TBR Thursday 62…

Episode 62


151. 151. 151!!! No matter what I do that dratted TBR just keeps getting bigger! It’s not my fault – I think the cats log on to NetGalley when I’m asleep. Getting close to the end of the 20 Books of Summer Challenge now and might just do it! Though the US Open starts soon…

rafa gif

Here are a few that should reach the top of the pile soon…



the year of learCourtesy of NetGalley. I love the sound of this one and am hoping it’s not too academic in style. Must watch the plays again in preparation – Macbeth is my favourite of all the Shakespeare plays…

The Blurb says Preeminent Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro shows how the tumultuous events in England in 1606 affected Shakespeare and shaped the three great tragedies he wrote that year—King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra.

In the years leading up to 1606, since the death of Queen Elizabeth and the arrival in England of her successor, King James of Scotland, Shakespeare’s great productivity had ebbed, and it may have seemed to some that his prolific genius was a thing of the past. But that year, at age forty-two, he found his footing again, finishing a play he had begun the previous autumn—King Lear—then writing two other great tragedies, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. It was a memorable year in England as well—and a grim one, in the aftermath of a terrorist plot conceived by a small group of Catholic gentry that had been uncovered at the last hour. The foiled Gunpowder Plot would have blown up the king and royal family along with the nation’s political and religious leadership. The aborted plot renewed anti-Catholic sentiment and laid bare divisions in the kingdom. It was against this background that Shakespeare finished Lear, a play about a divided kingdom, then wrote a tragedy that turned on the murder of a Scottish king, Macbeth. He ended this astonishing year with a third masterpiece no less steeped in current events and concerns: Antony and Cleopatra.

The Year of Lear sheds light on these three great tragedies by placing them in the context of their times, while also allowing us greater insight into how Shakespeare was personally touched by such events as a terrible outbreak of plague and growing religious divisions. For anyone interested in Shakespeare, this is an indispensable book.”

 * * * * *



Two Years Eight Months 2Courtesy of NetGalley. I’ve never made it through a Rushdie novel, but I suspect that my tastes have changed enough since I last tried long, long ago to give this one a fair chance of success… it sounds brilliant!

The Blurb says “In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub–Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor’s office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.

Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn, who live in a world separated from ours by a veil. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world. Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia’s children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights—or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, in which beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.

* * * * *



the cone gatherers 2One of the 20 Books of Summer list. I don’t know much about it, but it appears on lists of “Best Scottish Fiction” quite regularly, so we shall see…

The Blurb says An immensely powerful examination of mankind’s propensity for both good and evil, inspired by the author’s wartime experience as a conscientious objector doing forestry work.

Calum and Neil are the cone-gatherers—two brothers at work in the forest of a large Scottish estate. But the harmony of their life together is shadowed by the obsessive hatred of Duror, the gamekeeper. Set during World War II yet removed from the destruction and bloodshed of the war, the brothers’ oblivious happiness becomes increasingly fragile as darker forces close in around them. Suspenseful, dark, and unforgettable, this is a towering work of fiction, a masterpiece of modern Scottish literature.

* * * * *



Docherty 2I was blown away by McIlvanney’s Laidlaw trilogy, and this one comes with a personal recommendation from BigSister, my earliest reading guru, so can’t wait to get to it…

The Blurb saysWinner of the Whitbread prize, by one of Scotland’s greatest living novelists.

Tam Docherty’s youngest son, Conn, is born at the end of 1903 in a small working-class town in the west of Scotland. Tam will stop at nothing to make sure that life and the pits don’t swallow up his boy, the way it did him. Courageous and questioning, Docherty emerges as a leader of almost unshakable strength, but in a close-knit community tradition is a powerful opponent.

* * * * *


NB All blurbs taken from NetGalley or Goodreads

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

96 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 62…

  1. I’ve also never made it through a Salman Rushdie, so good luck with that. Can I ask you something about Netgalley – Do you get books that you’ve requested just hovering around in the “pending” list for ages? I’m quite new to Netgalley and although I get approvals (and the odd rejection) I’ve had a couple from Penguin/Random House that have just sat in my “pending” list for over a month. Does this happen to you? This is affecting my To Be Read list because I don’t want to keep opting for other books in case these come through and I’ve got a number of books with short deadlines. I wonder if ,as a seasoned Netgalleyer you have any advice. Do I just give up on the pending titles? I can’t request them again as it seems to know they are pending!

