TBR Thursday 71…

Episode 71

 

There’s been a massive reduction in the TBR this week, due to me finishing several books all at the same time – down 3 to 159! I’m so proud of myself! Now if only I could find time to write all the reviews that are piling up…

Here’s the next batch that should be rising to the top soon…

Fiction

 

belovedNext up for the GAN Quest. I tried this book on audio a couple of years ago but found the narration, by Toni Morrison herself, almost monotone. It was great as a cure for insomnia but that’s not altogether a good thing when you’re listening to it while driving! I’m hoping the print version won’t have the same effect…

The Blurb says Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.

Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison.

 * * * * *

 

the noise of timeCourtesy of Random House Vintage via NetGalley. I have a rather chequered history with Barnes, sometimes thoroughly enjoying him and other times finding him rather cold and occasionally self-indulgent. Hopefully this one will fall into the ‘enjoy’ category…

The Blurb says In May 1937 a man in his early thirties waits by the lift of a Leningrad apartment block. He waits all through the night, expecting to be taken away to the Big House. Any celebrity he has known in the previous decade is no use to him now. And few who are taken to the Big House ever return.

So begins Julian Barnes’s first novel since his Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending. A story about the collision of Art and Power, about human compromise, human cowardice and human courage, it is the work of a true master.

I’m hoping it was the blurb writer’s idea to capitalise ‘Art’ and ‘Power’ and not Barnes’…

* * * * *

Crime

 

green for dangerI’m planning to read one of the ‘oldest’ books on my TBR every month this year, and this is the one that has been languishing there longest – three years now! (Though there are several that have been sitting unread on my Kindle for even longer than that.) So better read it before the pages star to biodegrade…

The Blurb says Set in a military hospital during the blitz, this novel is one of Brand’s most intricately plotted detection puzzles, executed with her characteristic cleverness and gusto. When a patient dies under the anesthetic and later the presiding nurse is murdered, Inspector Cockrill finds himself with six suspects–three doctors and three nurses–and not a discernible motive among them.

I’m hoping it was the blurb writer’s idea to spell ‘anaesthetic’ ‘anesthetic’ and not Brand’s…

* * * * *

 

murder at the manorCourtesy of Poisoned Pen Press via NetGalley comes another of the British Library collections of classic crime edited by Martin Edwards. I’ve already been dipping into this one, as you’ll know if you read this week’s Tuesday Terror! post…

The Blurb saysThe English country house is an iconic setting for some of the greatest British crime fiction. This new collection gathers together stories written over a span of about 65 years, during which British society, and life in country houses, was transformed out of all recognition. It includes fascinating and unfamiliar twists on the classic closed circle plot, in which the assorted guests at a country house party become suspects when a crime is committed. In the more sinister tales featured here, a gloomy mansion set in lonely grounds offers an eerie backdrop for dark deeds. Many distinguished writers are represented in this collection, including such great names of the genre as Anthony Berkeley, Nicholas Blake and G.K. Chesterton. Martin Edwards has also unearthed hidden gems and forgotten masterpieces: among them are a fine send-up of the country house murder; a suspenseful tale by the unaccountably neglected Ethel Lina White; and a story by the little-known Scottish writer J.J. Bell.” 

* * * * *

4 great covers this week, too, aren’t they?

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads.

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

* * * * *

63 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 71…

    • I love his writing – I just don’t always love what he writes about or how he writes about it. But I still open each new one hopefully and sometimes the hope is fulfilled…

    • Oh dear! I’m hoping I get on well with Beloved – when I was listening to it I felt I was enjoying the writing but it was being destroyed by the narration. But Murder at the Manor should be much less depressing – there’s nothing like multiple murder to cheer a girl up! 😉

  1. Now Beloved was Beloved by me (printed, you know I don’t do audio) when I read it back-in-the-day, and, funnily enough, I was thinking time was overdue for a re-read, it was always one which I thought might get revisited. I hope it is still on my shelves, and didn’t suffer in one of the necessary ‘out of space AGAIN culls

    Barnes, we possibly have a similar response to. The only Barnes I truly adored was Arthur and George, Other Barnes’ got started and at some point interest waned. So, your TBR this week is a 1 1/2 out of 4 from me. Who knows, depending on how you find that Barnes, I might go to a 2

    Now, given your comments, I imagine a massed grouping of Blurb writers (Blurbers, now, forever) are nervously quaking under the assault of your beady-eyed pen. I hope mangled metaphors from fellow bloggers don’t get as easily tsskkd.

    • Well, I’m seriously hoping the printed version works better for me than the audio – a prime example of why authors are not necessarily the best person to narrate their own books! I felt like I was enjoying the writing beneath the narration though, so I’m sorta semi-hopeful…

      Yes, Arthur and George was my favourite too – in fact I think it was my introduction to him. And I’ve still not read a good few, I think, but have read most of his more recent ones. He’s been going through a phase of (self-indulgent, IMO) death-related themes recently, which haven’t worked for me, but this one sounds more like a ‘proper’ novel – fingers crossed!

      Haha! The blurbs do drive me mad – I cut and paste for speed and then find myself editing them! I usually just correct the things that annoy me, but I couldn’t be bothered this week… 😉

  2. Well, I am most happy for you, FictionFan! You are doing quite well with that TBR reduction campaign! As to your upcoming reads….. I found Beloved a powerful read. I hope you’ll enjoy it. I think Morrison writes so very well. And Green For Danger is such an interesting mystery. Not everyone thinks it’s Brand’s best, but it’s a good little story in my view. And as to the third? Anything edited by Martin Edwards is more than well worth the read.

