TBR Thursday 87…

Episode 87…

Oh dear! The TBR dropped over the weekend and I was so thrilled. But then it all went horribly wrong again. End result – no change! Stuck on 169. Still, at least it didn’t go up, eh? And I’m sure it’s going to start going down any time now…

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

Factual

hospital sketchesI downloaded this to my Kindle in June 2011, so I’m thinking it might be time I should actually read it…

The Blurb says: Writing under a pseudonym, Alcott recounted the vicissitudes of her two-day journey from her home in Concord, Massachusetts, to Washington, D.C. A fiery baptism in the practice of nursing awaited her at Washington Hospital, were she arrived immediately after the slaughter of the Army of the Potomac at the battle of Fredericksburg. Alcott’s rapidly paced prose graphically depicts the facts of hospital life, deftly balancing pathos with gentle humor. A vivid and truthful portrait of an often overlooked aspect of the Civil War, this book remains among the most illuminating reports of the era’s medical practices as well as a moving testimonial to the war’s human cost.

* * * * *

Fiction

zero kCourtesy of NetGalley. This will be my introduction to Don DeLillo. I’m a little apprehensive since early reviews have been… well, let’s just say mixed…

The Blurb says: Jeffrey Lockhart’s father, Ross, is a billionaire in his sixties, with a younger wife, Artis Martineau, whose health is failing. Ross is the primary investor in a remote and secret compound where death is exquisitely controlled and bodies are preserved until a future time when biomedical advances and new technologies can return them to a life of transcendent promise. Jeff joins Ross and Artis at the compound to say “an uncertain farewell” to her as she surrenders her body.

Don DeLillo’s seductive, spectacularly observed and brilliant new novel weighs the darkness of the world—terrorism, floods, fires, famine, plague—against the beauty and humanity of everyday life; love, awe, “the intimate touch of earth and sun.”

* * * * *

Fantasy Crime

vigilNetGalley again. I fell in love with Angela Slatter’s writing when I came across her in the anthology Fearie Stories. I then went on to read her own excellent collection Sourdough and Other Stories. And she also wrote one of my favourite stories from the anthology Horrorology. This is her first full length novel – waaaaaay outside my comfort zone, but she’s so good… fingers crossed!

The Blurb says: Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds. The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength – and the ability to walk between us and the other – as a couple of her talents. As such a rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace between both races, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden from us.

But now Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale – and in the hands of those Weyrd who hold with the old ways – and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane. And Verity must investigate – or risk ancient forces carving our world apart.

* * * * *

Crime

blackoutCourtesy of the publisher, Orenda Books. The third book to be translated in my new favourite series, though who knows where it fits chronologically since the books are being translated out of order. The dream team of Ragnar Jónasson writing, Quentin Bates translating and Ari Thór Arason detecting… a summer highlight!

The Blurb says: On the shores of a tranquil fjord in Northern Iceland, a man is brutally beaten to death on a bright summer’s night. As the 24-hour light of the arctic summer is transformed into darkness by an ash cloud from a recent volcanic eruption, a young reporter leaves Reykajvik to investigate on her own, unaware that an innocent person’s life hangs in the balance. Ari Thór Arason and his colleagues on the tiny police force in Siglufjörður struggle with an increasingly perplexing case, while their own serious personal problems push them to the limit. What secrets does the dead man harbour, and what is the young reporter hiding? As silent, unspoken horrors from the past threaten them all, and the darkness deepens, it’s a race against time to find the killer before someone else dies…

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads. The first three are all from my 20 Books of Summer list.

* * * * *

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

 

63 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 87…

  1. Personally, FictionFan, I think you should take great pride in your ability to keep your TBR list from increasing. I say you should reward yourself just for that! As to your temptations of the week here, the Alcott looks really interesting. I’m familiar with her fiction, of course, but hadn’t read her non-fiction. That could be quite good. And the Jónasson, of course, looks great as well. You’ve some good reading in store, I think.

