TBR Thursday 99…

Episode 99…

The TBR has leapt up this week by 3 to 181. I’m in one of my periodic reading slumps but oddly not in a simultaneous acquiring books slump! But if only I can manage to get through Moby-Dick and Louis XVI, it’s bound to start falling dramatically…

Should I ever get to the stage of being ready to start another book, here are some that are languishing on the list…


the-long-long-life-of-treesCourtesy of Yale University Press via NetGalley. Having watched way too much politics this year, I feel a need to be inspired by nature…

The Blurb says: Since the beginnings of history trees have served humankind in countless useful ways, but our relationship with trees has many dimensions beyond mere practicality. Trees are so entwined with human experience that diverse species have inspired their own stories, myths, songs, poems, paintings, and spiritual meanings. Some have achieved status as religious, cultural, or national symbols.

In this beautifully illustrated volume Fiona Stafford offers intimate, detailed explorations of seventeen common trees, from ash and apple to pine, oak, cypress, and willow. The author also pays homage to particular trees, such as the fabled Ankerwyke Yew, under which Henry VIII courted Anne Boleyn, and the spectacular cherry trees of Washington, D.C., Stafford discusses practical uses of wood past and present, tree diseases and environmental threats, and trees’ potential contributions toward slowing global climate change. Brimming with unusual topics and intriguing facts, this book celebrates trees and their long, long lives as our inspiring and beloved natural companions.

* * * * *


black-widowCourtesy of Grove Atlantic via NetGalley. I had already requested this long before it won this year’s inaugural McIlvanney Prize at Bloody Scotland. It will be my introduction to Brookmyre…

The Blurb says:  Diana Jager is clever, strong and successful, a skilled surgeon and fierce campaigner via her blog about sexism. Yet it takes only hours for her life to crumble when her personal details are released on the internet as revenge for her writing.

Then she meets Peter. He’s kind, generous, and knows nothing about her past: the second chance she’s been waiting for. Within six months, they are married. Within six more, Peter is dead in a road accident, a nightmare end to their fairytale romance.

But Peter’s sister Lucy doesn’t believe in fairytales, and tasks maverick reporter Jack Parlabane with discovering the dark truth behind the woman the media is calling Black Widow…

* * * * *


the-dark-flood-risesCourtesy of Canongate via NetGalley. I should probably have read one of Margaret Drabble’s earlier novels as my introduction to her work, since late novels often work better for existing fans. However it sounds intriguing, so fingers crossed…

The Blurb says: Fran may be old but she’s not going without a fight. So she dyes her hair, enjoys every glass of red wine, drives around the country for her job with a housing charity and lives in an insalubrious tower block that her loved ones disapprove of. And as each of them – her pampered ex Claude, old friend Jo, flamboyant son Christopher and earnest daughter Poppet – seeks happiness in their own way, what will the last reckoning be? Will they be waving or drowning when the end comes?

By turns joyous and profound, darkly sardonic and moving, The Dark Flood Rises questions what makes a good life, and a good death. This triumphant, bravura novel takes in love, death, sun-drenched islands, poetry, Maria Callas, tidal waves, surprise endings – and new beginnings.

* * * * *


slaughterhouse-fiveConsidered one of the great classics of science fiction, but published too late to make it onto my Classics Club list. This has been sitting on my TBR for close on two years, so time it made its way to the top of the heap…

The Blurb says: Kurt Vonnegut’s absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut’s) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

Don’t let the ease of reading fool you – Vonnegut’s isn’t a conventional, or simple, novel. He writes, “There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick, and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters.”

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads.

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

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On another note, my favourite piece of spam for this week…

“WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for sex engineering jokes.”

Eh?!? Sometimes Google worries me… 😉

29 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 99…

  1. Ha! Finding it hard to get beyond that spam, FictionFan! I know what you mean about the TBR creeping up, too *rueful look at own tottering TBR.* As I look at what you’ve posted here, the Brookmyre does look good. I’ve enjoyed other things I’ve read by him (dark wit and a solid plot), and I hope you’ll enjoy meeting him, so to speak.

