TBR Thursday 319…

Episode 319

I suddenly finished a couple of lengthy reads and, along with my usual shorter ones, that meant a big slide in the TBR since I last reported – down 5 to 178! Good excuse for one of my favourite gifs!

Here are a few more I’ll be diving into soon… 

Winner of the People’s Choice

The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton

The winner went into an early lead this month and, despite valiant attempts by both Angelou and Simenon, neither was able to catch up. It was close in the end, though – The Custom of the Country won by just two votes! An excellent choice, People! I so nearly put this one on my new Classics Club list but just didn’t have room for it, so I’m glad of the push to read it anyway. It will be a May read.

The Blurb says: Considered by many to be her masterpiece, Edith Wharton’s epic work is a scathing yet personal examination of the exploits and follies of the modern upper class. As she unfolds the story of Undine Spragg, from New York to Europe, Wharton affords us a detailed glimpse of what might be called the interior décor of this America and its nouveau riche fringes. Through a heroine who is as vain, spoiled, and selfish as she is irresistibly fascinating, and through a most intricate and satisfying plot that follows Undine’s marriages and affairs, she conveys a vision of social behavior that is both supremely informed and supremely disenchanted.

* * * * *

American Classic

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

A few weeks ago Mallika at Literary Potpourri posted about some upcoming literary anniversaries, one of which is the centenary of Jack Kerouac’s birth, which will fall on 12th March. So since this one is on my new Classics Club list I thought I’d try to co-ordinate my review for his big day. IF I manage to finish the book in time, that is, and IF I like it – it would be rather mean to celebrate the day with a ranting one-star… 😉

The Blurb says: On The Road swings to the rhythms of 1950s underground America, jazz, sex, generosity, chill dawns and drugs, with Sal Paradise and his hero Dean Moriarty, traveller and mystic, the living epitome of Beat. Now recognized as a modern classic, Kerouac’s American Dream is nearer that of Walt Whitman than F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, and the narrative goes racing towards the sunset with unforgettable exuberance, poignancy and passion.

* * * * *


The Cult by Abby Davies

Courtesy of HarperCollins. An unsolicited one that I probably wouldn’t have chosen for myself. However I surprised myself by thoroughly enjoying Davies’ last book, Mother Loves Me, also sent on spec, so I’m keen to see if she can surprise me again!

The Blurb says: A hidden community…

Thirty years ago, in the English countryside, a commune was set up. Led by Uncle Saviour, it was supposed to be a place of love, peace and harmony. But what started out as paradise turned into hell.

A shocking abduction…

Now, two young children have vanished from their home in the middle of the night. Their parents are frantic, the police are at a loss.

A twisting case…

DI Ottoline is leading the search – her only clue a mask found in the woods. Could the key lie in events that took place decades ago, when a dream of a new way of life became something far more sinister?

* * * * *

Christie on Audio

Miss Marple’s Final Cases narrated by Joan Hickson

I’m still enjoying Wolf Hall but sometimes I’m not in the mood to listen to something that requires that much concentration, so I’m alternating it with this one. Ms Hickson and Ms Christie are a more delicious combination than even coffee and chocolate cake…

The Blurb says: First, the mystery man in the church with a bullet-wound. Then, the riddle of a dead man’s buried treasure…the curious conduct of a caretaker after a fatal riding accident…the corpse and a tape-measure…the girl framed for theft…and the suspect accused of stabbing his wife with a dagger.

Here are six gripping cases with one thing in common: the astonishing deductive powers of Miss Marple.

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

54 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 319…

  1. 178? Something strange is going on here!
    I’m looking forward to your reviews of The Custom of the Country. I love Edith Wharton’s writing and am madly hoping you say wonderful things about her book when review time comes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, it’s NetGalley’s fault, mainly. I have several requests in that they haven’t approved yet… 😀

      I’ve only read one of Wharton’s novels. which I enjoyed, but I’ve loved some of her short stories and a novella or two. I totally agree about her writing, and this one sounds like fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Down 5? Down 5???? I need to lie down…

    I nearly voted for the Wharton so I’ll be really interested to know how you find it. I’m not a massive fan of On The Road but I did read it over 20 years ago so I’ll look forward to hearing if I should give it another chance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I know, but it’s a false dawn – for some reason NetGalley don’t seem to be approving requests at the moment, so they’ll doubtless all come through as a splurge at some point…

      I’m looking forward to the Wharton. I haven’t read much of her – one novel, and some short stories – but I’ve loved her writing and this one sounds like fun! Haha, I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll hate On the Road, but maybe it will surprise me – books often do! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Down? wow. I don’t think mine ever goes down. I’ll look out for your thoughts on Kerouac; much as I want to, I doubt I’m going to get to him in time for the anniversary.

