TBR Thursday 121…

Episode 121…

The TBR has been hit by a mysterious mystery this week! My spreadsheet tells me it’s gone down 2 to 195, and yet I’ve only finished one book – how can this be?? Has some kind of hideous book-eating virus escaped from the laboratory of a crazed scientist? Well, if it goes on like this there’s only one solution – I shall have to go on a book-buying spree…

Here are a few that should legitimately leave the TBR soon…

Factual

Courtesy of Princeton University Press. A little break from the USSR. My current knowledge of Fibonacci consists of knowing that Fibonacci Numbers are called after him. Of course, I don’t know what they actually are. Or who he was. Or why he was important. Hopefully I’ll be better informed once I’ve read it…

The Blurb says: In 2000, Keith Devlin set out to research the life and legacy of the medieval mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, popularly known as Fibonacci, whose book Liber abbaci has quite literally affected the lives of everyone alive today. Although he is most famous for the Fibonacci numbers—which, it so happens, he didn’t invent—Fibonacci’s greatest contribution was as an expositor of mathematical ideas at a level ordinary people could understand. In 1202, Liber abbaci—the “Book of Calculation”—introduced modern arithmetic to the Western world. Yet Fibonacci was long forgotten after his death, and it was not until the 1960s that his true achievements were finally recognized.

Finding Fibonacci is Devlin’s compelling firsthand account of his ten-year quest to tell Fibonacci’s story. Devlin, a math expositor himself, kept a diary of the undertaking, which he draws on here to describe the project’s highs and lows, its false starts and disappointments, the tragedies and unexpected turns, some hilarious episodes, and the occasional lucky breaks. You will also meet the unique individuals Devlin encountered along the way, people who, each for their own reasons, became fascinated by Fibonacci, from the Yale professor who traced modern finance back to Fibonacci to the Italian historian who made the crucial archival discovery that brought together all the threads of Fibonacci’s astonishing story.

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Fiction?

Courtesy of NetGalley. This one sounds rather weird and I’m not at all sure whether it’s fiction or crime. The blurb only tells half the tale – in fact the narrator and protagonist is the author herself, and there seems to be a blurred line between reality and fiction. It’s getting mixed reviews and I reckon it’s about 50/50 as to whether I’ll love or hate it…

 The Blurb says: Today I know that L. is the sole reason for my powerlessness. And that the two years that we were friends almost made me stop writing for ever.” Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel, exhausted and unable to begin writing her next book, Delphine meets L. L. is the kind of impeccable, sophisticated woman who fascinates Delphine; a woman with smooth hair and perfectly filed nails, and a gift for saying the right thing. Delphine finds herself irresistibly drawn to her, their friendship growing as their meetings, notes and texts increase. But as L. begins to dress like Delphine, and, in the face of Delphine’s crippling inability to write, L. even offers to answer her emails, and their relationship rapidly intensifies. L. becomes more and more involved in Delphine’s life until she patiently takes control and turns it upside down: slowly, surely, insidiously. Based on a True Story is a chilling novel of suspense that will leave you questioning the truth and its significance long after you have turned the final page.

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Radio Drama…

Courtesy of Amazon Vine UK. OK, it’s not a book, it’s a radio play. But it’s written by Val McDermid so I couldn’t resist. Doesn’t sound like her normal type of thing either… intriguing!

The Blurb says: Gina McKee stars in this chilling apocalyptic radio drama by award-winning writer Val McDermid.

It’s the Summer Solstice weekend, and 150,000 people have descended on a farm in the North East of England for an open-air music festival. Reporting on the event is journalist Zoe Meadows, who files her copy from a food van run by her friends Sam and Lisa. When some of Sam’s customers get sick, it looks like food poisoning, and it’s exacerbated by the mud, rain and inadequate sanitary facilities. It’s assumed to be a 24-hour thing, until people get home and discover strange skin lesions, which ulcerate and turn septic. More people start getting ill – and dying. What looked like a minor bug is clearly much more serious: a mystery illness that’s spreading fast and seems resistant to all antibiotics. Zoe teams up with Sam to track the outbreak to its source; meanwhile, can a cure be found before the disease becomes a pandemic?

From a No 1 bestselling author, this original drama envisages a nightmare scenario that seems only too credible in our modern age. Duration: 2 hours 30 mins approx.

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Fiction?

Courtesy of NetGalley. Again, I have no idea how to classify this one – it’s listed on Amazon as both crime and horror, but I suspect with Kehlmann there will be “literary” fictional aspects too. It’s also being marketed and listed (and priced) as if it’s a novel but the Kindle length suggests it’s a short story or at most a short novella…all very odd. But again intriguing…

The Blurb says: “It is fitting that I’m beginning a new notebook up here. New surroundings and new ideas, a new beginning. Fresh air.”

These are the opening lines of the journal kept by the narrator of Daniel Kehlmann’s spellbinding new novel: the record of the seven days that he, his wife, and his four-year-old daughter spend in a house they have rented in the mountains of Germany—a house that thwarts the expectations of his recollection and seems to defy the very laws of physics. The narrator is eager to finish a screenplay, entitled Marriage, for a sequel to the movie that launched his career, but something he cannot explain is undermining his convictions and confidence, a process he is recording in this account of the uncanny events that unfold as he tries to understand what, exactly, is happening around him—and in himself.

