TBR Thursday 64…

Episode 64

 

It was all going so well! I had got the TBR down to 149 when suddenly NetGalley had one of those days where umpteen irresistible books all appear at once… 152 again 153 now! My resolution this year is to get down to 70 by the end of the year – it’s not really looking very hopeful, is it? If only they came chocolate-coated, I could eat them…

Here are a few I should be getting to soon…

Fiction

 

the house of mirth 2Having been diverted by all the Scottish fiction I decided to read over the summer, the GAN Quest has taken a back seat, but time to make a start. One that should be easily digestible to begin with…

The Blurb says First published in 1905, The House of Mirth shocked the New York society it so deftly chronicles, portraying the moral, social, and economic restraints on a woman who dared to claim the privileges of marriage without assuming the responsibilities. Lily Bart, beautiful, witty, and sophisticated, is accepted by “old money” and courted by the growing tribe of nouveaux riches. But as she nears 30, her foothold becomes precarious; a poor girl with expensive tastes, she needs a husband to preserve her social standing and to maintain her life in the luxury she has come to expect. While many have sought her, something—fastidiousness or integrity—prevents her from making a “suitable” match.

 * * * * *

Fiction

 

sleeping on jupiterCourtesy of NetGalley. Longlisted, but not shortlisted, for this year’s Booker, this was one of the few that I could even bring myself to consider reading from a list that is both preponderantly American and heavily misery-laden. Oh, Booker, how art the mighty fallen! Must say I think this might be pretty misery-laden too… great cover though!

The Blurb says A train stops at a railway station. A young woman jumps off. She has wild hair, sloppy clothes, a distracted air. She looks Indian, yet she is somehow not. The sudden violence of what happens next leaves the other passengers gasping.The train terminates at Jarmuli, a temple town by the sea. Here, among pilgrims, priests and ashrams, three old women disembark only to encounter the girl once again. What is someone like her doing in this remote corner, which attracts only worshippers? Over the next five days, the old women live out their long-planned dream of a holiday together; their temple guide finds ecstasy in forbidden love; and the girl is joined by a photographer battling his own demons. The fullforce of the evil and violence beneath the serene surface of the town becomes evident when their lives overlap and collide. Unexpected connections are revealed between devotion and violence, friendship and fear as Jarmuli is revealed as a place with a long, dark past that transforms all who encounter it. This is a stark and unflinching novel by a spellbinding storyteller, about religion, love, and violence in the modern world.

* * * * *

Crime

 

close your eyesNetGalley again. The latest in Michael Robotham’s Joe O’Loughlin series – I’m reading these all out of order, but fortunately each works pretty well as a standalone too.

The Blurb says A mother and her teenage daughter are found brutally murdered in a remote farmhouse, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and the other left lying like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her Prince. Reluctantly, clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin is drawn into the investigation when a former student, calling himself the ‘Mindhunter’, trading on Joe’s name, has jeopardised the police inquiry by leaking details to the media and stirring up public anger. With no shortage of suspects and tempers beginning to fray, Joe discover links between these murders to a series of brutal attacks where the men and women are choked unconscious and the letter ‘A’ is carved into their foreheads.

As the case becomes ever more complex, nothing is quite what it seems and soon Joe’s fate, and that of those closest to him, become intertwined with a merciless, unpredictable killer . . .

* * * * *

Crime

 

the invisible man from salemI won this one in a competition! Via the excellent Raven’s blog. The question was ‘what would you do if you were invisible for a day’ and my reply was that I would stalk Rafa. Clearly the judge’s moral compass is as shaky as my own… the book looks good though!

The Blurb saysIn the final days of summer, a young woman is shot dead in her apartment. Three floors above, the blue lights of the police cars awaken disgraced ex-officer Leo Junker. Though suspended from the force, he can’t stay away for long. Bluffing his way onto the crime scene, he examines the dead woman and sees that she is clasping a cheap necklace — a necklace he instantly recognises. As Leo sets out on a rogue investigation to catch the killer, a series of frightening connections emerge, linking the murder to his own troubled youth in Salem — a suburb of Stockholm where social and racial tensions run high — and forcing him to confront a long ago incident that changed his life forever.

