TBR Thursday 52…

Episode 52


Woohoo! The TBR is down 1 to 141! I might throw a party to celebrate!!

Here are some of the ones that are teetering on the edge of the cliff…



fortune's foolCourtesy of NetGalley. I was expecting there to be a rash of biographies of Abraham Lincoln this year given it’s the 150th anniversary of his death, but so far I haven’t spotted any major ones. So this looked like an interesting alternative…

The Blurb says “With a single shot from a pistol small enough to conceal in his hand, John Wilkes Booth catapulted into history on the night of April 14, 1865. The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln stunned a nation that was just emerging from the chaos and calamity of the Civil War, and the president’s untimely death altered the trajectory of postwar history. But to those who knew Booth, the event was even more shocking-for no one could have imagined that this fantastically gifted actor and well-liked man could commit such an atrocity.

In Fortune’s Fool, Terry Alford provides the first comprehensive look at the life of an enigmatic figure whose life has been overshadowed by his final, infamous act. Tracing Booth’s story from his uncertain childhood in Maryland, characterized by a difficult relationship with his famous actor father, to his successful acting career on stages across the country, Alford offers a nuanced picture of Booth as a public figure, performer, and deeply troubled man. Despite the fame and success that attended Booth’s career–he was billed at one point as “the youngest star in the world”–he found himself consumed by the Confederate cause and the desire to help the South win its independence. Alford reveals the tormented path that led Booth to conclude, as the Confederacy collapsed in April 1865, that the only way to revive the South and punish the North for the war would be to murder Lincoln–whatever the cost to himself or others. The textured and compelling narrative gives new depth to the familiar events at Ford’s Theatre and the aftermath that followed, culminating in Booth’s capture and death at the hands of Union soldiers 150 years ago.”

 * * * * *



the settling earthCourtesy of the author via NetGalley. I very seldom accept review requests direct from authors, but this one appealed – the title, the cover, the blurb and it’s short! It’s also getting very good reviews…

The Blurb says Marriage transplants Sarah thousands of miles from home; a failed love affair forces Phoebe to make drastic choices in a new environment; a sudden, shocking discovery brings Mrs Ellis to reconsider her life as an emigrant — The Settling Earth is a collection of ten, interlinked stories, focusing on the British settler experience in colonial New Zealand, and the settlers’ attempts to make sense of life in a strange new land.

Sacrifices, conflict, a growing love for the landscape, a recognition of the succour offered by New Zealand to Maori and settler communities — these are themes explored in the book. The final story in the collection, written by Shelly Davies of the Ngātiwai tribe, adds a Maori perspective to the experience of British settlement in their land.”

* * * * *



the defenceCourtesy of NetGalley. I’ve seen so many great reviews of this one around the blogosphere so I’m hoping I’ll love it just as much…

The Blurb says Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren’t that different. It’s been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie’s back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter Amy. Eddie only has forty-eight hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial – and win – if wants to save his daughter.

Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his razor-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his ‘client’ and ensure Amy’s safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible? Lose this case and he loses everything.”

* * * * *

the strangerCourtesy of NetGalley. Coben’s plots can be a bit cheesy sometimes, but his thrillers are usually fast-paced rollercoaster rides with likeable protagonists. Here’s hoping…

The Blurb says The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream – a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life. Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corrine, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corrine’s deception, and realises that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives – it will end them.

 * * * * *




the martian chroniclesNext up in my bid to read more sci-fi, a classic I’ve never read. I’ve been very impressed by the few short stories of Bradbury’s that I’ve read recently, so I have high hopes for this…

The Blurb saysThe Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity’s repeated attempts to colonize the red planet. The first men were few. Most succumbed to a disease they called the Great Loneliness when they saw their home planet dwindle to the size of a fist. They felt they had never been born. Those few that survived found no welcome on Mars. The shape-changing Martians thought they were native lunatics and duly locked them up.

But more rockets arrived from Earth, and more, piercing the hallucinations projected by the Martians. People brought their old prejudices with them – and their desires and fantasies, tainted dreams. These were soon inhabited by the strange native beings, with their caged flowers and birds of flame.”

* * * * *


NB All blurbs taken from NetGalley or Goodreads.

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

55 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 52…

    • It’s a bit of a thrillerish week on the crime front this time, and I’m behind (as usual) with fiction. I don’t read a huge number of thrillers, but I enjoy the occasional one – fingers crossed!

