TBR Thursday 90… and Half Year Round-Up

TBR Quarterly Report

At the New Year I added up the full extent of the horror of the TBR, including the bits I usually hide. So time for another count to see how I’m doing…

Total count June 16
Hmm… not doing too well on the target of taking fewer books for review, am I? However, regarding the overall total, in my defence I had to add roughly twenty books or so to the wishlist when I created my Classics Club list, so if it hadn’t been for that there would have been a significant decrease – and the Classics challenge runs over five years. All in all, the increase is not as devastating as I anticipated…


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The Around the World in 80 Books Challenge

Last check-in was at the end of April, so let’s see where I’ve been since then.


I witnessed a murder in Milan first of all in The Murdered Banker. Javier Marias took me to Madrid in A Heart So White – also to Havana in Cuba, but I’m only claiming one destination per book. Arthur C Clarke took me not just around the world but all the way to Saturn in 2001: A Space Odyssey. (What? Cheating? Not at all – if the political situation doesn’t improve soon, I assure you I’ll be on the next space ship out of here…) My next and most recent trip was one of the Main Journey destinations – off on the Orient Express with Graham Greene in Travels With My Aunt.

To see the full challenge, click here.

16 down, 64 to go!

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The Agatha Christie Blogathon

I’ll be taking part in this event in September and I’m hoping some of you might join in too. It’s being run jointly by Little Bits of Classics and Christina Wehner, both of whom blog mostly about movies. However, the idea of this blogathon is to encourage book and movie bloggers to get together by reviewing either books or film and TV adaptations, or by discussing some aspect of the Queen of Crime’s work. Pop on over to Christina’s blog to find out more – it will be a lot of fun!


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20 Books of Summer

Oh dear! I’m so far behind with this challenge it may be impossible to catch up! But I’ll try! And my choices aren’t working out too well – I’ve abandoned three to date, as many as in the whole of the rest of the year. Here’s my ‘progress’ so far…

Read and reviewed

Exposure by Helen Dunmore
The Widow by Fiona Barton

Abandoned – review to follow

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (polemic barely disguised as fiction)

Abandoned and replaced – no review

Vigil by Angela Slatter (nothing wrong with it from the little I read – just not my kind of thing)

replaced by The Visitor by Maeve Brennan

Barkskins by Annie Proulx (polemic barely disguised as fiction)

replaced by From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury

Currently reading

Citizen Kane by Harlan Lebo

Three Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell

The Visitor by Maeve Brennan

So, 17 books to read and review over the next two months – still do-able… so long as I don’t get distracted…

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And finally, a couple of books that are heading towards the top of the pile…

truly madly guiltyCourtesy of NetGalley. Loved Moriarty’s last book Little Lies and can’t wait to read this one!

The Blurb says: Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you’d think. For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again. But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them.

Which is how it all spirals out of control…

* * * * *

the girlsNetGalley again. One of the big releases this summer, and also one of my 20 Books.

The Blurb says: Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

* * * * *

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

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P.S. Next Tuesday, I will be hosting my first ever guest post, and I have to tell you it’s a major goodie! Not telling who, but here’s a hint… it’ll be a Tuesday ‘Tec post. I do hope you’ll pop in…

poirot gif 2

49 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 90… and Half Year Round-Up

  1. You do have some good books heading up to the top of your pile, FictionFan. And personally, I give you a lot of credit for being a part of the Classics Club. In my mind, that outweighs those bothersome additions to the TBR… Thanks for the update, and I’ll look forward to ‘meeting’ your guest blogger next week!


  2. Ah, interesting to hear your thoughts about Americanah. I did enjoy it, but yes, I agree it was quite a lot of polemic rather than fiction, especially her blogging interludes…


    • I didn’t hate it and under other circumstances would probably have finished it. But combined with all the political hoohah I just couldn’t force myself to go on reading a book that I wasn’t really enjoying. I am a little tired of all these fictions authors writing polemics at the moment, though – as a book of essays this would have grabbed me much more.


  3. Your wish list is truly frightening! I’ve been tempted to read The Girls due to all the hype and press, but a Manson thriller is so dark for summer and I hear crashing waves and Wimbledon calling . . .


    • Haha! I know! I wish I’d never started counting now… ignorance is bliss! Yeah, I’m a bit bored with The Girls and I haven’t started it yet – super-hype always has that effect on me. But from the reviews I’ve read, it’s not as much about the Manson killings as the blurb suggests – more about how girls might get into the situation where they could get involved in something like that. We’ll see…


  4. My head started hurting the moment I saw your “16 down, 64 to go” line. Go you!
    I’ll be interested in your review of Americanah. I probably would drop it too if it is like you said.
    Sadly neither of the NetGalley books grabbed me. But your reviews usually make me want to read the books you discuss.