Now, in backstreets, shadowed alleyways, and decaying suburbs ruled by Stockholm’s criminal underground, the search for the young woman’s killer — and the truth about Leo’s past — begins.

* * * * *

 

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads

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

59 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 64…

  1. See, FictionFan? Your – erm – interest in tennis is paying off! 😉 – You do have some tempting tidbits there, no doubt about it. I like Robotham’s work very much, so that would be my vote straight off. But they all look like worthy additions to your TBR actually.

    • 😆 I knew Rafa’s shorts would stand me in good stead one day! I’m looking forward to the Robotham – I’m in the middle of The Night Ferry at the moment, so will soon be nearly caught up with the series – phew!

  2. I salute you in your quest to get your TBR down, but seriously, do you really think that will happen?? LOL

    I already have the Robotham book and am hoarding it for a while. I love this series.

    • Haha! I’m beginning to doubt it!

      Me too! I’m in the middle of another at the moment – The Night Ferry. Then I think I only have another one or two to have finally caught up with the series…

  3. Get thee away from me, you and Raven both, with your unhealthy tennis obsessions! Interestingly enough, I was just using IBM Slamtracker with tennis analysis today (just as an example of using data to drive performance – for my corporate role)…
    I so hear you with that TBR pile! I’ve been getting quite a bit of reading done on planes and things lately, but the reviewing is just not happening…

    • I do wish you’d analyse what’s gone wrong with Rafa’s game then and give him some pointers – tennis tournaments are so much less fun when his shorts…er… I mean when he is knocked out early on…

      Yes, I’m getting further and further behind with reviewing too – and if I don’t review quickly I tend to forget what I wanted to say!

  4. House of Mirth is the only one I’ve read, but the others all sound interesting. I’m so glad I don’t have a TBR – plenty of books to read, but no TBR!

  5. Oh, I got such a kick that your comment won!! Wouldn’t that be FUN, stalking Rafa for an entire day?!! As for the selections, I haven’t read a single one of them, but the one that stands out is the first one — Lily Bart sounds like a fascinating character!

    • Haha! Me too – I never win anything! Of course, I’d cover my eyes in the changing rooms – I’d be a very polite stalker! 😉

      Yes, that one should be good – I’ve liked what little I’ve read of her stuff before. The Robotham will probably be excellent – his stuff nearly always is. The other two could go either way…

  6. I wish you hadn’t mentioned a day of treats on Netgalley because I’ve imposed a little ban on visiting the site until I’ve got my TBR list down a bit and now I know I’m going to go sneaking back to check out on things I may have missed out on……………..Grrr! I’m having a fit of pique anyway because I got rejected for a couple of books I really wanted to read so maybe I should keep away from it until at least the weekend! I liked “House Of Mirth” but got more out of “Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton. The Netgalley titles you mentioned I’m trying not to even read your blurb for them in case my iron will wavers!!

    • I can’t help myself – I’ve got into the habit of visiting NG every day, promising I’ll only request books I would have bought anyway! Hah! And then I see all the potential goodies and I’m lost! I normally read about 10-12 books a month and so far in September I’ve already requested 11… doesn’t leave much time for other reading! Gah! Yes, I’ve been turned down for one or two recently too – I wonder if they’re beginning to limit the number of each book they give out a bit more. I’ve also had a couple of polite reminders as books get close to publication dates recently – that never used to happen.

      I loved Ethan Frome, and admit the subject matter of this one appeals a little less, but we’ll see! 🙂

  7. Well, no; but that doesn’t mean that one or the other of them might not be good! I do not have the open-minded inclusiveness regarding literature that you admirably have; I do not often find a new book I like, though it is always possible, and I am always looking. I am wary of most of them, however

    For a perhaps unfairly negative slant on them, the second one (I am not able to discern the title) has a blurb that sounds like Lovecraft in its overwrought diction! Of course that is not the book’s fault, just the blurb writer’s.. But “the ecstasy of forbidden love,” the unexpected connections between devotion and violence, friendship and fear,” “a stark and unflinching novel,” “the fullforce (sic) of the evil and violence beneath the serene surface of the town,” does all sound like an effort of the blurb writer to make a rather tedious book sound interesting. I am not too impressed by the Booker people at this point. And I do think that there is there is an over-effort to be “inclusive,” and thus books about remote lands, and/or written by people with a Third World background, are sometimes given more merit than they perhaps deserve.

