TBR Thursday 108…

Episode 108…

Phew! No further increase to the TBR this week, but no decrease either – stable on 194! I’m sure it’ll start to fall dramatically soon…

So here are a few more that should reach the top of the heap soonish…


the-travelers-guide-to-spaceCourtesy of NetGalley. Recent political events at home and abroad have given me an urgent desire to emigrate to another planet, so I’m hoping this book will give me some handy pointers…

The Blurb says: Traveling into space and visiting or even emigrating to nearby worlds will soon become part of the human experience. Scientists, engineers, and investors are working hard to make space tourism a reality. As experienced astronauts will tell you, extraterrestrial travel is incomparably thrilling. To make the most of the experience requires profound physical and mental adjustments by travelers as they adapt to microgravity and alterations in virtually every aspect of life, from eating to intimacy. Everyone who goes into space and returns sees Earth and life on it from a profoundly different perspective. If you have ever wondered about space travel, now you have the opportunity to find out.

Astronomer and former NASA/ASEE scientist Neil F. Comins has written the go-to book for anyone interested in space exploration, including potential travelers. He describes the joys and the dangers travelers will face—weightlessness, unparalleled views of Earth and the cosmos, the opportunity to walk on or jump off another world, as well as radiation, projectiles, unbreathable atmospheres, and potential equipment failures. He also provides insights into specific types of travel and destinations, including suborbital flights (nonstop flights to space and back), Earth-orbiting space stations, the Moon, asteroids, comets, and Mars—the first-choice candidate for colonization. Although many challenges to space travel are technical, Comins outlines these matters in clear language for all readers. He synthesizes key issues and cutting-edge research in astronomy, physics, biology, psychology, and sociology to create a complete manual for those eager to take the ultimate voyage, as well as those just interested in the adventure.

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the-death-of-kingsCourtesy of Mantle. The latest entry in Rennie Airth’s series of thoughtful crime novels set in England just after the Second World War featuring Inspector John Madden (adore that cover!)…

The Blurb says:  On a hot summer day in 1938, a beautiful actress is murdered on the grand Kent estate of Sir Jack Jessup, close friend of the Prince of Wales. An instant headline in the papers, the confession of a local troublemaker swiftly brings the case to a close, but in 1949, the reappearance of a jade necklace raises questions about the murder. Was the man convicted and executed the decade before truly guilty, or had he wrongly been sent to the gallows?

Inspector Madden is summoned out of retirement at the request of former Chief Inspector Angus Sinclair to re-open the case at Scotland Yard. Set in the aftermath of World War II, The Death of Kings is an atmospheric and captivating police procedural, and is a story of honour and justice that takes Madden through the idyllic English countryside, post-war streets of London, and into the criminal underworld of the Chinese Triads.

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rebeccaFrom my Classics Club list, a much anticipated re-read and an opportunity to do a comparison with the wonderful Hitchcock film… (is this the worst blurb you ever read?? I would never pick this book up on the basis of it – sounds like Barbara Cartland on an off day!)

The Blurb says: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…

Working as a lady’s companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Her future looks bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper, Mrs Danvers…

Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.

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stiff-upper-lip-jeevesJonathan Cecil is brilliant at narrating the Jeeves and Wooster books so this will be delicious fun… (Total count of unlistened-to audiobooks as at today = 78. See how sneakily I snuck that in…?)

The Blurb says: When the news breaks that Madeline Bassett is engaged to Gussie Fink-Nottle, Bertie’s relief is intense. But when Madeline attempts to turn Gussie vegetarian, Bertie’s instinct for self-preservation sends him with the steadfast Jeeves on another uproariously funny mission to Sir Watkyn Bassett’s residence, Totleigh Towers.

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NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads, NetGalley or Audible UK.

