TBR Thursday 179…

Episode 179…

Well, considering how many books have arrived in my house over the last week, I’m astonished to report that the TBR has only gone up by 2 – to 228! Clearly I must be getting through them as fast as a champion swimmer just about to take Olympic gold – what could possibly go wrong?

(This looks remarkably like my postman…)

Here’s a few more I should be getting my teeth into soon…

True Crime

The only non-fiction book on my Classics Club list, I can’t understand why I’ve never got around to reading this before – surely the most famous true crime book of them all. Time to correct this omission…

The Blurb says: The chilling true crime ‘non-fiction novel’ that made Truman Capote’s name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative published in Penguin Modern Classics.

Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote’s comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human.

‘It is the American dream turning into the American nightmare … By juxtaposing and dovetailing the lives and values of the Clutters and those of the killers, Capote produces a stark image of the deep doubleness of American life … a remarkable book’ Spectator.

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Vintage Crime

Courtesy of the British Library. I have loved both the ECR Lorac books the BL has previously re-published, so am thrilled at the thought of this one. Great title, great cover… will the insides match up? My hopes are high…

The Blurb says: London. 1945. The capital is shrouded in the darkness of the blackout, and mystery abounds in the parks after dusk.

During a stroll through Regent’s Park, Bruce Mallaig witnesses two men acting suspiciously around a footbridge. In a matter of moments, one of them has been murdered; Mallaig’s view of the assailant but a brief glimpse of a ghastly face in the glow of a struck match.

The murderer’s noiseless approach and escape seems to defy all logic, and even the victim’s identity is quickly thrown into uncertainty. Lorac’s shrewd yet personable C.I.D. man MacDonald must set to work once again to unravel this near-impossible mystery.

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Fiction

Courtesy of Penguin Viking via NetGalley. Although he can be variable, I love William Boyd and each new book is a special pleasure. This one is being very positively reviewed so far, and the setting – Edinburgh, Paris, pre-Revolutionary St Petersburg – almost makes it seem as if he’s written it specially for me. Hmm… my expectations are pretty stratospheric… can it possibly live up to them??

The Blurb says: This is William Boyd’s sweeping, heart-stopping new novel. Set at the end of the 19th century, it follows the fortunes of Brodie Moncur, a young Scottish musician, about to embark on the story of his life.

When Brodie is offered a job in Paris, he seizes the chance to flee Edinburgh and his tyrannical clergyman father, and begin a wildly different new chapter in his life. In Paris, a fateful encounter with a famous pianist irrevocably changes his future – and sparks an obsessive love affair with a beautiful Russian soprano, Lika Blum. Moving from Paris to St Petersburg to Edinburgh and back again, Brodie’s love for Lika and its dangerous consequences pursue him around Europe and beyond, during an era of overwhelming change as the nineteenth century becomes the twentieth.

Love is Blind is a tale of dizzying passion and brutal revenge; of artistic endeavour and the illusions it creates; of all the possibilities that life can offer, and how cruelly they can be snatched away. At once an intimate portrait of one man’s life and an expansive exploration of the beginning of the twentieth century, Love is Blind is a masterly new novel from one of Britain’s best loved storytellers.

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Horror

Courtesy of Collins Chillers. This is the third and last of the selection of new horror collections HarperCollins kindly sent me. I’ve only “met” Robert W Chambers once before, in a short collection of his The King in Yellow stories, and to be honest I wasn’t thrilled by them. So it’ll be interesting to see if this collection can change my mind…

The Blurb says: Robert William Chambers’ The King in Yellow (1895) has long been recognised as a landmark work in the field of the macabre, and has been described as the most important work of American supernatural fiction between Poe and the moderns. Despite the book’s success, its author was to return only rarely to the genre during the remainder of a writing career which spanned four decades.

When Chambers did return to the supernatural, however, he displayed all the imagination and skill which distinguished The King in Yellow. He created the enigmatic and seemingly omniscient Westrel Keen, the ‘Tracer of Lost Persons’, and chronicled the strange adventures of an eminent naturalist who scours the earth for ‘extinct’ animals – and usually finds them. One of his greatest creations, perhaps, was 1920’s The Slayer of Souls, which features a monstrous conspiracy to take over the world: a conspiracy which can only be stopped by supernatural forces.

For the first time in a single volume, Hugh Lamb has selected the best of the author’s supernatural tales, together with an introduction which provides further information about the author who was, in his heyday, called ‘the most popular writer in America’.

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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?

26 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 179…

  1. I think that shows admirable restraint on your part, FictionFan, to only have the TBR go up that little bit. It’s hardly your fault, is it, if the postman keeps dashing your hopes of lowering that number!

    You’ve got some good books ahead of you, I think. In fact, I’m planning to put In Cold Blood in the spotlight before very long, so I’ll be very interested in what you think of that one. And the BL’s vintage series has included some very good entries, including Lorac’s work, so I’m sure you’ll like that one.

    • It isn’t! My postman has clearly joined the conspiracy against me! What am I supposed to do??

      Oh, it’ll be interesting to read a spotlight on that one. I’ve been meaning to read it for years, so I’m glad to finally be getting close. And I’m really pleased the BL is producing another Lorac – she’s one of the authors I’ve enjoyed most. 😀

  2. All of those sound good! I’ve heard that Capote’s book is really good.
    Congrats on only going up by two! I have a stack of books by my bed, so I can see how difficult it is to avoid temptation.

    • I’ve heard great things about the Capote too – I’m looking forward to it! Haha – my plan to reduce the TBR by the end if the year is looking a little doubtful… 😉

  3. I haven’t read the Capote book either, although I remember having the best of intentions around the time I read ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ and became aware of his links with that. Like all good intentions…. The Boyd is on my list as well.

    • Oh, that’s right – he was the inspiration for Dill, wasn’t he? I’ve been meaning to read In Cold Blood for literally years – other books just keep getting in the way. Fingers crossed for the Boyd – I usually love him, but not always…

  4. I’m impressed that your TBR only went up by two this week – I was doing well in keeping control of my TBR but the last few weeks it’s all got away from me again! Oops! In Cold Blood is a brilliant book – I first read it at school years ago and have since re-read it but it’s a book that’s never fully left my head. I still think about it from time to time.

    • Ha! These TBRs are sneaky things – just when you think you’ve got control of them, they turn round and show you who’s boss! 😉 Oh, that’s good to hear you were so impressed by In Cold Blood – I can’t wait to get to it finally!

    • I know – I’ve been meaning to read it for years but other books keep getting in the way! Hahaha – well, you know I blame you and your fellow bloggers for my TBR predicament… 😂

  5. Firstly are you sure that the abacus hasn’t done its sums wrong??
    Secondly In True Blood is the book that catches my eye the most on this list and I’ve already read it and although it wasn’t quite what I expected (I’m not sure what was) I can see how it led the way in true crime writing. Hope you enjoy them all!

    • Hahaha – my abacus is struggling to cope these days!

      I’m not sure what to expect with In True Blood either – it always seems to get listed more as if it’s a novel than true crime. Looking forward to finding out though!

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