TBR Thursday 309…

Episode 309

I nearly had another drop in the TBR this week, but a couple of late NetGalley approvals shoved it back up – staying steady on 182…

Here are a few more I’ll be reading soon…

Vintage Horror

Chill Tidings edited by Tanya Kirk

The porpy and I will be settling down to enjoy our last anthology for this spooky season with some appropriately festive fare. Between all the Christmas murders and Christmas ghouls it’s quite understandable why we all feel a need for copious amounts of sherry and cake at this time of year…

The Blurb says: The gifts are unwrapped, the feast has been consumed and the fire is well fed – but the ghosts are still hungry. Welcome to the second new collection of dark Christmas stories in the Tales of the Weird series, ushering in a fresh host of nightmarish phantoms and otherworldly intruders bent on joining or ruining the most wonderful time of the year. Featuring classic tales alongside rare pieces from the sleeping periodicals and literary magazines of the Library collection, it’s time to open the door and let the real festivities begin.

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Classic Crime

The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr

Trying desperately to get to the end of my first Classics Club list so I can get started on my new, shiny, second list! When I made my first list I didn’t know John Dickson Carr at all, but in the five years since he has become a firm favourite, so I’m looking forward to this one!

The Blurb says: The murderer of Dr Grimaud walked through a locked door, shot his victim, and vanished. He killed his second victim in the middle of an empty street, with watchers at each end, yet nobody saw him, and he left no footprint in the snow. It is left to the gargantuan Dr Fell, with his rumbling laugh and his bandit’s moustache, to solve this most famous and taxing of locked-room mysteries.

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Classic Science Fiction

The Drowned World by JG Ballard

And another from my first Classics Club list – the last of the science fiction section. To the best of my recollection, I’ve read nothing by Ballard before, not even a short story, so this is a leap in the dark, based purely on the book often appearing on “best of” lists…

The Blurb says: When London is lost beneath the rising tides, unconscious desires rush to the surface in this apocalyptic tale from the author of ‘Crash’ and ‘Cocaine Nights’.

Fluctuations in solar radiation have melted the ice caps, sending the planet into a new Triassic Age of unendurable heat. London is a swamp; lush tropical vegetation grows up the walls of the Ritz and primeval reptiles are sighted, swimming through the newly-formed lagoons.

Some flee the capital; others remain to pursue reckless schemes, either in the name of science or profit. While the submerged streets of London are drained in search of treasure, Dr Robert Kerans – part of a group of intrepid scientists – comes to accept this submarine city and finds himself strangely resistant to the idea of saving it.

First published in 1962, Ballard’s mesmerising and ferociously imaginative novel gained him widespread critical acclaim and established his reputation as one of Britain’s finest writers of science fiction.

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Dickens at Christmas

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens

Yes, it’s time for my usual festive immersion in the works of the greatest writer of all time. This year I’m revisiting Dombey and Son, and as well as having the Oxford World’s Classics edition complete with notes, I have an Audible version read in the gorgeous voice of Owen Teale, so when I say immersion, I mean immersion! This is the first book from my second Classics Club list – I’m having a classical time this week!

The Blurb says: ‘There’s no writing against such power as this – one has no chance’ William Makepeace Thackeray

A compelling depiction of a man imprisoned by his own pride, Dombey and Son explores the devastating effects of emotional deprivation on a dysfunctional family. Paul Dombey runs his household as he runs his business: coldly, calculatingly and commercially. The only person he cares for is his little son, while his motherless daughter Florence is merely a ‘base coin that couldn’t be invested’. As Dombey’s callousness extends to others, he sows the seeds of his own destruction.

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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?

49 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 309…

  1. Oh, The Hollow Man is classic Carr, FictionFan! I’m glad to see it on your list. And that short story collection looks deliciously creepy! But mostly, you have shown great self-restraint in not adding overall to the TBR. Chocolate for you!

