TBR Thursday 247…

Episode 247

A tiny increase in the TBR this week – up 1 to 209. So fortunately I’ve managed to avoid a book famine for yet another week – phew!

Here are a few more that will be on the menu soon…


A Vast Conspiracy by Jeffrey Toobin

Courtesy of William Collins via NetGalley. I wouldn’t normally be attracted to a book about a sex scandal, but I thoroughly enjoyed another of Toobin’s books on Patty Hearst, American Heiress, and I’m hoping that, although the blurb doesn’t say so, this one might explain the whole Whitewater thing which was behind the Clinton scandal, and which I never fully got to grips with at the time…

The Blurb says: The definitive account of the Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandals, A Vast Conspiracy casts an insightful eye over the extraordinary ordeal that nearly brought down a president.

First published a year after the infamous impeachment trial, Jeffrey Toobin’s propulsive narrative captures the full arc of the Clinton sex scandals – from their beginnings in a Little Rock hotel to their culmination on the floor of the United States Senate with only the second vote on presidential removal in American history.

Rich in character and fuelled with the high octane of a sensational legal thriller, A Vast Conspiracy has indelibly shaped our understanding of this disastrous moment in American political history.

* * * * *

Scottish Classic

Bull Calves by Naomi Mitchison

Another from the Scottish section of my Classics Club list and I bet you’ll never be able to guess what it’s about – the Jacobite Rebellions! It’s just as well really that the Rebellions happened or there would be pretty much no classic Scottish literature… 😉 It’s also vying for the award for Shortest Blurb, which is surprising, since it’s a brick-sized book…

The Blurb says: Over a summer weekend at Gleneagles, the Haldane family gather. It’s 1747 and a cautious Scotland is recovering from the ’45 rebellion. To the party the family bring their own suspicions and troubles, and the weekend takes a dramatic turn when one of them conceals a rebel Jacobite in the attic.

* * * * *


Maigret and the Ghost by Georges Simenon

The first of the two Maigrets I’ve included on my 20 Books of Summer list, which I’m already falling seriously behind with. And an even shorter blurb! At this rate I’ll need to do a song and dance routine to fill up space at the end of the post…

The Blurb says: During an undercover case Inspector Lognon is shot in a room he was sharing with a beautiful woman who has since disappeared. Inspector Maigret retraces Lognon’s secretive last few days and is drawn into the darker side of the art world.

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Classic Fiction on Audio

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy read by Tony Britton

Sadly I didn’t get on with the narrator of the du Maurier I intended to listen to, so quickly abandoned it and have already started this one. So far Tony Britton is doing a marvellous job and I’m thoroughly enjoying the story, which I wasn’t sure if I’d read before, but am now sure I haven’t…

The Blurb says: In a fit of drunken anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive pride and temper. Subtitled ‘A Story of a Man of Character’, Hardy’s powerful and sympathetic study of the heroic but deeply flawed Henchard is also an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads, Audible UK or Amazon UK.

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

67 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 247…

  1. Thankfully none of these appeal enough for me to add them to my TBR this week (except the Maigret which is already on there)! I was put off Thomas Hardy seemingly forever when I read Jude the Obscure, though I admit that this one sounds very slightly less gloomy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, Hardy isn’t a barrel of laughs, is he? The first part of this wasn’t too bad but now all his poor characters are being tortured again. 😂 But I do love his writing! Maigret should be entertaining though…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve just had a mega download on kindle so I’m not even thinking about numbers 😂 or how long it’ll take me to get through them! Glad you’re on the right track though 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. More Jacobites? Surely not. The Mayor of Casterbridge is actually my favorite Hardy. Not exactly laugh a minute, but a powerful story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I know! I should have paid more attention to the blurbs when I was selecting Scottish classics for my list! I’m loving The Mayor of Casterbridge so far, although as always with audiobooks it’ll take me an age to get through. Tony Britton’s excellent though.


  4. Clinton – no, Jacobites – yes, Maigret – yes (I have one on my 20 Books of Summer), The Mayor of Casterbridge – no, but only because I’ve read it before and enjoyed it, so I’m glad to hear that your enjoying the audio book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I’m not persuading many people they want to read the book about Clinton! I always enjoy the Jacobite books even though I complain that so many Scottish classics use that theme. Maigret is always entertaining, and The Mayor of Casterbridge is still great – being an audiobook it’ll take me weeks to “read” it, though!


