TBR Thursday 94…

Episode 94…

Oh, dear! The TBR has leapt up 4 to 180 this week! How did that happen?? A couple of NetGalley publishers did a clear-out, I think, and I suddenly got approved for two books I “wished” for ages ago, before I became the Mistress of Willpower you all know I now am. Then Amazon reduced the price of a couple that were in my wishlist, so they almost don’t really count, right? So, as you can tell, I am entirely innocent in the matter!

Still, here are a few that will be dropping off the TBR soonish…


henry VCourtesy of the wonderful Yale University Press, who are doing everything they can to fill the many, many gaps in my knowledge of history. Once more unto the breach, dear friends…

The Blurb says: Shakespeare’s centuries-old portrayal of Henry V established the king’s reputation as a warmongering monarch, a perception that has persisted ever since. But in this exciting, thoroughly researched volume a different view of Henry emerges: a multidimensional ruler of great piety, a hands-on governor who introduced a radically new conception of England’s European role in secular and ecclesiastical affairs, a composer of music, an art patron, and a dutiful king who fully appreciated his obligations toward those he ruled.

Historian Malcolm Vale draws on extensive primary archival evidence that includes many documents annotated or endorsed in Henry’s own hand. Focusing on a series of themes—the interaction between king and church, the rise of the English language as a medium of government and politics, the role of ceremony in Henry’s kingship, and more—Vale revises understandings of Henry V and his conduct of the everyday affairs of England, Normandy, and the kingdom of France.

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the schooldays of jesusCourtesy of NetGalley. I was really quite underwhelmed by Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus, describing it as a hollow egg, with a thick shell of heavy symbolism but containing little profundity. But oddly, I couldn’t resist this new one – a follow-up. Perhaps it will fill in some of the blanks left by the last one. Perhaps. We’ll see…

The Blurb says: When you travel across the ocean on a boat, all your memories are washed away and you start a completely new life. That is how it is. There is no before. There is no history. The boat docks at the harbour and we climb down the gangplank and we are plunged into the here and now. Time begins.

Davíd is the small boy who is always asking questions. Simón and Inés take care of him in their new town Estrella. He is learning the language; he has begun to make friends. He has the big dog Bolívar to watch over him. But he’ll be seven soon and he should be at school. And so, Davíd is enrolled in the Academy of Dance. It’s here, in his new golden dancing slippers, that he learns how to call down the numbers from the sky. But it’s here too that he will make troubling discoveries about what grown-ups are capable of.

In this mesmerising allegorical tale, Coetzee deftly grapples with the big questions of growing up, of what it means to be a parent, the constant battle between intellect and emotion, and how we choose to live our lives.

* * * * *


the methods of sergeant cluffCourtesy of the British Library via MidasPR. I loved the recent reissue of Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm, so am delighted to have got my hands on this one. A more modern crime classic than many of the BL series, set in Yorkshire in the ’60s, the book is again introduced by the criminally expert Martin Edwards… 

The Blurb says: It is a wet and windy night in the town of Gunnarshaw, on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. The body of young Jane Trundle, assistant in the chemist’s shop, is discovered lying face down on the cobblestones. Sergeant Caleb Cluff is not a man of many words, and neither does he play by the rules. He may exasperate his superiors, but he has the loyal support of his constable and he is the only CID man in the division. The case is his. Life in Gunnarshaw is tough, with its people caught up in a rigid network of social conventions. But as Cluff’s investigation deepens, Gunnarshaw’s veneer of hard-working respectability starts to crumble. Sparse, tense, and moodily evoking the unforgiving landscape, this classic crime novel keeps the reader guessing to the end.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads.

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

Other news…

Exciting news about forthcoming books from bloggie friends! How am I ever supposed to get control of my TBR when I’m subjected to constant temptation???

First Lady of the KeysDue out 1st September 2016, from Lucy Brazier, better known as PorterGirl. This is a revised version of her earlier book, Secret Diary of PorterGirl. Lucy says…

“First Lady Of The Keys is a reworking of my debut novel, Secret Diary Of PorterGirl – so if you bought that one, you will probably feel a bit hard done by if you fork out for this one too. There are significant changes, however, and new characters (including a love interest for Deputy Head Porter) as this has been re-written to be the first in a series dedicated to the adventures of Old College. We even find out Deputy Head Porter’s actual name. Apparently characters have to have names. Pah.”

