TBR Thursday 110…

Episode 110…

Well, the TBR dipped a little during the week, but tragically a late run of arrivals shoved it right back up – to 197 again! Still, it may not have gone down, but at least it hasn’t gone up – so that’s success, right? Right?? And I’m still avoiding the big 200 for the moment – which is actually kinda sad, because a few of us were getting quite enthusiastic last time about forming a 200 Club and looking down our noses at people with tiny TBRs of only 180 or so… maybe next week! 😉

Meantime, here are some that are toppling off the top of the pile…


history-of-the-russian-revolution-2For the Reading the Russian Revolution Challenge. Penguin Modern Classics have issued a new edition of Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution for the centenary year, with the original three parts all collected into one volume, and have kindly provided me with a copy. It’s 992 pages long, (big pages, small print), so I may be some time…

The Blurb says: “During the first two months of 1917 Russia was still a Romanov monarchy. Eight months later the Bolsheviks stood at the helm. They were little known to anybody when the year began, and their leaders were still under indictment for state treason when they came to power. You will not find another such sharp turn in history especially if you remember that it involves a nation of 150 million people. It is clear that the events of 1917, whatever you think of them, deserve study.” Leon Trotsky, from History of the Russian Revolution

Regarded by many as among the most powerful works of history ever written, this book offers an unparalleled account of one of the most pivotal and hotly debated events in world history. This book reveals, from the perspective of one of its central actors, the Russian Revolution’s profoundly democratic, emancipatory character.

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Short Stories

house-of-skinThis collection has been on my TBR list since April 2011! I actually read a couple of the stories back then and was very impressed, but then got distracted and put it aside. Well past time I got back to it, and it will fit nicely for the Around the World challenge…

The Blurb says:  These are provocative, often shocking, tales of obsession, love, racism, addiction, betrayal, even murder, but told in such sensuous, richly-textured prose each story is rendered magical and timeless. The stories are set in islands across the Pacific where the author has lived and traveled extensively – Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Fiji, Vanuatu – parts of the world only barely explored in contemporary literature. Davenport offers her readers not just mesmerizing writing, but also brings them bulletins from an ancient, yet seemingly brave, new world.

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the-time-machineCourtesy of Amazon Vine. A new edition from Oxford World Classics, with an introduction and notes by Roger Luckhurst, who last appeared on the blog as the excellent and informative editor of The Classic Horror Stories of HP Lovecraft. Couldn’t resist this re-read…

The Blurb says: At a Victorian dinner party, in Richmond, London, the Time Traveller returns to tell his extraordinary tale of mankind’s future in the year 802,701 AD. It is a dystopian vision of Darwinian evolution, with humans split into an above-ground species of Eloi, and their troglodyte brothers.

The first book H. G. Wells published, The Time Machine is a scientific romance that helped invent the genre of science fiction and the time travel story. Even before its serialisation had finished in the spring of 1895, Wells had been declared ‘a man of genius’, and the book heralded a fifty year career of a major cultural and political controversialist. It is a sardonic rejection of Victorian ideals of progress and improvement and a detailed satirical commentary on the Decadent culture of the 1890s.

This edition features a contextual introduction, detailed explanatory notes, and two essays Wells wrote just prior to the publication of his first book.

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the-dryI’ve seen so many glowing reviews of this, and was finally pushed over the edge by this one from Renee at It’s Book Talk… So I had to snaffle a copy from Amazon Vine…

The Blurb says: Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn’t rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke’s death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend’s crime.

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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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68 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 110…

    • Haha! I’m speeding through it. I’m on page 13 – only another 979 to go…

      Yes, I really enjoyed the couple I read so I don’t know why I didn’t read the rest. Hopefully they will still be as good 6 years later!

  1. What?! 197 again!? I say you look at Tommy and Tuppence’s credit card statements. I’m sure there are purchases there that you would want to know about! None of this is your fault! 😉 Actually, I’ve heard an awful lot of good things about The Dry, and I am very much looking forward to reading what you think of it, FictionFan.

    • Haha! I’ll get my own back! I’ll buy some books on cat training! 😉 Yes, The Dry seems to be being almost universally praised – I’m looking forward to it. It’ll make a nice contrast to Trotsky!