  5. Very glad to hear the TBR hasn’t taken over yet another room in your home, FictionFan… 😉 . As for what’s coming up, it’s good to see a Maigret novel on your list; I think there are some excellent entries in that series, and I’m hoping you’ll like that one. And although I don’t generally read books about sex scandals, either, the Toobin case was interesting, and I hope you’ll find that one a good read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, there are no rooms left! If I get more books either the cats or I will have to move out, and I have a strange feeling it won’t be the cats… 😉 I keep acquiring the Maigret books and then not reading them, so I’m looking forward to finally getting to one or two of them – I’ve enjoyed the few I’ve read to date. I’m hoping the Toobin concentrates more on the scandal behind the scandal – all the politics rather than what Clinton got up to in the Oval Office. I feel I heard more than enough about that aspect at the time!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Remind me – which du Maurier was it and who was narrating? I’m intrigued by Toney Britton reading Hardy; I’d never have made that match so I’m delighted that it’s working.

    Am I being unspeakably mean in hoping – half-hoping then – for the song and dance routine comes summer’s end? 😳 A scottish reel would go down very nicely! 😱😆

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was Frenchman’s Creek so after all the comments from people who’ve read it, I wasn’t sorry to abandon it! The narrator was some bloke called John Castle who gets rave reviews but sounded overly dramatic for my taste. Ha, I know – Tony Britton seems all wrong doesn’t he? But actually he does an amazing range of authentic sounding regional accents – who knew? The perils of typecasting, obviously…

      I shall practice it, though it’s not easy to dance and play the bagpipes at the same time. Especially not while juggling haggises… 😱

      Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t remember if I’d read The Mayor of Casterbridge, but now that I’m into it I know I definitely haven’t. Given how much I enjoy Hardy I’ve read surprisingly few of his books. Looking forward to the Maigrets!


  7. I’m intrigued by The Mayor of Casterbridge. Good grief, selling relatives?? Then acting all proper and pious?? What an interesting blurb this is! Looking forward to reading your review to see if it’s as good as one would hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nah, nothing which really tempts me this week (phew). The Maigret sounds ok – nothing wrong with a short blurb! I still haven’t got to my first Hardy yet. If it turns out you hate The Mayor of Casterbridge, you might put me off him for good. Just saying…

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Maigrets are always entertaining, and pleasingly short! I love Hardy, although oddly I’ve read very few of his books. Only about a third through this one but it’s heading for a glowing review so far, so you might want to start making space on your TBR… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, I have no stomach for sex scandal re-hashes. And I was tempted by the Scottish classic until you mentioned the word “brick.” So the only one that is remotely tempting is the last. Would be interesting to see that upstanding citizen taken down a few pegs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really hoping it’ll be more about the political shenagigans and Whitewater rather than lurid details of the Lewinsky business, but I stand ready to abandon it if necessary! The Scottish one is frighteningly big – I can only hope it uses a large font! 😉 So far, The Mayor of Casterbridge is great…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have another of Naomi Mitchison’s books on my Classics Club list – The Corn King and the Spring Queen – so I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with The Bull Calves! I loved The Mayor of Casterbridge but I’m not tempted to read it again just yet as I still have quite a few unread Hardy novels to read first.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mitchison is another of the many Scottish authors I’ve never read before – fingers crossed it’s good, especially since it’s huge! I love Hardy but have read surprisingly few of his books – don’t know why. I’m thinking I’ll have to add a few to my list…


  11. I’m not particularly tempted, unless the crime novel turns out to be really good. (and it would have to be REALLY good)

    Clinton was my governor before he was my president and adding Hillary to the mix…. well, I’ve had enough Clintons for a lifetime (maybe excluding George Clinton of Funk fame 😂).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Maigrets are usually entertaining, but I don’t usually rave about them so you’re probably going to be safe – though maybe this will be the exception! 😉

      Haha, yes, I do understand! I can read books about American politicians more easily than about British ones which usually make me furious! Unless they’re long dead… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I feel I heard far too much about what Clinton got up to in the Oval Office at the time! Corrupted my innocent mind… 😉 I think it was only a year or so ago that I reviewed American Heiress – maybe you were on holiday? It was very well done and such an interesting story.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Mayor is great so far but being an audiobook it’ll take me weeks to get through! I’m looking forward to Bull Calves, but am currently in the middle of another stonker – All the King’s Men – wonderful but huge! – so it’ll be a while before I get to start it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • They definitely can! A good one can make a good book even better, while a bad one (or, at least, one that doesn’t work for the listener) can ruin the book…


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