    • Yes, the occasional one just sits there and then either disappears eventually or suddenly gets approved ages after you’ve given up on it – usually on the archive date. I don’t know why and it is annoying, as you say, when you’re trying to plan ahead. I’ve now gone on the basis that if they don’t approve quickly enough I drop the book off my reading list, and then if it comes through later I just fit it in when I can get around to without delaying reviews for ones that were approved in time. But I do find it’s rare – mostly the approvals or declines come through pretty quickly. And no, there’s nothing you can do about it – at least, nothing I’ve found…

      I’ve got a couple like that at the moment – one from Canongate that’s been sitting there for nearly two months now, and the other from Penguin/Random – the new Jane Casey. Grrrr! I find that one particularly annoying because if if it hadn’t appeared on NG I’d have bought it by now, but now I’m stuck in a kind of limbo till they make a decision…

    • I try to forget about the pending. Usually, if they haven’t replied within a month or so it’s safe to assume it’s not going to happen.
      Not sure I’m the best person to ask though, as I have far more than I actually can read…

  2. I’m sure those cats of yours are up to no good and ordering books left, right and centre…
    Mine does too, otherwise why would I be 29 reviews down on Netgalley (never mind all the rest…)

  3. I think Marina Sofia is right, FictionFan! It’s Tommy and Tuppence doing this to you, just to show you who’s boss (as if you didn’t know already…). I wouldn’t feel guilty about it as you are, after all, under their domination. In this case, they’ve chosen some very interesting-looking books. That MacIlvanney looks especially enticing. When you do get to it, after the US Open 😉 , I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I’ll be keen to know what you think of it.

    • It wouldn’t bother me so much if they didn’t also demand 24-hour attention – it doesn’t help when they sit on the Kindle! I’m surprised more of my reviews don’t mention fur…

      The McIlvanney is one of the ones I’m most looking forward to – either it will be great or I can blame BigSister. Win-win! 😉

    • I must say I love the sound of all four of these this week. The blurb for Docherty is very basic but it’s another that regularly appears in “best of” lists, and McIlvanney’s writing is so wonderful – that’s the one I suspect I’ll love most. But Rushdie might surprise me…

  4. I actually rather fancy the Salman Rushie! I quite liked The Satanic Verses, although it’s been awhile since I read it. I think I might give it another whirl, in fact. The new one is definitely going on my list. Obviously I will be giving The Year Of Lear a wide berth, Shakespeare being quite possibly my least favourite writer ever. But each to their own, it really does come down to personal choice. You must keep an eye on those naughty puss-cats, I fear they are trying to keep you busy so they can steal your cake and wine.

    • I tried to read Satanic Verses during all the hoohah about it but I think all the politics and publicity actually worked against me just being able to read it as a book, if you know what I mean. But if this one is as good as it sounds, then I shall lift my self-imposed Rushdie ban and backtrack. Not Shakespeare?!? I must say in truth I don’t much enjoy reading Shakespeare but I love watching great stage productions of them. When they’re interpreted by really good actors and directors they come to life in unexpected ways. Simon Russell Beale’s Hamlet was extremely funny – my teachers had completely failed to show me that there was any humour in his character at all… and I never spotted it while reading.

      • I say give Rushdie another go. He isn’t everyones cup of tea but I find him rather clever.
        I think my problem with the Bard is that when I read him at school it was taught in the most uninspired and dull way that I had a prejudice from very early on. Also I was sent out for laughing at Bottom’s name during a particularly yawnsome lesson whilst studying A Midsomer Nights Dream. I hear Benedict Cumberpatch is going down rather well in Richard III…

        • I really like the blurb of this Rushdie so I’m hopeful…

          Yeah, personally I would ban teaching Shakespeare in school… and Dickens. They destroy them! I was lucky enough to be “best friends” with the younger sister of one of the actors at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow which was going through a golden age at that time, so my introduction to Shakespeare was mostly on stage – I think that made all the difference. They did some brilliant productions when I was in my early teens that I still remember… ahem… several years later.

  5. All interesting choices here. I have a copy of Satanic Verses somewhere in my pile of piles. I tried reading it on three separate occasions, however, it was when my children were small and demanding. Now they just demand technology and food. I think they’re robots.

    So excited for the US Open! But I expect you’ll be a tad thrown off your reading schedule…? If so, just post pics of Nadal and we’ll know what happened to you!

