TBR Thursday 164…

Episode 164…

Woohoo! After the recent horrific rises in the TBR, a massive drop this week! Down FOUR to 221! (Three read, one abandoned, NONE added!) A definite dive!

Here are a few more that should fall off soon…


This has been on my TBR since January 2013, so it’s probably about time I got around to reading it! I don’t understand why I haven’t before now, because the blurb still appeals to me as much now as it did then…

The Blurb says: Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living – and whom he does it for.

With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters – losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life – and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.

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Courtesy of Penguin Classics via Amazon Vine. l’m not having a huge amount of success with the South American leg of my Around the World tour – I think it’s the style of writing that doesn’t work for me. However, again, this blurb sounds great, so fingers crossed this one might be a winner…

The Blurb says: Santiago is trapped. Taken political prisoner in Montevideo after a brutal military coup, he can do nothing but write letters to his family, and try to stay sane.

Far away, his nine-year-old daughter Beatrice wonders at the marvels of 1970s Buenos Aires, but her grandpa and mother – Santiago’s beautiful, careworn wife, Graciela – struggle to adjust to a life in exile. Graciela fights to retain the fiery passion that suffused her marriage, her politics, her whole life, as day by day Santiago edges closer to freedom. But Santiago’s rakish, reckless best friend is a constant, brooding presence in the exiles’ lives, and Graciela finds herself drawn irresistibly towards him.

A lucid, heart-wrenching saga of a family torn apart by the forces of history, Springtime in a Broken Mirror tells with tenderness and fury of the indelible imprint politics leaves on individual lives. Generous and unflinching, it asks whether the broken bonds of family and history can ever truly be mended.

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Crime Re-Read

Last year I embarked on a re-read of what is undoubtedly my favourite crime series of all time, Reginald Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe, and sprinted through the first three. And then I got side-tracked! Time to get back on track with no. 4…

The Blurb says: Superintendent Andy Dalziel’s holiday runs into trouble when he gets marooned by flood water. Rescued and taken to nearby Lake House, he discovers all is not well: the owner has just died tragically and the family fortunes are in decline. He also finds himself drawn to attractive widow, Bonnie Fielding.

But several more deaths are to follow. And by the time Pascoe gets involved, it looks like the normally hard-headed Dalziel might have compromised himself beyond redemption.

* * * * *

Classic Thriller

Courtesy of Oxford World’s Classics. This is one of those books I’m 99% sure I’ve read but have a seed of doubt that maybe I’ve just seen a million adaptations. Either way, I’m looking forward to it. It’s one of the ones from my Classics Club list…

The Blurb says: Adventurer Richard Hannay, just returned from South Africa, is thoroughly bored with London life – until he is accosted by a mysterious American, who warns him of an assassination plot that could completely destabalise the fragile political balance of Europe. Initially sceptical, Hannay nonetheless harbours the man – but one day returns home to find him murdered…

An obvious suspect, Hannay flees to his native Scotland, pursued by both the police and a cunning, ruthless enemy. His life and the security of Britain are in grave peril, and everything rests on the solution to a baffling enigma: what are the ‘thirty nine steps’?

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NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads or Amazon UK.

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

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50 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 164…

  1. I am quite impressed, FictionFan! Your TBR is down 4? You deserve a piece of cake for that! All of your reads this week look good. In my opinion, you can’t go far wrong with Hill. And The Thirty Nine Steps is a classic, whether you’ve read/heard/watched it before or not. It’s always worth re-visiting, I think.

    • It is impressive, isn’t it? I could run out of books soon at this rate! It’ll be nice to get back to some Hill – it’s been too long again! Ha – the more of these classic “re-reads” I do, the more I begin to realise that as often as not I’ve just seen the film fifteen times! 😉

  2. Oooh what is this I spy – ‘one abandoned’?! A possible one-star review on the way perhaps..?! I shall try not to get my hopes up. (This is a lie. My hopes are up good and proper 😉 )
    The Sisters Brothers sounds great! And was there ever a better name than Hermann Kermit Warm? Promising stuff, FF. Of course the Dalziel and Pascoe will be good. The plot of this one feels very familiar – not sure if I’ve read it or seen it on the telly. Anyway, I look forward to the review! Same with The 39 Steps – I suspect I have just seen a screen version. I am really bad at reading classics 🙂

    • Tragically, I abandoned it too early to review – and it wasn’t rubbish, I just didn’t like the style (present tense 😉 ). Yeah, I don’t know why The Sisters Brothers keeps slipping down my TBR – it sounds brill! Haha – I hope he’s not green! I’m pretty sure it was one of the ones adapted for telly. Looking forward to it – it’s years since I last read this one. I suspect I may only have seen the various 39 Steps films too, but I *feel* as if I’ve read the book… that counts, doesn’t it?

  3. As a Buchan “nut”, I recommend The Thirty-nine steps. None of the others appeals much – my brain is in “reread rubbish for summer” mode.

    • I was totally confident I’d read it before, and then a little seed of doubt crept in. But I think I have…
      I’m reading a lot of light stuff too at the moment – or I was till the temperature went through the roof. Now I’m mostly lying around melting and groaning…

  4. Wow! That’s quite a steep drop! I hope you celebrated with the same amount of chocolates. I plan to celebrate with you by consuming the same amount.

