gone missing. The Dean is convinced that occult machinations are to blame, Deputy Head Porter suspects something closer to home.

The formidable DCI Thompson refuses to be sidelined and a rather unpleasant Professor gets his comeuppance. As the body count rises, Head Porter tries to live a secret double life and The Dean believes his job is under threat from the Russian Secret Service. Deputy Head Porter finds herself with her hands full keeping Old College running smoothly as well as defending herself against the sinister intentions of the new Bursar.

Spies, poisoning, murder – and none of this would be any problem at all, if only someone would get the biscuits out and put the kettle on…

* * * * *

Gothic Horror

Courtesy of Oxford World’s Classics. Regulars will know I love Sir Arthur nearly as much as I love Dr Watson and Darcy, so I couldn’t resist begging a copy of this new collection of all his darker tales. I’ve read several of them before and even reviewed one or two as Tuesday Terror! posts, but there are plenty more which will be new to me. I can barely resist rubbing my hands in glee…

The Blurb says: Arthur Conan Doyle was the greatest genre writer Britain has ever produced. Throughout a long writing career, he drew on his own medical background, his travels, and his increasing interest in spiritualism and the occult to produce a spectacular array of gothic tales. Many of Doyle’s writings are recognized as the very greatest tales of terror. They range from hauntings in the polar wasteland to evil surgeons and malevolent jungle landscapes.

This collection brings together over thirty of Conan Doyle’s best gothic tales. Darryl Jones’s introduction discusses the contradictions in Conan Doyle’s very public life – as a medical doctor who became obsessed with the spirit world, or a British imperialist drawn to support Irish Home Rule – and shows the ways in which these found articulation in that most anxious of all literary forms, the Gothic.

* * * * *

Spark on Audio

Having recently thoroughly enjoyed my first encounter with Muriel Spark in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, I decided to try to fit another one in for the second phase of Heavenali’s #ReadingMuriel2018, which she’s running to celebrate Spark’s centenary year. And I thought it might be fun to listen to Juliet Stevenson reading it to me…

The Blurb says: It is 1945; a time of cultural and political change, and also one of slender means. Spark’s evocative and sharply drawn novel focuses on a group of women living together in a hostel in Kensington who face new challenges in uncertain times. The novel is at once dramatic and character-based, and shows Muriel Spark at the height of her literary powers. Juliet Stevenson reads with her customary wit and intelligence this powerful masterpiece.

(Is this the shortest blurb in the history of the universe? I like it!)

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NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads or Audible.

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

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38 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 156…

  1. 😲 at that slide gif! I’m torn between being absolutely horrified and laughing my arse off! 😂

    Well done on getting four out of the way! I’m conveniently ignoring the rest of that paragraph. 😉


    • Hahahaha! That was my reaction too! I casually stuck it on the post and then thought 😱 “but what if he…” so I hastily went back and checked! 😂

      Thank you – that’s very understanding of you! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. *Squeee!* There I am!! Even though I sort of knew you would be reading Sinister Dexter, it still gave me a little squiggle of delight to see the book here on these hallowed pages. It’s probably not doing to be as good as the Spark. Definitely not the Conan Doyle, come to that *sigh*. What a week to join the TBR! But still, it should make you smile, nonetheless. 🙂


    • I love the older horror stories but rarely enjoy modern horror – it’s all so much more gory and disturbing now. I want my spine to be shivered, not to come out of it needing therapy! Haha! I feel that way about the Oxford World’s Classics books too – and those fab introductions are great for making my reviews look as if I know what I’m talking about for once… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! It’s so good to know that if you have an embarrassing little accident, your nearest and dearest will promptly upload the video to youtube for the whole world to see… 😉


  3. So happy to see Lucy’s book here, FictionFan! I know you’ll enjoy that one. And well done on reducing the TBR so much. I’m not being facetious, either. I need to do a better job with my own, that’s for sure. I also wonder what Girls of Slender Means will be like. It sounds like an interesting look at that time period, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.


    • Lucy’s book should be fun – I’m looking forward to it! Ha – sadly my parcel arrived so the dip has been reversed. But they’re all books for my classics challenge so I don’t feel too badly about it… 😉 I’ve seen some very positive reviews of The Girls of Slender Means, so I have high hopes. And it’s only a few hours long, so a nice length to listen to in a couple of evening sessions…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a banner week! All of them tempt me!

    Congrats on such a big drop in your TBR list! Hope you celebrated appropriately, like I do when I lose a few pounds–eat tons of chocolate!


    • Sometimes when I do these posts, I wonder what I was thinking when I added the books to my TBR, but I must say this week I was thinking wow, I really can’t wait to read all these! 😀

      Hahaha! I celebrated with chocolate and a parcel full of books… I can’t help myself!


  5. A new Porter Girl – goodie, I can just do with some light relief. I can just imagine Juliet Stevenson reading the Spark, Doyle is always worth reading, but I think I’ll give 2001 a miss – films aren’t really my thing.


    • It sounds like a goodie – Russian spies!! I listened to the sample of the Spark, and Juliet Stevenson sounds great, so fingers crossed! The Conan Doyle collection will of course be brilliant, and secretly, sometimes I enjoy reading about the making of films more than I enjoy the actual films… 😉 So a good batch, this week, I think!


  6. Woo-Hoo, Lucy’s book is on your list (it’s on mine as well!) I must congratulate you on shrinking your TBR — wish I could say the same. However, with temptations like the ones you’ve pointed out here (particularly the Gothic Horror), I find myself adding rather than subtracting!


    • Lucy’s book should be a lot of fun! Hahaha! Thank you for the congratulations, but I have to confess that the expected parcel arrived today, so the decline has been reversed – I’m a failure again! The Conan Doyle collection does look great… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well first of all I have to say I love the gif, it is your best yet! And secondly well done on the brilliant reduction, even if it is a temporary one! I’ve also been reading Heavenali’s reviews of the Muriel Spark books and can see if I love Jean Brodie as much as you did that I’m going to go on a bit of diversion too. Finally I’m looking forward to your review of the Arthur Conan Doyle book.


    • Haha – it’s great, isn’t it? Poor man! 🤣 Thank you, but… it was so temporary it only lasted till the post arrived! The most joyous thing about the Sparks’ books is that they all tend to be pretty short, which makes them much easier to fit in – hope you do love Jean! I’m trying so hard not to abandon all the books I’m currently reading in favour of my Sir Arthur… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A ‘re read of the lovely Spark is already beckoning, so that one is not down to you, I’m afraid, but to Ali. You can claim the book of the film though, if I do add it to my pile…..


    • It’ll be a first read for me, and from the sample Juliet Stevenson sounds as if she throws herself into it. I’m really enjoying the occasional reading of a book about the making of the film of the book… Gosh! I hope nobody makes a film of the book about the film of the book…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – my parcel arrived though and things aren’t looking quite so good any more… 😉 Poor guy! How cruel to put his embarrassment all over the internet! 🤣

      Juliet Stevenson is doing a marvellous job…

      Liked by 1 person

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