    I certainly value your perception that Robotham is very good. But by description, this does seem like another mystery about some psychotic male killer with twisted sexuality. Maybe one of these is a surprise, and it is not about what it seems?” Maybe, but I’ll play the odds that it is a psychotic man who is committing these brutal murders, probably tied in with some awful thing that happened to him in his childhood.

    The third one I will eschew because I do not have an affinity for Swedish mysteries. Just from the ones I have seen on televison, or heard about, they are all filled with a kind of pervasive morbidity, a dark depressiveness, and generally unappealng charaxters, including the protagonists.I love a good mystery, but not those which are unremittingly bleak, as I think they seem to be.

    And then there is Wharton. I’m sure that she was a talented writer. I saw a fine version of “The House of Mirth” with a superb performance by GIllian Anderson, and an icy Laura Linney. But I do not read any Wharton because by all accounts she was blatantly anti-semitic, more so perhaps than her mentor Henry James. I realize that anti-semitism was fairly pervasive among the East Coast American writers of that period, but it seems that Wharton even exceeded that.

    However, perhaps I will read the Russian mystery you reviewed yesterday, which sounded good!

    • Haha! I must admit that if I rejected all books with male killers or where the author has some attitudes I disapprove of that could be the prefect way to reduce my TBR!

      Yes, the blurbs are off-putting as often as they’re enticing, but I tend to look at reviews of the book or if that’s not available reviews of previous ones. A problem with debut authors, of course, but then it’s just a matter of taking a chance. I’m the other way round with the Booker, really – for me, it was specifically a prize that encouraged people to read Commonwealth authors and I’m extremely disappointed that it’s now full of either American authors or authors who live in America. They pay lip service to diversity now, I fear. Nordic novels are variable – a lot of them are bleak and depressing, but you get the occasional author that presents a more balanced view. The Russian one is Nordic – based in Sweden, but with a strand about the USSR woven in.

      Well, I’m guessing that if I can put up with Lovecraft’s racism, then I can probably put up with Wharton’s too. Really it would be impossible to read almost any book if we had to sift through the author’s entire back-history of thought crimes. I guess I really only care if they make it an integral part of the story they’re telling.

  8. I’ve never read “The House of Mirth,” but it is one that I own and intend to read. 😀 “Sleeping on Jupiter” intrigued me. Interestingly, the small number of reviews on Amazon are all over the map on that one. Hmmmm. I think I’lll wait to hear from you on that one.

    • Haha! One day I think you should count up your TBR – I’m guessing it runs into the thousands… 😉

      Yes, I noticed that too about ‘Sleeping on Jupiter’ – doesn’t augur well. But you know, I think being longlisted for the Booker sometimes backfires, by making people read the book who wouldn’t normally be interested in the subject matter. So far, on Amazon UK, I only recognise a couple of the reviewer’s names as those who review Indian writers regularly and they were a bit more positive about it than some of the others. *sighs* We shall see!

  9. I’m so curious to see how The House of Mirth will stand up to your GAN criteria. Edith Wharton is high on my list of favorite authors. I would probably stalk her if she were still alive, although her apparel could never compete with Rafa’s. 🙂

    • I’m not sure it’ll fit in at all, but I suspect it will be a great novel – which is probably more important! I hope so anyway – I loved Ethan Frome. Haha! It would be fun to see if we could get them to swap outfits – we could tell them we’re throwing a fancy dress party! Of course, Ms Wharton’s unfortunate status as ‘deceased’ might get in the way of that little plan… 😉

  10. Rafa tempts me, too. I must also have a shaky moral compass… Doesn’t he have a book out there yet for you to review? If he doesn’t, I think you should be his biographer. But maybe you’d be dotting your i’s with little hearts and getting distracted… hmmm, second thought, it might be disastrous.

    • Ooh, I think that’s a brilliant idea! But I think it should be a pictorial biography – now where did I leave my zoom lens? Or… I might write a romance novel with him as hero and – hmm! let’s think! Possibly a nice Glasgow girl as heroine… *drifts off into happy day dream*

  11. After reading Ethan Frome twice in a row, which was my first Edith Wharton novel, I’m still wondering what Zeena was really like, since Ethan’s perception may have been suspect. Obviously I have to plump for The House of Mirth.

