TBR Thursday 37…

Episode 37


There seems to be a growing gap between the number of books going on to the TBR and the number coming off at the moment. The terrifying total is currently…117! But on this occasion I’m not going to blame my fellow bloggers. The villains this week are:

The Booker committee who this week announced the shortlist.

NetGalley who promptly provided me with copies of three of the Booker shortlist (see how they gang up on me?).

America – whose selfish insistence on having a different time-zone from us Scots meant that I was up till dawn several nights watching the US Open Tennis – not conducive to reading, I assure you (though very conducive to mid-afternoon napping).

Rafa wasn't playing...
Rafa wasn’t playing…

Politicians – of all persuasions, plus polling organisations, TV commentators etc., who have all kept me glued to the Scotland debate for weeks now. I’m wondering if it’s too late to emigrate…

So, here’s a few of the ones that I’ll be reading…sometime…



the skeleton roadCourtesy of NetGalley. About 80% of the time, I love Val McDermid…and then there’s the other 20%. Here’s hoping for this one…

The Blurb saysWhen a skeleton is discovered hidden at the top of a crumbling, gothic building in Edinburgh, Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is faced with the unenviable task of identifying the bones. As Karen’s investigation gathers momentum, she is drawn deeper into a world of intrigue and betrayal, spanning the dark days of the Balkan Wars.

Karen’s search for answers brings her to a small village in Croatia, a place scarred by fear, where people have endured unspeakable acts of violence. Meanwhile, someone is taking the law into their own hands in the name of justice and revenge, but when present resentment collides with secrets of the past, the truth is more shocking than anyone could have imagined…”

 * * * * *


the monogram murdersA brand new Poirot mystery, from the pen of Sophie Hannah. As a huge Christie fan I’m apprehensive, but couldn’t resist. I’m about a quarter of the way through it and so far…well, I haven’t decided yet…

The Blurb saysHercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered.  She is terrified – but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.

Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim…”

* * * * *



the lives of otherThe first of this year’s Booker shortlist and the one that most appeals to me. The size of a brick, of course! Thanks to NetGalley. Sounds like it might be the book last year’s contender The Lowland should have been…but wasn’t.

The Blurb saysCalcutta, 1967. Unnoticed by his family, Supratik has become dangerously involved in extremist political activism. Compelled by an idealistic desire to change his life and the world around him, all he leaves behind before disappearing is this note …

The ageing patriarch and matriarch of his family, the Ghoshes, preside over their large household, unaware that beneath the barely ruffled surface of their lives the sands are shifting. More than poisonous rivalries among sisters-in-law, destructive secrets, and the implosion of the family business, this is a family unravelling as the society around it fractures. For this is a moment of turbulence, of inevitable and unstoppable change: the chasm between the generations, and between those who have and those who have not, has never been wider.”

* * * * *



scottish history for dummies(Don’t you dare laugh!) My dear friends at Amazon Vine supposedly target the things they offer us for review. So I find it somewhat unflattering that barely a month goes by without them offering me a …For Dummies book. I’ve been offered everything from Basic Maths For Dummies to Ukelele For Dummies. Finally, they found one that I couldn’t resist. Scotland from the Stone Age to today in 300 pages – hmm! I wish they’d offer me chocolate sometimes…

From its turbulent past to the present day, this informative guide sheds a new and timely light on the story of Scotland and its people. Dig into a wealth of fascinating facts on the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages. Get to know how Scotland was built into an industrial economy by inventors, explorers and missionaries. Discover the impact of the world wars on Scotland and how the country has responded to challenges created by them. Find up-to-the-minute information on Scotland’s referendum on independence.” (Oops! I guess that means it’ll be out of date by next Thursday then…)

 * * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from NetGalley or Goodreads.

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Do any of these tempt you?


70 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 37…

  1. FictionFan – OK, do not blame America for the time zone thing. It was actually a Canadian, Sir Sandford Fleming , who was a key player in the development of time zones. You’ll notice that I mention nothing about your personal decision to watch tennis at all sorts of hours…. 😉 😉
    As to the books? The McDermid has already gotten my attention, so if/when you get to that, I’ll be really keen to see your opinion on it.


  2. I am a HUGE Christie fan and Poirot in particular and I have been very nervous about the new book. Of course, I shall read it and can only hope I enjoy it. It would literally break my heart to read a bad Poirot story. May I ask – is Captain Hastings in it?


    • Are you? I always suspected you were a woman of true taste and discernment! 😉 No Hastings so far, I’m afraid – she’s created a new sidekick, Catchpool – the police officer in charge of the case. About a third through now and…still haven’t decided…


      • Goodness, whatever gave you that idea! I adore Christie, so easy to read and her characters are beautifully recognised. I am not liking the sound of a new side-kick, Hastings is one of my most favourite literary characters. I have been thinking about writing something about a ‘young’ Hastings, chronicling his life before he met Poirot. But anyway, enough of that. Will you review it when you are finished?


