TBR Thursday 107…

Episode 107…

I fear the TBR has reached its highest ever level – up a horrendous 9 to 194! This is mainly because I added several books for my Reading the Russian Revolution Challenge though, plus I picked up a few books that were on my wishlist in Amazon’s various Kindle sales.

Tragically, I also noticed recently that the number of audiobooks I’ve acquired over the years and then not listened to has grown to alarming numbers, and they’re not included in the TBR at all… I haven’t done a final count of them yet, but, inspired by the fact that I just acquired a spiffy new set of bluetooth headphones, I will be making an effort to get back into the habit of listening more regularly. A lot of the audiobooks I’ve picked up are re-reads, acquired as much for the narrator as the book itself – for example, the Joan Hickson readings of the Miss Marple stories, and lots of Jonathan Cecil reading PG Wodehouse. Then I’ve also picked up the audio version of some books that I’ll be reading so that I can swap between versions – I’m currently listening to Our Mutual Friend as well as reading it, and I downloaded Simon Callow’s reading of Animal Farm to go along with the book.

So without further ado, here are a few that are rising to the top of the pile…


a-dangerous-crossingCourtesy of Amazon Vine. When I heard that our very own Cleo won a charity auction to have her name included as a cameo role in this book, I simply had to snap up a copy. And then to start reading it instead of all the books that I had already scheduled…

The Blurb says: 1939: Europe is on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd, a servant girl, boards an ocean liner for Australia. She is on her way to a new life, leaving behind the shadows in her past. For a humble girl, the passage proves magical – a band, cocktails, fancy dress balls. A time when she is beholden to no one. The exotic locations along the way – Naples, Cairo, Ceylon – allow her to see places she’d only ever dreamed of, and to make friends with people higher up the social scale who would ordinarily never give her the time of day. She even allows herself to hope that a man who she couldn’t possibly have a future with outside the cocoon of the ship might return her feelings.

But Lily soon realises that her new-found friends are also escaping secrets in their past. As the ship’s glamour fades, the stage is set for something awful to happen. By the time the ship docks, two of Lily’s fellow passengers are dead, war has been declared and Lily’s life will be irrevocably changed.

* * * * *


titians-boatmanCourtesy of Black & White Publishing. I thoroughly enjoyed Victoria Blake’s true crime book, Mrs Maybrick, so am keen to try her fiction. Her new book will be published later this month…

The Blurb says:  It is 1576 and Venice is in chaos, ravaged by disease and overrun by crime.In the midst of the anarchy we find those brave souls who have chosen not to flee the city. Titian, most celebrated of Venetian painters, his health failing badly; Sabastiano, a gondolier who is the eyes and ears of the corrupted and crumbling city and Tullia, the most famous courtesan of the age who must fight to retain her status as well as her worldly possessions. And in the present day the echoes of what happened centuries earlier still ripple as the lives of ordinary people as far distant as London and New York are touched by the legacy of old Venice…

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the-abc-murdersAmidst my Audible backlog are several of Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels narrated by the lovely Hugh Fraser, better known to Christie fans, perhaps, as Captain Hastings. I’ve already started this one and he’s doing a great job…

The Blurb says: There’s a serial killer on the loose, bent on working his way through the alphabet. And as a macabre calling card he leaves beside each victim’s corpse the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place. Having begun with Andover, Bexhill and then Churston, there seems little chance of the murderer being caught – until he makes the crucial and vain mistake of challenging Hercule Poirot to frustrate his plans.

* * * * *


live-by-nightCourtesy of Audible. Every month I am offered some Audible releases to review and have been refusing them for ages, but of course now I know I have a huge backlog I can’t resist adding to it. I’ve only read one Dennis Lehane before but loved it, so this one appeals. It’s being re-launched by Audible to tie in with the movie release this month…

The Blurb says: Joe Coughlin is 19 when he meets Emma Gould. A small-time thief in 1920s Boston, he is told to cuff her while his accomplices raid the casino she works for. But Joe falls in love with Emma – and his life changes forever.

That meeting is the beginning of Joe’s journey to becoming one of the nation’s most feared and respected gangsters. It is a journey beset by violence, double-crossing, drama, and pain. And it is a journey into the soul of prohibition-era America….

A powerful, deeply moving novel, Live by Night is a tour-de-force by Dennis Lehane, writer on The Wire and author of modern classics such as Shutter Island, Gone, Baby, Gone and The Given Day.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads or Audible UK.

