TBR Thursday 7…

Episode 7


Since I can’t possibly add any more to the heaving, tottering pile of books waiting to be read, there will be no TBR Thursday winner this week. So instead here’s a few of the books that I’m looking forward to reading over the next couple of months…

Courtesy of NetGalley:


the cave and the lightThis falls into the ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ category, also known as the ‘what was I thinking?’ genre. However it’ll either be great or I will simply remind myself that suffering is good for the soul…apparently…

“Arthur Herman has now written the definitive sequel to his New York Times bestseller, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, and extends the themes of the book—which sold half a million copies worldwide—back to the ancient Greeks and forward to the age of the Internet. The Cave and the Light is a magisterial account of how the two greatest thinkers of the ancient world, Plato and Aristotle, laid the foundations of Western culture—and how their rivalry shaped the essential features of our culture down to the present day.”


identicalAlready out in the US, but not yet published in the UK. I’ve been a fan of Scott Turow from way back when, although he is variable. But when he’s good, he’s very, very good…

“The Gianis’s and the Kronons. Two families entangled in a long and complex history of love and deceit . . . Twenty five years ago, after a society picnic held by businessman and politician Zeus Kronon, Zeus’ headstrong daughter Dita was found murdered. Her boyfriend, Cass Gianis, confessed to the crime. Now Cass has been released from prison into the care of his twin, Mayoral candidate Paul Gianis, who is in the middle of a high profile political campaign. But Dita’s brother Hal is convinced there is information surrounding his sister’s death that remains buried – and he won’t rest until he’s discovered the truth. A gripping masterpiece of dark family rivalries, shadowy politics and hidden secrets, Identical is the stunning new thriller from bestselling author Scott Turow, writing at the height of his powers.”


smithAlthough this is nominally a children’s book, I first read it as a youngish adult and thought it was great. Now being republished as a ‘modern classic’ (gulp! am I really that old? – NB That’s a rhetorical question!) I’m interested to see whether it lives up to my memory of it…

“Twelve-year-old Smith is a denizen of the mean streets of eighteenth-century London, living hand to mouth by virtue of wit and pluck. One day he trails an old gentleman with a bulging pocket, deftly picks it, and as footsteps ring out from the alley by which he had planned to make his escape, finds himself in a tough spot. Taking refuge in a doorway, he sees two men emerge to murder the man who was his mark. They rifle the dead man’s pockets and finding them empty, depart in a rage. Smith, terrified, flees the scene of the crime. What has he stolen that is worth the life of a man?”




sycamore rowA new Grisham is always a must-read – never less than good (except when he does one of his dreadful sports books) and often great. Unfortunately, it will be necessary to read A Time to Kill in preparation – so two for the TBR…

“For almost a quarter of a century, John Grisham’s A Time to Kill has captivated readers with its raw exploration of race, retribution, and justice. Now, its hero, Jake Brigance, returns to the courtroom in a dramatic showdown as Ford County again confronts its tortured history. Filled with the intrigue, suspense and plot twists that are the hallmarks of the world’s favourite storyteller, Sycamore Row is the thrilling story of the elusive search for justice in a small American town.”


the goldfinchLike many other people I loved The Secret History and was disappointed by The Little Friend, so intrigued to see whether this will be a return to form…

“It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. “


entry islandAnd finally, following his triumphant Lewis Trilogy, Peter May moves on to pastures new. As someone who has followed May through his China thrillers, his French series and the Lewis books (not to mention his career as scriptwriter/producer on Scottish Television), I felt the Lewis books were his best work. How will the new series compare?

“When Detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at Montreal’s St. Hubert airfield, he does so without looking back. For Sime, the 850-mile journey ahead represents an opportunity to escape the bitter blend of loneliness and regret that has come to characterise his life in the city.

Travelling as part of an eight-officer investigation team, Sime’s destination lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometres wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of around 130 inhabitants – the wealthiest of which has just been discovered murdered in his home.

The investigation itself appears little more than a formality. The evidence points to a crime of passion: the victim’s wife the vengeful culprit. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her – even though they have never met.

Haunted by this certainty his insomnia becomes punctuated by dreams of a distant past on a Scottish island 3,000 miles away. Dreams in which the widow plays a leading role. Sime’s conviction becomes an obsession. And in spite of mounting evidence of her guilt he finds himself convinced of her innocence, leading to a conflict between the professonal duty he must fulfil, and the personal destiny that awaits him.”


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?

35 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 7…

  1. The Cave and the Light and The Goldfinch (I, too, loved “The Secret History” but didn’t touch “The Little Friend”) would be my picks to read first out of this pile. Perhaps you could read both at the same time, alternating chapter by chapter. Would love to see what that would do to your brain. 😮


    • Hehe! That’s not so different from how I do read! Currently a history of WW1 alternated with Bellman & Black and a Grisham…no wonder I so rarely remember any of them! 😉


  2. “Smith” sounds interesting! 🙂

    This is embarrasing to admit but I’m counting down the days until the new Bridget Jones is out. I think it was published today in the UK but not in Spain…. I have to wait another week untill I can get my hands on a copy. Ugh! How dare they?