    • Yes, I tried and failed with Satanic Verses too – but I think it might have been the time, my life, the controversy, as much as the book. But I’ve avoided Rushdie for long enough – time to bit the bullet! If they’re robots, you should check – they probably have an off-switch somewhere… 😉

      Haha! I will! At least it’s not as bad as the Australian Open – two weeks of total sleep deprivation for that one! But still worth it for Rafa’s shorts – I mean, SHOTS!!!

    • Yes, a good batch! The Cone Gatherers is one I’ve seen no reviews of – just picked it because it appears on so many Scottish “best of” lists, so I’m going into it blind. But I must say the blurb makes it sound very appealing…

  6. Haha – I haven’t laughed so much in ages 151?? Some good choices though – I’m really quite tempted by The Year of Lear – I didn’t realise Macbeth and Cleopatra were completed in the same year – I did Macbeth for my O ‘Level English Lit and can still quote great chunks from it – so very clever and it was the play that really made me realise what a genius the man was.

    • Huh!! (152 now – another one arrived today… 😉 ) No, I didn’t know they were all written around the same time either – for some reason I always thought Lear was much later than Macbeth. I did it at school too, after having hated Midsummer’s Night Dream – what a relief to love Macbeth! And the Judi Dench/Ian McKellen version of it is still the best Shakespeare on film I’ve seen. I’m just hoping the book is easy to read – some of these academic ones can be so full of jargon…

  7. The Shakespeare book certainly sounds interesting. I am not sure that I accept the theme: that these particular events had a great effect on Shakespeare’s plays, but it’s a legitimate concept to pursue in a book. Also, I do not think that “Antony and Cleopatra” is a great tragedy. I just saw it as part of the Globe Theatre film series, and certainly did not think it reached the level of Macbeth or King Lear or Hamlet. I also saw Macbeth again as part of that series; the recent edition starring Kenneth Branagh, so with those plays very well recalled, I am in a mood to see what connections the author makes between events and plays.

    Shakespeare has usually been considered a monarchist, whose plays to at least some extent argued for the necessity of a consistent monarchial power, and showed what calamaties ensued when the king abdicated (RIchard II), gave up most of his power (King Lear) or was overthrown on murdered (Macbeth). And certainly the Gunpowder Plot would have brought such concerns to the fore. But on the other hand, Lear and Macbeth are about far more than that; in fact, that issue would seem to be the least of it, amid the existential ruminations and the meditations on whether our fate is destined or chosen. So if the author tries too hard to “prove his point,” then it might become wearisiome. But I love history, and I love Shakespeare, so it looks worthwhile.

    I’ve never read Rushdie. My father read “The Satanic Verses,” and liked it pretty well, but I had no great interest in reading it, or really any of his, though I am sure that he is a fine writer. And unfortunately, or not, , I do not like magical realism, or a work which tries to make philosophical points by creating an unreal world. So I would not read that one. The Scottish one sounds well written but dark. And I had better get back to finishing my Jessica Stirling Scottish trilogy (I put listening to it aside when I did not like the way one of the plots was going: the strikingly beautiful daughter of an admired coal miner who ultimately died as the result of a major explosion in a mine, now working as a governess for the wealthy man overseeing the mines, a somewhat decent but certainly company man with a shrew of a wife, and obviously now falling in love with him and vice versa. I wanted to read more about the lives of the miners; and this plot line was just too predictable!) But I will gird up, and get back to it; and then see if I want to tackle another Scottish novel

    • To be honest, and I know this is major heresy, I’m not even convinced that Lear matches up to Macbeth and Hamlet! I’m open to hearing what he has to say about events influencing Shakespeare – of course, we can never know for sure, but I enjoyed Neil MacGregors’ Shakespeare’s Restless World, where he drew links between the plays and the society and politics of the time, and I found it fairly convincing. It will depend, as you say, how hard he pushes his point. I guess Shakespeare had little choice but to be a monarchist – in fact, everyone was then really. And since the Crown had the power to close the theatres, and often did, I expect being pro-monarchy was a wise move! Plus didn’t his company get a lot of patronage from the Royals? Though I’m not sure – could be wrong about that. Certainly his histories were usually more to do with the contemporary political situation than the time they were ostensibly about. But, with the notable exception of Henry V, I don’t enjoy the histories as much as the tragedies.

