TBR Thursday 83…

Episode 83…


Ooh, the TBR has dropped 2 again this week – to 165! I knew it was the start of a trend! I shall be in single figures any time now, I’m convinced of it! So long as nothing unforeseen happens…

Here are some of the ones that are getting close to the top of the heap…


the wicked boyCourtesy of NetGalley, from the author of the brilliant The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (and the slightly less brilliant Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace)…

The Blurb says: In the summer of 1895, Robert Coombes (age 13) and his brother Nattie (age 12) were seen spending lavishly around the docklands of East London — for ten days in July, they ate out at coffee houses and took trips to the seaside and the theater. The boys told neighbours they had been left home alone while their mother visited family in Liverpool, but their aunt was suspicious. When eventually she forced the brothers to open the house to her, she found the badly decomposed body of their mother in a bedroom upstairs. Robert and Nattie were arrested for matricide and sent for trial at the Old Bailey.

At a time of great tumult and uncertainty, Robert Coombes’s case crystallised contemporary anxieties about the education of the working classes, the dangers of pulp fiction, and evolving theories of criminality, childhood, and insanity. With riveting detail and rich atmosphere, Kate Summerscale recreates this terrible crime and its aftermath, uncovering an extraordinary story of man’s capacity to overcome the past.

* * * * *



americanahNext up for the GAN Quest. I’m not expecting this to be The Great American Novel but I’m hoping it will be A Great American Novel. Can’t be worse than Absalom! Absalom!, right? 😉

The Blurb says: As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu—beautiful, self-assured—departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze—the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor—had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion—for their homeland and for each other—they will face the toughest decisions of their lives.

* * * * *



the other typistRecommended by the lovely Raven way back in 2013, it’s taken some time for this one to reach the top of the heap…

The Blurb says: New York City, 1924: the height of Prohibition and the whole city swims in bathtub gin. Rose Baker is an orphaned young woman working for her bread as a typist in a police precinct on the lower East Side. Every day Rose transcribes the confessions of the gangsters and murderers that pass through the precinct. While she may disapprove of the details, she prides herself on typing up the goriest of crimes without batting an eyelid.

But when the captivating Odalie begins work at the precinct Rose finds herself falling under the new typist’s spell. As do her bosses, the buttoned up Lieutenant Detective and the fatherly Sergeant. As the two girls’ friendship blossoms and they flit between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night, and their work at the precinct by day, it is not long before Rose’s fascination for her new colleague turns to obsession.

But just who is the real Odalie, and how far will Rose go to find out?

* * * * *


mrs hudson and the malabar roseAnd NetGalley again. Not exactly a Holmes pastiche, more a riff on a theme, I think. It’s had mixed reviews so far, so we’ll see…

The Blurb says: As snow falls on Baker Street, the wintry city is abuzz with rumour and excitement: the Malabar Rose – a fabled and frankly enormous ruby – has been sent as a gift to Her Majesty Queen Victoria by the Marharajah of Marjoudh. An extraordinary condition is attached to the gift, though: the gem must be displayed at London’s sumptuous Blenheim Hotel to be admired by all. How can the safety of this priceless jewel be assured? The authorities wisely enlist the help of Sherlock Holmes and his colleague Dr Watson… but fortunately for them, they are also on the receiving end of help from Holmes’s redoubtable housekeeper Mrs Hudson and her able assistant, Flotsam the housemaid.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads.

* * * * *

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


51 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 83…

  1. Well, I am most impressed, FictionFan! As to your choices for this week, I’ve been very much wanting to read The Wicked Boy, myself, and I’ll be interested in your thoughts on it. I’ve heard good things about it. I’ve also heard some wonderful things about Americanah, so I’m hoping you won’t be disappointed. Those are the two I would probably choose first.

    • So am I! But will it last? 😉 I’m really looking forward to The Wicked Boy – the story sounds fascinating and she did The Suspicions of Mr Whicher so well. And I’ve been meaning to read Americanah for ages – I saw Adichie being interviewed ages ago and she struck me as a highly intelligent, articulate and thoughtful woman, so I’m hoping that’s all reflected in the book…

  2. My vote goes to Americanah – although it’s by no means the Great American Novel (too many countries, plus slightly flawed), but it is a good book for all that, plenty of eye-opening moments about immigration.