  2. Thank you for the shout out to my blog and review of The Dry:) I’m very glad I could push you over to adding that one, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well written it is for a debut. Maybe you’re detective skills will be better than mine and you’ll have the mysteries figured out!!

    • My pleasure! 🙂 I’m really looking forward to The Dry – it sounds great and I feel as if it’s been ages since I read any contemporary crime – I seem to have been stuck in vintage crime mode for months. Ha! I don’t think Sherlock Holmes needs to worry about my detective skills… 😉

    • Some of these old sci-fi classics amaze me with how well they could see into the future. It’s so long since I read the Time Machine I’ve forgotten almost everything about it, so it will be almost like a new read… 🙂

  3. What I like best about today’s post is how you make the To Be Read (TBR) list sound like a stock exchange — you know, the TSX was down a bit today but the DOW was up so it’s all balanced out. Haha! The short story collection sounds interesting but I ordered 2 more books online last night. (Sighs, shaking head.)

    • Hahaha! I like that image! It makes me feel better about it constantly going up too – as if I’m getting richer… 😉 It’s hopeless, isn’t it? No matter how much I try to practice willpower, it just never seems to work…

  4. THE DRY, THE DRY, THE DRY! Well, it’s already on my Kindle. I ought to go ahead and read it because I try to read ‘cold books’ in summer and I suspect this will be a ‘hot book’ – so to speak. LOL

    • It sounds great, doesn’t it?? And every review I’ve seen has been glowing. Haha! Yes, I think it will be a very “hot” book, and frankly I could do with a bit of heat – winter has gone on too long!

    • Ha! So I only have to tempt you with The Dry and I get a full house! At least the sci-fi and short stories are both slim volumes… which can’t be said of the Russian tome! I need to do weight training for that one!

    • I seem to remember enjoying it when I read it many years ago, but I’m looking forward to this edition with the notes to see all what I missed. And at least it’s short, which is more than can be said for most of what I seem to be reading at the moment!

  5. I hope you enjoy your re-read of The Time Machine. I read it last year and although I don’t think it’s a book I would want to read again, I did find it interesting. I’m not tempted by any of your other books this week, but good luck with the Russian one!

    • From what I remember (it was a long time ago) I found it interesting rather than wow! too, but I’m looking forward to this edition with the notes to see all what I missed. What? Not tempted by 1000 pages of Trotsky?? This can’t be true… 😉

  6. Maybe The Dry? I just saw another trusted reviewer say that she loved it today, so clearly that’s a sign. Your TBR staying static for a week is definitely cause for celebration! You deserve a piece of cake!

    • I’ve seen so many glowing review of The Dry I couldn’t resist. Maybe I’ll be able to tempt you when I review it! Ooh, thank you – chocolate cake, of course! The TBR actually went down one last night… can I keep it going in this direction…??

  7. I reread The Time Machine just a few months ago, and thought it still had relevant things to say.
    talking of H.G. Wells, I own a very old copy of his History of the Russian Revolution – another one for the Russian challenge?

    • It’s so long since I read it, I only have the vaguest memory of it, so it’ll be almost like reading it for the first time. I didn’t know he’d written one! Is it good? Though what with Trotsky and Orlando Figes it may be some time before I could fit it in… 😉

      • He actually edited it, and wrote a long introduction and several articles. The rest of it is articles by the contemporary left-leaning British great and good of the time (the Twenties). It’s actually very readable, although rather more enthusiastic than anyone writing now would be.

        • I shall add it to my maybe list, though I’m not sure if I’ll make it through the main list! I’m remembering just what it is that I hate about Russian writers – their complete inability to tell a comprehensible story!

  8. Definitely not the Russian Revolution one. Talk about heavy… Though very useful knowledge in today’s environment! 😉 I’d say The Dry looks interesting. But I’ll wait for you to read it first and see your smiley face rating. (Lazy, I know.)

    • You know, I read the preface to Trotsky last night, where he discusses how societies end up in revolutionary states, and it was chillingly like a description of what’s happening in the US right now! I was seriously tempted to type it out and post it. Haha! I shall be the canary they send down the mine to check for poison – be ready to haul me up quickly if I start to choke…!!