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

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69 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 107…

  1. I knew there was something you weren’t counting… you have been a naughty girl (quoth she, from the lofty heights of her book-buying ban – I even went to Waterstone’s Piccadilly on Tuesday night and did not buy a single thing, not even to take advantage of my loyalty card).

  2. Well, I don’t see how you could possibly resist the chance to read about a character named for Cleo, FIctionFan! I intend to read it myself. And I’m very glad you’re enjoying the Hugh Fraser narration. He’s such a terrific person, isn’t he? And he does an excellent job narrating. There’s no way you could possibly resist those other audios, either, with new headphones. What choice did you have?

    • I’m so glad you understand, Margot – none of it is my fault in any way! In fact, I was just explaining as much to the postman this morning when he dropped off another parcel…

      Hugh Fraser is doing the narration brilliantly, I must say – pure pleasure to listen to and he’s ‘doing’ Poirot very well. Adn actually Agatha Christie lends herself very well to the audio format, I find – shortish chapters and she keeps to the point so I don’t find my mind wandering…

  3. I love audiobooks and have definitely incorporated them into my life in a big way. And I do a lot of rereading that way too. Love the AC books read by either of those narrators. I’ll be on the lookout for the book that includes our dead Cleo. 🙂

    • I used to listen to them when I had a long commute but I find it hard to concentrate on them at home. I’m going to work at training myself though, because it’s such a great pleasure when the narrator is good, and so many great actors have recorded books these days. I love to listen to re-reads too, because then it’s not so fatal if my mind wanders. Ha! I’m hoping nothing too awful happens to poor Cleo… 😉

  4. I absolutely love Dennis Lehane and I loved Live By Night and the sequel World Gone By! To me, he can write a story like none other with such realistic characters and settings. I hope you like that one:)

    • The only one I’ve read is Shutter Island and I loved it! I’ve been meaning to read more of his stuff for years, but, well, you know how that goes! I love prohibition-era gangster stuff and I had a sneaky listen to the sample and really like the narrator’s voice, so I’m looking forward to it… 😀

  5. I remember your review of Mrs. Maybrick, so I’ll be interested to hear how her fiction holds up. Dennis LeHane also interests me, mostly because I have had one of his books for ages and haven’t read it yet. I suspect I’ll like it, because my Dad recommended it to me and we usually like the same stuff. I think it’s called Any Given Day…
    I had to laugh at your reason for adding the Dennis LeHane audible to your stack! Isn’t that the way?
    194! It’ll be fun watching you try to bring that down! 🙂

    • I really enjoyed her writing style in Mrs Maybrick, and obviously she does her research, so I have high expectations for Titian’s Boatman. Actually I love the title and the cover already…

      I’ve only read Shutter Island from Dennis Lehane, years ago, and I loved it – I’ve been meaning to read more for years, so this was a golden opportunity. Haha! I know – I’m hopeless… but in my defence there were at least three others I really wanted to take, but didn’t! 😉

      The postman’s just been – 195…

    • He’s narrated loads of the Poirot books, and I’m absolutely loving his reading of the ABC murders. He’s managing to make Poirot sound very like David Suchet, which is how I think of Poirot sounding now…

      Haha! It grew a bit more when the postman arrived today… #hopeless

  6. ABC Murders is my all-time favourite Poirot – I must have read it, ooh, LOTS of times, but I’ve never heard it read aloud.
    And I loved Shutter Island (the book and the film – possibly a world first!), so I’ll get round to the Lehane at some point.

    • Well, if you still listen to audiobooks, I highly recommend this Hugh Fraser reading – I’m enjoying it hugely!

      I haven’t seen the film of Shutter Island – must get around to it sometime – but I loved the book. And again the narrator’s voice on Live by Night sounds excellent from the sample…

  7. I must say I’m curious about Dangerous Crossing!
    I was supposed to cut back on buying but with assigned readings and two sci-fi challenges, I already added 5 books to my TBR, and it’s not even the end of the first month!

    • I’m enjoying Dangerous Crossing a lot – it’s not a thriller exactly but there’s a nice layer of tension building up under the surface…

      Haha! We’re all hopeless! And January’s always bad as we all stock up for whatever challenges we’ve decided on. I’m sure we’ll all do better in February… 😉

  8. Okay, two on your rising list grab my immediate attention — the Hercule Poirot, of course, and the one about the ship crossing to Australia. Both look outstanding, and can a lover of Miss Agatha ever get her fill of Hercule??!