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

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52 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 108…

    • Haha! Maybe it’s me, but I think it makes it sound like a cheesy romance! I think it’s mainly the fact that the Other Woman gets capital letters, plus that it doesn’t mention dead bodies, suspicion, paranoia etc. “a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity” Hmm! Must be the YA version… Or maybe I was just in a grumpy mood when I read it… 😉

    • Haha – it must be me then, but I think it sounds like a cheesy YA romance! Where’s the bit about the possible murder, the jealousy, the paranoia, the cruelty, etc etc?? And why does Other Woman have to have capital letters?? I suspect I was maybe a bit chocolate-deprived when I read it though… 😉

      I’ve been meaning to re-read it for ages. I know the film far better than the book, in fact. It must be decades since I read it…

  1. I must say, I admire your will power, FictionFan! To get through a whole week without adding to the TBR? You deserve chocolate. The Comins sounds interesting, even though I wouldn’t ordinarily have thought of it as my sort of thing. And the Airth? Can’t go wrong there. I hope you’ll enjoy them.

    • It’s some achievement, isn’t it? There really ought to be some kind of award! 😉 I think the space travel one sounds like fun, and you never know when it might come in useful! I’m looking forward to the Airth – I always enjoy his books… 🙂

    • Haha! I look forward to hearing what you think of it – I thought for a moment it was on my Classics Club list, but on checking I see I went for The American instead… it’ll be my first James.

    • The space book looks great – hope it lives up to its blurb! I read Rebecca many years ago, but I really know the film far better than the book, so it’ll be interesting to revisit it… 🙂

  2. I laughed out loud at the blurb of REBECCA! What needs to be communicated is the beginning – like in the movie – dark woods, fog, spookiness, and a quiet voice. When we read and discussed it in my mystery books group, one member mentioned how very atmospheric she found the beginning of both the movie and the book. Of course, that’s Alfred Hitchcock for you – with the movie anyway. I used to read Barbara Cartland in my youth. I loved her stories then. LOL

    • Haha! It’s awful, isn’t it? It really does sound like some kind of YA romance – I reckon anyone picking it up purely on the basis of that blurb would be in for a big shock! It’s so long since I last read it, I almost can’t remember the book – it’s been supplanted in my mind by the film, which I love. So it’ll be intriguing to see whether the book wins the book/movie battle this time. Haha! I don’t mind Barbara Cartland books having blurbs that make them sound like Barbara Cartland books though… 😉

  3. I laughed at your reason for reading The Traveler’s Guide to Space. I hope you get some good pointers out of it to share with us!
    I’ve been wanting to read Rebecca for a long time. It’s one of those books on my list that just there while I read everything around them (there are many like that)…
    Next week, I’ll be expecting to see that number plummet! 🙂

    • Haha! I suspect I may not be alone in wanting to leave the planet at the moment! I’d really prefer to wait for them to invent luxury passenger spaceships, though… 😉

      It’s so long since I read Rebecca it’ll almost feel like the first time – but from my vague memory it’s one that’s well worth reading. Ha! Yes, I have several books that just live permanently on the TBR, but never make it to the top. Maybe I’ll convince you to shove Rebecca up though…

      I’m sure it will – you know me, iron willpower! 😉

  4. Your optimism in the face of the TBR is… heartening! I love Rebecca and have read it many times over the years, the last time shortly before I started blogging so I will be interested to read your comparison of the book and the film. Other than that, with my massive willpower, I can resist your temptation, for now.

    • If it goes over 200, I’m going to stop owning up! 😉 I went through a phase of du Maurier way back in my teens/early twenties, but I haven’t got around to re-reading Rebecca since then, so this will feel almost like a first time read for me. I love the film though – it will be hard for the book to win the battle, but we’ll see…

    • Everybody needs PG Wodehouse – it may be the only way to get through the next few years! I still can’t quite believe it’s happening! I am destined to 5-star Stiff Upper Lip – love Jeeves, love Wodehouse, love this narrator. What could possibly go wrong…?? 😉

  5. Space sounds pretty interesting to me — and who knows? Maybe one day most of us will be able to travel there. Shucks, we’ll probably have to, considering how we’re trashing this planet!! In the meantime, there’s always chocolate … and tennis!