    • I’m widening the GAN Quest out a bit to look for great novels rather than just GANs, mainly so I can include some of the more recent publications. I have high hopes of Americanah since she seems like a highly intelligent, articulate woman, so I’m glad to hear you recommend it!

    • Haha! I doubt the downward trend will last long – though I am really trying! But of course this is only the visible TBR – like an iceberg, the other 9/10ths are hidden… 😉

  3. The Wicked Boy! What a scare. There was some foreign movie that was sorta like it. I watched the trailer to it. I think it’s Goodnight Mommy–or something like that? Scared the toggogins off me. *shivers and dies* But Nattie is most definitely a girl’s name. *nods*

    The other typist sounds sorta scary, too. In a weird sort of way.

    • Ooh, that does look creepy! I’m so sorry about your toggogins – that must have been painful! Ah, but your theory is that all girls’ names come from boys’ names…

      Don’t know if The Other Typist will be scary – not sure what to expect of it at all. It’s so long since I added it to the list…

      • Doesn’t that look awful? I’d never watch it! Maybe… Well, quite right. That name came from Nathaniel, but it never quite made the transition, see. It’s sorta floating around somewhere in the middle.

        Your TBR is truly out of control.

        • *nods* Like Sandy. Or Bill.

          What?!? It’s going down! I removed Thuvia by the way… I guessed that a three month silence probably indicated a slight lack of enthusiasm…

          • Yeah…Sandy…that’s…well, that’s…a great name for a poodle…

            I told you to remind me!! I so forgot. But check this out, I actually got a gift thingy to Half-Priced Books…if you have those in the great land of Scotland. So, I should be getting to a bookstore soon. I’ll search for Thuvia, of course.

            • *impressed* Well remembered! I still think Bucephalus would have been better…

              *laughs* No! Don’t! Buy some book you actually want to read. The readalong suggestion was supposed to be fun, not a duty! A bad idea – forget it.

            • *laughs* Yes, sometimes!

              *laughs again* No, I don’t want to do it anymore. It was a bad idea, and I’m not going to force you into doing something you clearly didn’t want to do. Where would be the pleasure for either of us in that? I only mentioned it again so you’d know you were off the hook.

  4. Americanah sounds the most interesting to me. I did read The Other Typist a few years ago but it didn’t make it onto my blog. I remember my appreciation, high at first, began a decline. So I shall be interested to see how you fared.

    I’m more concerned by the diminishment of your TBR. Mine seems to be growing, so I suspect foul play and that somehow you are finding a way to hide the evidence of your TBR underneath other, innocent, unsuspecting other bloggers TBR piles. It’s just not cricket, I tell you. A clear case of Levering Books Worldwide. You have been spotted by the Umpire, I dressed in my whites most particularly in order to spot your LBW activities. You have been Caught!

    • I think The Wicked Boy is my pick of the week – if it’s as good as her first one. Yes, I saw your review somewhere when I was looking for the blurb – Goodreads maybe? It’s had pretty mixed reviews all round, but we’ll see…

      Goodness! Cricketing metaphors – how unexpected! I feel as if I’ve just been bowled a googly and have accidentally ended up in silly mid-off! Now you really shouldn’t accuse me of underhand behaviour – remember the boundaries! Or else the night watchman might get you…

  5. Americanah is great – it’s not the sort of book I usually choose to read, but I remember finding it fascinating. I have a copy of The Wicked Boy from Netgalley too and am looking forward to reading it. I loved The Suspicions of Mr Whicher but didn’t get very far with Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace, so I’m curious to see what this new one is like.

    • Oh, that’s good to hear! I saw Adichie being interviewed a while back and was really impressed by her, so I have high hopes for the book! Yes, I was the same with Summerscale – loved Mr Whicher and didn’t love the next one. The crime in this one sounds more interesting to me than Mrs Robinson’s story, so I’m hoping this’ll be back to that earlier standard – fingers crossed!