      I’m not big on magical realism either, but this one sounds more like a take on the Arabian Nights – perhaps an extended allegory – and presumably, given his reputation, it will be well written. But I shall see!

      I should think you might enjoy McIlvanney’s ‘Laidlaw’ if you’ve never read it – literary crime, fabulously written, and the book that is credited with creating the whole genre of ‘Tartan Noir’. Here’s my review – https://fictionfanblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/laidlaw-by-william-mcilvanney/
      It’s noir in the real sense of the word.

      • I read your review, which was quite well done. The books definitely sounds like something I would enjoy. “Scottish noir” sounds like a strange juxtaposition, but of course any large city with an interesting culture would potentially have its noirish aspects. I will definitely buy this, and it will be an entry into a new noir atmosphere! And do let me know when you do get a chance to see “Out of the Past,” because that is American noir at its ultimate, as far as I am concerned.

        • The whole trilogy is great, especially the first two. Tartan Noir is a big thing – has been for the last few decades. But like all genres it’s variable – I think more of them are pretty bad than good to be honest. But McIlvanney was clearly one of the main early influences on my favourite Scottish crime writer – Ian Rankin. Though Rankin’s later books really aren’t noir, I’d say – he has softened over time, but in a good way. I think Tartan Noir is actually one of the main influences on Nordic Noir too – though the Scottish version is better, obviously 😉 I will look out for the film and let you know…

  8. You’ll love “Docherty” (or else……). “the Cone-gatherers” is good too, and both your other choices look interesting – oh, Dear………

    • Haha! Threat of violence noted! But after being so blown away by Laidlaw, I’ll be amazed if I don’t love Docherty. Yes, I think it’s a particularly good bunch this week – I’m looking forward to them all…

  9. I’m another reader who’s never finished a Rushdie novel. Good luck with the new one. It sounds epic! The other two are quite appealing. Did I really type that? Did I really think that? Am I already succumbing to the FF sphere of influence?

    • Haha! It’s good to have you back! 😉 Rushdie must be one of the top ‘did not finish’ authors in the world based on this small survey – but this one isn’t very long so surely I’ll be able to get through it….??

  10. Gosh FF what on earth is going on……that looks like a thoroughly tempting list to me! It’s probably me reading it wearing my rose tinted FictionFan spectacles, which I popped in place when you said The Scottish Play was your favourite Shakespeare (mine too!) though you nearly lost me by dissing The Dream. One of my favourite productions was a wonderful production of The Dream done by Bubble Theatre company in London parks – it was weird, hysterically funny, and quite heartbreaking too (all those lovers, things going wrong) The fairy kingdom was all cross gendered, which made it very weird, and quite wonderful – all these great muscly blokes in frocks for Cobweb Moth Peaseblossom and Mustardseed and a man as Titania. I still have occasional memories of Puck as the goat god Pan galloping through the darkening evening through the Park. The lovers big fight scene with Helena and Hermia, all dressed in sumptious frocks – and they ended up mud-wrestling each other. So inventive, so dangerous, so anarchic, so theatrical!

    I did read Midnight’s Children, which i thought was marvellous, but tried something else of Rushdie’s, can’t remember what, but before Satanic Verses, and kind of lost interest

    • It’s my new ‘I hate crime’ phase – it won’t last… but in the meantime I’m hoping to raise your TBR to Everest heights *laughs dabolically and twirls moustache*

      The Dream was destroyed for me by them making us ‘do’ it at school when we were far too young for it. Had I seen it first I’d probably enjoy it, but reading and analysing it in an atmosphere of bored incomprehension killed it stone dead. Of all the plays I think it’s one of the ones least likely to appeal to 12-year-olds – I don’t know why they do it. I think they’re fooled into thinking that kids are better at dealing with ‘comedy’ than ‘tragedy’ – not Shakespearian comedy!!

      I don’t know how I’ll get on with Rushdie but I definitely read different kinds of things now than I did when I last tried him, and the blurb of this one appealed to me – as did the fact that it’s not very long…

    • Ha! From the comments here, very few people have! But this one is shorter than his usual and the blurb sounds great, so I’m determined to make it through this time…!

  11. There’s quite a mix in there! And I know what you mean about that tbr pile! I keep saying I’m not adding to mine and yet it keeps growing.

    I quite like the look of the Rushdie one… I think… Enjoy!

