TBR Thursday 178…

Episode 178…

Another drop this week – the TBR is down 2 to 226! Unless the postman has arrived since I posted this, in which case it’s gone up 1 to 229…

Here’s a few more that should make my head spin…


Courtesy of the British Library. From the look of this book, it’s the kind of thing that would be great as a stocking filler or little extra gift for a book lover. Sounds like fun – part 1!

The Blurb says: Books: reading, collecting, and the physical housing of them has brought the book-lover joy and stress for centuries. Fascinated writers have tried to capture the particular relationships we form with our library, and the desperate troubles we will undergo to preserve it. With Alex Johnson as your guide, immerse yourself in this eclectic anthology and hear from an iconic Prime Minister musing over the best way to store your books and an illustrious US President explaining the best works to read outdoors. Enjoy serious speculations on the psychological implications of reading from a 19th century philosopher, and less serious ones concerning the predicament of dispensing with unwanted volumes or the danger of letting children (the enemies of books) near your collection. The many facets of book-mania are pondered and celebrated with both sincerity and irreverence in this lively selection of essays, poems, lectures, and commentaries ranging from the 16th to the 20th century.

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Also from the British Library, this delicious little companion to their Crime Classics series looks fiendishly entertaining! Sounds like fun – part 2!

The Blurb says: Polish off your magnifying glass and step into the shoes of your favourite detectives as you unlock tantalising clues and solve intricate puzzles. There are over 100 criminally teasing challenges to be scrutinised, including word searches, anagrams, snapshot covers, and crosswords a favourite puzzle of crime fictions golden age. Suitable for all ages and levels, this is the ultimate test for fans of the British Library Crime Classics series. For six years, the British Library have brought neglected crime fiction writers into the spotlight in a series of republished novels and anthologies. There are now more than 50 British Library Crime Classics titles to collect.


For my largely neglected 5 x 5 Challenge. I was blown away by Beloved when I read it nearly three years ago, and yet I still haven’t read any of Toni Morrison’s other books. Time to change that…

The Blurb says: Song of Solomon is a work of outstanding beauty and power, whose story covers the years from the 1930’s to the 1960’s in America. At its centre is Macon Dead Jr, the son of a wealthy black property owner, who has been brought up to revere the white world. Macon learns about the tyranny of white society from his friend Guitar, though he is more concerned to escape the tyranny of his father. So while Guitar joins a terrorist group of poor blacks, Macon goes home to the South, lured by tales of buried family treasure. His journey leads to the discovery of something more valuable than gold, his past. Yet the truth about his origins and his true self is not fully revealed to Macon until he and Guitar meet once again in powerful, and deadly confrontation.

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Dickens for Christmas

Courtesy of Oxford World’s Classics. Every year, I revisit A Christmas Carol over the Christmas season, trying new audiobooks or TV/film adaptations. But it’s actually been a few years now since I read the paper copy. This hardback is a new edition for this year and, as with this entire series of hardbacks, is much more gorgeous in real life than the cover picture makes it look. My plan is to read one of the five Christmas stories each week in December…

The Blurb says: ‘What was merry Christmas to Scrooge? Out upon merry Christmas! What good had it ever done to him?’

Ebenezer Scrooge is a bad-tempered skinflint who hates Christmas and all it stands for, but a ghostly visitor foretells three apparitions who will thaw Scrooge’s frozen heart. A Christmas Carol has gripped the public imagination since it was first published in 1843, and it is now as much a part of Christmas as mistletoe or plum pudding. This edition reprints the story alongside Dickens’s four other Christmas Books: The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man. All five stories show Dickens at his unpredictable best, jumbling together comedy and melodrama, genial romance and urgent social satire, in pursuit of his aim ‘to awaken some loving and forbearing thoughts, never out of season in a Christian land’.