    • Haha! Thank you! Perhaps I should reward myself with a book-buying splurge… 😉 Somebody recommended the Alcott to me years ago as an interesting read, and it also has the benefit of being very short! And the Jónasson series has quickly become one of my favourites – here’s hoping this one is as good as the others… 🙂

  2. I like the sound of Black Out very much and you’ve reminded me that I have an Alcott on my kindle but I don’t think it’s the same one as yours – it has been on my kindle a similar amount of time though. Congratulations on the TBR count – I’m considering doing mine before I return home & while I don’t have access to NG 😏

    • This series about Ari Thor Arason is excellent – I’ve loved the two I’ve read. Kinda like Golden Age but brought totally up to date in police procedurals. Haha! These Kindle downloads are a killer, aren’t they? Especially all the free or dirt cheap classics. I wish I could resist! *gasps* That would be cheating! Anyway, there’s probably another 15 waiting for you when you get home…

  3. Hahaha! Can’t believe you’re going to read Vigil! That is soooooooooooooo outside of the thingies. But it looks sorta cool. Verity is an interesting name, I think.

    169. I think you need to cut around 69 books. You know, get it all even and whatnot

    • *laughs* I know! Can you imagine? It better be good or else… or else… or else I’ll make you read it!!

      I kinda wish I could. But what could I possibly cut? Maybe the book on American football…

        • There might be! The last story of hers I read was a bit of a gore-fest… she doesn’t hold back!

          (Nah, football is played with the feet – the clue is in the name. Only Americans play football with their hands. I dread to imagine what they use when they play handball…) I might just possibly have got myself trapped in a situation that may require the reading of a book on American football… *sobs*

          • Now that is something. I like action, you know. And adventure. I just saw the conjuring last night, tho, and that was horror.

            (But we do use our feet–to run! Handball. Now, I’ve never heard of that, see.) *laughing lots* Why would you do that? See, you’re really not great at controlling your TBR. Still, I’m glad you’re reading it.

            • Yes, I’ve gathered that! *laughs* Ooh, was it good?

              All will be revealed at some point… *sobs quietly* I knew my pain would please you…

            • Ooh, I must watch it sometime! Nuns are always creepy…

              I know all about tight ends – I watch the men’s tennis… *giggles wickedly and runs off*

            • If you watch it…let me know! I kinda want to see it again. I’ve got rewards at my theater now. Did I tell you that? *proud*

              I shouldn’t be shocked. *shakes head and throws a banana at FEF*

            • I will! I probably won’t see it till it comes out on DVD though. You have? That’ll be great for taking girls to the movies… *stands back and waits for explosion*

              *laughs* I like bananas…

            • Nooooooooooooo! If you can you must see in theater! So much better. *nods* *laughs* Yeah, no. I stay away from girls, see. For now.

              No way! I think I threw a banana at you somewhere else. I’ll have to change to kiwis.

            • Ohh, but… tennis! And politics! I can’t leave the TV till July!

              For now?!?!?!!!! *laughs* Bet you’re married by the time you’re… 88! And then there’ll be hordes of little wee Professor babes all waving their little warrior fists… *chuckles and tries not to say awwwwww!*

              Oh! Members of the New Zealand rugby squad??? Well, OK, then – I shall be ready to catch them… *flexes biceps*

            • Bah. Forget politics! I want to go to the theater again. Just cause I love it! Did I tell you how much I love it?

              Ugh! And ewwwwwwwwww! No. I’m already 88, remember. *nods*

              You might want to get a mitt first.

            • Well, take me with you then! Is it local or do you have to go to Pittsboig?

              *laughs* You’re ageing faster than… BUS!! But your little triplets will be so sweet! You should have some soon!! *runs off, giggling*

              Or two…

            • You’re lucky – we don’t have one here. I have to go to Glasgow – not that it’s far, but I’d love to have one locally.

              I utterly adore coconuts…

  4. Vigil, and Black Out both sound like my kind of thing. Slatter writes seriously good fantasy, and I liked Ari’s first outings.