  6. The Other Typist tickles my fancy. That one about the boys…kind of creeps me out. And for some reason I’m not enamored of GAN. Otherwise, carry on. 😉 Also, you are not on FB but the other day I shaved my head to keep it from getting too messy when the Chemo takes the rest. 😉

    • Yes, it sounds good – speakeasys and suchlike are always fun! The Wicked Boy sounds weird indeed, but I’m hoping it’ll be interesting – she writes well and does her research. The GAN could go either way with me – I am a little tired of the whole ‘immigrant experience’ thing in fiction, but I suspect her writing will win me over.

      Oh, Susan, that must have been such a hard thing to do! You’re being so brave about the whole thing – well done, you! It will grow back once you’re better, and hopefully that’ll be sooner than it seems as if it will…

      • It was not as difficult as you might think. I was staring at it slowly leaving and I knew it was getting worse by the day. It is the only thing I have any control over at this point. And I am not brave. I do, however, have some amazing friends who are supporting me from various places in the world and who make me smile and sometimes giggle and tell me, “Atta girl” prn. You would hardly believe what a lift that is.

        • Well, we’ll just have to disagree on your bravery! 😉 I’m glad you’re getting plenty of support – I’m afraid as you know I don’t do Facebook, but am pleased the people you’re in touch with there are rallying round. 😀

          • *bows* I have other friends who don’t do FB. It can be a real time suck. I think I’ve shared with you that it is the only way I can stay in touch with my Portuguese friends. I finally got texting so I have family nailed. And some times it sucks me in. But I have quit playing games and other time sucks have been kicked to the wall.

            • I don’t text either! I fear one tends to lose friends by not being a willing Facebook ‘follower’ but I honestly feel that anyone who can’t even be bothered to send an occasional e-mail can’t have been much of a friend in the first place, sadly. And I’d much rather talk on the phone than text on it. Ah, well! I reckon I’m just not cut out for the modern world of followers rather than friends… but so it goes. At least a few of us still keep in what I think of as ‘proper’ touch… 🙂

  7. I’m most tempted by the Sherlock Holmes one, but then, I’m drawn to glittery things like rubies, ha! I don’t think I could read the mommy-killing story. That sounds just too creepy for words!

    • I like the sound of that one too – sounds like a different take on the whole Holmes thing! The Wicked Boy’s story does sound creepy, doesn’t it? But she usually writes more about the background – the investigation and the justice system and so on – so it probably won’t concentrate too much on the actual crime. Hoping it’ll be good! Her first book The Suspicions of Mr Whicher was about a young child being murdered, so also a horrific story, but the book was excellent…

    • Haha! We’re as bad as each other! I’m trying to read one of the most ancient ones on the TBR at least every month. Don’t know why some kind of get lost by the wayside…

  8. Surely, Americanah will be good – I’ve heard so many people rave about it. I’ve been curious about The Other Typist since it came out, but just never read it. But The Wicked Boy has the best title!

    • Yes, I’ve got high hopes for Americanah – she seems like such an intelligent, articulate woman. I don’t know why The Other Typist got stuck on my TBR – sometimes books just seem to end up on the sidelines, poor little things! I like that speakeasy era, so hopefully it’ll be good. And The Wicked Boy will be great if it’s anything like her first one, Mr Whicher… So many books!!

    • Oh, that’s good to know! It was a toss-up between this one of Half a Yellow Sun but this one seemed more in tune with my on-going quest to find Great American Novels. Looking forward to it!

    • Summerscale is a very factual writer, so she probably won’t over-emotionalise the story, but it does sound like a particularly horrible crime. I have high hopes for Americanah – loads of good reviews for it, and she seems like a highly intelligent woman…

  9. I’ve heard good things about Americanah, but I haven’t yet read it.
    The Mrs. Hudson book could either be really entertaining, or horribly cheesy. I’m hoping you’ll read it and let us know. 🙂

    • I’m really looking forward to Americanah – nearly every review I’ve seen of it has been positive.

      Ha! Yes, that’s how I feel about it too. I’ll either love it or end up throwing it at the wall, I expect. BigSister seems to like the series, but we often have wildly different tastes…

  10. Americanah is absolutely brilliant. And I’ll be looking out for your review of the typist one as I’m a transcriber myself, but I don’t do gory details and I don’t want to be reading about them, either …

    • Oh, good! I’ve heard so many good things about it and Adichie’s other books – really looking forward to it! Ha, I’m kinda hoping the book doesn’t have too many of the gory details in it myself…

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