I did fork out for the first one, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I’m looking forward to seeing how the book has changed anyway. A love interest?!? Cor! Whatever will the Dean say??

The Blurb says: As one of the most ancient and esteemed establishments of the academic elite, Old College is in for something of a shock when it appoints its very first female Deputy Head Porter. She struggles to get to grips with this eccentric world, far removed from everyday life. PorterGirl, the proverbial square peg in the round hole, begins to wonder quite what she is doing here.

PorterGirl – First Lady Of The Keys is a touching, and at times laugh-out-loud funny, glimpse into a world that is usually reserved for the upper echelons of society. Whether she is chasing after naked students, drinking copious amounts of tea or getting embroiled in quaint, polite murders, Deputy Head Porter is never far from adventure.

* * * * *

past tenseDue out 1st November 2016, from Margot Kinberg, who blogs at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist. This is the third novel in Margot’s Joel Williams series, but excitingly the first to be published on Kindle, making it much easier to get hold of for those of us on this side of the pond. A paper version will be available too, of course, for those who prefer it.

With its academic setting, and I’ve been promised that Joel Williams is neither an alcoholic nor an angst-ridden maverick with swearing issues, I’m very much looking forward to this one!

The Blurb says: A long-buried set of remains…a decades-old mystery

Past and present meet on the quiet campus of Tilton University when construction workers unearth a set of unidentified bones. For former police detective-turned-professor Joel Williams, it’s a typical Final Exams week – until a set of bones is discovered on a construction site. When the remains are linked to a missing person case from 1974, Williams and the Tilton, Pennsylvania police go back to the past. And they uncover some truths that have been kept hidden for a long time…

How much do people really need to know?

It’s 1974, and twenty-year-old Bryan Roades is swept up in the excitement of the decade. He’s a reporter for the Tilton University newspaper, The Real Story, and is determined to have a career as an investigative journalist, just like his idols, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He plans to start with an exposé article about life on the campus of Tilton University. But does everything need to be exposed? And what are the consequences for people whose lives could be turned upside down if their stories are printed?  As it turns out, Bryan’s ambition carries a very high price. And someone is determined not to let the truth out.

* * * * *

Now, if you could all please stop writing books for a while, my TBR and I would be most grateful!


43 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 94…

  1. Thank you so much, FictionFan! It’s very kind of you. And yes, I do promise that Joel Williams is not beset by personal demons, nor does he spend all of his time sozzled. As to your other choices, it’s wonderful to see that Lucy’s book’s being re-issued, and that Sergeant Cuff mystery looks tempting… *looks deliberately away from tottering TBR*


    • My pleasure, Margot – looking forward to reading it! 🙂 Yes, it’ll be fun to see how Lucy’s book has changed now she’s “under the influence” of publishers. And the Cluff book should be great, if it’s anything like the previous one…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 180! Haha. It was SO in the 160’s last time I was about… That’s quite a climb. *tries not to laugh*

    And you have to read Ben-Hur, of course, because BUS and I said so. And! I forgot. We have a book to read, don’t we? Aha.

    Cor. That’s a prince’s name.


    • So mean to laugh! Just shows how long you deserted me for! You have however reappeared in my list of Top Commenters but you’ll need to do some work to reclaim the top spot…

      Ben-Hur?! That’s just cruel! You like to watch me suffer, don’t you? Haha! Yes, we do! If I was kind, I’d let you off since you’re so busy… *considers whether she’s feeling kind*

      But is there a prince called Blimey?


      • My life is like spiraling into nothingness. I shall die this coming week. #help I will be riding the T to Pittsburgh, so that’s kinda cool, I suppose. Haha…who is top?

        Did we pick out a book…no! Wait, it was my choice, wasn’t it?

        I’m not sure. That sorta sounds like a frog’s name, you know.


        • Oh, don’t die! Just remember the first week is always the worst. You’ll love it! The T? Tram? Train? Transwarp drive? Oh, it varies – whoever hasn’t worked out how boring I am yet. *shrugs*

          It was! But I don’t think you really have time for it. Some time when you’re less busy, perhaps.

