TBR Thursday 18…

Episode 18


A massive leap up to 105 for the TBR this week. So much for all my good intentions! The problem is some books are just irresistible…

Courtesy of NetGalley:

the quickPraised to the skies by Hilary Mantel and Kate Atkinson apparently – so either it’s brilliant or they share a publisher… 😉

You are about to discover the secrets of The Quick –

But first you must travel to Victorian Yorkshire, and there, on a remote country estate, meet a brother and sister alone in the world and bound by tragedy. In time, you will enter the rooms of London’s mysterious Aegolius Club – a society of some of the richest, most powerful men in fin-de-siecle England. And at some point – we cannot say when – these worlds will collide. It is then, and only then, that a new world emerges, one of romance, adventure and the most delicious of horrors – and the secrets of The Quick are revealed.


that dark remembered dayI loved Tom Vowler’s first book What Lies Within. Can he do it again…?

When Stephen gets a phone call to say his mother isn’t well, he knows he must go to her straight away. But he dreads going back there. He has never been able to understand why his mother chose to stay in the town he grew up in, after everything that happened. One day’s tragic events years before had left no one living there untouched. Stephen’s own dark memories are still poisoning his life, as well as his marriage. Perhaps now is the time to go back and confront the place and the people of his shattered childhood. But will he ever be able to understand the crime that punctured their lives so brutally? How can a community move on from such a terrible legacy?


A re-read in preparation:


northanger abbeyJane Austen’s most humorous book takes a sly look at Gothic literature…

Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist. The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey?


Courtesy of Amazon Vine:


northanger abbey mcdermidI couldn’t resist! It can’t possibly be worse than Trollope’s Sense and Sensibility…can it…?

Cat Morland is ready to grow up. A homeschooled minister’s daughter in the quaint, sheltered Piddle Valley in Dorset, she loses herself in novels and is sure there is a glamorous adventure awaiting her beyond the valley’s narrow horizon. So imagine her delight when the Allens, neighbors and friends of her parents, invite her to attend the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh as their guest. With a sunny personality, tickets every night and a few key wardrobe additions courtesy of Susie Allen, Cat quickly begins to take Edinburgh by storm and is taken into the bosom of the Thorpe family, particularly by eldest daughter Bella. And then there’s the handsome Henry Tilney, an up-and-coming lawyer whose family home is the beautiful and forbidding Northanger Abbey. Cat is entranced by Henry and his charming sister Eleanor, but she can’t help wondering if everything about them is as perfect as it seems. Or has she just been reading too many novels?


All blurbs are taken from NetGalley or Goodreads.

At least I’m sure to enjoy the Austen! Will you be reading any of these?

PS Due to life interfering with my reading time, I will be having a short bloggie break. Apologies in advance if I also don’t get around to visiting your blogs as often as usual for a short while. Back soon!

48 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 18…

  1. Now don’t laugh me to scorn, but…I didn’t know Austen had a humorous book. Interestingly enough, that interested me the most… 😯 I’m also interested to see how you like the “new-Austen.”

    Oh dear! I’ll miss you awfully, for sure. Life is so troublesome.

    (I see what you’re reading! 😀 )

  2. I may have said this before, but what is the point of rewriting Austen? And why would someone like Val McDermid want to? Life is full of mystery! 🙂

  3. I’m with Big Sister. I really don’t take to re-writes. As she says, life is full of mysteries. I shall miss you while you’re gone. Come back soon.

    • Haha! Neither can I!

      Yes, the blurb makes TDRD sound quite different from his previous one. I spotted your review’s up – haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but looking forward getting to it. 🙂

  4. You are, as they say, a glutton for punishment. You’ll never get caught up, you know. A delightful thought, though, to know there are more books than one can read in a lifetime.

  5. Oh i HATED tThe Quick (and have just been having a torrid series of emails with someone who felt the same way. It started really really well and appeared to have all the ingredients i should like – and i took it on Atkinson and Mantel”s praise, but about 100 pages in it commits major major major crude unimaginative flaws in my bok. More i cannot say, me lips is sealed. Though i did write an email to the publishers explaining in no uncertain terms why it would not be getting reviewed by me, though as I’m engaged in a 2014 reading challenge, and the evidence is on Amazon, rather than the blog, precisely because the nono’s don’t make the blog – i WILL have to vent my spleen AFTER Publication. I start grinding my teeth in annoyance when i think of what happened 100 pages in. We were getting on so well till that point, too………………….

    But then you like doing the ripios, so maybe it will give satisfaction!

    I have had a couple of brace of really good Vine and Harvest Vine books this last month or so.they are back in favour!

    • Haha! Well, if you hate it there’s a good chance I’ll love it! Although I’m desperately trying to think how unbelievable it would have to be to fail the LF test…did the author not think to have the main character pop off to a parallel universe to change the course of history then? 😉

      Goodness! A reading challenge? And Google! I’m beginning to think you’ve been taken over by an alien entity! What’s your challenge? Will you be blogging about it?

    • You realise that you have made many people, myself included, want to read the book now. I have requested it on NetGalley.

    • Well, m’dear, we are in agreement for once! Abandoned ‘The Quick’ at 40% – the writing was OK – quite good sometimes, in fact – but apart from the THING the structure was all over the place and I really couldn’t care less if any of them live or die! So gorn – and feedback sent making it clear that I think the blurb is misleading. Oh well! That gives me a chance to move on to the other 100…

      • Heaves HUGE sigh of relief. Had you liked that one I would have been convinced it could only be because of some sort of terrible infection which had caused you to be bitten and thus smitten by the book

        I hope Mantel and Atkinson are blushing (or maybe just dining out on review payment moneys!)

