TBR Thursday 190…

Episode 190

The postman arrived and my reading slump kicked in again, so it’s pretty surprising that the TBR has only gone up by 1 to 229. I don’t understand it – I’m wondering if Abbott & Costello have been secretly messing with my spreadsheet…

Here’s the next thirteen…

Factual

Courtesy of Collins Reference via NetGalley. Do you ever click that NetGalley button and then immediately regret it? For ten seconds, I thought this one sounded interesting, but as soon as I’d downloaded it I realised the idea of reading a bunch of obituaries appealed about as much as eating six plates of lumpy custard. So, on the bright side, it can only exceed my expectations…

The Blurb says: The Scots have contributed richly to the world, most notably in literature and science, but also in the arts, law, politics, religion, scholarship and sport. In this volume, The Times brings together a unique and fascinating collection of obituaries. The list includes people who have made the greatest impact in their fields, others who have led particularly interesting or influential lives, and a selection of notable Scottish figures in the history of The Times.

This book features the major Scottish figures of influence from the last 200 years and includes a diverse range of people, including: Sir Walter Scott, Sir David Livingstone, Thomas Carlyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Keir Hardie, Alexander Graham Bell, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Phoebe Traquair, James Ramsay MacDonald, John Logie Baird, Mary Somerville, Jim Clark, John Smith, Donald Dewar, Eugenie Fraser, Robin Cook, Jock Stein, R. D. Laing, Margo MacDonald, William McIlvanney, Tam Dalyell and Ronnie Corbett.

* * * * *

Crime

Courtesy of Farrago via NetGalley. I’ve been hugely enjoying revisiting Colin Watson’s Flaxborough Chronicles as they’ve been reissued for Kindle. The blurb of this one doesn’t ring a bell, so either I missed it when I was reading them back in my youth, or it will all come flooding back when I start reading…

The Blurb says: A peculiar pornographic movie has been wowing viewers in the Gulf. One of the more scurrilous English Sunday papers gets a tip-off that this exotic blue production stars respected residents of the coastal town of Flaxborough, and a team led by the well-known investigative journalist Clive Grail arrives in a Rolls Royce.

Word of the looming scandal soon gets out and the town’s quixotic mayor, Alderman Charlie Hockley, spurred on by the loan of some antique duelling pistols, issues a challenge to Grail! DI Purbright’s stern warning falls on deaf ears, but before the duel can take place a far more sinister fatality occurs…

Witty and a little wicked, Colin Watson’s tales offer a mordantly entertaining cast of characters and laugh-out-loud wordplay.

* * * * *

Fiction

Courtesy of Penguin Viking via NetGalley. I know nothing about this one, other than that the blurb is as appealing as the cover…

The Blurb says: 1826, and all of London is in a frenzy. Crowds gather at the gates of the Old Bailey to watch as Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, goes on trial for their murder. The testimonies against her are damning – slave, whore, seductress. And they may be the truth. But they are not the whole truth.

For the first time Frannie must tell her story. It begins with a girl learning to read on a plantation in Jamaica, and it ends in a grand house in London, where a beautiful woman waits to be freed.

But through her fevered confessions, one burning question haunts Frannie Langton: could she have murdered the only person she ever loved?

* * * * *

Christie on Audio

My cats Tommy and Tuppence get very annoyed whenever I read a Poirot or Miss Marple book. In their opinion, Ms Christie’s other detective duo are by far the best. So we shall all be listening to Hugh Fraser narrating this – the first of the Tommy and Tuppence books… 

The Blurb says: Tommy and Tuppence, two young people short of money and restless for excitement, embark on a daring business scheme – Young Adventurers Ltd.

Their advertisement says they are ‘willing to do anything, go anywhere’. But their first assignment, for the sinister Mr Whittington, plunges them into more danger than they ever imagined…

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads.

* * * * *

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

32 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 190…

  1. I don’t understand it either. It’s awfully disappointing though. I do not approve. Here’s hoping next week is better. For me anyway 😉

    I have Frannie Langton on pre-order. Can’t wait!