          It does! The next time I’m introduced to a frog, that’s what I shall call it!


  3. Oh dear! Your TBR pile is going in reverse again. But you’re right. Those Amazon books don’t count, since they were on your wish list and are now cheaper. Besides, you’re helping to support a business. We all have to help Amazon whenever we can. 🙂 It keeps them encouraged.
    Congrats to Margot and PorterGirl!
    Henry V and The Methods of Sergeant Cluff tempt me. 🙂


    • I know! I was doing so well too! This is so true – sometimes I feel I’m keeping them afloat single-handledly. If they ever get these drones working, my house will become a hazard to air traffic! 😉

      Good choices – they should both be excellent, I hope. And Margot’s and PorterGirl’s are keenly awaited – even if that means my TBR will go up again…


      • I do that – check my Wish List intermittently to see if any books have gone down in price – if so, it’s usually by 27p or something similarly pathetic (they never mention when they’ve gone up!) My vote’s for Past Tense.


        • Does it make me look a bit obsessive if I admit I check nearly every day? It’s amazing how often a book gets reduced to 99p just for a day – or sometimes an author’s entire back catalogue, like when we both picked up those Douglas Skelton’s. It’s a killer for the TBR, but brilliant for keeping the spending under control! And I do limit it to books that were already on my wishlist – usually. 😉 Past Tense looks good… 🙂


          • I’m looking forward to reading a book of Margot’s. And, yes, I’ve learnt to not be impatient with books; nearly everything goes down to a smallish amount eventually. Meantime, it’s not as if we don’t have anything to read! I was looking at my bank statement and the amount of “Amazon 0.99” or similar was utterly ridiculous last month…I must resist more often!


            • Oh, I solved that problem ages ago – I stopped looking at my bank statements… 😉 Haha! I know – even when I’m buying them at 99p, I’m reminding myself I have over a year’s worth of books lying unread already. It’s an addiction, definitely…


    • Haha! That’s my problem too as I wander around the blogosphere – too many irresistible books! This does look like a particularly good bunch this week, though… 🙂


  4. You’re so generous to mention your friends who have books coming out, FF. What a nice thing to do! And it doesn’t hurt that both of these selections sound so GOOD! As for which of your TBR options is most tempting, I’m going with Sergeant Cluff. I find it hard to turn down a good mystery!


  5. I promise not to write a book – I’m FAR to busy with the out of control pile waiting to be read. We won’t go into the fact I lack the creative spark not to mention skill, in the book writing direction, I’ll just blame all those marvellous writers out there who clamour to be read, so stopping me from penning a masterpiece of my own. Oh well, if we ALL wrote maybe we wouldn’t have time to read….


    • I think that’s a brilliant excuse, and may adopt it for myself. Though I am toying with writing my masterpiece soon – a slim volume on the perils of book addiction with a twelve-point plan for recovery. But first I need to think of what those points could possibly be…

      I await your magnus opus, where the protagonist solves mysteries by judicious use of aromatic oils and tempts murderers to their doom by offering them home-made ginger cake…


  6. You can tell I’ve been away, as this is the first I’ve heard of Margot’s book – so relieved it will be an ebook and therefore easier for us to get hold of it on this side of the Atlantic! Sounds like you are a victim in all of this, I’m convinced. All these books jumping out at us…


    • Hello there! I’m glad you appreciate my innocence – I’m sure some people think I just have no willpower… 😉 Hope all the books survived the move safely… oh, and you and the family, of course!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I like the sound of the history of Henry V 🙂 I have also fallen off the wagon when it comes to new books – I have already done two new books posts this month…and then bought more books yesterday!


    • These Yale Monarch books are really good – a bit more academic in style than I usually prefer, maybe, but usually very well written. I’m looking forward to Henry V – I know almost nothing about him other than the Shakespeare version. Haha! It’s impossible to resist new books… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been reading galleys for most of the last three months now and I can’t wait to get onto some ‘old’ books for a change. While I love getting stuff from NetGalley, it’s a complete toss-up most of the time whether it will be good or bad – only the blurbs to go on. At least with published books you can get more of a feel for them from reviews.

      Liked by 1 person

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