TBR Thursday 5…

Episode 5


A slight change to TBR Thursday this week, due to the fact that this has been a terrible week for the old TBR. A combination of NetGalley, Amazon Vine and my own total lack of willpower means my list has grown to a ridiculous and out-of-control 104! So instead of adding yet another, I thought I’d share some of the books already on there that I’m looking forward to reading over the next few weeks…

Courtesy of NetGalley:


the war that ended peaceI remember once being asked to write an essay explaining the causes of the First World War in 800 words. This book looks as though it will go into the subject in considerably more depth…

“Beginning in the early nineteenth century, and ending with the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, award-winning historian Margaret MacMillan uncovers the huge political and technological changes, national decisions and – just as important – the small moments of human muddle and weakness that led Europe from peace to disaster. This masterful exploration of how Europe chose its path towards war will change and enrich how we see this defining moment in our history.”


elizabeth of yorkInexplicably, I’ve never read any of Alison Weir’s books. Time to remedy that…

“Elizabeth is an enigma. She had schemed to marry Richard III, the man who had deposed and probably killed her brothers, and it is likely that she then intrigued to put Henry Tudor on the throne. Yet after marriage, a picture emerges of a model consort, mild, pious, generous and fruitful. It has been said that Elizabeth was distrusted and kept in subjection by Henry VII and her formidable mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, but contemporary evidence shows that Elizabeth was, in fact, influential, and may have been involved at the highest level in one of the most controversial mysteries of the age.

Alison Weir builds an intriguing portrait of this beloved queen, placing her in the context of the magnificent, ceremonious, often brutal, world she inhabited, and revealing the woman behind the myth, showing that differing historical perceptions of Elizabeth can be reconciled.”


Bellman & BlackI’ve seen some reviews of this that have been disappointing, but all from people who had read Diane Setterfield’s first book and felt this didn’t live up to expectations. I haven’t read The Thirteenth Tale so am intrigued to see if I’ll enjoy it more…

“Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to have put the whole incident behind him. It was as if he never killed the thing at all. But rooks don’t forget . . .

Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William’s life, his fortunes begin to turn—and the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner. Together, they found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born.”


Courtesy of Vine:


sense and sensibility trollopeWhat was I thinking? A remake of Sense and Sensibility for the modern age?? Yeuch!! I absolutely know I’m going to hate this…unless of course I love it…

“Joanna Trollope’s much anticipated contemporary reworking of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility will launch The Austen Project and be one of the most talked about books of 2013.

Two sisters could hardly be more different. Elinor Dashwood, an architecture student, values discretion above all. Her impulsive sister Marianne displays her creativity everywhere as she dreams of going to art school. But when the family finds itself forced out of Norland Park, their beloved home for twenty years, their values are severely out to the test. Can Elinor remain stoic knowing that the man she likes has been ensnared by another girl? Will Marianne’s faith in love be shaken by meeting the hottest boy in the county? And when social media is the controlling force at play, can love ever triumph over conventions and disapproval?”

On the upside, it’s a great excuse to re-read the real thing…



jeeves and the wedding bellsThis could be as big a mistake as Sense and Sensibility…or it could be wonderful…

“A gloriously witty novel from Sebastian Faulks using P.G. Wodehouse’s much-loved characters, Jeeves and Wooster, fully authorised by the Wodehouse estate.

Bertie Wooster, recently returned from a very pleasurable soujourn in Cannes, finds himself at the stately home of Sir Henry Hackwood in Dorset. Bertie is more than familiar with the country house set-up: he is a veteran of the cocktail hour and, thanks to Jeeves, his gentleman’s personal gentleman, is never less than immaculately dressed. On this occasion, however, it is Jeeves who is to be seen in the drawing room while Bertie finds himself below stairs – and he doesn’t care for it at all.

Love, as so often, is at the root of the confusion. Bertie, you see, has met Georgiana on the Côte d’Azur. And though she is clever and he has a reputation for foolish engagements, it looks as though this could be the real thing…”


saints of the shadow bibleAnd finally, most eagerly anticipated, my beloved Rebus! One I know for sure I’ll love…won’t I?

“Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a demotion and a chip on his shoulder. A thirty-year-old case is being reopened, and Rebus’s team from back then is suspected of foul play. With Malcolm Fox as the investigating officer are the past and present about to collide in a shocking and murderous fashion? And does Rebus have anything to hide?

His colleagues back then called themselves ‘the Saints’, and swore a bond on something called ‘the Shadow Bible’. But times have changed and the crimes of the past may not stay hidden much longer, especially with a referendum on Scottish independence just around the corner.

Who are the saints and who the sinners? And can the one ever become the other?”


All blurbs are taken from either Amazon or NetGalley.

What do you think? Any of these that you’re looking forward to too? Or are there other new releases you’re impatiently awaiting?

38 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 5…

  1. FictionFan – I know just what you mean about a bad week for the TBR *sigh*. I’ve had a rough time with that lately too. But it looks as though you’ve got some terrific novels lined up and I’ll be looking forward to learning what you think of them.

