TBR Thursday 252…

Episode 252

And the amazing downward trend continues! The TBR has fallen by another 3 this week to the magic total of 200! Of course, since I’m achieving this miracle by reading all the short books, this means that the remaining 200 are all monsters, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it…

Here are a few more that should fall off the cliff soon…

Winner of the Classics Club Spin #24

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

The winning number is 18 and that means noir! I’m delighted to finally get to this one – the Classics Club Gods have chosen well! The idea is that this should be read and reviewed by the end of September and that should be well within the realms of possibility…

The Blurb says: When Philip Marlowe befriends down-on-his-luck veteran Terry Lennox he gets more than he bargained for. With Lennox’s wife dead and Lennox himself on the lam, Marlowe becomes the target for the local cops and a crazy gangster, while getting mixed up with alcoholic writer Roger Wade and his wife Eileen. Nothing is what it seems as Marlowe unravels the Wades’ scheme to expose the truth behind Lennox’s facade.

The most autobiographical of his novels, The Long Goodbye was considered by Chandler to be his best work. One of the preeminent examples of hard-boiled detective fiction, The Long Goodbye has been adapted for radio, film and television, and received the 1955 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

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Crime Novella

Silent Kill by Jane Casey

Ooh, a Maeve Kerrigan novella! Thanks to Eva for giving me the heads up on this one. 😀 I’m adding it to my 20 Books of Summer list since a space suddenly appeared when I abandoned All We Shall Know at the 11% mark on the grounds that the world is quite miserable enough without books like this adding to it. Maeve will cheer me up!

The Blurb says: A teenage girl is killed on a London bus. The case should be simple. The bus was full of witnesses, and there are cameras everywhere.

A hunt for a killer…
But the more DC Georgia Shaw and her colleagues Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwent delve into the crime, the more elusive the answers become.

A case that spirals out of control…
It seems impossible that no one saw anything, but soon the leads run cold. Will they uncover what really happened, or will the killer get away with murder?

For fans of the Maeve Kerrigan series, this is a story with a difference. Told from Georgia’s point of view, we see Maeve and Josh from the outside…like you’ve never seen them before.

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Fiction

Up the Junction by Nell Dunn

Another one from my 20 Books list. I’ve seen the film of this but probably a decade or so after it came out, since it would have been far too adult for me at the time. The film was one of those that kinda defined London in the ’60s, at least for those of us who didn’t live there. I only discovered it started out as a book when Madame Bibi reviewed it

The Blurb says: The girls – Rube, Lily and Sylvie – work at McCrindle’s sweet factory during the week and on Saturday they go up the Junction in their clattering stilettos, think about new frocks on H.P., drink tea in the café, and talk about their boyfriends. In these uninhibited, spirited vignettes of young women’s lives in the shabby parts of South London in the sixties, money is scarce and enjoyment to be grabbed while it can.

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Scottish Classic

The White Bird Passes by Jessie Kesson

And the penultimate book of the 20! (Will I make it through them all in time? It’s possible. But then it’s also possible that I could bungee jump from the top of Big Ben…) I know nothing about either author or book except that it shows up from time to time on lists of Scottish classics…  

The Blurb says: Set in the backstreets of a Scottish city in the 1920s, The White Bird Passes is the unforgettable story of a young girl growing up in ‘the Lane’. Poor, crowded and dirty – but full of life and excitement – the Lane is the only home Janie MacVean has ever known. It is a place where, despite everything, Janie is happy. But when the Cruelty Man arrives, bringing with him the threat of the dreaded ‘home’ – the orphanage that is every child’s nightmare – Janie’s contented childhood seems to be at an end.

A gritty and moving portrayal of a young girl facing up to hardship and deprivation, written with warmth, humour and insight, Jessie Kesson’s classic autobiographical novel is widely regarded as her finest work.

* * * * *

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

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So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

49 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 252…

  1. I enjoyed Up the Junction so much that I deliberately set out to find a second-hand copy of it in all bookshops, as I’d lost my copy. Also her Talking to Women volume. All very anthropological – a real snapshot of urban working-class life in the 1960s.

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    • That’s good to hear! I don’t remember the story from the film, just a general impression of it showing London in the early ’60s from a more working class perspective than the glamorous Swinging Sixties image usually shows.

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  2. Too much on my TBR pile to be overly tempted but I’ve always wanted to read a Philip Marlowe novel sometime. I was a teenager for TV shows like Cathy, Come Home and Up the Junction and aware their grittiness depicted the other side of the swinging sixties, but the cinema verité style didn’t encourage me to revisit either, then or later.

