TBR Thursday 111…

Episode 111…

Oh, dear, oh dear, oh dear! The TBR has gone up again – how??? I’ve been so strict with myself!!! But I’m still managing to avoid going over the 200 watershed – this week’s total is 198…

Time to get some reading done – quickly! Here are some that are coming up soon…


a-peoples-tragedyFor the Reading the Russian Revolution Challenge. It’ll be ages before I get to this (I need to get through Trotsky first) but I thought I’d give it a mention now, since The Bodley Head have issued this special centenary edition and kindly let me have a copy. Another 900+ pages – whose idea was this challenge?? But it’s lavishly illustrated so that’s always a bonus… and it’s a nicely designed, good quality paperback with what I think are called French flaps on both the front and back covers.

The Blurb says: Opening with a panorama of Russian society, from the cloistered world of the Tsar to the brutal life of the peasants, A People’s Tragedy follows workers, soldiers, intellectuals and villagers as their world is consumed by revolution and then degenerates into violence and dictatorship. Drawing on vast original research, Figes conveys above all the shocking experience of the revolution for those who lived it, while providing the clearest and most cogent account of how and why it unfolded.

Illustrated with over 100 photographs and now including a new introduction that reflects on the revolution’s centennial legacy, A People’s Tragedy is a masterful and definitive record of one of the most important events in modern history.

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the cone gatherers 2This one appeared on a TBR post a couple of years ago but I didn’t get around to reading it at that time, and it’s been gazing at me accusingly ever since. So to make it feel better, I stuck it on my Classics Club list under the Scottish section…

The Blurb says:  Calum and Neil are the cone-gatherers – two brothers at work in the forest of a large Scottish estate. But the harmony of their life together is shadowed by the obsessive hatred of Duror, the gamekeeper.

Set during the Second World War, Robin Jenkins’ greatest novel is an immensely powerful examination of good and evil, and mankind’s propensity for both. Removed from the destruction and bloodshed of the war, the brothers’ oblivious happiness becomes increasingly fragile as darker forces close in around them.

Suspenseful, dark and unforgettable, The Cone-Gatherers is a towering work of fiction, a masterpiece of modern Scottish literature.

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the-bishops-girlA couple of years ago, I reviewed Rebecca Burns’ excellent short story collection, The Settling Earth. So when she contacted me to offer a copy of her new novel, I was delighted. I realise the blurb makes it sound a bit like a romance, but I’m reliably informed (by the author!) that it’s actually a historical fiction/mystery…

The Blurb says: The body had no name. It was not supposed to be there…

Jess is a researcher on a quest to give the one-hundred-year-old skeleton, discovered in the exhumed grave of a prominent bishop, an identity. But she’s not sure of her own – her career is stalling, her marriage is failing. She doesn’t want to spend hours in the archives, rifling through dusty papers in an endless search for a name. And when a young man named Hayden makes clear his interest in her, Jess has to decide what is most important to her.

* * * * *


let-the-dead-speakCourtesy of NetGalley. Woohoo! Maeve Kerrigan is back – and it looks like she’s been promoted! It’s been a loooooooong wait for this one!

The Blurb says: The chilling new crime novel from award-winning author, Jane Casey. When an 18-year-old girl returns home to find her house covered in blood and her mother missing, Detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad must navigate a web of lies to discover the truth… When eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home she finds Kate, her mother, missing and the house covered in blood. There may not be a body, but everything else points to murder. Maeve Kerrigan is young, ambitious and determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. In the absence of a body, she and maverick detective Josh Derwent turn their attention to the neighbours. The ultra-religious Norrises are acting suspiciously; their teenage daughter definitely has something to hide. Then there’s William Turner, once accused of stabbing a schoolmate and the neighbourhood’s favourite criminal. Is he merely a scapegoat or is there more behind the charismatic façade? As the accusations fly, Maeve must piece together a patchwork of conflicting testimonies, none of which quite add up. Who is lying, who is not? The answer could lead them to the truth about Kate Emery, and save the life of someone else.