    • The thrid week of the month is always bad for me…though now that there are fewer books on Vine, sometimes I can resist! I’m really looking forward to trying the new Jeeves though – and Rebus, of course!

  2. WWI in 800 words? Goodness. I think some professor needed a beating.

    Seriously, Bellman and Black looks intriguing–and I’m not sure why. I don’t feel bad for the rook. Maybe it’s because this professor would have killed it too–I would have probably missed, though.

    Of course, I can’t wait for your S&S review. From the blurb it sounds like you should be highly entertained. I’m sure it’s an improvement.

    The professor isn’t waiting for any novel. You laugh about his TBR pile, but you see, the same 10 books have been on that list for years and years now. And there’s nothing I can do about it.

    • I felt that too – but now that memory has faded I doubt I could even come up with 400 words! Hence the book…

      I’m hoping he’s severely punished for killing the rook – and I’m delighted that the Professor would probably miss. Stick to worm-hunting…for one, nobody loves worms and secondly, they’re so sneaky you probably won’t be able to catch them…

      Entertained – or outraged – or driven insane…who knows?? I’m sure it’s not – you can’t improve on perfection.

      Well, given your distaste for books, it would seem a little pointless to have a TBR pile, I admit…but you could always have a Cashew pile instead…

      • But worms are so important. I once wrote a paper about their worth, you know. That was probably the only time in my life that I actually felt like a professor.

        I’d get the dadblamed thing one way or another! (Tom Sawyer would!)

        Haha! If only MT could have read P&P–we would have had a grand ripio! (Did you ever read his ripio on Cooper?)

        I only hate the hateful books–which is very appropriate.

        • Really? I’m ashamed to say that I know very little about worms (except that they’re wiggly and icky) – an educational lapse! You really must tell me more…

          Tom Sawyer would, but then he was very, very naughty! The Professor isn’t naughty…is he?

          No, but I haven’t read Cooper – would the ripio still be enjoyable? It’s probably somewhere in the Complete Works I have on Kindle if so. What is it in, or is it a standalone essay?

          And I only hate the hateful cashews… 😉

        • Do you really want to know more? It isn’t too interesting.

          Is he?

          Never read The Last of The Mohicans? Yes, it would still be enjoyable. The professor found it very funny even though I’ve never read Cooper either. It’s called Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses, I believe.

          😆 How can cashews be hateful?

  3. I’ve been eyeing Bellman & Black for some time, but haven’t requested it because I have so many other review copies to get through right now. Looking forward to your review of that.
    And I, too, am on the fence about this new Jeeves book. I’m almost certain I’ll need to read it, though…it might be wonderful!

    • I should be reading Bellman & Black very soon – next week maybe. The synopsis of the Jeeves book sounds good – really in tune with the tone of the originals…now we’ll just have to wait and see what the writing style is like…

  4. Sebastian Faulks and Jeeves looks the Marmite one for me! Two tastes I love, but will they mix…..

    Fear not FF, next to me you look positively disciplined beyond belief. TBR Kindle reaches 85, the lack of being offered books on Vine (and I only looked, in jaded despair and tutted crossly at the nothing-but-things-with-plugs on Vine 3) made me hop over to Last Harvest and go crazy (4 books) plus I succumbed to buying 4 second hand through browsing other people’s blogs and reviews, so that the TBR paper book pile must now be pushing 50.

    Once upon a time I would go to the bookshop, buy an armful of books, and then not enter a bookshop again till i was deep within the last one from the arm.

    AND I’ve got some from the library………..

    Am considering sewing some of them together, and adapting them as footwear, so I could become an Imelda Marcos footworm

    And then of course, there is the friend who brings me a book when we meet…………

    • I just couldn’t resist the Jeeves, but it’s perfectly possible I’ll hate it. I think it stands a better chnace than Sense and Sensibility though…

      I haven’t even counted the impulse purchases sitting on the Kindle. A couple of weeks ago, I thought of combining all my various unread things, paper and e, onto the TBR to get the real state of play, but even the thought made me swoon…so the TBR is only the things I really want to read, or at least did at the point they were added. I really must cull it soon – all joking aside, there’s no way I’ll ever read most of them when I’m always adding new releases too and they just make the list unwieldy and off-putting.

      I didn’t know you liked Rankin! Have you ever read any Reginald Hill? I suspect you might like them – they’re much more literary than most crime and as well written as anything in the ‘lit-fic’ field. The early ones are more straight crime but the later ones are really crossovers as far as I’m concerned. On Beulah Heights is a great book…

      • Yes, Rankin is a great writer, dark, warm, witty and intelligent. Oh dear……….would that be you trying to add to my TBR???? On your head be it, I note he gets a thumbs up from Rankin – but also Fyfield (who is someone NOT FOR ME so my clicky finger hesitated but Rankin thumbs up swung it)

        Mind you, I think I’ve made a BBBBBBIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG mistake on the fourth Thursday. Picked a non-fiction book from my generally a bit flaky area because it had a thumbs up from a natural medicines/also conventionally trained doctor who I respect – and only then looked at some of the reviews. it looks fair to be flaky soggy faulty mysitcal mish-mash magical thinking – New Age soggy thought. I’m pretty hopelessly New Age, but the factual books must have TEETH (lots of them) not just be fluffy la la.