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NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads or Amazon UK.

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

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39 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 121…

  1. Well, I have the Delphine de Vigan book in French and plan to read it some time soonish, as I really liked her other work. I rather like the sound of the Kehlman book – depends how he handles it, I suppose.

    • This one seems to refer back to her previous bestseller, but I’m reliably informed it’s not necessary to have read that to enjoy this, so I’ll be going in blind, so to speak. The Kehlmann sounds like fun, though it’s getting a lot of disgruntled reviews over the length – some kind of marketing hitch, I suspect. I’m looking forward to it though.

  2. That McDermid radio play sounds enticing, FIctionFan. There’s something about that format, isn’t there? Interesting, too, that you’ve got two books that don’t easily fit into any particular category. In some ways, I like that very much, as it suggests that the books won’t be formulaic. I’ll be interested to see what you make of that.

    In the meantime, I recommend an all-out search for that missing book. Or the addition of a few new books to the TBR, just to hold that one’s place ’til it comes back… 😉

    • It does – and a bit different from her usual stuff. The BBC usually does these things well, so I’m looking forward to listening to it. Ha – yes, it turned into a weird week in terms of categorising them but that’s always a good thing… though it might muck up my complicated menu system… 😉

      I don’t understand the missing book at all! Maybe some of the books have been lingering around unread for so long, they’re leaving to find someone who’ll appreciate them more…

    • Hahaha! Well, if people are sneaking away with the books I’ll have to mark them in some way so they’ll know which ones to take! I used to have a sofa that was so old and tatty that for a joke I stuck a label on it saying “Please steal” in the hopes of a burglar taking pity on me… 😉

    • I don’t know but it’s just come out on disc, so fairly recently I suspect. It’s been ages since Vine have offered audio discs – I thought downloads might have made them obsolete…

  3. These sound most intriguing, especially the radio drama and the story about Delphine. The first one? Not so much. I guess medieval mathematicians don’t fascinate me much, ha! Now the mystery of your shrinking TBR … that fascinates me a lot!

    • Ha – I’m not sure about the medieval mathematician either, but I’m assured it’s not full of equations and stuff – we’ll see! The drama sounds like fun – she’s such a good writer. And Delphine – I’ve seen a couple of very positive reviews of it, so fingers crossed. Haha – I can’t think what’s happened to my TBR. I’m wondering if one of the old books got so fed up waiting for me to read it that it’s gone off to look for a new home… 🙂

    • The Val McDermid sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? A bit different from her usual style, but she’s such a great writer I’m sure she could turn her hand to just about anything… 🙂

  4. I’m reading Based on a True Story at the moment and really enjoying it. I’m finding it really intriguing and it’s giving me things to think about, which I love. I’m only about a third into it just now but if it carries on this way it’ll be a hit with me. I hope you enjoy it when you read it.

    • Oh, that’s good to hear! It was reading a really positive review of it that sent me off to get a copy so I’m hopeful. I think it’s the blurb that makes it sound a bit weird, but I love books that make me think. I hope you continue to enjoy it!

  5. The description of You Should Have Left reminds me a little of House of Leaves which features a house that’s a quarter inch bigger on the inside than the outside. All of its footnotes and weird (often awesome) stylistic decisions require a pretty big commitment from the reader so I’ve only read it once.

    You Should Have Left is a really creepy title. It’s almost off-putting. I’m curious to hear what you think and, if it’s not too spoiler-y, what’s going on with the house. 🙂

    • I haven’t read House of Leaves but it sounds intriguing, though I’m not always a fan of weird stylistic stuff. I loved Kehlmann’s last book, F, which was delightfully baffling – I didn’t have a clue what it was about but it was loads of fun anyway. So I’m looking forward to this one… 😀

  6. I love coming here to view the sheer variety of books and I’m inexplicably intrigued by the maths! I do like the look of Based on a true story, very tempted by that one. On a more prosaic note I’m pleased to hear your spreadsheet also mysteriously deletes books 😏

    • Haha – this is a particularly weird bunch this week, even for me! Based on a True Story seems to be a love/hate one, so it could go either way, I feel. I’m still baffled by that missing book – I hope it was a 1-star one…

  7. Believe it or not, I’m tempted by Fibonacci. I just read a review on Goodreads that says the book is more about the quest to discover him than it is about Fibonacci himself, so I’ll be interested to hear how that works for you. And I’m also curious about the new Daniel Kehlmann…

    • Yes, that’s the impression I get too though I’m hoping it will still tell me a little about the mathematical stuff – so long as he keeps it simple!! I’m really looking forward to the Kehlmann – I loved his last novel, F, and have been wanting to read more of him… 😀

    • Ha – I think the Fibonacci might be fun and it would be good to find out what Fibonacci numbers actually are! 😉 I have high hopes of the Kehlmann – I loved his last book, F, …

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