TBR Thursday 258…

Episode 258

A tiny drop in the TBR this week – down 1 to 197. Not the most impressive achievement, but baby steps, baby steps…

(I know, I’ve used that one before, but it’s too good to only use once!)

Here are a few more that will be slipping off soon…

Classic Reviewalong

Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald

One for the Classics Club. When this one came up on a recent People’s Choice poll it lost, but Alyson suggested we read it anyway and co-ordinate our reviews and comments on 26th October, and a few other people decided that sounded like fun. So a reminder to Alyson, Christine and Eva if you’re still interested, and an invitation to anyone else who fancies joining in. (Sadly, Sandra has had to pull out of this one.) I have read this before but so long ago I remember very little about it except that it didn’t blow me away to the same extent as The Great Gatsby

The Blurb says: Between the First World War and the Wall Street Crash the French Riviera was the stylish place for wealthy Americans to visit. Among the most fashionable are the Divers, Dick and Nicole who hold court at their villa. Into their circle comes Rosemary Hoyt, a film star, who is instantly attracted to them, but understands little of the dark secrets and hidden corruption that hold them together. As Dick draws closer to Rosemary, he fractures the delicate structure of his marriage and sets both Nicole and himself on to a dangerous path where only the strongest can survive. In this exquisite, lyrical novel, Fitzgerald has poured much of the essence of his own life; he has also depicted the age of materialism, shattered idealism and broken dreams.

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Horror

Green Tea and Other Weird Stories by Sheridan Le Fanu

I have been the lucky recipient of a ton of anthologies and collections this year to feed my Tuesday Terror!, Transwarp Tuesday!, and even my long neglected Tuesday ‘Tec! short story slots. Here’s the first, courtesy of Oxford World’s Classics – a new collection just in time for spooky season. The porpy is thrilled! 

The Blurb says: Sheridan Le Fanu is one of the indispensable figures in the history of Gothic and horror fiction-the most important such writer in English, certainly, between Poe and M. R. James. While a number of his sensation and mystery novels were popular with mid-Victorian readers, it was in shorter forms that he truly excelled, and most showed himself an innovator in the field of uncanny fiction. Tales such as ‘Carmilla’ and ‘Green Tea’ prompted M. R. James to remark, ‘he succeeds in inspiring a mysterious terror better than any other writer’.

This landmark critical edition includes the original versions of all five stories later collected in the superb In a Glass Darkly, along with seven equally chilling tales spanning the length of Le Fanu’s career, from ‘Schalken the Painter‘, a pioneering story of the walking dead, to ‘Laura Silver Bell’, a haunting exploration of the dark side of fairy lore.

Aaron Worth’s introduction discusses the paranoid, claustrophobic world of Le Fanu’s fiction as a counterpoint-one in its own way equally modern-to the cosmic horror tale as practiced by such writers as H. P. Lovecraft.

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Detectives

Bodies from the Library 3 edited by Tony Medawar

Courtesy of HarperCollins. I loved Bodies from the Library 2 so have high hopes for this anthology…

The Blurb says: This new volume in the Bodies from the Library series features the work of 18 prolific authors who, like Christie and Crofts, saw their popularity soar during the Golden Age. Aside from novels, they all wrote short fiction – stories, serials and plays – and although most of them have been collected in books over the last 100 years, here are the ones that got away…

In this book you will encounter classic series detectives including Colonel Gore, Roger Sheringham, Hildegarde Withers and Henri Bencolin; Hercule Poirot solves ‘The Incident of the Dog’s Ball’; Roderick Alleyn returns to New Zealand in a recently discovered television drama by Ngaio Marsh; and Dorothy L. Sayers’ chilling ‘The House of the Poplars’ is published for the first time.

With a full-length novella by John Dickson Carr and an unpublished radio script by Cyril Hare, this diverse collection concludes with some early ‘flash fiction’ commissioned by Collins’ Crime Club in 1938. Each mini story had to feature an orange, resulting in six very different tales from Peter Cheyney, Ethel Lina White, David Hume, Nicholas Blake, John Rhode and – in his only foray into writing detective fiction – the publisher himself, William Collins.

