TBR Thursday 95…

Episode 95…

The TBR has gone up 4 to a new high of 184!! But the additions are all books that were on the wishlist so overall the situation remains stable. Oh, for goodness sake, at least try and look as if you believe me!

Here are a few that will be rising to the top of the pile soon…


murder incCourtesy of NetGalley, this one sounds like it might be fun. A perfect excuse to dig out old Cagney and Edward G Robinson films…

The Blurb says: Murder, Inc. and the Moral Life: Gangsters and Gangbusters in La Guardia’s New York focuses on the dramatic trials of a group of Brooklyn gangsters in 1940 and 1941. The media nicknamed the gangsters “Murder, Inc.,” and that nickname quickly became a kind of free-floating “meme,” linked at various times to criminals in general; to a record label; and even to a Bruce Springsteen song. The 1940-1941 trials inspired a wave of media coverage, several books and memoirs, and a sub-genre of the gangster film. The trials concluded with a notorious and unsolved murder mystery. Murder, Inc. narrates the life and times of the Brooklyn gang, and also relates their lives both to New York’s Roaring Twenties and Depression era gangs and to the wider “gangster” culture expressed especially in the film. At the same time, Murder, Inc., is a moral reflection on the gangsters; the gangbusters, like Fiorello La Guardia and Thomas Dewey, who opposed them; and popular culture’s fascination with “gangsterism.” It is especially this combination of crime story and moral reflection that makes Murder, Inc. unique.

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moby dickWell, I’ve put it off for as long as possible… or have I? Will I find another excuse to stick it back to the bottom of the heap? It’s on both my GAN Quest list and my Classics Club list, so I have to read it sometime. I suppose. Can you tell I’m just thrilled at the thought…?

The Blurb says:  “It is the horrible texture of a fabric that should be woven of ships’ cables and hawsers. A Polar wind blows through it, and birds of prey hover over it.”

So Melville wrote of his masterpiece, one of the greatest works of imaginations in literary history. In part, Moby-Dick is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself. But more than just a novel of adventure, more than an encyclopaedia of whaling lore and legend, the book can be seen as part of its author’s lifelong meditation on America. Written with wonderfully redemptive humour, Moby-Dick is also a profound inquiry into character, faith, and the nature of perception.

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out of boundsCourtesy of NetGalley. I enjoyed McDermid’s last outing for DCI Karen Pirie, The Skeleton Road, especially since it’s good to see her setting a series in her native Scotland. So I have high hopes for this one…

The Blurb says: When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.

Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems.

An enthralling, twisty read, Out of Bounds reaffirms Val McDermid’s place as one of the most dependable professionals in the mystery and thriller business.

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thin airCourtesy of NetGalley – I suspect I may have an addiction problem. Michelle Paver’s Dark Matter was deliciously scary so I’m hoping she can do it again… it’ll soon be time to wake the fretful porpentine from hibernation for the spooky season…

The Blurb says: In 1935, young medic Stephen Pearce travels to India to join an expedition with his brother, Kits. The elite team of five will climb Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain and one of mountaineering’s biggest killers. No one has scaled it before, and they are, quite literally, following in the footsteps of one of the most famous mountain disasters of all time – the 1907 Lyell Expedition.

Five men lost their lives back then, overcome by the atrocious weather, misfortune and ‘mountain sickness’ at such high altitudes. Lyell became a classic British hero when he published his memoir, Bloody, But Unbowed, which regaled his heroism in the face of extreme odds. It is this book that will guide this new group to get to the very top.

As the team prepare for the epic climb, Pearce’s unease about the expedition deepens. The only other survivor of the 1907 expedition, Charles Tennant, warns him off. He hints of dark things ahead and tells Pearce that, while five men lost their lives on the mountain, only four were laid to rest…

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NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads or Amazon.

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

39 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 95…

  1. *Snicker* Of course I believe you about the TBR, FictionFan! *Polite cough to hide snicker* 😉

    Actually, you have some interesting finds here. The McDermid does look good,and I’ve heard some good things about Thin Air, too, so I’ll be keen to know what you think of it. As to Moby Dick? I wish you well with that…

    • *narrows eyes* I’m so glad you believe me! 😉

      I’m glad McDermid has this new series – she’s such a good writer, but I’m tired of the serial killer thing so have gone off the Tony Hill books. Oh good – I haven’t seen any reviews for Thin Air yet so I’m glad it’s being well received. Moby Dick… hmm! I’ve got such a thing about it now, it’s going to have to work hard to win me over…

    • I wish I’d read Moby-Dick years ago and then I wouldn’t have to do it now! 😉 Both the McDermid and the Paver should be good – I hope!

      Haha! I’m glad you believe me – that makes me feel better! 😉

  2. *suspicious eyes* *nods* *patronizingly nods* Of course I believe you, FF. Now Moby Dick I read so long ago, it could use a refresher, but I’m afraid I’ll fall asleep. And Thin Air will keep me up. Yes, my TBR is still safe. *scratches Tuppence behind the ear*

    • But…but…I wouldn’t lie! *crosses fingers behind back* Oh, I was kinda hoping you might read Moby for me – I wonder if there’s an abridged version… or would that be cheating?? *Tuppence magnanimously accepts scratching and turns head to have other ear done*

  3. I haven’t read any of these books or authors, however I am tempted to try something by Val McDermid. While all I can say about Moby Dick is good luck! From what I’ve heard, I don’t think I would be brave enough to get through it.