    • Haha! Yeah, but it’s better than my Classics challenge – 0 down, 90 to go! Americanah was OK though I didn’t finish it – all this political nightmare has left me finding it really difficult to concentrate on reading, so I couldn’t be bothered struggling through something that wasn’t completely grabbing me. I think Truly Madly Guilty should be fun… we’ll see! 🙂


    • I stopped just past the halfway mark. To be fair, I didn’t totally dislike it – all this political stuff has induced a massive reading slump and Americanah became the victim. At another time I’d have finished it and probably rated it somewhere around 3 to 4. But because it wasn’t completely grabbing me I just couldn’t face another several hundred pages. Maybe some time in the future I’ll try again…


  5. Exhausted just looking at your TBR. Wimbledon, Davis Cup, Olympics – I don’t think I’ll be taking on any new books for a while. Although, a Christie blog? – Oh, Dearie, Dearie me………. 🙂


    • Haha! I know – I’m exhausted counting it! Fortunately, I’m not a huge Olympics fan so hopefully I should be reading a bit more after Wimbledon finishes. The Christie thing should be great fun!


  6. Haha no you’re not doing too well on the review copies. My 20 Books has gone abysmally as I have all review copies to read in July 😦 I think I’m going to fail!! I’m very intrigued about next Tuesday’s post too!


    • It’s horrendous! I had to give myself a stern talking to last night to stop myself requesting another three! I need a support group. Yes, my July is all review copies too but fortunately I stuck a lot of them in the 20 – but I’m so far behind now, it’ll be a miracle if I catch up. Aha! You will enjoy it, I’m certain! Did I not manage to talk you into the Agatha Christie blogathon?


  7. I quite like the sound of Truly Madly Guilty. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on Americanah,I’ve been wondering whether to read it. Wimbledon has slowed down my reading too … but I’m toying with joining the AC Blogathon. I’ve read all her full length crime fiction, but still have lots of short stories to read and it’s not until September.


    • I loved her last book so I’ve got really high hopes for Truly Madly. I probably wouldn’t have abandoned Americanah if I wasn’t in such a huge reading slump at the moment, but it did feel as if she’d made her point several times already and nothing much else seemed to be happening in it. Ooh, I hope you do join in with the AC one – the last blogathon I did of Christina’s was a lot of fun – intriguing to read the movie buffs’ takes on the various film adaptations, and hopefully more bookish people will join in too.


  8. Traveling to Saturn sounds rather lovely, actually…even if it is with a computer named Hal, He’s got to be better than any politicians, at least. 🙂

    Thanks so much for the shout-out about the Agatha Christie Blogathon!!


    • Haha! Even when he’d gone mad, he was still better than the politicians! And at least he had an off switch… 😉

      My pleasure – looking forward to it, and I hope a few more bookish people might join in!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, I’m behind … again. I’m sorry I’m late to the party … again. So much is swirling around me right now that I’m amazed I even remember my own name! Have I told you lately how proud I am to know you? To know somebody who’s able to juggle as much as you do … and so effortlessly? Well, consider yourself complimented!!


    • Haha! Thank you very much, but I feel I don’t deserve it! I’m much, much better at making lists than I am at sticking to them… but I find cutting down on housework and other such chores helps a lot… 😉 Hope things settle down a bit for you soon…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I am behind on my 10 Books of Summer too…I don’t know where the time is going! I wish you all the best with your challenges, events and goals for the rest of the year, but more importantly happy reading 🙂


    • It’s much harder to stick to than it seems as if it will be, isn’t it? I always know the tennis will throw me off in June but this year I’m so far behind I doubt I’ll be able to catch up. But you’re right – so long as we enjoy it, who cares whether we meet the target! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m reading more books with non-crime drama lately, and that means the Moriarty appeals to me too. On another note, actually counting your TBR is brave. I keep plugging away at my huge TBR, and I purge the shelves occasionally too. I am, however, not inclined to count as I’m purging. Once I finish building a Little Free Library (long-term plan), purging will be much easier: a trip to the front yard is much easier than schlepping my books elsewhere.


    • Yes, I like that Moriarty always seems to come with a fresh approach rather than just doing the same thing as everyone else. Hope it’s as good as her last one! The thing about my TBR is that it’s mainly on the Kindle, which somehow makes it more difficult to purge – I don’t mind giving unread books away but somehow deleting them completely seems more brutal! The Little Free Library sounds great, and definitely easier! Unfortuantely I live at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, so it’s rare for anyone to walk past. I might ask the resident’s committee if they think a central one might be fun…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You always seem so determined and able to get on with your reading challenges! I’m sure that somehow you’ll finish all the books you’ve listed *and* be able to write about them. I’m in a big slump due to the state of the world as well, although I am trying to dig my way out of it. I will push to finish my 15 Books of Summer, although it’s not looking too good at the moment…


    • Haha! I always start out determined, but it doesn’t always guarantee success! It’s surprising how much we’ve all been affected by recent events – normally what’s going on in politics might get me fired up or angry, but this seems to have really shocked us all. However, hopefully things are beginning to settle down a bit now and we’ll be able to get back to the important things in life – books and chocolate! 😉


  13. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Americanah as anything I’ve heard has been mainly positive and I do enjoy hearing a differing view. I was sent a copy of The Girls by the publisher and am busting to read it but it’s not in the 20 Books pile. One good thing is The Visitor is really short!


    • It suffered by coinciding with my post-referendum reading slump – at another time I might have felt a little differently about it, ceratinaly I think I’d have finished it at least. Hopefull I’ll get around to writing the review now Wimbledon is about to finish – c’mon Andy! Ha! Yes the shortness was one of the major reasons it snuck in – I loved it! A great little novella, really shows that these 700 page monsters are usually full of unnecessary padding…

      Liked by 1 person

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