    • Haha! It’s a good one isn’t it? And actually comprehensible for a change… 😉 I’ve been meaning to try Brookmyre for ages, so I have high hopes. It’ll be interesting to see if it deserves its Bloody Scotland win over Douglas Skelton’s Open Wounds, which was my own pick of the ones I’ve read…

  2. Hah! Weirdest piece of spam ever! Slaughter House-Five was a trip to read. You have to start it with an open mind. My rational mind kept wanting to classify and break down certain parts, but after I gave up, I rather enjoyed it. The Long Long Life of Trees sounds very interesting! Hmmm… You know you’re not the ONLY one with a creeping TBR! You candy shop keeper! 😉

    • It’s good isn’t it? Who knew I’d written a post about that?

      Yeah, I’m not sure how I’ll get on with Slaughterhouse-Five – when I went to look for the blurb I realised I actually had no idea what it was about. But I shall give it a go and see how I get along. Haha! I go on the “misery loves company” principle when it comes to the TBR… 😉

    • Haha – isn’t it? I love some of the spam comments.

      Ooh, that one looks great! I hope this one is as good… I need a nice break from politics, both in real life and in books.

      Of course! 😉 He’s got a great reputation but some of his earlier books have looked a bit grim for me. This one sounds more my kind of thing…

  3. I’ll be interested to see how you get on with Slaughterhouse Five. It was one of those books that I am glad to have read, though I frankly admit I never really got a grip on what it was “about” ! Looking forward to the Brookmyre, but I’m not much of a Drabble fan.

    • I was surprised when I read the blurb – I don’t know what I thought it was about, but it wasn’t that! However it does sound intriguing, so I’ve got my fingers crossed. I don’t know Brookmyre to my shame, so hopefully this will be a good one to start with. And the same applies to Drabble – I’ve never read anything by her as far as I remember. But I briefly dipped into this one and rather like her writing style, so we’ll see…

  4. I love trees, and I love books with trees on the cover. It’s going on the list just because of this, but if you end up giving it a terrible review, I’ll take it off. 🙂

  5. I had lots of interesting and witty comments to make but then I read the spam and decided I just can’t beat that! 🙂 I have been wondering whether Black Widow can squeeze into a small gap on the TBR but now I know you have it I might just wait until your review! I’ve also wondered how when I’m reading less I seem to accumulate more, I think it is because of one of those theorems that no-one understands 😉

    • Haha! It’s great, isn’t it? I love the spam comments… sometimes! I’m looking forward to Black Widow – it seems to be getting great reviews, so hopefully I’ll be tempting you…

      Hahaha! Brilliant! Cleopatra’s Theorem! I’m going to blame that in future – I always knew it wasn’t my fault…

  6. All rather tempting this week – well, all except the spam comment. How come even your spam is so much more interesting than mine?! I had a bit of a Margaret Drabble moment, but I can’t recall reading that one. And Slaughterhouse 5 is just such a classic, we used to quote from it in our teens. And the remaining two sound worth giving a twirl… but no, I must remain strong, as I have such a huge pile accumulating quietly in the background.

    • Haha! I love that spam comment – it’s nearly as good as my previous favourite… “Your blog is great visually, I mean people wont be bored. But others who can see past the videos and the layout wont be so impressed together with your generic understanding of this topic.” Well, gee! Everyone’s a critic! 😉

      Strong? I think that’s against book-blog law! The Drabble is new – comes out in November I think. And will be my first, so fingers crossed. I don’t know quite how I missed Slaughterhouse-Five – it seems like one of those books I should have read back in the day…

  7. I’ve read Slaughterhouse-Five and the story stuck in my head (my definition of a classic) but am leaning towards The Dark Flood Rises, because I love aging characters who have strong wills.
    Spam is weird. The first spam I got nearly put me off blogging, until I realised the problem was with the spammer, not me.

    • That’s a good definition, and probably sums up why some books continue to sell forever whereas others disappear after the first rush. The Dark Flood Rises sounds excellent and I dipped into the first few pages and was quite taken by her style, so here’s hoping!

      Haha! Most of the spam is either incomprehensible or disgusting, but sometimes it’s very funny. I don’t really understand what they’re trying to achieve though… it’s so obvious usually that it’s spam…

  8. I’d pick the Drabble. I read one of hers years ago, I think it was called The Peppered Moth, and I remember nothing about it but that I enjoyed it very much. All the years later, I STILL INTEND to read another of her books someday! Ha!

    • Hahaha! I was looking at my list of authors I want to read more of the other day, and was horrified to find there’s about 120 on the list – authors, not books! So part of me is almost hoping I hate the Drabble… 😉

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