* * * * *

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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64 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 111…

  1. The Cone Gatherers sounds intriguing. Looking forward to your review when you get to read it. Especially as I can avoid adding it to any lists until then! 😀

    • It does sound interesting and it seems to be well thought of too – it appears on quite a lot of Great Scottish Novel lists. Haha! I’ll do my best to add at least some of the Scottish ones to your list… 😉

  2. All I can say, FIctionFan, is that there is no possible way for you to avoid book temptation when there are so many good books out there. Blame Netgalley, publishers and writers for constantly waving too much temptation in front of you. This is no fault of your own! 😉 – You do actually have some great choices coming up, and I”m delighted there’s a new Maeve Kerrigan! She is a fantastic character, isn’t she?

    • I do blame them all… but I also blame other bloggers too… *narrows eyes* Sometimes I’m sure they’re out to get me! 😉 Yes, it’s a good bunch this week, and I was thrilled to see a new Maeve – it’s been ages since the last one! I can’t be blamed in any way for failing to resist that temptation!

  3. If it helps, my TBR is 10 times the size of yours. I’m a big fan of Jane Casey and have Let the Dead Speak. Unfortunately, I need to catch up with the one before first so I’m probably not going to make it by release date. The Bishop’s Girl sounds fab too.

    • Hahaha! Even if I add in my wishlist, my second wishlist and my secret extra wishlist, I don’t get close to that! Thank goodness – I find my nearly 200 stressful enough! 😉 I love Jane Casey’s books, so I’m thrilled to have that one. It’s one of the very few series I’m actually up to date with. I loved Rebecca Burns’ writing style in her short stories, so I’m very intrigued to see how it translates into this different genre…

      Thanks for popping in and commenting! 😀

    • Haha! I highly recommend Jane Casey’s books – hugely looking forward to that one! And The Cone Gatherers seems to have a good reputation, so fingers crossed for that one… 🙂

  4. I’M not tempted, but that’s because I have enough tempting troubles of my own, and weak willed starting new reads without having reviewed old reads. Currently its my To Be Reviewed pile which frightens me.

    Just a little word though…200 is such a NICE number, you can divide it by 2, by 4, by 5, and of course, by 100, by 50, by 25 – just think what spreadsheet fun you could have cutting that 200 into tidier, smaller piles, arranging the books…go on, you know you want to……

    • Oh, surely you have room for a tiny 900-page volume of Russian history! *sobs brokenly* I got an email today telling me another publisher is sending me a biography of Lenin – phew! Only 600 pages, though – practically a novella!

      Ooooh… you are so cruel! And you know me far too well! I can see it now… lists and lists and lists, and all kinds of exciting ways to select new reads based on mathematical equations and suchlike! But wait… what happens when it reaches 201????

      • You will need to by-pass 201 by immediately taking enough books to add to another series of divisions. 300 is another useful number, I feel.

        I have an earlier Figes, requested before the previous previous Vine incarnation, and it languished, partially read…………….

        • 300!!!! NEVER!!!! If I get close to that, I’ll just send you a hundred or so to read for me…

          Ha! Yes, that Figes is still hanging around on Vine For All or whatever it’s called these days. But this one – the one I have – seems to be his major work and gets generally glowing reviews, so I have my fingers crossed. And I’ve managed to resist the Vine one…. so far…

  5. Ah, LET THE DEAD SPEAK – so very excited about that one. I have it pre-ordered from all the way across the way. Cannot wait for it to be available in my part of the world. Maeve at last. THE BISHOP’S GIRL looks interesting too. I’ll have to watch for it.

    • Kay, if you’re on NetGalley Let the Dead Speak is on there as a “Read Now”! I was so thrilled to be able to get my greedy little paws on it! It’s been too long since the last one. 🙂 I loved Rebecca Burns’ writing style in her short stories, so I have high hopes of The Bishop’s Girl – I’m intrigued to see how she does in this genre…

  6. I still have the Jane Casey series on my TBR since you recommended it…I also need to wade through some books at the top of my pile to get to that one:)

    • Hah! These TBR piles are dangerous – we all need to wear hard hats! The Maeve Kerrigan series is one of the very few I’m up to date with, purely because I actually came across it when it first started. Now each new one is an unmissable treat… 🙂

  7. The Bishop’s Girl sounds most intriguing to me! That 900+ monstrosity sounds most daunting — not sure I want to be tied up in another world that long (especially when I have so much writing of my own to do, ha!) Good luck with that TBR, FF — you must be most vigilant, or the thing will smother you!