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Science Fiction

Born of the Sun edited by Mike Ashley

The British Library has been super generous with sci-fi and horror anthologies, so I’m looking forward to sharing the others with you soon. This is the first on my list, and I love the idea of travelling the solar system in this way…

The Blurb says: An original concept featuring a Golden Age science fiction for every planet in the Solar System, Born of the Sun includes never-before-republished material from the British Library collection – effectively exclusive by their rarity. This is the 7th of our weighty Science Fiction Classics anthologies, a set which wonderfully embodies the Golden Age of the genre.

Terror in the steamy jungles of Venus, encounters on the arid expanse of Jupiter; asteroids mysteriously bursting with vegetation whizz past and reveal worlds beyond imagination orbiting the giver of all known life – the Sun. Mike Ashley curates this literary tour through the space around this heavenly body, taking in the sights of Mercury, Venus, Mars, an alternate Earth, strange goings on on Saturn and tales from a bizarre civilization on Neptune. Pluto (still a planet in the Classic period of Science fiction) becomes the site for a desperate tale of isolation, and a nameless point at the limits of the Sun’s orbital space gives rise to a final poetic vision of this spot in the universe we call home…

Born of the Sun collects one story for each of the planets thought to be in our solar system during the Golden Age of Science fiction, from some of the greatest, and from some of the most obscure, authors of the genre. Featuring the genius works of Larry Niven, Poul Andersen, Clifford D Simak, Clare Winger Harris and many more.

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

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So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

51 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 258…

  1. When I was younger, I liked Tender Is the Night better than Gatsby, but after rereading them both in recent years, I admire far more what Fitzgerald achieved in The Great Gatsby in a lower number of pages. Still, a very powerful novel.

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    • I only have very vague memories of Tender is the Night, but it would be hard for any book to match The Great Gatsby. However I’m going to do my best not to compare them – I’ll pretend it’s two different authors, and hopefully that’ll let Tender stand on its own!

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  2. The only Fitzgerald novel I’ve read is The Great Gatsby, which I was not particularly drawn to (I felt bad because it was a favourite of the colleague who lent it to me). I did start reading The Beautiful and Damned a few years ago and was enjoying it much more – I can’t remember why I stopped rewarding halfway through. Maybe your Tender is the Night review will prompt me to pick it up again.

    Also, that really is a wonderful gif, I can see why you’ve used it again!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I adore The Great Gatsby – one of my favourites of all time! I can’t remember if I’ve read The Beautiful and Damned – after I first read Gatsby I went through a little Fitzgerald phase but nothing else I read matched up to it. However I was very young then and my tastes have undoubtedly changed over the years, so I’m hoping I’ll appreciate Tender is the Night more this time. We’ll see!

      Haha, poor kid, but it’s so funny! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t remember if I read The Beautiful and Damned back in my Fitzgerald phase many centuries ago – all I remember is that nothing I tried then hit me the way Gatsby did. But my tastes have changed over the intervening years so I’m hoping I’ll appreciate Tender is the Night more this time. We’ll see!

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  3. You know, FictionFan, one less on the TBR is still a lower TBR, so I think that’s great. One book at a time… As for the ones coming up soon, I do like the look of Bodies From the Library. That’s been a solid series (I admit, I’ve not read this particular one), and I’ll bet there’ll be some good stuff. And it’s good to know the BL is putting together some good sci-fi stuff. I’ll have to tell my husband resident sci-fi expert about that one; I’ll bet he’ll be interested.

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    • Some of the stuff in Bodies in the Library looks excellent – lots of well-known names in there alongside some lesser known ones. And so far I’m loving the BL sci-fi book – as well as the stories, it’s got really interesting sections on each planet, giving a kind of potted history of the sci-fi written about it over the years. I should think your resident sci-fi expert would enjoy it! 😀

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    • Haha, I know, but I like to think that if the kid was actually hurt, its parents wouldn’t have been so mean as to turn it into a GIF! 😉 Bodies in the Library has lots of stuff in it that looks like it should be good…

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  4. I’ll get on to reading Tender is the Night next week so I have time to get my thoughts together. Too bad Sandra can’t make it this time, but I look forward to finding out how the rest of us get on with it. You’ve certainly got plenty of anthologies to keep you going, a good way to keep away from potential slumps, as I guess you can just dip in and out.