  5. I am a BIG Don Delillo fan, so I look forward to hearing what you think. He’s a divisive writer. I’ve found his recent works hit or miss but there are always interesting ideas going on. Zero K is on my birthday list for sure (my birthday is in November 😀)

    • I think the premise sounds great and was disappointed to see the fairly low ratings it’s getting. But I’m hoping that being new to him I won’t be comparing it with his other stuff, so maybe it will work for me. Fingers crossed! I don’t know if it’s still available but I got it from NetGalley…

  6. Zero K is on my summer list and as much as I like DeLillo… I’m not excited to pick it up. I’ve read 4 books on my list so far and every time I reorganize the stack to pick a new book, Zero K slides a little further down. I’m thinking of reading it this weekend to get it out of the way.

    Hospital Sketches sounds good! I had no idea Alcott had written non-fiction. I liked her writing style in Little Women even though I thought the story was saccharine…

    • Zero K’s due to hit the top of my pile in July – I’m kinda still looking forward to it, and wish I hadn’t looked at the reviews. Well, actually I didn’t really – just at the ratings, so with luck whatever’s brining it down won’t be something that bothers me. I do still like the blurb though…

      I didn’t know either, till someone recommended this to me ages ago. Yes, I read Little Women as a child, so was fine with it, but I’m reluctant to re-read it now because I suspect it’ll be too sweet for me. It’s on the GAN list though, so one day…

  7. Vigil definitely does, especially since at first I misread the title as Virgil, thinking it had something to do with the poet. But the plot sounds like the book could either be really good or horrible.

    • Ha! Yes, that what I feel about the blurb too, but having loved her various short stories, I’m hoping it’ll end up on the good side! I don’t read much fantasy, so she’ll have to work quite hard to keep me onside…

  8. I read one Don DeLillo book, Americana, and had a hard time keeping a sense of setting. I did, however, have a friend in grad school who was obsessed with DeLillo and seemed to read and know everything about the writer. There must be something to it, I’m sure.

    • This will be my first, and I get the impression that some of the low ratings for it are from fans saying it’s different from his usual. Whether that’ll turn out to be a good or bad thing from my perspective, I shall have to wait and see…!

  9. I feel like a dolt but I didn’t even know Alcott had written Hospital Sketches. I’d read that one for sure. Sounds fascinating.

    Speaking of TBRs, I’ve been doing some TBR purging today – it was stressing me out, ha ha. I’m down to 575! 🙂

  10. I enjoy good fantasy and do like Angela Slatter, so this is one for me; I’m intrigued by the fantasy and crime mix. I’ll be interested to read how you find it. I’ve read and appreciated Snowblind and Nightblind is moving up my list, so I’m sure I’ll be ready for Black Out before long.

    • I started it but got sidetracked just a couple of chapters in by the political meltdown over here. I was enjoying it up to that point though, and hope to get back to it this week. I love Snowblind and actually thought Nightblind was even better – can’t wait for the next one to arrive… 🙂

      • Yes, we are amazed (disturbed) and trying to make sense of what’s happened from over here; it must be so much more disorienting to be in the midst of it.

        • It’s been horrible in truth. I don’t ever remember the country feeling so anxious, and so much hate being openly expressed – of ‘foreigners’, but also of each other. I can’t make sense of it myself, so I can understand why the rest of the world feels so baffled.

          • At certain moments in NZ political history, I’ve felt wonder and horror at how fellow citizens can denigrate other citizens for certain characteristics (for instance, when a former PM legitimised blaming ‘dole bludgers’). It really destroys community building, tolerance and a sense of safe harbour. This is deeply unsettling and ultimately destructive when people attempt to define nationhood by who doesn’t belong. I do hope the UK’s journey isn’t too painful and costly as the current situation is worked through.

            • A lot of it comes from the politicians. Over here, for years our politicians have blamed anything unpopular on the EU, so they should hardly be surprised that people don’t love it. And ‘immigrants’ have become a convenient way to explain all kinds of government failure, from lack of housing to underspending on healthcare. You’d think we’d remember the history of the last century in Europe and be a bit more careful about stirring up hatred towards one group or another. I expect (hope) things will settle a bit over time, but it’s deeply unpleasant and worrying here at the moment.

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