    • Don’t be embarassed – after all I read Trollope’s S&S! 😉

      I’m going to wait to see reviews of the Bridget Jones before I plunge in – don’t know if I want my memories of her sullied by a middle-aged, sad version… A bit like the Adrian Mole series – I never wanted to find out what happened to him when he grew up either.


  3. I love “Smith” and anything by Peter May is worth reading, but what I am really awaiting with baited breath is the new Terry Pratchett “Raising Steam” which is due out on 7 November , although I hear he hasn’t finished it yet…..


    • Is he co-writing that one? Shame it’s not going to be out in time for the you-know-what on the 1st…but if you’re right that it’s not finished yet, maybe it’ll be delayed till Christmas!

      I’ve had Dennis Skinner’s memoirs on pre-order for months and months and the date keeps going back – it’s now some time in 2014.


  4. I had the privilege of knowing Leon Garfield and ‘Smith’ is definitely one of my favourites. If you enjoyed that then do try ‘The December Rose’ which has one of the most interesting opening gambits I know.


    • I think I read a couple of other Garfields soon after Smith, but can’t remember which ones. I’ll certainly look out for ‘The December Rose’ – I thought he was a great writer.


  5. The professor is extremely cranky. I made a comment and it never posted. Dadblame computer.


    The professor is most interested by the children’s book. Neat story, I think.

    Also, the soul is much better off when it doesn’t suffer, I thought.


    • So sorry, C-W-W! For some reason, WordPress had sent your comments to spam. (It did the same with Lady Fancifull’s comments for a few days a couple of months ago, and then went back to normal.) And I thought you’d fallen out with me! Just as well I spotted them before I stuck the pin in the wax doll of you I’d just made… 😉

      Yes, from what I remember Smith is written very much like a slightly simpler form of Dickens, but definitely suitable for adults as well as children. I tend to agree about the soul, but the relief that comes from finishing a book like that one makes up for the pain of reading it…


      • Ah, dadblameit! I see. The professor isn’t even getting follow-up comments. Dadblamery! The professor’s comments are probably close to spam anyway.

        No, never have to worry about that, FEF. 😉 The only way the professor wouldn’t come is if he was dead! Or, I’d let you know. (Remember, we met each other from an argument!)

        A doll? What’s it look like?

        😆 That makes sense.

        (Be a gentlemen and delete the top comment? 🙂 )


        • The Professor’s comments are never spam – beautiful fillet* steak cooked medium-rare…

          Well, after that comment you’ll need to let me know, ‘cos otherwise I’m going to be left assuming you’re dead!! Which, let me tell you, is marginally worse than thinking you’d fallen out with me… 😉

          Oddly enough, it looks rather like a cross between John McClane, Indiana Jones and Darcy…

          I have deleted the comment but I’m afraid the ‘be a gentleman’ bit has defeated me – we must have a discussion soon about what gender FF is!

          *American trans – filet


          • Hmm…the professor’s comments sound tasty.

            Oh dear. I have kind of boxed myself in. Well…assuming you don’t hear from me for a few days, then. Really? I thought FEF would want the professor dead if she was angry with him. I have been threatened a few times, you know. 😉

            Not Robert Plant? Rats! 😆

            Oh…well, whenever you want to, just let the professor know.


            • OK, I’ll try to assume you’re still alive if you disappear for a while! 😉

              It’s odd, because the way I remember it, it’s been the wicked Professor who’s threatened FF – usually with poisoning…

              Robert Plant??? Good grief!! What’s with all you ageless people and the seventies rock’n’pop icons? Frankly I’d rather have the rats…

              😆 I will.


            • But the professor would let you know. FEF’s a great pal.

              Really? Well, he didn’t mean it at all. It must have been the dadblame professorish mind.

              Well…fine then. Acker Bilk is a good substitute. I do wonder what you have against the phrase.



            • 😀 I’ll let you know if I die too, dear C-W-W. (I may put this conversation in for next week’s Tuesday Terror… 😉 )

              Must have been – or else drinking too much of that Unspellable Tea…

              Yes, Acker Bilk is so much more modern. I don’t know if my doll-making skills could cope with the bowler hat though. What phrase?


            • (That would be neat, definitely!)

              It’s simple to spell, you know. Sotsiz…sotsiz…sotsiz…sotsiz… Spell it in your sleep, that would help.

              But he’s way older than Robert Plant… Rats.


            • Thank you for the spelling, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the word that’s wrong. It should definitely be Sostiz…

              I don’t have anything against rats – well, as a phrase anyway. But it does tend to remind me of the occasion when Soxy (Tuppence’s predecessor) brought in a live one and released it in my bedroom… 😯


  6. I absolutely agree about “The December Rose”.
    No ,Pratchett isn’t co=writing, but I think he finds it much slower going now that he has to dictate.


  7. FictionFan – Oh, Turow is fantastic. I hope you’ll like that one. And I don’t blame you for impatiently looking forward to the May. Right now I have to admit my TBR list is so long I’m not adding anything to it at the moment except under real duress. Not that I won’t change my mind… *sigh*


  8. Some interesting books here too- just lately there have been so many more books released that have taken my interest…I have to stop looking and concentrate on the reading, at least for a little while. And I am still waiting for the Christmas blockbusters to be announced – need to clear the decks before then 🙂


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