TBR Thursday 130…

Episode 130…

A tiny decrease this week – down 1 to 195. Still, at least it’s heading in the right direction. Better news is that the number of outstanding review copies is down to 29 from 36 the last time I reported it, so that undoubtedly means I deserve cake!

Here are a few that will be reaching the top of the pile soon…


Courtesy of NetGalley. It was the lovely Renee at It’s Book Talk who first tipped me off about this one, knowing my love of tennis, and she then followed up with a great review that made me even more enthusiastic to read it…

The Blurb says: Growing up in the wealthy suburbs of Philadelphia, Anton Stratis is groomed to be one thing only: the #1 tennis player in the world. Trained relentlessly by his obsessive father, a former athlete who plans every minute of his son’s life, Anton both aspires to greatness and resents its all-consuming demands. Lonely and isolated—removed from school and socialization to focus on tennis—Anton explodes from nowhere onto the professional scene and soon becomes one of the top-ranked players in the world, with a coach, a trainer, and an entourage.

But as Anton struggles to find a balance between stardom and family, he begins to make compromises—first with himself, then with his health, and finally with the rules of tennis, a mix that will threaten to destroy everything he has worked for.

Trophy Son offers an inside look at the dangers of extraordinary pressure to achieve, whether in sports or any field, through the eyes of a young man defying his parents’ ambitions as he seeks a life of his own.

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This is one I actually bought (*faints*) and it’s not even for one of my many challenges! Every review I’ve read of it has made me keener to read it. It was a runner-up for the Booker in 2016…

The Blurb says: A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of seventeen-year-old Roderick Macrae. There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. What would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path? Will he hang for his crime?

Presented as a collection of documents discovered by the author, His Bloody Project opens with a series of police statements taken from the villagers of Culdie, Ross-shire. They offer conflicting impressions of the accused; one interviewee recalls Macrae as a gentle and quiet child, while another details him as evil and wicked. Chief among the papers is Roderick Macrae’s own memoirs, where he outlines the series of events leading up to the murder in eloquent and affectless prose. There follow medical reports, psychological evaluations, a courtroom transcript from the trial, and other documents that throw both Macrae’s motive and his sanity into question. Graeme Macrae Burnet’s multilayered narrative will keep the reader guessing to the very end.

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Courtesy of NetGalley. I read and thoroughly enjoyed Attica Locke’s The Cutting Season several years ago (pre-blog reviews) and have been meaning to read more of her stuff ever since – never got around to it, of course. So I couldn’t resist requesting this one…

The Blurb says: When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules–a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home.

When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders–a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman–have stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes–and save himself in the process–before Lark’s long-simmering racial fault lines erupt. A rural noir suffused with the unique music, color, and nuance of East Texas, Bluebird, Bluebird is an exhilarating, timely novel about the collision of race and justice in America.

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Crime on Audio

Following my recent enjoyable listens to some of Agatha Christie’s classics, here’s another – same author, but different narrator this time – the wonderful Joan Hickson. I’ve listened to one of her narrations before and she has the perfect voice for the Miss Marple books…

The Blurb says: The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog with curiosity over an advertisement in the local gazette which reads: “A murder is announced and will take place on Friday October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m.” A childish practical joke? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, a crowd begins to gather at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out.

(I do love these tiny blurbs – just enough to intrigue…)

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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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58 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 130…

  1. I also keep on meaning to read His Bloody Project, but not got to it yet… Maybe after Brief History of Seven Killings (sigh!).
    I have read Bluebird Bluebird and would love to hear what you think of it. Very different to The Cutting Season and Pleasantville, this one is much less complex, a much more straightforward storyline (perhaps because Attica Locke has been writing for TV a lot lately). Still hits hard on racial issues, of course.

    • Hah! Brief Killings is on my wishlist too! We’re hopeless…
      Interesting! I wonder if that will have developed her plotting. It’s a long time since I read it, but I seem to remember feeling the plotting in The Cutting Season was a bit loose – not quite as good as all the insights she gave into life on the plantation. In fact, I think I commented that I thought she’d be better going for lit-fic and cutting out the crime element altogether. Obviously, she didn’t listen to me! 😉

    • Oh, that’s good to hear! I must say I don’t think I’ve seen a single review of it that hasn’t been praising it, which is highly unusual – can’t wait to get to it. I’ve been listening to some of Hugh Fraser’s narrations of the Poirot books recently and they’re fab. But when it comes to Miss Marple, Joan Hickson is the best,,, and she’s just as good at narrating them as she was at acting in them. Such a fun way to “re-read” them!

  2. I really want to read both the Burnet and the Locke, FictionFan. Both have been on my radar, but I just haven’t got there yet. And A Murder is Announced is a good Christie. I really hope you’ll enjoy it. May I suggest you accompany it with a bit of chocolate for having whittled your TBR down…

    • I’ve had the Burnet for months now and really want to read it – and yet still haven’t managed to fit it in! *sighs* And I’m really looking forward to the Locke too – interesting blurb. I’m enjoying “re-reading” the Chirtsie through these fab narrations so much! Oh, well, perhaps just a small piece of chocolate… just to please you, you know… 😉

  3. I’m so curious to hear what you think of Trophy Son and thanks so much for the mention and link! I wanted Bluebird but was denied on Netgalley:( I think it sounds so good and I’ve never read her books before. I’m at the top of my library waitlist so I’ll for sure be reading it at some point.

    • Can’t wait to read it – I was hoping to get to it during Wimbledon, but needless to say that didn’t happen. Thanks for recommending it to me! Oh, that’s a shame about Bluebird – I can never work out why they sometimes reject us. I’ve only read one of her books before but she’s an excellent writer, and I think the blurb of this one sounds interesting – hope you get it soon!

    • I’ve heard so many good things about it too – I have very high expectations of it! It’s a great cover – I love the way they’ve made it look like an old book, and those bloody fingerprints remind me of what often happens to my books when Tuppence is in a mood… 😉

    • Ah, that’s good to know – yours will doubtless have been one of the many reviews that persuaded me to go for it. 🙂 I do deserve cake, don’t I? And maybe a small piece of chocolate… 😉

    • Haha! We both must have been too slow off the mark when it was on NetGalley! Good to hear you rate it highly too – yours would doubtless have been one of the reviews that persuaded me to go for it. The rest do all look good too though… 😀

  4. Very tempted by Trophy Son – I love sport although I’m trying to think of the last novel I read that had sport as the central theme. It was probably David Peace The Damned United. I liked his style to start with but then end up feeling slightly bludgeoned by it.

    • Generally I’m wary of books about sport in case they spend forever describing fictional games. I still have nightmares over John Grisham’s Chicago Joe which was full of made-up baseball statistics, and had an intro explaining the game which ran to 13% of the entire book! Aaarrghhh! I’m hoping this one won’t be like that… 😉

    • I love that Christie one too, and Joan Hickson is so great! I have high hopes of Trophy Son since Renee gave it a glowing review. Ah, I like your attitude re cake… here, have a piece!

    • Thank you! Yes, I reckon just in terms of the number of people who’ve either read and loved it, or who want to read it, it really should have been the Booker winner! I hope we both get to it soon… 😀

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