  1. FictionFan – You do have some good choices there!! Although, as you know, I’m a crime fiction fan, my vote this week would be for the Bradbury. One the one hand, I have little but contempt for the kind of person he was. On the other hand, the man could write! And in my humble opinion, The Martian Chronicles< is a really find example of his work.

  2. WooHoo a party! Yay, I like parties. Let’s just have a party and forget about the books. No? Alright then. Fortune’s Fool looks interesting – weird that there haven’t been more about old Abe considering the anniversary. Crime is usually my favourite choice (genre, not as a past time) but I am afraid this one sounds a little cheesy to me. Can we have the party now, please?

    • Yes, I think we should have a party! A cheese and wine party, but without the cheese!

      I know – I was expecting zillions of books about Abe, but unless I’m missing them it’s been surprisingly quiet. This one looks good though. The crime ones are very thrillerish this week – I like Coben though. His books are usually pure rubbish, but enjoyably so. Have you got your party frock on?

      • Yay – a wine and wine party! The very best kind. We might need some cheese on toast later, though. I’ll keep that in mind.
        Rubbish thrillers can be most enjoyable, I think! I read this dreadful book once, about a murder in a dance school (I can’t remember the title). It was so awful that I couldn’t put it down. I am considering adopting that approach to my own writing, actually.
        I don’t think I own a frock at all, party or otherwise. I am intrigued by this furry tiger dress OMF has been whittling on about – have you any idea what one is? I think it sounds rather good.

        • HahaHA! “It was so awful that I couldn’t put it down.” Oh, please, PLEASE, let me use that line in a review one day… that pretty much sums up quite a few of Harlan Coben’s books! Mind you, if Amelia was in the dance school, it would surely have been justifiable homicide? The tiger dress makes me think of Bet Lynch…

  3. But we’re going to be starting the next Dune, so…that all cancels out and you’re back to 142!

    You must admit, the Booth fellow is strangely striking, isn’t he?

    The Stranger seems good. This professor loves thrillers. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because my life is a thriller?

    • No, no! It’s already on the list! And I have a moveable gap in the reading list so it can slot in at any time…

      He is, isn’t he? And I know almost entirely nothing about Lincoln’s assassination other than that it happened, so I should find it interesting.

      I’m not totally sure, but I think you might like Harlan Coben. There’s nothing much to them in terms of depth, but they’re usually real page-turners. But his plots are never as exciting as the Professorial life – I might write to him and suggest he bases his next book on you…

      • A moveable gap? *narrows one eye* That sounds like someone is cheating! (Did you read all the others, too?)

        I think you shall find it interesting. I’ve heard lots about it. You’ll probably enjoy it. Did you know–I think–Lincoln died on the same day that the Titanic sunk? (Not the same year, of course.)

        Is he on my TBR? You should! Though, my life is very dull and professorish, I must admit.

        • I’m only cheating for your benefit though! Just think – you take priority over all those publishers who are avidly waiting for my reviews of their books! (I know I’m hopeless, but I actually can’t remember. I know I read Messiah and I’m pretty sure I read the next one but I think I might have given up at that point – I think the first three are supposed to be the best.)

          No, I didn’t! Perhaps everyone should stay at home on that day in future…

          Not yet, but he might be depending what I think of this. At the moment I’m swithering over whether to add Twenty Trillion Leagues to your list – I shall inform you formally once I’ve finished it…

          • *very honored the sudden* Aw! Isn’t that sweet of you? Just for me, too. You’re too nice to me. But you’re not supposed to know that. (Goodness! Well, I fear we’ll have to read the WHOLE series, you know. The whole dadblame thing.)

            Let’s go out! Brave the world. You know, be warrior-ish.

            Oh, that one. Is it professorish? Do you know how much I’ve started reading since I met you?

            • Oh, you deserve it! Most of the time… (*gulps* But we still have eight of the John Carter books to read too… and you’re so old, I’m not sure if you’ll have time…)

              You’re right! Let’s die bravely!! Let’s challenge Godzilla to a duel!

              It is Professorish so far, but I’ll wait and see if it stays that way. *laughs* Sorry ’bout that! But it’s good for you! Suffering is good for the soul! *Shnoddy face*

            • Most of the time, because I have a touch of sweetness. I’ll admit to that, I think. (That’s right! And I’ve been thinking lots on John Carter…do you want to read the third one soon?)

              *laughing* Well, he might be a bit big. Let’s start with moths, and work our way up from there.

              That sounds cool. I knew it from the title! But it’s been such a fun adventure, you know. I don’t regret it!