    • I’ve stuck to my resoultions for two weeks now – that must be some kind of record! 😉 I felt as if I was enjoying the writing underneath the narration in Beloved, so I’m hopeful the print version will work better for me – it often does. And I’m looking forward to both these crime ones – the collections are always variable, of course, but there’re always enough goodies to make them enjoyable. And poor Green for Danger was feeling a bit neglected…

    • Yes, some of these GAN Quest novels seem to be specially designed to make you miserable – but it’s probably character building! Murder at the Manor should provide a cheerful distraction. I agree – I do!! 😉

  3. I’m glad you said it first . . . Toni Morrison, as brilliant as she is, is like a lullaby. Beloved put to me sleep every night. I think my attention span was just shot by the end of the day. I really ought to find a better time to re-read her . . . like maybe after a third cup of coffee. She’s worth it, I fear.

    • Oh dear, I was hoping the print copy might not have the same effect. I’m finding lots of books are having a soporific effect on me at the moment, and there’s a limit to how many naps can be fitted in to a day! Roll on spring…

  4. I thought Beloved was an extraordinary book when I read it but I didn’t think I would ever re-read it because it’s so traumatic! I quite like the sound of Murder At The Manor.

    • Yes, I had a feeling it might be one that would require a box of tissues and an extra supply of chocolate to get through! But Murder at the Manor should provide some light relief – murder always cheers me up… 😉

  5. I’ve only read Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye,” (but then I have this vague sense that I’ve also read “Sula” and “Song of Solomon” but don’t recall much about their plots). I know they’re all on my shelves (but still boxed). I have “Beloved” but haven’t pulled it off the shelf to put onto the pile, so it’s also languishing in a box. The Barnes book sounds interesting in a heady sort of way.

    • I’ve seen lots of good reviews of it around the crime fiction part of the blogosphere so I’m very hopeful! And I’ll need something to cheer me up after Beloved, I suspect… 😉

    • Yes, a good bunch this week – and I do like when the covers aren’t all the same bland thing. Especially crime, which seems to have got into a rut of similar looking covers at the moment…

  6. I’m late ’cause my internet was down all yesterday! *roars* I told you I hate comcast.

    So, Sweet Home. That’s rather cool. I think everyone likes Sweet Home Alabama. And lots of anesthetics, too. I’m not sure what the difference is betwixt them, but I feel such big words should be banned, you know. They make me look silly.

    I think we must need get some Dumas on your list…

    • You should smite them with your super powers! (You do have super powers, I assume… *suddenly worried*) I hate when the internet goes down – I get twitchy. I think I’m an addict…

      Oh, yes! I hadn’t made the connection. Now at least if the book is boring, I shall be able to listen to the music instead! See, if it had been a blurb in a Yankee book I’d have forgiven it for the bad spelling, but British books should use correct spelling at all times. You don’t need big words to look silly! *smiles sympathetically*

      Funny you should say that…

      • I need to! Ugh. Most frustrating. Well, not the most fancy of superpowers. Actually, I can’t think of any, the sudden. Yes, me too, I think…haha.

        *laughs* I was just ripped–shredded! I’ll have you know I’m quite a serious sort of person. *dignified face* Isn’t Yankee spelled with a y? I think it should be, the sudden.

        Oh! Why?

        • Hmm… the power of… befuddlement! You have that one, for sure!

          Ooh, I barely recognise you with your dignified face on! Scary… Well, it is spelled with a Y – or else it would be Ankee… *giggles*… which I quite like…

          I’ve forgotten.

          • I befuddle mostly everyone. It’s cause I’m so logical, see.

            I know! Isn’t it something? It’s quite mean looking. I like it. *laughs* That’s probably how it sounds when a Scottish person says it!

            Oh. That. Is. So. Mean. And to think of the ripio you wrote today, and you still do this!

            • *laughs* Is that the reason? I’d never have guessed, you know, you know…

              I’m not sure a nose beanie would add to your dignity, though… I hope you’re practising your accent in advance of Burns Night!

              But what if I ended up ripping Dumas? It’s quite possible…

            • Haha. Yes, that is the reason! My logic is definitely underrated.

              Well, that’s okay. I need one of those just because. It’s so cold here at the moment. *shivers* That’s tonight, isn’t it? Can’t believe I have Burns night memorized!

              Oh, that’s okay. I lovvvvvvvvvvvve your ripping reviews. Now, tell.

            • It is! We should start a publicity campaign for it…

              We had snow! For a day, then it went away, But the three giant deformed snowmen the kid next door built outside my window are still peering in… *shudders* I’m trying to think how to break this tactfully… but I can’t! No, it’s next Monday! *laughs* So you still have plenty of time to learn the Address to the Haggis…

              “Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
              Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!”

              Well… I might… sometime…

            • *sigh of relief* I could’ve sworn it was the 19th… Oh well, all good things. I’m sorta glad I don’t have it memorized. My memory is just so excellent, see. *laughs* I hate snowman. They get so ugly when everything melts. Go destroy them. Very white here. Lots more snow this weekend!!

              Puddin-race…is that a reference to MT’s book?

              Ooo. Okay, this is war, madam!

            • Yes, your memory is… legendary! *laughs and shudders* Someone has knocked their heads off and they look even scarier now! You should build an igloo – and then use it as a setting for a vid…

              Most certainly not! Though I wouldn’t mind throwing a haggis or two at Mr T…

              *takes up a defensive position behind the evil snowmen*

            • That’s the thing… what?! No more vids??? I shall get very growly if that’s the case…

              *raises quizzical eyebrow* Really? I think you may be mistaken, sir!

            • Hahaha. Well of course I can’t tell you, now can I? This is war, after all!!

              I’m only mistaken about puppies, and that happens every other day. I’m quite right, mind you.

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