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    • That’s good to hear, even if this isn’t a favourite. I picked loads of dystopian ones for my list, little knowing we’d be living in our very own dystopia by the time I got to them… 😉

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  2. I’ll be reading The Hollow Man soon too either at the end of this month or early January as one of my Goodreads groups has it as a pick. Next year’s theme is books by detection club members.

    Dombey I remember enjoying but not very much except the broad plot and the dog, Diogenes.

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  3. Actually, all the titles appeal to a greater or lesser degree, brilliant options all. You remind me I was intending to read Dickens’ Cricket on the Hearth last Christmas but didn’t, though there’s time this year… Hmm.

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  4. Well you’re just ticking off those Classics Club selections right and left! I’m most tempted by your crime and sci-fi selections. But I have enough books of my own to get through right now without adding any of yours!

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    • Haha, November and December are always full of my desperate attempts to succeed in at least one of the targets I set at the beginning of the year. The phrase “too little, too late” springs to mind… 😂

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  5. Both Chill Tidings and The Hollow Man sound like perfect reads for this time of year, as does a good, meaty classic to get immersed in. Crime fiction and big books that I can get lost in are exactly what has been appealing to me lately.

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    • Classics and vintage crime are definitely what’s working for me at the moment, and I love reading a Dickens over the festive season since it means that the first book I finish each year is guaranteed to be a good one! 😀

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  6. Snap! I started reading (listening to) Dombey and Son yesterday – delighted to see you will be (re)reading it too. David Timson is the narrator on my version, and I’m enjoying his reading. The Hollow Man and The Drowned World potentially interest me, but I’ll keep an eye out for your responses before finally deciding.

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    • Oh good, it’s always fun comparing notes while books are fresh in the mind! It’ll take me ages though, since I like to read just a little each day – keeps the pleasure going for longer! David Timson sounds familiar but I can’t think in what context – I don’t think I’ve listened to any of his narrations. Owen Teale has a lovely Welsh voice – I could pretty much listen to him reading a telephone directory! 😉 I’m pretty confident about The Hollow Man, but the science fiction could go either way – not sure I can take much more dystopia at the moment, given real life’s horrors! 😀

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      • I can understand you slowing the reading pace to relish the story and narration. I’m feeling like I’m at something of a feast, but I’m not being very moderate in my enjoyment of the characters and the language which are really being brought to life by the narrator. So despite the book’s length I think I’ll be finished before very long. I’m doing some mindless tasks at the moment which boosts my available listening time. A real pleasure!

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        • I seem to have found a rhythm for reading long books slowly recently and I find I actually take them in better – I guess I’m giving myself more time to mull them over. But sometimes they grab me half way through and I end up gulping them down after all! I always feel Dombey deserves more love than it gets, so I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I’m looking forward to getting stuck in later this week!

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    • It’s a long time since I read Dombey and Son last, but I feel as if I thought it was one of the more underrated ones. We’ll see! The Hollow Man should be good – fingers crossed!

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    • Ha, I loved that the blurb came with the Thackeray quote, especially since there was apparently something of a rivalry between the two of them! I suspect it was mostly on Dickens’ side though – I don’t think he liked competition… 😉

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  7. You’re certainly powering through these short story anthologies, I’m sure this latest will be a good addition to your collection. Great to see Dombey and Son on here of course, I look forward to your thoughts on it as a re-read. Just remember my previous warning about Florence as the most tearful heroine of all time, there could be quite an interesting drinking game in there somewhere if you become bored.

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    • Hahaha, I get very tearful myself if I drink too much so Florence and I could end up drenched! I do feel I may have overdone the short stories this year – must exercise more self-control next year! It didn’t help that as soon as I said this was the last, two more popped through the door… aargh! The porpy is threatening strike action…

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    • Haha, I know – horror and murders, the true spirit of Christmas! 😉 It’s quite a long time since I last read Dombey and Son, but I seem to remember feeling it tends to get unfairly neglected. Hope my memory is right!

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