TBR Thursday 127…

Episode 127…

During my tennis-watching break the TBR fell dramatically, at one point going as low as 193. But as soon as I returned to the blogosphere this week it started to rise again, till now it’s back up to 196 – exactly where it was at my last TBR post. This provides conclusive proof of what I’ve long suspected – my TBR woes are all because of…


So here’s this week’s attempt to get my own back!

All of this weeks choices are from my 20 Books of Summer list.


Courtesy of NetGalley, this was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize…

The Blurb says: A group of children inherit an elemental paradise on earth in Roy Jacobsen’s phenomenally bestselling new novel about love, poverty and tragedy in early twentieth century Norway.

“Nobody can leave an island. An island is a cosmos in a nutshell, where the stars slumber in the grass beneath the snow. But occasionally someone tries . . .”

Ingrid Barrøy is born on an island that bears her name – a holdfast for a single family, their livestock, their crops, their hopes and dreams. Her father dreams of building a quay that will connect them to the mainland, but closer ties to the wider world come at a price. Her mother has her own dreams – more children, a smaller island, a different life – and there is one question Ingrid must never ask her.

Island life is hard, a living scratched from the dirt or trawled from the sea, so when Ingrid comes of age, she is sent to the mainland to work for one of the wealthy families on the coast. But Norway too is waking up to a wider world, a modern world that is capricious and can be cruel. Tragedy strikes, and Ingrid must fight to protect the home she thought she had left behind.

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Courtesy of NetGalley, another anthology of classic crime from the British Library…

The Blurb says: A man is forbidden to uncover the secret of the tower in a fairy-tale castle by the Rhine. A headless corpse is found in a secret garden in Paris – belonging to the city’s chief of police. And a drowned man is fished from the sea off the Italian Riviera, leaving the carabinieri to wonder why his socialite friends at the Villa Almirante are so unconcerned by his death. These are three of the scenarios in this new collection of vintage crime stories. Detective stories from the golden age and beyond have used European settings – cosmopolitan cities, rural idylls and crumbling chateaux – to explore timeless themes of revenge, deception, murder and haunting. Including lesser-known stories by Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, J. Jefferson Farjeon and other classic writers, this collection reveals many hidden gems of British crime.

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Courtesy of Princeton University Press. And not just about Russia for once…

The Blurb says: Krishan Kumar provides panoramic and multifaceted portraits of five major European empires—Ottoman, Habsburg, Russian/Soviet, British, and French—showing how each, like ancient Rome, saw itself as the carrier of universal civilization to the rest of the world. Sometimes these aims were couched in religious terms, as with Islam for the Ottomans or Catholicism for the Habsburgs. Later, the imperial missions took more secular forms, as with British political traditions or the world communism of the Soviets.

Visions of Empire offers new insights into the interactions between rulers and ruled, revealing how empire was as much a shared enterprise as a clash of oppositional interests. It explores how these empires differed from nation-states, particularly in how the ruling peoples of empires were forced to downplay or suppress their own national or ethnic identities in the interests of the long-term preservation of their rule. This compelling and in-depth book demonstrates how the rulers of empire, in their quest for a universal world order, left behind a legacy of multiculturalism and diversity that is uniquely relevant for us today.

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Courtesy of NetGalley. I loved Helen Dunmore’s Exposure and have been meaning to read more of her ever since, so couldn’t resist her new one…

The Blurb says: It is 1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence. Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in Radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism. But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol’s housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. Soon his plans for a magnificent terrace built above the two-hundred-foot drop of the Gorge come under threat. Tormented and striving Diner believes that Lizzie’s independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued. She belongs to him: law and custom confirm it, and she must live as he wants–his passion for Lizzie darkening until she finds herself dangerously alone.

Weaving a deeply personal and moving story with a historical moment of critical and complex importance, Birdcage Walk is an unsettling and brilliantly tense drama of public and private violence, resistance and terror from one of our greatest storytellers.

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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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42 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 127…

    • I really enjoy the books, but I admit it’s the covers that always tempt me. Most of the ones I have are on Kindle unfortunately, but I’d love to have a shelf full of them…

    • I hope it will be! They’re great, aren’t they? They always remind me of old railway or cruise posters – I always want to go the place on the cover for a little holiday…

    • I’ve been meaning to read more of Helen Dunmore since I loved Exposure so much and I think I actually have one waiting on my Kindle. But I couldn’t resist the new one when it turned up on NetGalley. I love these covers – mostly I have Kindle versions but I’d love to have a whole shelf of these books… 😀

  1. Oh, Continental Crimes looks fantastic, FictionFan. That’d be my first choice. Can’t wait for your review of it. And, you know, I’d check your feline overlords’ online history before you go blaming us for your TBR! 😉

    • Before I got onto my Russian history kick, I’d been going through a phase of reading about the British Empire, so this book seems as if it’ll cover both of those interests. I’m really looking forward to it! 😀

  2. Continental Crimes! Though Visions of Empire sounds fascinating! I don’t read a ton of nonfiction, but this one tempts me like Guns, Germs and Steel did years ago.

    • The Continental Crimes one should be great – these anthologies have never let me down yet! But I’m really looking forward to Visions of Empire – I think it sounds fascinating too. I know a bit about the British Empire but not about all the other ones. Ooh, I don’t know that one – must investigate… 😀

  3. All very tempting, especially the Helen Dunmore but as I don’t have the foggiest what my TBR is doing having been separated from the trusty spreadsheet which is now in total disarray, I need to hold off until I get my abacus out!

  4. The Helen Dunmore, her last book now of course, sadly, is on the TBR. And The Unseen I raved about earlier, so, that is one already on the TBR and one which left mine some months ago. Preens smugly. We won’t think about all the ones which keep being added…………

    • Of course! I’d forgotten that she died recently when I prepared this post – very sad. I believe she was still relatively young too. The Unseen is next but one on the list, so I should get to it very soon. No, don’t think about them! I was doing so well briefly…

  5. So is it weird that I don’t keep track of my TBR? Sometimes it looks big, and sometimes it looks smaller, but I’m always wholly impressed by your scientific looking charts, etc.

    • Yes, it’s totally weird! In fact, I think it’s against blogging law. You must immediately set up a spreadsheet and produce graphs by this time next week or your blogging privileges may be removed. Or, alternatively, you could send me lots of cake as a bribe to keep your shameful secret…

  6. All of these sound tempting to me! Since reading Miraculous Mysteries a few weeks ago, I’ve been wanting to read more of the British Library anthologies so I’ll be interested in your thoughts on Continental Crimes. I also loved Exposure and am looking forward to reading Birdcage Walk!

    • The Capital Crimes anthology was excellent and I also enjoyed Crimson Snow, though it would be better as a winter read maybe. Hoping this one will be just as good! I’m really looking forward to Birdcage Walk – the blurb sounds intriguing and obviously I already know I love her writing style. Hope we both enjoy it! 😀

  7. I have been steering clear of NetGalley because I seldom get down to reading the books they so generously send me, on request. I have too much to read already. I’d like to read Helen Dunmore’s BIRDCAGE WALK. It sounds real good.

    • I’m always trying to juggle NetGalley and my own books, and losing. I love getting access to all the new publications, but there are books I’ve had sitting on my shelves or on Kindle for years now that I never seem able to find time for. I have high hopes for the Dunmore – I loved Exposure.

    • I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy The Unseen or not, but I’m really looking forward to Birdcage Walk – I loved her last book, Exposure.

      Haha! I know! When I joined the blogosphere I think my TBR was only about 50!

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