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    • I’m sure I’ve read some Chandler before but so long ago I couldn’t say which – maybe even this one! I was a bit too young for them at the time, but my sisters were the right age so I was always aware of them. I quite liked the cinematic style of the films but the stories were often too bleak for me, then and now. I don’t really remember the story of this – just the general impression of it.

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  3. I am most impressed with that plummet in your TBR, FictionFan! You deserve adulation for that! As for this list, I’m as happy as you are to see a Maeve Kerrigan story. That would be my first choice. And I’ve been wanting to read Up the Junction, myself, so if you go for that one, I’ll be really keen to know what you think of it. Seriously, though, they all look interesting!

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    • I’m feeling extremely proud of myself, I must admit! Maybe I should celebrate with a book-buying binge… 😉 I’m looking forward to the Maeve story – an extra treat! I don’t really remember the story of Up the Junction from the film – just a kind of general impression of it being the less glamorous side of Swinging London. Fingers crossed!

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  4. Most of them sound promissing this week, at least the CC Spin landed on something in keeping with your current reading tastes and patterns. The Scottish classic sounds rather grim to me, but who knows, it might surprise you.

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    • Yes, it was good to get a CC Spin that I’m actually looking forward to for once – those pesky CC Gods have a terrible habit of picking monsters for me! The reviews of The White Bird Passes are not particularly promising, but maybe it will surprise me…

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    • I know – I’m so proud of myself I might have to have a book-buying binge to celebrate! 😉 Up the Junction is another of these terribly British things – I don’t imagine it was popular over there even when it came out, much less now. But over here it still has a kind of cult status, so we’ll see…

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    • Hahaha, yes, but I shall defeat your nefarious TBR-stuffing plans with my secret weapon – reading it!! 😉 I’m looking forward to it – must see if I can track down the film for a re-watch too…

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  5. Congrats, you made it to 200!! 😀 I am delighted to see The Long Goodbye coming up in the Classics Club Spin, I hope you will enjoy it. Also, Up the Junction sounds great – London in the swinging sixties!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! I’m so proud I may have to go on a book-buying spree to celebrate! 😉 I’m delighted to have got The Long Goodbye – I’m just in the mood for it! And Up the Junction should be interesting – I don’t really remember the story from the film, just the general impression of it being about the less glamorous side of Swinging London!

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  6. Wow, congrats on the drop in your TBR, FF — excellent! Most of these sound pretty interesting to me, but I’m steeling myself not to add anything until I, too, can wade through what’s already taking up space. I’m glad the spin worked in your favor, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting your reviews!

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    • I know, I’m so proud of myself I might have to celebrate with a little book-buying binge! 😉 Looking forward to the spin winner for once – those pesky Classics Club Gods usually pick me a monster!

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  7. Lucky you, I wish I had a copy of The Long Goodbye now. I really fancy Up the Junction too, I’m not crazy about London but there’s something about the 1960s setting that’s very attractive, even if it’s a bit grotty.

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    • I’m looking forward to The Long Goodbye – just in the right mood for it! Yes, London has changed so much now, but the image I have of it in my mind, despite having lived there for several years in the ’90s, is always of the Swinging Sixties and these old books and films about the less glamorous side of that period.

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  8. These all seem interesting. The Long Goodbye was easily acquired, not so the others, so waiting for more motivation from your reviews to see if it’s worth more effort 🙂 I’m looking forward to The Long Goodbye, it’s outside my usual reading fare.

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    • I’m sure I’ve read and enjoyed some Chandler in the long distant past, but can’t remember which ones – as usual when books become films I get muddled as to whether I’ve read them or watched them! It’ll be a few weeks before I get to it – got to finish this 20 Books of Summer thing first – but I hope we both enjoy it and am looking forward to sharing opinions!

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  9. I’ve just read I’ve just read Silent Kill and like all Casey’s work I think it’s excellent. It’s unusual though, in terms of its point of view and it means I will read future books in the series in a slightly different way.

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    • Funnily enough, that cover picture immediately made me think of The Liver Birds, which I loved back in the day. I have a feeling this one will be much more grim and gritty though, with some aspects that would never have got past the BBC’s morality monitors back then! (Happy days! 😉 )

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  10. Reading novellas is a good strategy – I’ve been doing that lately myself and finding I enjoy these far more than I enjoy short stories. It does mean I’m neglecting the really big books on my TBR though…..

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    • I’m sure I read and enjoyed some Chandler way back in the dim, distant past, but I can’t remember if this was one of them. Fingers crossed, indeed – I’m looking forward to getting to it! 😀

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