    • I can’t work out why it didn’t go up more – I do feel as if I’m drowning in books, if that’s any comfort to you… 😀

      I saw a pretty glowing review of Frannie Langton yesterday – first review I’ve seen. Fingers crossed! 😀

    • It’s very strange – I do feel it should have gone up more this week! But I’m too scared to look at what’s happened to my wishlist… 😉 I saw my first review of Frannie Langton yesterday – fairly glowing, so I hope we all love it! Tommy will look so cute when it’s his turn for the headphones… 😀

  2. I never did trust A & C, FictionFan! 😉 – I am sorry to hear you’re in a reading slump. Those can be so difficult. Hope you snap out of it soon. The Christie will, I hope, be a good experience for you, especially the audible aspect of it . And I’m tempted by the Watson…

    • I reckon I’d have done better at maths if they’d been my teachers… 😉 My slump seems to be coming and going – hopefully one of these days it’ll go, and then not come back! I’m looking forward to both of those – as you know, I really love the Hugh Fraser narrations… 😀

  3. You’ll come out of this slump stronger than ever!
    Agatha Christie’s books are always tempting. But I must confess I’m intrigued by Great Scottish Lives.

    • I hope so! I need to, or all these unread review books will start to weigh on my conscience… 😉

      Haha – maybe you could read it for me on a kind of franchise basis! I suspect it’ll be a dipper for me – some of the names intrigue me, but some I’ve never even heard of…

  4. The Tommy and Tuppence book sounds best by far (and who doesn’t love Christie?!?). Additionally, the one about Frannie Langton sounds most intriguing. Congrats on putting your TBR on a little diet. A reading slump every now and then (particularly if the TBR isn’t added to) can be a positive thing (more time for chocolate and tea, you know!)

    • It’s years since I read the Christie, so happily I’ve forgotten the plot! But I always had a soft spot for Tommy and Tuppence – as you could probably have guessed. 😀 My reading slump seems to be coming and going, so hopefully soon it will just GO!

    • I love Watson’s books, though a word of warning – the series tailed off a bit towards the end. The middle books are great though – very amusing but also with good, surprisingly dark plots…

    • I love Hugh Fraser’s narrations of the Christie novels – perfect comfort listening! And you’re right – she’s the perfect author to turn to in a slump… 😀

  5. I listened to Hugh Fraser’s narration of The Secret Adversary last month, and it was completely charming. I hadn’t encountered Tommy and Tuppence before, and it was a lovely place to start.

    • Oh, that’s good to hear! I’ve been loving Hugh Fraser’s narrations, though so far I’ve only listened to him doing Poirot books. But I have a major soft spot for Tommy and Tuppence, as you can tell by my cats’ names! I wish she’d written more of them than she did.

      • I liked them a lot! I am working through the Partners in Crime short story collection at the moment and not enjoying it as much, but it’s still a lot of fun because of Hugh Fraser’s narration.

        • Yes, I don’t think Partners in Crime is the best either. I love By the Pricking of My Thumbs – the plot is a bit messy as some of her later ones were, but Tuppence as an elderly woman is done brilliantly and the story is deliciously creepy… 😀

  6. I have a NetGalley copy of Frannie Langton too – I hope it’s as good as it looks! The Secret Adversary is the only Tommy and Tuppence book I’ve read, but I really enjoyed it. I must read the others soon!

    • I’ve only seen one review of Frannie Langton so far – very positive, so fingers crossed! I have a major soft spot for the Tommy and Tuppence books, as you can tell from my cats’ names! But it’s ages since I last read this one.

  7. Hmmm The Confessions of Frannie sound an awful lot like Margart Atwood’s Alias Grace-Netflix has done a miniseries of it-are you familiar with it? And yes, the book of obituaries…I can see why you would have requested it for those few first seconds, but on 2nd thought…it could be extremely boring LOL

    • I didn’t see the miniseries, but I did read the book many years ago – I barely remember it though, to be honest, but I think I enjoyed it at the time. Haha – the obituaries book has reminded me to pause before pressing that request button… 😀

  8. My reading slump last year took a while to definitively go too FF, so I feel your pain. At least its in the process of shifting!

    The Frannie Langton sounds great – is it based on a true story?

    • I hardly read anything all last week and then have read up a storm this weekend! Fingers crossed this time it lasts…

      No, not as far as I can see. In her intro, the author says she grew up loving Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre and books like that, but then realised the heroines didn’t reflect her own world, so she was inspired to create her own…

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