TBR Thursday 174…

Episode 174…

Down again for the third week in a row – the TBR now stands at 229 – down 2. I’m the Queen of Willpower!

Here’s what’s I hope to be rhapsodising about soon…

Lit Crit

Courtesy of Oxford University Press. While I was begging a copy of Horror Stories, an anthology edited and introduced by Darryl Jones, from Oxford World’s Classics, they mentioned that Darryl Jones was publishing his own book on the history and evolution of horror writing. So naturally I begged a copy of it too…

The Blurb says: As Darryl Jones shows in Sleeping with the Lights On, the horror genre is vast, ranging from vampires, ghosts, and werewolves to mad scientists, Satanists, and deranged serial killers. The cathartic release of scaring ourselves has made its appearance everywhere from Shakespearean tragedies to Internet memes. Exploring the key tropes of the genre, including its monsters, its psychological chills, and its love affair with the macabre, Jones explains why horror stories disturb us, and how society responds to literary and film representations of the gruesome and taboo. Should the enjoyment of horror be regarded with suspicion? What kind of a distinction should we make between the commonly reviled carnage of the contemporary horror genre and the culturally acceptable bloodbaths of ancient Greek tragedies?

Analyzing how horror has been used throughout history to articulate the fears and taboos of the current generation, Jones considers the continuing evolution of the genre today. As horror is marketed to mainstream society in the form of romantic vampires and blockbuster hits, it maintains its shadowy presence on the edges of respectability, as banned films and violent Internet phenomena push us to question both our own preconceptions and the terrifying capacity of human nature.

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Courtesy of Random House Transworld. Yes, I’m truly steeped in horror this autumn, but how could I possibly have resisted a follow-on novel to Dracula, co-written by a descendant of Bram Stoker himself? Mind you, regulars will know follow-on novels frequently bring me out in a rash…

The Blurb says: The prequel to Dracula, penned by a Stoker descendant and a bestselling writer, Dracul is a supernatural historical thriller in which a young Bram Stoker must confront an indescribable evil.

It is 1868, and a 22-year-old Bram Stoker has locked himself inside a desolate tower to face off against a vile and ungodly beast, armed with mirrors and crucifixes and holy water and a gun, kept company by a bottle of plum brandy, praying to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to leave a record of what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles out the events that led him here–a childhood illness, a haunting nanny, stories once thought to be fables now proven true.

A riveting novel of Gothic suspense, Dracul reveals not only Dracula’s true origin, but Bram Stoker’s–and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them.

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I added this book to the TBR back in December 2013, following, I think, a recommendation from Cleo at Cleopatra Loves Books. It seems like I should try to get it read before it hits its fifth anniversary! The tragic thing is it’s not even the oldest book on my TBR…

The Blurb says: It is an early spring evening in 1943 when the air-raid sirens wail out over the East End of London. From every corner of Bethnal Green, people emerge from pubs, cinemas and houses and set off for the shelter of the tube station. But at the entrance steps, something goes badly wrong, the crowd panics, and 173 people are crushed to death. When an enquiry is called for, it falls to the local magistrate, Laurence Dunne, to find out what happened during those few, fatally confused minutes. But as Dunne gathers testimony from the guilt-stricken warden of the shelter, the priest struggling to bring comfort to his congregation, and the grieving mother who has lost her youngest daughter, the picture grows ever murkier. The more questions Dunne asks, the more difficult it becomes to disentangle truth from rumour – and to decide just how much truth the damaged community can actually bear. It is only decades later, when the case is reopened by one of the children who survived, that the facts can finally be brought to light…

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This is narrated by Gareth Armstrong, whose narration of Maigret novels I’ve enjoyed before…

The Blurb says: When Maigret’s .45 revolver is stolen from his home, he becomes embroiled in a murder in which the gun may have played a deadly role.

Maigret is the victim of a burglary in which the .45 revolver he had received as a gift from the FBI is stolen. That evening Maigret attends a dinner where François Lagrange, an acquaintance of Maigret’s friend, is expected but fails to appear due to ill health.

Following his instincts, Maigret decides to investigate Lagrange’s absence and uncovers a body stowed in a trunk as well as Lagrange, who refuses to talk and seems to have lost his mind. Only Maigret can uncover the truth – and the fateful role his revolver may have played.

* * * * *

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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38 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 174…

    • My hair will have turned white by the time I get through all these horror books. (That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!) Oh, by the way, my friend Vladimir has hacked your TBR and added 300 books – enjoy!


  1. The TBR is down again? A piece of chocolate for you, FictionFan!! Well done! That Simenon looks good – but then, it’s hard to go far wrong with the Maigret series, although some are better than others. The Report looks tempting, too. And you know, speaking of that one, I’ve got some things on my TBR that have been waiting for a v-e-r-y long time. You’re not alone…


    • I’m so proud I may even have a slice of cake!! I’ve still read hardly any Maigret, but I’ve enjoyed the few I have, so hopefully this will be another good one. It’s dreadful – some of the ancient books appeal more to me some of the newer ones, too – why do we keep adding????

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Argh, all these sound so great! Your TBR might be down but this isn’t doing much for mine! I hope the Dracula one isn’t a let down, it sounds like it could be quite good. I really like the blurb for The Report as well – and who doesn’t love a bit of Maigret?! But then again I could be very interested in Sleeping With The Lights On *sigh*. There is nothing for it but to eat some chocolate and drink some wine while I think about all this… 😀


    • Haha – I used to be great at making a note of who recommended a book, but I’ve got awfully sloppy recently. It’s usually Cleo, though, so I just blame her anyway. 😉 Ooh, I hope we both enjoy Dracul – hope it’s as good as it sounds!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Report does, and the Maigret.
    Congrats to the downward trend. Do you think you’ll see Bohemian Rhapsody when it debuts? I think it will debut in the States in November. Not sure when it will come to your neck of the woods.


    • Sadly, they all look good to me!! I’ll probably wait till it arrives online or on TV – I hardly ever go to the cinema these days. But I’ve been in a real Queen mood recently – spending way too much time on youtube – so I’m looking forward to it!


  4. All of these sound good (the Maigret is!).
    How does the Porpy goosestep with 4 legs – he’ll be as ungainly as me at the moment.


  5. Follow up novels also get a strong reaction from me. Rightly or wrongly I think of them as an author trying to cash in on someone else’s idea instead of thinking of one themselves.


  6. Absolutely thrilled to see The Report being pushed up the list which I must say seems quite minuscule now 😉
    With all that horror you’re going to be giving yourself the ‘willies’ as my late Grandmother used to say… especially horror combined with a follow-up book!!


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