TBR Thursday 129…

Episode 129…

Now, before I tell you this week’s figure, I just need you to understand that it’s not my fault! You see, all this week Amazon have been reducing the price of books that have been on my wishlist for ages, so what was I to do? Really, it would have been foolish and irresponsible not to buy them… wouldn’t it? Plus, think of all the authors, editors, publishers, etc., who have benefited. In fact, in these tough times, it’s pretty much a duty to boost the economy, so it could be argued that I’m performing a valuable public service every time I add to the TBR. But please, don’t thank me!

Yes, you’re right – it’s gone up again. To 196, which isn’t too bad considering… er… considering… well, considering it’s Thursday! See? It all makes perfect sense, when you think about it. And if you don’t believe me, I’ll get my new spokesperson to explain it…

The three fiction books on this week’s post are from my 20 Books of Summer list, although two of them weren’t on it originally. I mentioned last week that I’ve abandoned three four books so far, so these two are replacements. So far I’ve read eight and reviewed three… hmm!


Courtesy of NetGalley. I loved Rushdie’s last book, Two Years, Eight Months & Twenty-Eight Nights, but still haven’t got around to reading any of his earlier stuff. And now he has a new one, which sounds fabulous…

The Blurb says: A modern American epic set against the panorama of contemporary politics and culture—a hurtling, page-turning mystery that is equal parts The Great Gatsby and The Bonfire of the Vanities.

On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, an enigmatic billionaire from foreign shores takes up residence in the architectural jewel of “the Gardens,” a cloistered community in New York’s Greenwich Village. The neighborhood is a bubble within a bubble, and the residents are immediately intrigued by the eccentric newcomer and his family. Along with his improbable name, untraceable accent, and unmistakable whiff of danger, Nero Golden has brought along his three adult sons: agoraphobic, alcoholic Petya, whose rambling soliloquies are the curse of a tortured mind; Apu, the flamboyant artist, sexually and spiritually omnivorous, famous on twenty blocks; and D, at twenty-two the baby of the family, harboring an explosive secret even from himself. There is no mother, no wife; at least not until Vasilisa, a sleek Russian expat, snags the septuagenarian Nero, becoming the queen to his king—a queen in want of an heir.

Our guide to the Goldens’ world is their neighbor René, an ambitious young filmmaker. As research for a movie about the Goldens, he ingratiates himself into their household. Seduced by their mystique, he is inevitably implicated in their quarrels, their infidelities, and, indeed, their crimes. Meanwhile, like a bad joke, a certain comic-book villain embarks upon a crass presidential run that turns New York upside-down.

Set against the strange and exuberant backdrop of current American culture and politics, The Golden House also marks Salman Rushdie’s triumphant and exciting return to realism. The result is a modern epic of love and terrorism, loss and reinvention—a powerful, timely story told with the daring and panache that make Salman Rushdie the standard-bearer of our dark new age.

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This was the runner-up in my poll for the 20 Books list, so has now sneaked on as the first replacement. Which I’m glad about, because I really do want to read it…

The Blurb says: For five years Priest’s Island has guarded the secret of Max Wheeler’s disappearance. Each anniversary the boy’s family gathers at the scene to mourn his loss and to commission a new inquiry into the mystery. So far a retired chief constable, a private detective, a forensic archaeologist and a former intelligence officer have failed to uncover what happened to fourteen-year-old Max. Now Cal McGill, an oceanographer with expertise in tracking bodies at sea, has taken up the quest and finds himself caught between a father hell-bent on vengeance, a family riven by tragedy and a community resentful at being accused of murder. As Cal goes about his investigation he discovers an island that provokes dangerous passions in everyone that sets foot on it. And he has a nagging worry: if Max was murdered why shouldn’t it happen again?

* * * * *


Courtesy of NetGalley. Having loved Horowitz’s last few books, especially the magnificent Magpie Murders, I cannot wait to read this, so I’m delighted to be able to slot it in as the second 20 Books replacement…

The Blurb says: A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she’s arranged her own funeral.

A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own.

A reluctant author drawn into a story he can’t control.

What do they have in common?

Unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz’s page-turning new thriller.


* * * * *


Courtesy of the publisher, this one was recommended to me by Karissa at realizinggrace  as part of the Reading the Russian Revolution Challenge. Although it’s not specifically about the Revolution, it is a record of an aspect of life under the Soviet regime that is rarely considered in mainstream histories. All the publishers that I’ve begged books from for this challenge have been great, but Penguin Classics have been particularly generous, so my grateful thanks go to them…

The Blurb says: In the late 1970s, Svetlana Alexievich set out to write her first book, The Unwomanly Face of War, when she realized that she grew up surrounded by women who had fought in the Second World War but whose stories were absent from official narratives. Travelling thousands of miles, she spent years interviewing hundreds of Soviet women – captains, tank drivers, snipers, pilots, nurses and doctors – who had experienced the war on the front lines, on the home front and in occupied territories. As it brings to light their most harrowing memories, this symphony of voices reveals a different side of war, a new range of feelings, smells and colours.