    • Val McDermid is usually very good, but I got tired of her serial killer series a while ago, so I’m glad to see her doing something different again. Haha! I’ve been putting off reading Moby-Dick for so long it’s become a bit of a standing joke now – I fully expect to hate it with every fibre of my being… 😉

  4. Woo-Hoo, finally you’ve listed one I’ve actually read! Moby Dick is one we read in high school. And yes, there are parts that are interesting, but oh my. Melville does go on and on about whaling and seafaring and such — waaay more than my high school self cared to know! — but as they say, It’s a classic. *snickers somewhat evilly* I think Out of Bounds might be more to my liking today (and it’s a good thing not “having” to read what a teacher orders, heehee!)

    • Hey! No evil snickering, or I’ll make you read it again! 😉 I suspect I’ll hate Moby-Dick – nothing about it appeals to me, but it’s been on the GAN list for evere so it must be done. Or at least attempted! Out of Bounds should be good – Val McDermid is a very good writer and I like this new series. DCI Pirie is a likeable character from what I remember of the last one…

  5. Do audio books count? Because Plymouth University did Moby Dick: The Big Read which I’m yet to listen to but looks amazing: Stephen Fry, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton etc all reading bits. So does David Cameron, but you can’t have everything 😉 It could even be…dare I say it… enjoyable?

    • Oh, now that’s a great idea! I doubt if I could listen to the whole thing – audiobooks do have a tendency to send me to sleep – but I might dip in and out when the actual reading gets too much for me (which might be quite often!). Thanks for that idea – suddenly I’m almost looking forward to the book now! 😀

  6. Well IF you can put Dark Matter out of your mind, you should enjoy Thin Air, I think. I don’t think it’s QUITE as stellar as that book – probably in part because there are far too many people around, what with sherpas and the like, so you don’t get quite the terror of isolation, PLUS you kind of know her tricks as a writer, but once I’d got over ‘it’s not Dark Matter, I settled in well for the high, cold haul. Probably a bit stupid to be reading it on the hottest day of the year, as well. I look forward on a different tack, to see if the big whale becomes a blubbery ripio, or if you can persuade me to embrace the beast…………

    • I’m glad you rate it – I was kinda worried that it might be too much like Dark Matter from the blurb. But it’ll probably be October before I get to it, so spooky season and dark nights should be well underway…. wooo-ooo-ooo!!

      Please, ma’am, couldn’t you please read Moby-Dick for me, please? Please?? I don’t want to *sobs* I just don’t want to… (The only thing is that it can’t possibly be worse than I’m anticipating!)

      • Well, as said, you WILL find Dark Matter nudges but once over these, you’ll be able to settle into appreciation I think. It will certainly be getting reviewed on my blog, easily getting 4 star. There is something which will have you feeling very anxious, I know, and how that resolves, well, I’m not going to spoil it……………………….HAVING read DM there will of course be fewer surprises, but the reader can rest comfortably within Paver’s craft

        PS Not a spoiler, but there are no whales in Thin Air. Which may act as a relief. But who knows, Maybe your experience with Moby will leave you thinking no half way decent book can aspire to a positive review WITHOUT a whale making an appearance

        • Fortunately my memory is so rubbish that so long as there’s a long enough break between books I can usually put up with a bit of regurgitation. Oooh… oh no, not an animal in peril?? I still haven’t really got over the huskies…

          I must admit that after a summer diet of fairly light new releases many of which have been less than awesome, I’m almost looking forward to getting my teeth into a bit of whale blubber. But I suspect that feeling might wear off quite quickly… Next up, though is The Kite Runner, so I shall get in extra tissues in preparation…

    • I’d like to stand on Moby-Dick too – while reaching for some good book from the top shelf! But maybe I’ll love it… maybe. Yes, I’m glad she’s got this new series – the serial killer thing has been done to death (no pun intended).

  7. Moby Dick is on my TBR list too – and has been for years, maybe I’ll get round to it one day! I loved Dark Matter, so Thin Air is going on the list too.

    I still haven’t read any of Val McDermid’s books, apart from Cleanskin, one of the Quick Reads series aimed at “adults who’ve stopped reading or find reading tough, and for regular readers who want a short, fast read”, which included some graphic descriptions of gruesome methods of killing and torture – which put me off reading any more of her books. Maybe Out of Bounds, or The Skeleton Road would be the book to start with?

    • Haha! I bet Moby-Dick is languishing unread on nearly as many TBRs as Ulysses! Thin Air sounds good – I’ve seen acouple of reviews of it now, both praising it.

      Yes, she really got into the graphic stiff when serial killers were all the rage, but this new series seems to be coming away from that a bit – police procedurals with an added look at “issues” I think. And her earlier series were good too without being too graphic. I think you’d probaby quite enjoy either the new one or her older Lindsay Gordon or Kate Brannigan series. The Tony Hill ones are particularly gruesome though.

  8. I haven’t read Dark Matter, but really enjoyed Thin Air – suitably creepy without ever being silly (I sometimes dislike ghost stories for that reason). And Moby Dick – well, I remember skipping bits here and there, but overall liking it rather. Bit of a commitment though.

    • I think there might be some similarities between them but it’s long enough since I read Dark Matter for me to have forgotten most of it except that I found it beautifully spine-tingling and nicely balanced between supernatural and psychological. Moby Dick – hmm – well, I might be pleasantly surprised… 😉

  9. Sorry, I screwed up my eyes really tight but still couldn’t muster the faintest scrap of belief, I did however manage a huge belly laugh!! I have Skeleton Road, love the sound of Murders Inc, and I’m quite content to let you read the scary stuff because I love it when the porcupine wakes up for the spooky season!

    • *politely blows raspberry* It’s true! True, I tell you!! Well, nearly true, anyway!

      I’m hoping Murders Inc is as good as it looks – it’s quite short which is always a bonus with factuals! I miss the porpy – this should be a good one to get his spines tingling nicely for the spooky season!

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