    Dalziel and Pascoe will always get my vote, thanks to your recommendation. Curious about The Thirty-Nine Steps, since I never saw the Hitchcock movie.

    • I’m so proud! If I could only stop acquiring new books for a few weeks, my TBR would be back under control… 😱

      I’m glad to be getting back to D&P – I really meant to re-read them all, and then got sidetracked. The Hitchcock version is a lot of fun, but pretty aged now, and not at all faithful to the story, I also enjoyed the Robert Powell version when it came out, but I haven’t ever re-watched it, so I don’t know if it’s stood the test of time…

  5. Good going! Especially in not adding any – I’m much better at adding than reducing! I enjoyed The 39 Steps – haven’t read that ~D& P (but have a copy, I think) and (fortunately for me) not tempted by the other two!

    • I think this is the first week all year I haven’t added any – it feels surprisingly good! 😉 I think I enjoyed The 39 Steps too, if I have read it – I certainly enjoyed the movies! And it’s always good to go back to Reginald Hill… 😀

  6. I’m looking forward to your review of The 39 Steps because I really like the Alfred Hitchcock version. That gif of the soccer players makes me so mad. In the United States we don’t really care all that much about soccer, but I really like to watch it and it’s hard to convince people to watch it with me if players keep flopping on the ground and rolling around like they’re having seizures when a butterfly lands on them.

  7. Congratulations on that reduction 😊
    Like you I’m sure I’ve read The Thirty Nine Steps but not absolutely certain! Good to see Reginald Hill, I read Child’s Play while I was away and have a few more on the TBR to enjoy.

    • It’s pretty stunning, isn’t it? 😂
      I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks I’ve read books that maybe I haven’t… Ah. there’s nothing like a Reginald Hill to relax with – you always know you’re in for something good. 😀

  8. I’m so impressed at your reading success this week, FF — wow! And I think that last one featured here, The Thirty-Nine Steps, sounds most intriguing. However, I intend to do as little as possible for the next week or so while I recharge, so I shan’t even consider adding any more to my reading list!!

    • It’s pretty stupendous, isn’t it? 😉 But this would be the perfect opportunity to update your TBR and put it all on a lovely spreadsheet, and then you’d be so inspired, you’d want to add loads more… 😂

    • I love the gif too! Haha – I suspect mine will creep up again before too long, but maybe this is the start of a trend… 😉 I don’t know why I keep putting The Sisters Brothers back – it sounds good. Maybe I saw a negative review of it six years ago or something… 😂

    • I think The Thirty-Nine Steps must have had more adaptations than almost any other book! Haha! Good luck with not adding more books – I think this is the first week all year I haven’t added any. It won’t last… 😉

        • I did read Lord Jim long ago, I think when I was really too young for it. I remember nothing about it except that I didn’t like it at the time, and it put me off reading any more of Conrad’s works for years (decades!). But after having loved The Heart of Darkness I now want to re-read it. Is it one of the ones you’ve acquired?

  9. Congratulations!
    Thought I was safe until I got to D&P, I have to read more of these. I get the feeling that Dalziel is often drawn to attractive women… and luckily, I’ve read The 39 Steps.

  10. The Sisters Brothers is great! I wouldn’t normally even think about reading a Western, but I’m so glad I took a chance on that one as I really enjoyed it. I haven’t read anything by John Buchan but every time I see someone mention his books I feel tempted to try one – and then never do. Maybe soon!

    • Oh, that’s good to hear! Westerns aren’t my thing either, but I think it was the Booker nomination that made me get this one, and then somehow I just never got around to reading it. If I’ve read The 39 Steps, it’s the only Buchan I’ve read. So far!

  11. I’ve had The Sisters Brothers downloaded since I read and loved Undermajordomo Minor – I’m looking forward to it. I’ll read with interest your review of Thirty-nine Steps – I saw the Hitchcock film decades ago, but it’s mostly the title and atmosphere that’s stayed with me.

    • It’ll be my first deWitt so I’m not at all sure what to expect, but it does sound good. I think Hitchcock changed The 39 Steps quite a bit, as usual. I’m not sure there’s a female love interest in the book, though I think Hannay does go to Scotland. I’m looking forward to an excuse to watch the film again as much as to reading the book… 🙂

  12. Down by 4? That is amazing! I’m very disappointed – you need to keep that TBR up in support of fellow bibliophiles who having toppling book piles 😉

    I read The Sisters Brothers a while ago & I remember enjoying it a lot – hope you do too 🙂

    • Hahaha! But I have targets to meet and the year is half over – I’m in panic mode!! 😉

      Oh, that’s good to know! I do like the sound of it, so I have my fingers firmly crossed…

  13. Almost down to NO BOOKS, what are you going to do? I can’t really get on with South American fiction, either, I can’t do with all the magic realism and/or violence that seems to prevail. I’ve read some good travel books about the place, though.

    • Haha – funnily enough I seem to have accidentally acquired several more during my blog break – oh dear! 😉 Yes, I’m not a fan of magic realism either, and an awful lot of the ones I’ve read do seem to love their streams of consciousness…

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