After completing the manuscript in 1983, Alexievich was not allowed to publish it because it went against the state-sanctioned history of the war. With the dawn of Perestroika, a heavily censored edition came out in 1985 and it became a huge bestseller in the Soviet Union – the first in five books that have established her as the conscience of the twentieth century.

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

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

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42 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 129…

  1. I’ve got the Svetlana Alexievich as well, looking forward to reading it. And I also greatly enjoyed The Magpie Murders, so am planning to read this Horowitz as well. It’s funny, isn’t it, when both parents and children can enjoy the same author, but with different books? My kids and I last had this with Tove Jansson.


    • I have a feeling the Alexievich might be one for dipping in and out of rather than reading straight through, but it sounds intereting and Karissa enjoyed it. Ha! One of my regrets is that I didn’t get to read Horowitz’s children’s books as a child. It’s on my list of things to do when I get a time machine – take a bundle back to my younger self.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! I’m so proud of myself! 😉

      I can’t wait to get to the Rushdie – somehow I seem to be reading at a crawl at the moment. And I’ve heard lots of good things about The Malice of Waves…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, I see you have a new spokesperson, FictionFan! Well, if you ask me, you’re doing your literary duty to add to your TBR. As you say, you’re helping to keep many publishers, editors, and hard-working, deserving authors in business. I say it’s a public service!

    At any rate…the Horowitz looks great, as does the Douglas-Home. You’ve got some very good reading ahead of you, I think.


    • I may have to dismiss him though – he’s lowering the tone. I wonder if Spicey is still free? 😉 I’m glad you recognise my valuable contribution to the economy…

      Yes, both of those look good, especially the Horowitz! Somehow I seem to be reading at a crawl at the moment, but I can’t wait to get to some of these goodies… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 196 and Thursday totally makes sense. Do not ley anyone tell you otherwise 😀

    The two crime novels have me so curious that I am tempted to go an see if the ARCS are still available. The story about the woman who dies after arranging her own funeral already has be asking myself questions. I want to know the story. You are bad for my TBR 😦


    • Ah, see, I knew sensible people would understand! 😉

      The Malice of Waves is one I’ve had hanging around for months, so it probably won’t be available, but if you can get hold of the Horowitz, do! I’ve loved his last few books! His plotting is fantastic and his books are so much fun. Haha – sorry about that! 😀


  4. I love the rationalization behind the necessary increase in your TBR! Makes perfect sense, you know, that we all should do our part in stimulating the economy. As for these suggestions, well, I think I’m able to slink past them without nibbling. Don’t worry, though — I have plenty on my own list and really don’t need to add to it!!


    • Absolutely! I feel it’s my moral duty to snap up all these £0.99 bargains – it would be awful if Amazon went bust because I resisted! 😉 Ah, I’ll try harder to tempt you next week then…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d definitely be tempted by the last one. I’ve got Boys in Zinc about the soviet war in Afghanistan which is excellent. I think I may have heard excerpts of The Unwomanly Face of War on Radio 4 yesterday and it was gripping.


    • Oh yes, I’d heard R4 were doing The Unwomanly Face of War but had forgotten – must check it out on the iPlayer. It will be intriguing to read some personal experiences after reading so many histories – sometimes it’s easy to forget that amidst the politics it’s real people’s lives that are affected…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, well, well, well, well……….I am mid the Horowitz and enjoying it HUGELY. The Rushdie I am requesting/have requested/am waiting for – I can’t remember which. As for your spokesperson, he has stepped straight out of the pages of Saul Bellow’s unbearably tedious Humboldt’s Gift, written in 1975, and his name is Cantabile. He is a gangster. Soon as The Mooch appeared it made the Bellow Book just a little more interesting.


    • Oh, good to know! I seem to be crawling through my pile at the moment – I’d hoped to be reading the Horowitz myself round about now, but it’s still three books away. I got the Rushdie ages ago, I think maybe from the American publisher, and then it reappeared recently from the UK one. Hope you get it – the blurb is very appealing! Hahaha! I shall miss The Mooch – he added that touch of surreal mafiosi which was all the Trump administration was really lacking to make for superb comedy. Sadly, I don’t think Kelly is going to be half so much fun…


    • Oh, that’s good to know! No, I haven’t – jumped in in the middle, as usual, but a few people have said this one will work as a standalone so I have my fingers crossed…


  7. 196 is about half of my TBR, so you won’t hear anything from me.

    I think the Horowitz looks most tempting, but I still haven’t read his Magpie Murders yet since it took SO LONG to come out in the US. I’m on the list for it at the library, though, so it shouldn’t be too much longer!


    • Haha! Your TBR woes always cheer me up – is that mean of me? 😉

      Oh, I hope you get Magpie Murders soon – a brilliant book! His plotting is always so amazing, and his books are so much fun. I can’t wait to read this one… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond but I’ve been too busy rolling around with tears running down my face following your opening sentence – and then it just got better! Really did you not have enough books on your TBR to find replacements for the abandoned books?
    I do want to read The Word is Murder so I’ve just gone off to request it from NetGalley – fingers crossed although I still haven’t read Magpie Murders.
    Happy reading 😉


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