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    • I’m hoping to start Tender is the Night this week – my reading rate is still far slower than usual, as I get so easily distracted by the news both here and in America. The anthologies are brilliant for that – I’ve been loving dipping into them, although it does mean I currently seem to be reading eight books at the same time!

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    • Haha, I knew I’d get you soon! 😉 It does sound good – there’s loads of well-known authors in there as well as some of the ones that are drifting back to prominence via the BL and other vintage publishers…

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  5. Oh, that poor child, face-planting like that! You’ve got a good group here this week, FF. I’m interested in the Sci-Fi (believe it or not!), as well as the Bodies anthology. As before, I’ll let you do the trail-blazing and see how you rate them!

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    • I’m loving all the anthologies – my usual reading concentration still hasn’t returned to normal, and these are great for dipping into in short bursts. The sci-fi one especially is great so far, and no, I didn’t realise you were a sci-fi fan! Haha, poor kid, but its so funny! I wonder what s/he’ll think about being an internet star when s/he grows up! 😉

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  6. I meant to join you with Tender is the Night, even bought a copy and started the first couple of pages, but I’m seriously behind with my classics challenge so gave up. Looking forward to your review though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s good to hear! I only have vague memories of it – it must be forty years since I read it! All I really remember is that it didn’t blow me away as much as Gatsby, but my tastes have changed over the years so I’m hoping that maybe I’ll appreciate it more this time. We’ll see!

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  7. I’ve read Camilla as part of a class on the uncanny. I recall it being an interesting short story. But I’m gravitating toward Tender Is the Night, because it’s been on my TBR list for years….And I could watch that GIF and laugh every time I see it, all because the child is clearly cushioned from a real blow by that furred hoodie.

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    • I love Carmilla – my favourite vampire story. I read a great version of it a few years ago that had the story alongside four critical essays about different aspects of it. In fact, I think it may have been that that started me off on my Tuesday Terror journey! Haha, poor kid, but I always assume with these child gifs that if the child had really been hurt, its parents wouldn’t have been so mean as to turn them into gifs! 😉

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  8. That GIF!! 😂 Sry, I shouldn’t laugh. Is it meant to be an illustration of the baby steps you are taking with your TBR? In that case, you may want to practice a bit, before you attempt more radical steps. You reminded me, that I want to reread The Great Gatsby – doubt that Tender is the Night can live up to that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I know, but how could you *not* laugh! Yes it’s to remind me not to boast too much about my falling TBR since pride comes before a fall… or in this case, a rise! 😉 I certainly didn’t think Tender is the Night came close to Gatsby when I read them both the first time, but that was forty or so years ago when I was very young. I’ve re-read Gatsby often, but never Tender, so we’ll see if my older self appreciates it more…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I know, but I always hope with these child gifs that if the kid had actually been hurt the parents wouldn’t have been so mean as to turn it into a gif! 😉 The selection of authors in Bodies in the Library is certainly tempting…

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  9. I checked this week and Tender is the Night is available in the library and I’ll get that soon – I’m looking forward to reading it. The others, I’ll wait for more information from you.
    It’s good to see the wee tot again, finding stability by balancing on three points instead of two!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I know – poor kid, but I do love that gif! 😀 Looking forward to starting Tender is the Night soon too – I hope we all enjoy it! So far I’m enjoying all of the anthologies – my concentration levels still aren’t back to normal so dipping in and out of short stories collection is perfect at the moment.

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  10. Still up for the Tender is the Night simultaneous reviewing experience. Well, maybe. I’ve never read a Fitzgerald before so the reading could go either way. I’m hoping to get to it next week. Writing some kind of review, however. Would one word suffice? 😬

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    • Hurrah! Haha, I’m struggling to write reviews at the moment too so this could be a very short review-along! And if I don’t get started reading it soon, it’ll be even shorter… 😉

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