    • I know – it’s not like my usual list at all but they do all sound good. The TBR is hopeless – I was looking at an old blog post last night and my TBR was under 100 back then…

      The Rushdie looks good… but looks can be deceiving! 😉

  12. Good luck, FF. I want to read all 4 of these, though probably The Year of Lear and Rushdie most. I’m a fan of the latter and having had the chance to hear him speak in Melbourne last year only made me more so. I recommend non-believers try reading Rushdie’s short essay “Imaginary Homelands” (intro to the collection by the same name), which provides insight into why he writes and the beauty of his writing.

    • Both of those sound great – but yes, they all do this week. I feel I really should like Rushdie – he seems like my kind of author. I think when I tried and failed with him before it was probably more to do with the time I tried it – too busy, annoyed by all the controversy over his books etc etc. Quite often revisiting after a long break leaves me wondering why I reacted to a book the way I did first time round. I’m keeping my fingers crossed anyway – the blurb sounds great!

  13. Oh, my, you expect me to read your lovely post when Rafa is moving around and all?!? I find myself watching him grin over and over…

    Okay, back to the post. I haven’t read any of these! I’m sympathizing over your having so many on your TBR list, and I refuse to keep count of how many I want to sink into! Not tempted by any of these, though, so I’m safe for another few days!!

    • Haha! Isn’t he adorable? I love that smile…

      Not tempted?! Oh, I’ll have to see if I can change that with my reviews… assuming I don’t end up hating them all, that is! 😉

  14. *laughs* Well…if you gave me your TBR for a minute, I’d cut you down to the top 10!

    He’s wearing a pink shirt? *sighs, spits, shakes head, and sizzles*

    BUS is a guru? How cool is that?!

    • Yeah, but you’d pick ten I’d hate!!!

      Isn’t he adorable??? I can understand why you get so jealous of him! But you’d look lovely in pink too…

      *laughs* Very!

      • Nah…I bet there aren’t any Twain in your top ten! Which reminds me, are you going to see The Martian movie?

        Not jealous, but I see why you like him. He’s a bit odd looking, but very cool looking. That’s the difference. Me in pink?! Never!

        Tell her hi. I feel like I haven’t had speaks to Ms. Guru in a while.

        • *laughs* Good guess! Yes! Is it out? I thought it wasn’t due till October… *rushes off to check the listings*

          Why not jealous?! You should be!! What’s the point of me drooling over him if it doesn’t even make you jealous?!!! *flounces off*

          Haha! I will! I might send her a link to Sweet Home Alabama in fact now I think of it…

            • Yes, indeed! Can’t wait! I wonder if it’ll work as well on film… Hmm… will I be able to fit in a re-read…?

              That’s not the point! You should be jealous just because…tchah! I give up!!

              I don’t really know. I can’t visualise her as a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan somehow… but let’s find out…

            • You want to re-read? But whatever for? We should go and see it together! I’m sure it will be exciting at the very least.

              I’d be jealous if he had a FEF beanie!!

              I can’t either…I think BUS might like Symphony stuff or EW&F.

            • *laughs* For fun! *anticipates look of Professorial bafflement* That would be fabulous! We should! Maybe we could meet up at an island somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic…

              Aww! Would you? *starts knitting him one*

              EarWig&Flies? EastWest&Further? EomerWormtongue&Frodo?

            • Yes, if there’s such an island. I’m having the hardest of times to get anyone to see a movie with me, can you believe. Dadblameit.

              Yes! Imagine how cool that’d be.

              Earth Wind and Fire! *laughs*

            • A particular movie or just in general?


              Oh! I don’t know if she likes them, but she does like Lynyrd Skynyrd apparently – and enjoyed your video very much!

            • Well, look on the bright side – go alone, and you won’t have to share the popcorn! Oh, they’ll probably want to see Star Wars when the time comes…

              I’d tell you what she said, but it might destroy your reputation for being un-blushable…

            • You know, I usually don’t get popcorn? What a wonder. I think everyone I know hates Star Wars. Dadblameit!

              *puts on ski mask* Okay, I’m ready! Of course I want to know!

            • Good noodles! What’s the point of going to the cinema then?! You should kidnap someone and force them to go with you then…

              Well…if you’re sure…but don’t say I didn’t warn you! To let you understand, she’s been a little poorly for a few days and is just beginning to get over it… she said “A beautiful young man, playing beautiful music on a beautiful guitar – what more does an old lady need to kick-start her convalescence?” I really don’t know what she means by “old lady” – the age difference between us must be greater than I thought…

            • I don’t know why I usually don’t get anything, but I don’t! Maybe I should get some candy. I will have to do that, or just go by myself. SW looks so neatio.