      • Oh, now I need to read the preface… But it might depress me even further. I feel like there were a ton of canaries in the coal mine, but people just stepped over their dead little bodies! At least there was a small victory in the courts today. Though the checks and balances still feel too fragile.

        I would never send our dear FF down the mine, btw!

        • It’s been even worse than anticipated so far – plus a complete shambles. I know his hard-core fans will stick by him regardless, but surely there must be lots of people who voted for him who’re now worried – lots of them didn’t believe he’d really do the things he said. Ha, I didn’t believe he would either! The real problem is getting “true” news to people – so many of them only read biased youtubers and facebookers to get their “news”. I see KellyAnne has got herself into trouble again…

          • Kelly Anne is the most absurd enabler I’ve ever seen! I believe she misplaced her soul somewhere, which would explain her perpetually haggard appearance… Maybe it was the years of blond hair dye though… So much fodder!

            • When she did the “Women, you should be so lucky to have a boss as wonderful as Donnie” I swear I nearly threw up! I wonder how long it will be before she gets fired and starts bad-mouthing him all over the place… I give it three months…

        • Hahahahaha! And the thing is, it’s all true!! I’d forgotten the ballooning incident – just after that, the next time he turned up at his horrible golf course (built on an important wildlife site to the shame of our Scottish government) loads of protestors turned up carrying yellow balloons – he wasn’t pleased! You know there’s to be a debate about the State Visit on 20th Feb? Of course, it’ll go ahead anyway – but nice to embarrass the govt for grovelling to him…

          PS Wasn’t the Sean Spicer impersonation skit wonderful…? At least we’re getting some great comedy out of the whole thing!

          • Melissa McCarthy’s impression of Spicer was so spot on, she’s been a hero all week for it, and I suspect she’ll be back! We need a woman to play Bannon now. Rosie O’Donnell is being urged to impersonate him, which would be wicked fun.

            Yes, forget the 24 hour news cycle…we have the 24 hour comedy cycle! (And that’s our secret weapon against the humorless bullies…) I just hope we don’t laugh our way into a war of some sort. I’m so embarrassed for our country, I don’t feel like traveling abroad. I’d have to wear a shirt that says “Not My President” or something of that sort.

            • I haven’t really got to know Bannon yet – I’ve heard a lot about him, but not really seen him physically in action. But Spicer really lays himself open to mockery – he’s made a complete fool of himself by being willing to spout the nonsense of the Dear Leader. If he had any integrity, he’d have resigned right at the “Mine’s bigger than Obama’s” farce!

              I’m not going to pretend America hasn’t badly damaged its reputation over here, but we have Boris, Nigel and Brexit so we’re not in much of a position to act superior… Maybe the US and the UK should just sneak off to a deserted island somewhere and give the rest of the world a break…

    • Oh, I’m intrigued to know what niggled you… but I could do with something fast and compelling. I seem to have been reading an awful lot of slow stuff recently, mostly good, but I need something more thrilling! So many books are being made into films at the moment – the film industry seems almost dependent on books…

    • The Dry sounds great – and I’m just in the mood for something properly thrillery but well written. I listened to the Audible sample and the narrator has a lovely Aussie accent, so I may do a joint listen/read. Haha – Trotsky definitely requires large biceps, but you could always get the e-book… 😉

      • Your description of a ‘lovely Aussie accent’ sent me straight to the site to listen to a sample. I’ve never thought of doing a joint read/listen, but seems like a good idea to get a flavour of a novel from another country.
        Now I’ll have to think of another reason why the Trotsky isn’t for me…

    • I couldn’t resist The Dry in the end – too many glowing reviews wore me down. Haha! NetGalley seems to be running a conspiracy against me at the moment – fave authors turning up all over the place!

  9. Reblogged this on Ms M's Bookshelf and commented:
    If you, too, are a fan of fiction, there is a ton of information, reviews, as well as hype out there to keep you reading without even opening a book. For many of us, that To Be Read pile seems to be never ending and there are so many truly interesting plots and wonderful writing styles that it’s good to get some insight outside of the hype into what books are really like and who they appeal to. Fiction Fan is one of my favourite bloggers partly because she seems to have at least as large a stack of books waiting to be read as I do but I also love her sense of humour and her diverse taste in books. I hope you will agree and that you will enjoy my Sunday Reblog!

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