        • Haha! Tommy and Tuppence (my Christie-named cats) told me – and they’re excellent judges of character! So as you can tell, I’m also a massive fan. The problem being I’ve read the originals so often I can quote some of them – so the idea of a new one is half-exciting/half-terrifying. I’m not sure if I like the new sidekick yet (I’m very partial to Hastings myself), and the book seems to be longer than the story so far, if you know what I mean – quite a lot of filler – but it’s still early days. Yes, should have my review out one day next week hopefully…


          • It was all thriller, no filler with Christie! I know exactly what you mean about the ‘new one’ – it’s a terrifying thing. I suppose you have to give credit to the author for even attempting it, I wouldn’t fancy that kind of literary responsibility. Actually, I would, but it’s unlikely to happen.

            I look forward to the review. And Tommy and Tuppence – brilliant! Underrated Christie adventures, certainly!


            • It always surprises me how hard it seems to be to get the original author’s authentic voice. But if they don’t, then what’s the point of the follow-on at all? And there always seems to be a tendency to stick modern attitudes and storylines in…hmm!


            • It sounds more like fan fiction (pardon the expression!) to me. Maybe if I approach it with that view, rather than trying to see it as part of the original ‘series’, it might be somewhat easier to digest. And as far as modern attitudes and storylines go – they have no place in the world of Hercule Poirot!


            • Haha! I reckon I get lots of extra views from poor souls searching for fan fiction! Yes, I’m a bit concerned about where one aspect of this storyline is heading…but we shall see…


  3. I love the Dummies book. I actually enjoy those books, but I never learn anything from them. You see, the professor is dummer than a dummy!

    Now the new Christie book is an interest. Funny how her name is so big, when she didn’t write it! Is it more brutal, would you say? I think I’ve read about 5 Christie books in my career. *smiles proudly*


  4. I have the McDermid, who is never less than interesting, but I’m not going after the Hannah. In general I’m not a fan of follow on novels. Why not be original? I might see if I can hold of a copy of the Mukherjee though.


    • I’m really not a follow-on fan either – I just can’t seem to resist reading them, but it’s rare for me to really thoroughly enjoy them. Apart from anyhting else, half my mind is always doing a comparison which stops me from getting really involved in the story properly.

      The Mukherjee blurb sounds good, and I’ve seen several positive reviews so I’m hopeful…


    • Oh good! She’s really great most of the time – I’ve got a bit tired of her serial killer series though so it’s good to seeing her doing something new. I’ll be starting it as soon as I finish the Poirot… 🙂


  5. Oh, you got me with the last one. Put that one right at the top! Too bad your eye candy wasn’t adding to your distraction….

    Heard an interview with Irvine Welsh, the writer of Trainspotting, this morning. Interesting analysis. He described Scots as going from the “It’s all their fault” (called it an “immature” viewpoint) to “It’s all our fault” (called it a “self-loathing viewpoint”) to “Let’s get on with it” viewpoint (Called it the “current generation” angle). Apparently, with a population of 5 million and wealth of resources/industry, Scotland should be in the ranks of the top twenty countries in the world. Sweet!


    • I know – it’s not the same without Rafa!

      I think that’s an excellent analysis – couldn’t fault it. The lowest point and also the turning point oddly was Mrs Thatcher. As a reaction to the devastation her policies caused, demand grew for devolution – and it has had a tremendous effect on our national psyche. And yep, we’re rich! (Though the negative No campaign would have us believe we’ll be starving by October…) One of the interesting measures I think is that our population was actually falling before we got devolution and now it’s rising again. It’s all getting very tense now…


  6. Lets just hope the ersatz Christie is better than the ersatz Sayers……… Until we get past you-know-what, I am only reading calming books, so the Mc Dermid will have to wait. Considering how little Scottish history we and most of our fellow Scots were taught, maybe we should buy “Dummies” in bulk and drop one into every house in the country.


  7. The Amazon Vine profiling made me laugh, I can imagine what they’d send me. When I’m on FB adds appear for weight loss constantly, I’ve never Googled anything to do with weight in my life so I think their profiling is a bit off, let’s hope the FBI are a little better. They should have waited until the end of this month before releasing that Dummies book, I think the referendum would make a great ending.(especially if the vote for independence)


    • They’re always trying to make me review kids toys too. Mind you, I have to admit to having been seriously tempted by the swimming mermaid for the bath last week! Haha! Yes, I hope the FBI is better!!

      It’s all getting very tense now… 🙂


  8. I would/will pan the Christie lookalike. I hate copies of books that
    I love. Why can’t authors think up their own stories and leave well
    enough alone? I expect you will be able to read Scottish History for
    Dummies and put lots of corrections in the margins! What fun!


    • I do sort of agree re follow-on books – but I just can’t resist reading them anyway!

      Haha! I must admit it’s not the most in-depth history I’ve ever read and I have found myself harrumphing quite a bit…


  9. How WONDERFUL! Absolutely not tempted at all (though the Booker one will no doubt twitch my ‘I ought to read this if I didn’t have so much else to read’ button. Sorry to disappoint but another Christie loyal one of my acquaintance (I never was, so can’t comment anyway) gave Hannah’s attempt the thumbs down. But then you’ll enjoy getting those ripping scissors out.

    PS As I’m not tempted by any of the books, I’ll take that rather lovely looking smiling man, which seems rather fair to me


    • What?! Not even by the Scottish History for Dummies?? (Haha! No offence meant!!) Well, I enjoyed ripping it so much it made up for the pain of reading it – nearly.

      Hands off, madam!!


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