TBR Thursday 68…

Episode 68


Woohoo! The TBR has actually gone down this week – by 4, to 148! So, well on target for the end of the year goal of 70… *chokes*

Anyway, no time to chat (or sleep, or eat)! Here are some that I shall be getting to soonish…



winston churchill at the telegraphHaving thoroughly enjoyed both The Telegraph Book of the First World War and The Churchill Factor recently, this one sounded like a good choice…

The Blurb says The Telegraph had a uniquely close connection with Churchill following every stage of his career, from his early days as a war correspondent for the paper, through his time in the political wilderness, the turbulent war years and his astoundingly energetic life as an elder statesman.  Collected here, for the first time, is the best reportage on this most fascinating of men. Unencumbered by his mythic status, there is praise and blame in equal measure: finding space for both dramatic accounts of his wartime premiership and affectionate reports on the animals living at Chartwell, his country estate.

The Telegraph was also a happy home for Churchill the journalist, and featured within are many pieces written in his unmistakeable prose – he was as comfortable issuing stern jeremiads about the dangers of socialism, or the threat of Hitler’s Germany as he was enthusing about painting.

Restoring much of the urgency and freshness to the life of this extraordinary man, Churchill at the Telegraph is a celebration of an intimate relationship that lasted over sixty years and shows Winston Churchill in all his paradoxical glory.

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the walnut mansionCourtesy of Yale University Press via NetGalley. I’ve become addicted to the high-quality factual books Yale UP produce, so time to see if their fiction selections work for me too…

The Blurb says This grand novel encompasses nearly all of Yugoslavia’s tumultuous twentieth century, from the decline of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires through two world wars, the rise and fall of communism, the breakup of the nation, and the terror of the shelling of Dubrovnik. Tackling universal themes on a human scale, master storyteller Miljenko Jergovic traces one Yugoslavian family’s tale as history irresistibly casts the fates of five generations.

What is it to live a life whose circumstances are driven by history? Jergovic investigates the experiences of a compelling heroine, Regina Delavale, and her many family members and neighbors. Telling Regina’s story in reverse chronology, the author proceeds from her final days in 2002 to her birth in 1905, encountering along the way such traumas as atrocities committed by Nazi Ustashe Croats and the death of Tito. Lyrically written and unhesitatingly told, The Walnut Mansion may be read as an allegory of the tragedy of Yugoslavia’s tormented twentieth century.

* * * * *



even dogs in the wildHe’s back! He’s back!! Rebus is back!! And the lovely people at lovely Orion have sent me a lovely advance copy! Lovely! *turns cartwheels*

The Blurb says Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is investigating the death of a senior lawyer during a robbery. But the case becomes more complex when a note is discovered, indicating that this may have been no random attack, and when local gangster Big Ger Cafferty receives an identical message, Clarke decides that the recently retired John Rebus may be able to help. He’s the only man Cafferty will open up to, and together the two old adversaries might just stand a chance of saving Cafferty’s skin.

But a notorious family has arrived in Edinburgh, too, tailed by a team of undercover detectives. There’s something they want, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it. DI Malcolm Fox’s job is to provide the undercover squad with local expertise, but he’s soon drawn in too deep as the two cases look like colliding. And meantime, an anonymous killer stalks the nighttime streets, focussed on revenge. It’s a game of dog eat dog – in the city as in the wild.

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the undesiredCourtesy of Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley. I like Yrsa Sigurdardottir so much I’ve even learned to spell her name! She writes both crime and horror, and this one sounds like it may be a little bit of a mix of the two…

The Blurb saysThe light spilling in from the corridor would have to do. Though weak, it was sufficient to show Aldís a boy sitting in the gloom at the furthest table. He had his back to her, so she couldn’t see who it was, but could tell that he was one of the youngest. A chill ran down her spine when he spoke again, without turning, as if he had eyes in the back of his head. ‘Go away. Leave me alone.’

‘Come on. You shouldn’t be here.’ Aldís spoke gently, fairly sure now that the boy must be delirious. Confused, rather than dangerous.

He turned, slowly and deliberately, and she glimpsed black eyes in a pale face. ‘I wasn’t talking to you.’

Aldis is working in a juvenile detention centre in rural Iceland. She witnesses something deeply disturbing in the middle of the night; soon afterwards, two of the boys at the centre are dead.

Decades later, single father Odinn is looking into alleged abuse at the centre following the unexplained death of the colleague who was previously running the investigation. The more he finds out, though, the more it seems the odd events of the 1970s are linked to the accident that killed his ex-wife. Was her death something more sinister?

Yrsa Sigurdardottir is a huge European bestseller both with her crime and horror novels. You might want to sleep with the light on after reading THE UNDESIRED . . .” 

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NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads.

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

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This will be the last TBR Thursday until December, since in two weeks time the annual FictionFan Awards extravaganza will be taking the Thursday stage for a while. I do hope you’ll join me for the pick of the genres and the naming of the FF Book of the Year. Personally I can’t wait to find out who will win!


56 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 68…

  1. Very happy for you, FictionFan, that your TBR is behaving (and somewhat envious of your self-discipline!). You’ve got some lovely additions this time. I like Yrsa Sigurðardóttir’s work quite a lot, so I’d have chosen that one, myself. And the new Rankin…well…it’s Rebus. 🙂 Your non-fiction choice looks interesting, too. I’ll be keen to know just what sort of a perspective it takes. It’s tricky to write a biography of an iconic figure such as Churchill and be objective.