    • The Poirot one is great – Hugh Fraser is the perfect narrator for it! And I’m thoroughly enjoying A Dangerous Crossing – it’s not exactly a thriller but there’s a nice layer of tension building up under the surface…

  9. Now this is marvellous. I’m not tempted at all, and I’m not looking at my own piles. But i can only applaud your honesty as you lay bare your climbing pile. So to speak. I shall draw a veil over my own. But, to tempt all of us who like Cleopatra so much, and might be tempted to raise our TBRs higher by a Cleo character, I have just finished a book which doesn’t come out till April, and which I won’t be blogging about for obvious reasons (not available anywhere) till nearer the day. There is a delightful Cleopatra in that. And nothing horrid happens to her, either. Stay tuned to my blog towards the end of March.

    Suggest you swap blogs with Cathy746, because surely her numbers are falling as yours are rising, and at some point she can call herself Cathy’s Book Reviews and you can rename yourself FictionFan746. Face it, with that horrid orange faced monstrosity filling up the airwaves, books will be the best solace go-tos. And if its postal deliveries of real paper, they can be used to sound-proof and insulate nuclear bunkers

    • Tut! We need to get you reading more Agatha! Does even the lovely Hugh not tempt you? Oh dear – my piles are getting worse! Someone really needs to create a soothing cream for it – probably chocolate cream for enhancing the medicinal cake I so desperately feel I need…

      I haven’t reached the bit where Cleo appears yet, but I fear for her. I just hope she’s checked where the lifebelts are kept. I’m intrigued by your Cleo-related reading, and shall be waiting with anticipation.

      Haha! I know! If I go over 200 I’ll need to take some severe remedial action – sadly the postie arrived again today so the situation’s even worse! The Comrade Trump scenario just gets worse, doesn’t it? But I must admit to a horrid fascination – I’m obsessed with American news watching at the moment. Hopefully Sir Andy and the Australian Open will divert my attention…

  10. I can completely understand your devotion to a particular narrator. I am very partial to hearing Richard Grant read Miss Marple mysteries. Thankfully, I discovered that the library has a bunch of them. And if it makes you feel any better… I am about to check if there are any audios narrated by Captain Hastings. So my TBR will likely increase in just a few minutes. 🙂

    • Ooh, I haven’t heard the Richard Grant readings, but I can imagine they’re great – I love his voice! Must check those out! Haha! We really all just feed each other’s addictions, don’t we? I hope you find some – and enjoy them!

  11. I was fully prepared to gloat that I was in the used book store yesterday and didn’t buy anything, but then I checked my email and found an irresistible Net galley offering waiting for me. No gloating for me this week. 😦

  12. O. M. G.! That is a huge number! I’m currently in book five of The Expanse series……It’s kept me from buying any new books. But now all bets are off. Book six is not due out in paperback until October 2017. Book-buying for the interval coming!

    • Haha – I know! It’s probably gone up by about 50 while you were away! Yay! A book-buying spree is always fun… make it a big one! I just wish I could read books as quickly as I acquire them…!!

  13. Oh, and I’d probably pick the Agatha Christine. I know, boring, but out of the other ones listed it would be my best bet.

        • I’m trying to train myself to listen while doing things around the house, and even going out for walks – the theory is it will encourage me not to be such a couch potato… hmm… 😉

    • I’m enjoying Our Mutual Friend very much, though it’s not grabbing my attention quite as much as some of his other books. But I think that may be more to do with me than the book – I seem to be having difficulties concentrating on long books at the moment. A hangover from my reading slump, I think. I hope you enjoy it too – I look forward to comparing notes! 🙂

  14. Someone recently recommended Amor Towles new book “A Gentleman in Moscow” and I thought it might work for your Russian Revolution challenge. I believe it’s set in 1922. I’m going to try and read it in the next month-ish so I’ll let you know!

    • Oh, that’s a brilliant idea, Karissa – thank you! I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews of it, and have been tempted, but hadn’t made the connection with the challenge. I loved his last book, so I look forward to hearing what you think of this one – it’s going on my list meantime!

  15. I would be very tempted by The ABC Murders because I really want to read more of Christie’s Poirot mysteries. I also used to love audiobooks as a child but sadly never seem to get round to them now I am grown up.

  16. *laughing* You’re rereading (and listening!) to Our Mutual Friend? No wonder your TBR is out of control! FEF, the only good thing about reading a book is that you can say, “Well, despite that being awful, there’s one good thing about the whole business: I’ll never need to pick that dreadful thing up again. Probably ever.”

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