    • I loved Rebecca Burns’ writing in her short stories, so I’m really intrigued to see how it translates to this genre. Haha! I do love these massive history books, but boy, they take a long time to read… plus a lot of concentration! I fear the TBR is in serious danger of toppling over and flattening me soon… 😉

  8. It’s amazing how quickly our TBR lists can grow, isn’t it? I don’t even want to mention how many books are on mine. I’ll never get to them all. But I’m trying to take it just one book at a time and making little dents in it. Will be adding “The Cone-Gatherers” so thank you very much! 🙂

  9. Haha I like how you’ve snuck in just under the 200 mark… I have the Jane Casey too which looks so very good! I also like the sound of The Bishop’s Girl but I’ll have to see what the count looks like on Sunday 😏

  10. Both the Jane Casey and The Bishop’s Girl interest me. But I’ve only read the first Casey so far and I don’t like to jump around. PLUS, I’m hanging on by my fingernails not to add any more books to my TBR until I get that number under 400 again! 🙂 406 currently!

    • Haha! I always like when other people’s TBR makes mine look tiny! 😉 I’d definitely say the Casey books are best read in order – her character and relationships with her colleagues definitely develops over time. You’ve a lot of good ones to look forward to! 😀

    • Haha! I have culled it to the bone! These are all ones I actually own – I have a wishlist for all the ones I don’t own and I cull it brutally about once a month. If I can’t remember the blurb, then I assume I couldn’t have been really interested… See? I’m the Queen of Willpower… 😉

      • That is inspiring (and a little bit frightening). The Queen of Willpower sounds like a superhero who has adventures! She can resist anything except temptation! And chocolate! (Oscar Wilde would have added chocolate to that quote if he had thought of it).

        • Hahaha! I’m going to make myself a super-heroine costume – maybe lots of pages of books sewn together! And I shall fly over the world at night protecting libraries from villains who want to destroy the books… then reward myself with some chocolate… 😉

          • Good library patrons of the world need you! Villains who write in library books, underline sentences, dog ear pages, return their books late or even worse, lose them entirely, must be stopped! I’m sure a fund for the chocolate could be established 😉

  11. Well! I must say that I don’t want to read any more about the Russians. There’s far too much scandal right now what with Mr. T and all his cronies…it might send me over the edge. The Cone-Gatherers sounds interesting, but I’d have to say that The Bishop’s Girl would be the one to keep my mind off our current political fiasco.

    How are you? I’m just popping in to say “hello.” Still focusing on getting a new agent. Still writing and revising. Still…..

  12. GREAT selection! I love reading about the Russian Revolution as I studied it in my Modern History Higher, er, 22 years ago! But 900+ pages is a big ask. Russia as a whole I find fascinating actually. I must investigate this Russian Revolution Challenge! Robin Jenkins’s work features on some schools English curriculum – he’s an author I’ve never got to. Ditto Lewis Grassic Gibbon – and Neil Gunn (who my Dad knew when he was young!) I’m pretty disgraceful when it comes to Scottish Classics all round! *cringes with embarrassment* Does Trainspotting count??! I think you can forgive yourself upping the TBR – these are all not to be missed!

    • They’re a good bunch, aren’t they? Ha! I don’t remember doing the Russian Revolution at school – maybe it hadn’t happened yet when I was there… 😉 I’m enjoying the RRR challenge – the history books are all massive tomes, and actually so are most of the fiction now I think about it, but I’m looking forward to them. I’ve never read Robin Jenkins either – in fact, hadn’t heard of him till quite recently. My ignorance about Scottish fiction is pretty profound too – but I blame the schools. We weren’t really encouraged to read our own classics, not in my day anyway…

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