              Awww! I’m the sudden glad the ski mask is on! That’s sorta made my day it has. Wow. I do hope she continues to feel better as well. *laughs* I’m old, too, so don’t worry about it.

            • I don’t mind going to the pictures by myself – or the theatre. Sometimes it’s better than dragging someone along who’d really rather be doing something else! Or being the one who’s being dragged…

              *smiles bigly* See! She’s even more embarrassing than me! I hope so too – I’m sure she will. She’s resilient. I’ll pass on your good thoughts. I’M NOT OLD!!!!!!!

            • *laughs* Yes, but see, I’d drag you along to Star Wars! I just saw another trailer for it.

              *smiles lots* Well, that was just great to hear, really. BUS is definitely resilient. Well! BUS and I are old then!

  15. Not tempted not at all 🙂 NG – I am trying desperately to not request any more – but I keep getting stuck on the number 9 – each time a read a few I end up requesting a few more…but it is my other TBR pile that is huge (the physical book pile)..I am not even going to try and count it- I am better off not knowing. That’s what you need two TBR’s – then the numbers at least look reasonable. I am glad you tastes seem to be including more of the academic and non fiction types – I am less tempted to add to my own list that way 🙂

    • Yes, a completely crime free batch this week, though I’m not sure about Docherty – the blurb is so uninformative it’s hard to know, but there could be a crime element in it. I don’t ever have a huge physical pile – the occasional one from a publisher but they never send me them on spec, only ones I’ve specifically asked for. And I only really ask for the factuals in paper – fiction I usually read on Kindle.

      Haha! Secretly I have three TBRs – the one I talk about, the Amazon wishlist, and the books on my Kindle that haven’t made it onto the wishlist yet… I counted them all up together once, fainted, and swore I’d never do it again… 😉

      • I’d suggest – stick with that plan, 3 lists is much more…manageable…dont ever count them again! I just move mine from one pile to another – from the table where I open the mail, to the other side table where I put in some sort of ” read by publishing date” order next to the chair where I sometimes sit to read, or to the floor in my office ( if I am not likely to read) and then to the bookcase shelf when I have read. But sometimes a book just catches my eye and I read regardless of which pile it is sitting in. 🙂

    • Good heavens! Well, that’s my afternoon sorted – cold bath and a lie down in a darkened room! Haha! How appalling is it that I have at least half those pics on my blog already? Though I steer clear of the shirtless and underwear ones – some of my readers may be of a nervous disposition and I don’t want to be sued for blood pressure issues…

      • I thought that might be the case……….and I wasn’t even searching for this – it really was a quite by chance following a link about Portugal, from reading something on Susan P’s site, and then got taken to a page with this irresistible link title. The internet is SUCH a dangerous place for the innocent. You never know where you might end up.

        • I believe you! I never thought for one moment you were googling for ‘Rafa in his underpants’. Not for a second! Though having made this comment I’m now expecting to be the recipient of a million visits from people who ARE googling that… how disappointed they will be… 😉

  16. I normally like Rushdie, but reader feedback has not been great so far, so maybe I’ll just stick with the Year of Lear – that sounds very interesting and something Mr Books would enjoy too.

    • Oh, that’s a pity – I haven’t spotted any reviews of it yet. Mind you, I’m not a Rushdie fan so maybe it’ll work better for me than his other stuff – I’ll just have to see…

      Yes, I think the Year of Lear sounds great – I’m hoping it’s not too academic in tone to make for ease of readability, but I don’t think it will be.

  17. I’ve read a lot of Rushdie, although have never managed “The Satanic Verses”, possibly because I wanted to read the Koran first and haven’t got through that, either. I didn’t fancy his last one as seemed too autobiographical, but this one sounds interesting. I’m sure you’ll get your 20Books done!

    • I started a couple but didn’t get far, though I think that was more to do with me than the books – wrong time, too busy etc etc, plus put off by all the controversy. But now I’m really looking forward to seeing how I get on with this one, so that will hopefully give it a fairer chance to impress me…

      Ha! I was doing OK till I started Waverley – I seem to be stuck now… 😉

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