TBR Thursday 181…

Episode 181

A dramatic fall in the TBR since I last reported – down 4 to 224! This is rather astonishing since, for non-blog related reasons, my reading has been way down over the last couple of weeks – but clearly so has my book acquiring! As you might have noticed, I’ve also been pretty lax at posting, visiting, commenting and replying to comments – apologies, and I’m hoping to get back to my normal pattern soon.

Here are a few more that are due soonish, though I don’t seem to be sticking to my schedule very rigidly at the moment. What a rebel!

Dickens for Christmas

For years it’s been my personal tradition to read Dickens over Christmas, so I put five of them on my Classics Club list. This year, it’s the turn of Little Dorrit. This will be a re-read, but it’s many years since I read it…

The Blurb says: When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, he takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mother’s seamstress, and in the affairs of Amy’s father, William Dorrit, a man of shabby grandeur, long imprisoned for debt in Marshalsea prison. As Arthur soon discovers, the dark shadow of the prison stretches far beyond its walls to affect the lives of many, from the kindly Mr Panks, the reluctant rent-collector of Bleeding Heart Yard, and the tipsily garrulous Flora Finching, to Merdle, an unscrupulous financier, and the bureaucratic Barnacles in the Circumlocution Office. A masterly evocation of the state and psychology of imprisonment, Little Dorrit is one of the supreme works of Dickens’s maturity.

* * * * *

Vintage Crime

Courtesy of Poisoned Pen Press via NetGalley. I’ve had this sitting on my TBR for ages, constantly shoved down the list by newer shinier books, poor thing. I’ve liked but not loved the other two John Bude books I’ve read – maybe this is the one that will finally wow me…

The Blurb says: Welworth Garden City in the 1940s is a forward-thinking town where free spirits find a home – vegetarians, socialists, and an array of exotic religious groups. Chief among these are the Children of Osiris, led by the eccentric High Prophet, Eustace K. Mildmann. The cult is a seething hotbed of petty resentment, jealousy and dark secrets – which eventually lead to murder. The stage is set for one of Inspector Meredith’s most bizarre and exacting cases.

This witty crime novel by a writer on top form is a neglected classic of British crime fiction.

* * * * *

Classic Sci-Fi

Another one from my Classics Club list. It was reading this book that inspired Stanley Kubrick to invite Arthur C Clarke to collaborate with him on making a movie – and so the amazingly mind-blowing 2001: A Space Odyssey was born. Looking at the blurb, it’s obvious that some of the themes of this book made their way into the film…

The Blurb says: The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city–intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

But at what cost? With the advent of peace, man ceases to strive for creative greatness, and a malaise settles over the human race. To those who resist, it becomes evident that the Overlords have an agenda of their own. As civilization approaches the crossroads, will the Overlords spell the end for humankind . . . or the beginning?

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Yuletide Fun

Courtesy of the British Library. A new Christmas-themed vintage crime anthology from the BL is becoming a bit of a Christmas tradition too, happily for me, since I love them!

The Blurb says: A Christmas party is punctuated by a gunshot under a policeman’s watchful eye. A jewel heist is planned amidst the glitz and glamour of Oxford Street’s Christmas shopping. Lost in a snowstorm, a man finds a motive for murder. This collection of mysteries explores the darker side of the festive season from unexplained disturbances in the fresh snow, to the darkness that lurks beneath the sparkling decorations. With neglected stories by John Bude and E. C. R. Lorac, as well as tales by little-known writers of crime fiction, Martin Edwards blends the cosy atmosphere of the fireside story with a chill to match the temperature outside. This is a gripping seasonal collection sure to delight mystery fans.

* * * * *

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?

38 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 181…

  1. I am impressed with that precipitous drop in the TBR, FictionFan! Well done and worthy of a piece of chocolate. You’ve got some interesting ones there, and I’m especially drawn to the BL offerings. I’m so pleased they’re making some great vintage crime available.

    • It is impressive, isn’t it? Of course, I didn’t mention the wishlist horrors… 😉 The BL ones look good as usual, and I’m pleased they’ve done another Christmas collection – I’ve got used to having one each year now… 😀

  2. Well done on the book drop (though I hope things are okay on the non-blog side of life).

    I’ve read Little Dorrit (and am probably weird, but I’ve grown love it after a tumultuous first read). I wonder if the Arthur C. Clarke book was adapted for a movie or TV show. The plot sounds really familiar. The vintage crime book sounds delightful.

    • Thank you! (I’m fine, but unfortunately one of my family is quite ill, so reading and blogging has taken a bit of a back seat for a while.)

      I’m looking forward to revisiting Little Dorrit – I’m sure I enjoyed it, but it’s been a long time since I read it. I have a feeling they did a miniseries of Childhood’s End a few years ago, though I didn’t see it. But the blurb makes it sound very similar to Space Odyssey. And I’m so pleased they’ve done another vintage short story collection this Christmas – it’s become another tradition!

  3. The Christmas Card Crime sounds and looks lovely! I absolutely love Little Dorrit and I’m envious of your foresight in putting 5 Dickens titles on your classics club list – a great tradition to read him at Christmas!!

    • I love these Christmas-themed short story collections they’ve been doing for the last few years, so I’m looking forward to this one! It’s ages since I read Little Dorrit, but I’m sure I enjoyed it, so again I’m looking forward to it too – Dickens for Christmas should be a law! 😀

  4. Whew, safe this week — yeah!! Congrats on the drop in your TBR (though I do hope everything’s okay with you!). I find this holiday time of year pretty hard to get into reading, for some strange reason. I’ve got a perfectly good thriller I’m one-third through, but there’s so much else to do that I’m having a tough time reading more than a chapter or two at a time. Sigh. There’s also that book I’m writing. Oh, well, onward!

    • What?? How can you resist Dickens and vintage crime?? 😉 (Thanks – I’m fine, but one of my family is quite ill, so reading and blogging have been taking a back seat for a bit.) I’m the other way round – usually winter is the time I really get stuck into all those long books I’ve ignored all year. This year though I’m finding these short vintage crime novels are perfect because they don’t need so much concentration. 😀

    • I’ve loved the Christmas-themed short story collections they’d done the last few years, so I’m really looking forward to this one! Thank you! Yes, I’ve been finishing up some of these anthologies I’ve been reading over spooky season, so it makes it seem as if I’m getting through more than I really am… 😀

  5. OOOHHHH The Christmas Card Crime one looks so good! Can’t wait to see your review on that. And my TBR seems to be shrinking at the moment as well, but i think it’s because publishers don’t send me much around this time of year (thankfully!).

    • I’m hoping to start it soon – maybe I’ll use it as a sort of advent calendar (and of course accompany it with a nice box of chocolates). Ha – I’ve noticed that too – I thought they’d just fallen out with me, so it’s good to know it’s a general thing! It gives me a chance to catch up a bit on my massive backlog… 😀

    • I’m glad so many people seem so fond of Little Dorrit because I wasn’t sure if it was one of the greats or not – so long since I read it I don’t remember my own reaction to it much. I feel the same about the Bude books – I want to like them but on the whole I find them pretty average. This one isn’t grabbing me particularly either – there’s nothing wrong with it, but nothing special either…

  6. A four book drop in the TBR is extraordinary! None tempt me, so I’m safe until your reviews are posted. Saw in the comments why you’ve been otherwise occupied, hope all is well. Hugs from Australia.

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