  12. House of Mirth is WONDERFUL. And I got a NetGalley book yesterday – the publisher alerted me about it, saying it was like Debbie Macomber. It’s more romancy looking than that but it’s on the Kindle and will be read relatively soon …

    • Oh, good! I hoped it would be given how much I loved her writing in Ethan Frome. NetGalley really is too tempting – at least for those of us with absolutely no self-control! Enjoy! I look forward to your review… 🙂

  13. *laughs* What a TBR! You have not the power to say no, I’m thinking. Which is sorta funny.

    Now, Lily Bart should just get a job selling peanuts. I hear that’s a rather good business to get into. Who wants to husband hunt anyway? *shudders* She could also live in a rock and be a troll. I’d do that.

    The mother and her daughter should be carrying weapons! Glocks. Katanas! That would’ve fetched the murderer.

    • Cruel to laugh! You should be helping me by reading some of them for me, or by diverting my attention to something else!

      *laughs* Husband hunting can be fun, so long as you release them back into the wild once caught! *wicked face* You couldn’t be a troll – too handsome! But you could still live in a rock…

      He who lives by the Glock, dies by the Glock! Admittedly they died anyway, so I agree my moral argument might be a bit shaky here…

      • Well…I showed you Enchanted, didn’t I? But I had no clue you’d like it… *Cries*

        *laughing* That’s so brilliant. But why catch them in the first place? Live in a rock? In one?! Nah.

        *nods* Definitely shaky. *clutches glock closely* It’s my baby.

        • *laughs* So you showed me it ‘cos you though I wouldn’t like it? That seems mean – even for you!

          The thrill of the chase… Huh! You were the one who said you wanted to live in a rock! I was just trying to be kind!

          *shakes head despairingly*

            • Well, I’m not a huge fan of cartoons – sorry, animated movies, though I don’t hate them either. But that’s why I usually don’t watch Disney much. But I LOVE happy musicals with dancing! And that one is such a happy dance routine and she does the take-off of the old cartoon princesses brilliantly.

              *drops a rock on him* There you go! Happy to help!

            • *laughs* You’re so mean! But I did work out that some of it might be animated *sticks out tongue* Never seen either of them! *proud face*

              *laughs too*

            • Oh, of course I can! If not you, then who?? ‘Tis your purpose in life… I think it’s going to be tomorrow now – tonight didn’t go as planned… it’s jinxed!

            • Awwww! You’re safe! It’s lovely and sweet and funny! Who wouldn’t love a story that finished with ‘and they all lived happily ever after’? And wasn’t her ballgown just fabulous? Both of them in fact – though I liked the princess one best. And awwww! You sooooo are Robert! So sweet when you started singing, and what a lovely dancer! Awwww! *laughs and sighs and wipes a little tear*

            • You don’t? Then the only solution is you must watch it again! The white gown is the one I want when I become a Princess. It is – happy stuff! And Timothy Spall is a great actor – he’s done a lot of serious acting over here before he started doing more quirky stuff in the movies.

            • But… you must! How are you going to pay compliments if you can’t tell who’s got the best frock on?? Never saw The Last Samurai either – I’m guessing he didn’t play a warrior…

            • Yes, but you must work on it before the… you know! Just in case…

              It’s such a pity Tom Cruise is such a weirdo, ‘cos he’s awful pretty! He could’ve been one of my heroes… *shakes head sadly* That was kinda cool in a gory sort of way! See, isn’t that kind of weapon much better than guns? More heroic! But Tim wasn’t in it…

            • *laughs* Does that ever work?

              Oh, he’s a cool actor, but a weird person! *gasps* You can’t #LoveGlocks – apart from anything else, a gun would spoil the smooth look of your dancing outfit! #LoveCotillion

    • Don’t gloat!! I notice you keep very quiet about how many are on yours… 😉 The Robotham books are great – I’ve enjoyed every one so far. This one sounds kinda like a standard gory serial killer book, but I’m trusting him to make it more than that…

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