            • *nods* You must, because it is true! Like the sweet cherry found in the heart of a dark chocolate liqueur! (*laughs* Poor C-W-W! I bet you banged your head on the desk when you said that! But… yes… I think we should… )

              Eeuww! You do the moths! I’m less scared of the monster…!

              Awwww! And you’ve made me go back to reading sci-fi/fantasy, so I’ve gained too – loads! *smiles bigly*

            • Ooo…I love those things. (Only if you tell me what I want to know! And that’s final. *crosses arms*)

              Oh, seriously! Moths have those papery wings that leak dust…they can’t be that scary!

              I have? When did I do that? Sounds like something I might do, though.

            • (Oh, I promise I’ll tell you before we finish Dune Messiah…)

              Yes, but they have sneaky mind control techniques…

              Well, I felt so sorry for you having to read Dickens, I thought I’d try to recommend some books you might actually like…

            • (That’ll be weeks! The sudden: BUS sent me an email and said you should tell me at once.)

              How do you survive outside on a summer evening?

              *laughs* That’s kinda adorable.

            • (See, I know you’re fibbing — BUS would never be able to wotk out how to do that! You could send me tons of chocolate… * chuckles wickedly*)

              *laughs* Well, 1) They’re not quite so scary outside – it’s being trapped in a room with them that does for me and 2) I live in Scotland – summer evenings are too cold to sit out in it 98% of the time, so I’d be walking about a bit, and could simply run away…

              *smiles adorably and nods* Cute, too!

            • (*laughing* Yes, I’d send you the chocolate, and you still wouldn’t tell me! I know how girls are.)

              Well, in a room they can’t escape. That’s the time to fetch them! The summer evenings are cold? How cold?

              Umm…well…yes, that too. You’ve ruined me.

            • (Hmm…how did you get to be such an expert, huh?!? I’ll tell you when you’re older…)

              But I want them to escape!! It seems so unfair when it’s me who has to leave the room! Too cold to sit about in – and anyway it rains…

              *nods proudly*

    • I don’t know why I’ve read so little Bradbury – a strange omission. But I’m looking forward to that one. Not the earth one? I think it looks good – I’ll see if my review can change your mind… assuming I enjoy it, of course.

      Then I think you should polish up your dancing shoes…

        • I remember The Twilight Zone music but not really the shows. I suspect I was too young (and I don’t often get the chance to say that these days!). I remember the revival series, in colour – 70s or 80s, maybe?

          😆 I think people like the idea of the party more than the books this week…

    • Oh good! I don’t know when I’ll get to it, but with it being so short, I’m hoping to fit it in sometime over the next few weeks – look forward to seeing what we both think of it! Definitely a party, I think… start practicising your dance moves… 😉

  4. I’ve read the Bradbury, and I had a clear sense of deja vu when reading your review of the Booth biography – if I haven’t read this one, I’ve read something. My TBR list is full for the next month or so – I’m just about to embark on a complete reread of the Discworld series in tribute to Terry Pratchett, who died today.

    • Not this one – it’s not been published yet as far as I know. Unless it’s a reissue, but it doesn’t say so in the blurb.

      Yes, I heard about Terry Pratchett – sorry to hear it. Though given his dementia, probably better than going on until he really lost all his faculties. And he did so much to highlight the disease that his achievements went beyond his books.

      • The Bradbury is a reissue – it came out in the sixties, and is regarded as a SF classic. He died a couple of years ago, in his nineties, I think, so I expect a lot of his stuff is being put out again.
        Re Sir Terry, I’m glad he’s gone – apparently his last few months have not been easy.

        • Oh, yes, sorry – I meant the Booth biography is new as far as I know.

          There’s been loads of tributes to him all around the blogosphere. I hear his daughter is to take over the Discworld series, apparently…

    • Yes, I think I already had it before reading your review, but I was glad to see it get your endorsement. It’s one where the reviews have made it sound much more appealing than the blurb actually. Do you feel under pressure now? 😉

    • I’m enjoying getting back into more sci-fi – I used to read quite a lot and then have ignored it for years and years and…

      I usually enjoy Coben’s books – he comes up with an occasional dud, but on the whole they’re usually great light entertainment.

  5. I think my invite to the party got lost in the blogosphere 😉 Well I’ve read The Defence already which I did enjoy despite my misgivings and none of the others really take my fancy this week.

    • Come anyway – gatecrashers are always more fun than guests! 😉 Ah, I couldn’t remember who’d reviewed it other than Raven but I knew I’d seen reviews elsewhere – good to know! Yes, it’s a strange batch this week…

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