    • Yes, both these crime ones should be great – I’ll be starting Rebus later today! Haha! Not sure about the self-discipline, but I need to cut back on the new releases till I catch up a bit on stuff I already have. The Churchill one should be interesting. These Telegraph books are a great way to take a different slant on reading history. A good selection this week, I think! 🙂

  2. Firstly, congrats on the TBR! Very proud of you 🙂 Secondly… REBUS IS BACK!!!!! Fabulous. Love Rebus books – absolutely bloody brilliant. Apologies for the bad language but I am rather excited. And there were some others too… the Churchill one looks good, can’t go wrong with Churchill. But… REBUS!! Ahem.

    • I’m proud too! (Until I visit NetGalley later today and another five million…) REBUS!!!! I’m so thrilled – it’s been two whole years since the last one. And the first time I’ve ever had a Rebus freebie! The Churchill one should be good too – it’s introduced by our Boris…

      • Even better if you get it for free!! What an amazing thing. I have to read the Churchill one if dear Boris has written a bit 😀 In other excellent news today, on the front page of The Times today is a picture of Sean Bean as Sharpe 😉 I don’t think this day could get any better… oh wait – I have WINE at home! 😀

        • I saw Mr Bean (hmm! That doesn’t sound right!)… our Sean last week in The Martian. I really hate to say this but it took me ages to work out who he was – he looked kinda old! (So glad he couldn’t see me – dread to imagine what he’d say!)

  3. The Ian Franklin crime book sounds intriguing, FF, and that’s the one I’d start with! Close on its heels is The Undesired (though I’m not entirely sure I’d ever learn how to spell or pronounce the author’s name!!) On a side note, you’ve read four books in a week?? My goodness, I’m totally impressed. Perhaps you’ll share the secret of stretching a 24-hour day?!

    • I love the Rebus books – can’t wait! Should be starting it today. And The Undesired should be great – she’s brilliant at setting up a creepy atmosphere, even in her crime novels. Haha! I cheated! After last week I decided to ditch my last remaining unread misery-fest domestic noir novel, and one of the other ones that I read was only novella-length! But I do average about two and a half books a week normally. Dedicated, that’s me! (Plus, housework isn’t as important as people think… 😉 )

    • Ha! Only till my next visit to NetGalley, I expect!

      It’s The Walnut Mansion by Miljenko Jergovic. I know nothing about it other than the blurb, so it could go either way. Sounds interesting though, and I know far too little about that part of the world…

    • It does! But I know nothing about it other than the blurb, so it’s a bit of a gamble. But I’m hoping Yale UP’s fiction is up to the same standard as their factual stuff…

  4. You can totally go down to 70 by the end of the year, I think; I have faith in you. Like you said, just stop sleeping, eating, or going anywhere. 🙂 I wished for The Walnut Mansion for my birthday, but now I don’t even remember whether I got it or not. How bad is that? In my defense I can only say that I wished for a lot of books from Eastern/Central European writers for my birthday.

    • Haha! I’m glad someone has faith in me! It’s more than I have! The Walnut Mansion does look good, doesn’t it? I’m ashamed to admit it but I still haven’t read all last year’s Christmas books yet… must try to do that before Santa calls again… 😉

  5. I’m not sure that a TBR pile of 148 books is anything to cheer about, unless you’re planning a longggggg vacation. As it stands, I fully expect your pile to top the 200 mark within the next year. I refuse to be tempted. I am looking the other way. I am packing boxes. I will not look. I will not look…

    • All things are relative, so it’s better than 152! Nooooo!!! If it goes over 200 I’ll have to take drastic action – hmm! Make you read and summarise them all for me, perhaps! Oh, books hardly take up any space in boxes… and it’s great fun digging them all out at the other end and trying to work out a brand new filing system!

  6. I normally wouldn’t look past a new Rebus, but The Walnut Mansion sounds extraordinary and I love a novel that offers historical insights into a part of the world I’d like to understand better.

    • It does sound good, doesn’t it? Yes, I like reading ‘proper’ history but I also love to find out about different times and places through fiction – here’s hoping it lives up to its blurb! But Rebus comes first… 😉

  7. You do know that if you keep knocking down your TBR at that rate, soon you’ll have no books left! I know this isn’t going to be popular but I really didn’t enjoy the Rebus books I tried *slinks out of the room* but I am curious to see your cartwheels, presumably with a book in one hand so that you don’t miss out on any reading time. 😉

    • *gasps* Not like Rebus!! I don’t know if we can still be friends… 😉

      I have a special metal contraption that screws into the bolts on my neck and holds the book stable in front of my face at all times…

    • I know – I’m so lucky! I’ve never had an advance Rebus before – I’m feeling smug! 😉 The Churchill book looks great – I’m looking forward to that one too…

  8. So proud that you have dropped 4 on the TBR! Niceness. Now, you can cut all of these, except the last one. And who do you suppose would let their title be highlighted in purple? Yucketh. Such a girl’s color.

    FictionFan awards! Nice. Excited for that.

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