    I used to have a cassette tape of the Joan Hickson narration of Miss Marple’s final cases which came with a small book. We did still have a player back then but I don’t remember having listened, though I did read the book

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, mine goes down but then it shoots back up again! My willpower only lasts in short bursts… 😉 Yes, I’m a bit behind so I don’t know if I’ll manage to finish On the Road in time, but I’ll try.
      I suspect these audiobooks have been taken from old recordings. Sometimes the quality is a bit dodgy, but it’s still a joy to listen to her narrating the Miss Marple stories. 😀


  4. Congratulations on that steep drop in the TBR, FictionFan! That calls for a chocolate! As always, you’ve got some interesting reads there. I very much wonder what you’ll think of the Kerouac. It was such an influential read back in the day, and it is unusual. But of course, my eye was immediately drawn to the Christie. Joan Hickson was Miss Marple to me, so any project where she’s doing the narration is worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I have been helped by the fact that NetGalley seems to be slow on approvals at the moment – there’s going to be a steep rise again when they get up to date! 😉 I suspect I’ll either love or hate On the Road, so I’m hoping I’ll manage to love it! No problem with loving Joan Hickson and Miss Marple though… 😀


  5. Well done! My TBR only seems to creep upward. My immediate thought upon seeing On the Road here was, Oh, Fiction Fan won’t like that! Though perhaps I’m biased because I never finished it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, mine will leap up when NetGalley approves all the request that are waiting! 😉 Yes, I suspect I’ll hate On the Road, but who knows? I’ve come to the conclusion I’m rotten at judging books from their blurbs. But you usually have much more patience than me, so if you couldn’t finish it… 😱😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • On the Road and all those male American writers from that era strike me as appealing to younger readers (mostly male) but the older you get the less patience you have for such things. But perhaps you will prove me wrong and it will surprise us!

        Liked by 1 person

        • There are a lot more male authors in the US writing books that appeal primarily to men, I think. Over here, most men seem to write books that appeal to everyone, except perhaps hardcore action thrillers. But I can’t think of many UK male writers who muse about masculinity the way so many US writers do. I wonder why.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I read On the Road so many years ago, I only recall being irritated and fascinated by the stream of consciousness approach. There was an energy to the book that I now recognize as voice. Will be interested to hear what you have to say about it. Also want to hear what you have to say about Custom of the Country, a book I’ve never read. I am disappointed that the Angelou book didn’t make the cut. Ah well, there is always more than one has time for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect I’ll enjoy Wharton considerably more than Kerouac, but who knows? I’ve decided I’m rubbish at judging whether a book will work for me from the blurb! I do dislike stream of consciousness usually, though. The Angelou is still sitting safely on my TBR so I will get to it… one day!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I could watch that Corgi go down that slide a million times! He looks positively delighted! And I’m delighted for you, dropping five this week. You’re on a roll. The Christie sounds awesome. It’s one I haven’t read, so I’ll be on the lookout for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I love that little dog – so much fun! 😀 I’m getting a bit worried I might run out of books completely soon. 😉 I must say these Christie audiobooks have become my comfort food – both Hickson and Fraser are such great narrators.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad it’s the Wharton, I really hope it’s good (especially after the Baldwin!) but I’m feeling tentative about your review of On The road! I read it a couple of years ago and watched the film too which I thought captured it very well (in my humble opinion). Anyway, the tbr is way down, woo hoo!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I feel On the Road could easily be one I hate, but who knows? I thought I’d love the Baldwin! 😂 If I like the book, I might try to watch the film too – I didn’t actually know there was a film of it, so thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Custom of the Country is so good! I am really slow reading at the moment, I’ve got so much work I have little time at all just to sit and read. I’m delayed with my Larry McMurtry and everything!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m looking forward to the Wharton. I’ve enjoyed her writing in the little I’ve previously read of it, and the story of this one sounds good! Haha, both on the Road and The Cult are gambles – I can imagine me hating them and imagine me loving them. We’ll see! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think the schools in England were on holiday last week, so probably lots of adults were too. Maybe they’ll all turn up this week! I’m looking forward to the Wharton – I’m definitely in classical mood at the moment. And Joan Hickson deserves her own statue, dressed as Miss M, of course! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Goodness, with that speed, you’ll be below 150 by the end of the year (or even 100??). Love the gif, it’s such an elegant dive! Not overly tempted, but thinking I ought to try an Edith Wharton novel at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I know – I’m getting quite worried I’ll run out of books altogether! 😉 I’ve enjoyed the little Edith Wharton I’ve read so far, although I’ve liked her better in short stories and novellas than full novels. The Custom of the Country sounds very appealing… 😀


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