        Perhaps a bit of dour dismemberment and dark deeds is what i need. Hill has been ordered

        • Yay! I really hope you enjoy it…

          ‘Twas an uninspiring list all round, I thought. Still, I will probably enjoy the audio of Mansfield Park – I wonder if they’re going to do all the Austens over the next few months – that would be quite enjoyable…for those of us who enjoy audio, that is.

          I restrained myself from taking the Crouch – sounded interesting, but then I remembered just in time that I’m always deeply unimpressed by him whenever he appears on TV.

  5. I’m one of the few people who thought that’The Thirteenth Tale’ was a really bad book so perhaps I should try the new one in the hope that this time Setterfield has written something I can appreciate.

    • Non-existent is probably the word that best describes my willpower! I should be reading it in the next couple of weeks, I think. Currently re-reading the original, just in case this one puts me off so much I can never read it again… 😮

  6. I enjoyed Weir’s “Lady in the Tower,” so I’m curious what you think of Elizabeth. And as far as the Austen book is concerned, the cover looks like the women are connected via Apple earbuds. I shudder.

    The War that Ended Peace sounds like it may be a gem, too….

    • Yes, i remembered you praising it before, when I reviewed John Guy’s history of Mary. That’s partly why when I took this one when it was offered for review.

      I think it’s ‘the hottest guy the county’ bit that is mainly bringing me out in hives – not a description I’ve ever applied to Willoughby…not even to Darcy!

      Might be, hopefully – it looks like a biggish brick of a book…may be some time before the review appears…

      • “Hottest guy in the county” is the voice of a very young adult. It really sounds like they’re trying to appeal to “tweens” and high school girls. Is it categorized as a YA?

        You can always use the brick as a doorstop or for self defense.

        • It’s not being marketed that way – and I just can’t imagine Joanna Trollope writing that way either. I’m really hoping it’s just a 13-year-old blurb writer…

          Good for sorting out wobbly tables too…

  7. Heavens! The Weir will be good – everything of hers I have read has been, and this would probably have popped up on my own TBR pile even independently of your recommendation. I shall not be reading the Jeeves pastiche unless you tell me it is safe to do so, and as for the Austen, what is the point of this project? And yet, reputable writers are giving up time they could be using for original works (sigh!). Here endeth the rant for today.

    • I don’t get the Austen thing myself – the problem with Vine is you only get about two seconds to make up your mind, so i often find I’m sitting at ten past eight thinking ‘What have I done?’ However it is Joanna Trollope, and though I’m not her greatest fan, I do admire her writing – so we can but hope…

      Good to have another endorsement for the Weir.

    • Oh, there’s plenty of other NG ones I didn’t mention including a couple I think you’ve already reviewed. But I’m trying to stop taking so much crime from them so I can backtrack on some of these series I’ve jumped in halfway through.

      My turn to say good night!

  8. I believe that the Sebastian Faulks book about Jeeves and Wooster will be head and shoulders above the aga saga writer Joanne Trollope’s attempt to update Sense and Sensibility. Like Jilanne I too shuddered when I looked at the cover of Trollope’s book. Rightly or wrongly, that alone would stop me wanting to read the book.

    • I know… I don’t know why I want to read it – I’m convinced it’ll be awful…and yet…can’t resist! It’s like rubbernecking at a car crash. 😉

      The same applies to the Jeeves book. Every time I read one of these pastiches, I swear I’ll never read another – but I just can’t help myself! This could be a very depressing month…or a wonderful one…

  9. Gah, you just made me add four more books to MY TBR list! I am honestly *nervous* about the Jeeves book. I love Wodehouse so very much that it’s a bit terrifying to think of someone else writing about my beloved Bertie. But I don’t think I will be able to resist it!

    Also very intrigued to check out the WWI book. I read a book a while back called “George, Nicholas, and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I” (by Miranda Carter) and it was honestly fascinating. My 20th century history is sadly lacking (working on that, lol), but I had no idea that those three were even first cousins…!!! Anyway, I would love to read another WWI book; it’s harder to find good reading about that war than it is WWII, I think.

    Thanks for all your posts! I usually just read them on my email so I don’t usually get around to “liking” them, but I enjoy every one! (Also, have no idea who WordPress says I am… my original WordPress account was RejoicingSojourner, but you follow me under TheAromaofBooks 🙂 )

    • Hehe! I feel the same about the Jeeves book – I love Bertie with a love equalled only by my love for Darcy! But I can’t resist – and somebody’s got to be the one who tries it out, so it might as well be me. I haven’t managed to wangle an advance copy though, so will have to wait for publication date…

      I’m hoping the WW1 book will be good – the author seems to be highly thought of. I used to know a fair amount about that period, but really can’t remember much now – I’ll be interested to see if it all comes back to me!

      Thanks for the lovely comment – and nice to hear from you! As you know, I read and enjoy your posts regularly too 🙂

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