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Courtesy of Collins Chillers. Last week I mentioned HarperCollins had sent me a selection of three new horror collections – this is the second. I’ve read some EF Benson before, but had no idea his brothers wrote ghost stories too…

The Blurb says: One of the most extraordinary, and prolific writing families of the last one hundred years must be the Bensons. All three brothers wrote ghost stories, and Fred Benson is acknowledged as one of the finest writers of supernatural fiction of this century, whose name is mentioned in the same breath as such other greats as M.R. James and H.R. Wakefield. However, for many years his success in the genre has overshadowed the work that Arthur and Hugh did in the field of the supernatural story; and their weird tales, long out of print and difficult to find, were known to only a few enthusiasts.

Now, for the first time, the best supernatural tales of A.C. and R.H. Benson have been gathered together into one volume. Hugh Lamb, whose ground-breaking anthologies of the 1970s were largely responsible for their re-discovery, has collected nineteen of the best stories by both writers, including A.C. Benson’s masterful tales ‘Basil Netherby’ and ‘The Uttermost Farthing’. Also included is a rare 1913 article, ‘Haunted Houses’, by R.H. Benson, reprinted here for the first time, and an Introduction which examines the lives and writings of these two complex and fascinating men.

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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?

36 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 178…

  1. Congratulations on yet another drop! That’s great! The Pocket Detective, Song of Solomon, and classic Christmas stories like A Christmas Carol tempt me (though so many people have complained about Christmas music and Christmas movies playing before Halloween and Thanksgiving). Now that Halloween is over, I expect they’ll be even more apparent.


    • Haha – tragically the postman did indeed arrive, so the drop was short-lived! They do all sound good, don’t they? I think I read all the Dickens Christmas stories as a young teen, but I don’t remember any of the except A Christmas Carol, so that should be fun. Haha – my brother was complaining only yesterday about the shelves being full of Christmas food already… 😀


  2. I am quite impressed, FictionFan! Another drop in the TBR? That’s another chocolate for you! The Johnson does look like fun, and I’ve been hearing great things about the Jackson. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. As for Morrison, her work is powerful; I’m sure you won’t regret reading it. As for Dickens? I think that’s required reading at holiday time… 🙂


    • Haha – tragically, the postman did indeed arrive, so the drop was short-lived… and now I really NEED chocolate! 😉 The two BL books do look like fun – some of the quizzes in the crime one are pretty tough though for those of us with memories like sieves. You and BigSister would ace them, though… 😀 I’m going to be having a bit of a Dickens-fest this year, not to mention the million vintage crime books I seem to have acquired… sounds like fun, part 3!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you, reading/watching A Christmas Carol is an annual tradition over the festive season in our house. I’m just about to read a new book, Miss Marley by the late Vanessa Lafaye. It’s a prequel to…you guessed it, A Christmas Carol. Its had some great reviews from bloggers I rate.


    • Oh, that sounds intriguing! I look forward to hearing what you think of it. I can’t imagine Christmas without A Christmas Carol – as well as the book, there have been so many great adaptations of it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – well, I like to spread the misery… I mean, joy!… around. 😉 I love when the Christmas stocking filler books start coming out – I’m such a sucker for books like these. And if Song of Solomon is half as good as Beloved, it’ll be great!


  4. What a great TBR Thursday! I’m tempted by all of those, especially Shelf Life and The Pocket Detective. I should read my unread copy of Beloved before I add Song of Solomon to my TBR, though. I’m glad to hear it blew you away. 🙂


    • I love these stocking filler type books and these both look good! Oh, yes, you should read Beloved – I declared it The Great American Novel and it won my FF Book of the Year Award in 2016! 😀


    • Ooh, that’s good to hear! My expectations are already ridiculously high because I loved Beloved so much – that’s partly why it’s taken me so long to get to it. I’m a bit scared it can’t possibly be as good as I’m anticipating… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Speaking of Dickens-I received a Christmas Carol with recipes! It’s a new Penguin thing where they pair classic stories with recipes. Martha Stewart is one of the contributors…


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