    • Oh, don’t talk about tennis! I’ve gone nocturnal again for the Australian Open – I’m soooooo exhausted, and it’s only halfway through the first week! I’ll need extra chocolate and extra wrinkle cream just to survive… 😉 The space book does look like fun – when I was a kid I assumed we’d all be space travelling, at least to the moon, by the time I grew up. Hope we eventually get out there…

  6. All of these are or sound good. I see what you mean about the Rebecca blurb: I don’t really think of it as a romance, more as a dark mystery. TBH, I think it’s a miracle that any book survives its blurb, whose writers often seem not to have read the book! And don’t get me started on cover illustrations……

    • I know – this makes it sound like one of these awful YA romance thingies. When I rule the world, there will be a law that blurbs and covers can only be done by people who’ve read the book. So many include spoilers, or like this one are totally misleading. The Other Woman??? Forsooth! And pah!

  7. I have that same edition of Rebecca – although I had already read a library copy of the book (a different edition) before buying it, so the blurb wouldn’t have put me off! It’s on my Classics Club list for a re-read too, and as I’m coming to the end of my five-year participation, I’ll have to read it soon!

    • To be honest, I just used that cover – my copy is a Kindle version. Haha! Yeah, I’m glad I know what the book’s about so the blurb didn’t put me off either! Looks like several of us have Rebecca on our lists for a read or re-read fairly soon – it’ll be fun to compare all the different reviews when they appear… 🙂

  8. Everything appeals except for Space! Although, if Space became a reality, we could have a new tennis Grand Slam, the Mars Open perhaps…. and we could send players who don’t try and are rude to Pluto (even if that means no more young Australian players).
    I think I need to read Rebecca again, that is a great opening line.

    • Hahaha! Have you been watching Mr Kyrgios, by any chance? I must admit I was all for sending Dan Evans to Pluto with him today – great match, shame about the loud swearing! I had to laugh when Andy Murray got his knighthood, and said this would mean he’d have to stop swearing on court – best argument for a knighthood ever!

      Yes! I think we should make this the year everybody reads/re-reads Rebecca! Just because…

      • I love tennis, but some of our Aussie players are infuriating. There has been a culture in Australian tennis for too long where young male players behave badly. Racquet abuse is the biggest sin in my opinion, a poor tradesman blames his tools and all that… I read today that the manufacturer of Nick Kyrgios’ racquets is going to fine sponsored players who do this in future.
        I’m on board for the Rebecca challenge 🙂 (After the tennis, if you don’t mind).

        • I’m glad to hear that about the manufacturers – I hate that especially at Wimbledon where they don’t just damage the racquet, but actually gouge holes in the court. So childish! I think even Leyton had a bad-boy image when he was young, didn’t he? But he turned out great in the end – such a tryer! I miss him a lot. And Andy was horrible when he was young – so bad-tempered and whiny, but now he’s a fantastic role model. Maybe Nick will turn out OK eventually… hmm!

          I’ll be reading Rebecca mid-February if all goes according to plan (Ha! How likely is that?)

          • Yes, I suppose some of them grow up eventually. In his early days Lleyton suffered in comparison with Pat Rafter too, as Rafter had (and still has) a nice-guy image.
            I’m going to start with Mary-Anne, found it buried in my shelves. Good luck with mid-Feb… no comment on the expectation, this is for fun, remember 🙂

            • Oh, yes, Pat’s lovely! He always pops up for a chat with the BBC when Wimbledon’s on, and he’s so nice!

              I’d never even heard of Mary-Anne but it sounds intriguing – look forward to hearing what you think of it. 🙂

    • Ha! Yes, I think we all need a bit of escapism right now! That’s when I turn to crime – literarily rather than literally, of course! And Rebecca fits that category nicely too… 😉

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