  6. You are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO rude! I’m a bit quizzicalled about your Google ref?? The challenge is one of the very many that a wordpress blogger has running (except i can’t remember which of the many ones it is – that’s me scuppered for a prize, unless as the year wears to its close I find the shortcut which I’m sure is saved somewhere.

    I elected to read 2 books a week, 104 a year, but whoever it is asked at the outset for participators to send her the link where your ‘proof’ would be. But because some of the reviews on my blog are cut and pastes from reviews on Az since 2001, which was when i started, I thought it would be fairer to use Az as the link, as all she has to do is collect the reviews from 1st Jan. Also, I read more than i review on the blog. Mind you, it does mean I have to review the dreary and dull as well as the fabulous. So there is some stuff which I’m not enthused enough to blog about, and not teeth grindingly irritated enough to normally bovver to review at all on Az, but (till the number is reached, I almost feed BOUND to.

    The Quick, though, meets tooth-grinding 2 star. Enjoy – as they say, and it will be interesting to see what happens to you, around, roughly page 100 I feel, where what might have been 4 star suddenly in the turning of a page reached hurling across the room status (as happened also to the other person at exactly the same point in the story)

    • 😆 I know! I’m sorry – I couldn’t resist!

      Yes, I’m trying not to take on anything else that’ll commit me to anything. Just coping with ordinary blogging plust the GAN Quest is more than enough. I quite often see challenges I like the look of, but then decide it’ll just end up being an albatross later in the year. Have you really been reviewing since 2001??? I knew you started well before me, but I hadn’t realised you’d been going for that long.

      (Ah, but did that other person also think The Goldfinch fell into the marvellously mystical category rather than the odiously overstuffed? 😉 )

      • I can’t help wanting a small brightly coloured bird of the Finch family to poop on you from a great height!

        Well I started slowly (not to mention fairly succinctly – when did I lose THAT skill! – back in 2001 and was only reviewing stuff in my speciality, so it was texts for study purposes, just reviewing excellent examples in the field, and it took a good 4 or 5 years before I started really reviewing regularly. The killer was that Vine invite which I think was 2010. It ratchets up output, develops ripio skills, releases the floodgates of verbosity too. However, I still feel rather proud of a ripio in my very first year which described a rave book of the time, which I cordially HATED , thus :

        I have to say I thought this was utterly pretentious. Well hyped, well marketed, but ultimately literary and psychological meringue masqerading as coq-qu-vin. Took itself far too seriously and portentously.

        No doubt YOU would say it could apply to that wee little birdbook!

        • 😆 Am I annoying you, perchance? The thing is there’s probably an FF in a parallel universe who likes The Goldfinch…

          My first review was in 2007 as A Customer, and my second was in 2010. I’m a bit more prolific now…

          • Well it seems that you went from the equivalent of learning how to crawl in book review terms to becoming the equivalent of a fully fledged long distance gold medal winning Olympic marathon runner almost immediately, by-passing all intervening stages!

            Well, if that parallel universe FF who likes Goldfinch, also has an enormous pile of To Be Eaten luxury liqueur filled dark chocolates, but DOESN’T LIKE chocolate I would angle to meet her. We can talk enthusiastically about that book (well to be honest, she can do the talking whilst I stuff my face whilst nodding brightly and enthusiastically and making lots of Mmmmm agreeing type noises

  7. Hi FictionFan, I hope you are well and life will let you get back to your blog as soon as possible.

    I am adding The Quick to my TBR pile, it sounds too irresistible. Jane Austen is an author I’ve been meaning to read more of – I wasn’t a big fan of Emma but that doesn’t mean I may not like her other books.

    • Thanks Delia – I’m fine, just busy with real-life stuff at the moment.

      I’m a huge Austen fan as you can probably tell, but Emma is my least favourite – I really found her character hard to like. Pride and Prejudice is the most enjoyable, and I also love Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey, which is much lighter and more humorous than the rest.

      • I hope all is ok with you FF. I am assuming that life has got in the way as it can do sometimes. I love Austen and I am one of those people who visit relevant location connections to Jane. I love Emma. Yes, she is not as like-able a character as Elizabeth Bennett or Elinor & Marianne Dashwood but I found her fascinating. I recently bought the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice on DVD and hoping I can find time to watch it.

        • Thanks, Chris – yes, I’m fine, just some family stuff that needed to be done. But all sorted, and I should be back to normal next week.

          I don’t hate Emma, I just didn’t love her as much as the rest. I think it was really Mr Knightley I wasn’t so keen on – he’s so not Darcy! I hope you love the DVD – I know I joke about Colin Firth (a lot) but I genuinely think it’s a great dramatisation of the book. Wonderful casting all round and the colours and clothes just beautiful. And the music…

          • Should have said that I have seen the P&P series a few times before but not for sometime. I saw the DVD on special offer and knew I should have it.

  8. I’m interested in The Quick too, heard a lot of good things, would be interested to see your review. And of course the new Northanger Abbey! Although I didn’t read the Sense and Sensibility Trollope as I heard how bad it was? 🙂

    • The new S&S was so bad it was almost fun! I’m currently reading the original Northanger Abbey in prep for the new one – had forgotten just how much I love it. Can’t wait to see Val McDermid’s take on it – I’m hoping it’ll be really dreadful… 😉

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