TBR Thursday 133…

Episode 133…

Well! What can I say? Obviously starting a new challenge to read 102 classic crime novels was bound to be somewhat injurious to the old TBR. So I might as well just get it over with – it’s gone up by 18 to 213! The wishlist has gone through the stratosphere, but fortunately I only own up to that at the end of the quarter, by which time I’m sure it will all be back under control. Well, almost sure…

Meantime my reading slump seems to be finally wearing off a little, and hopefully these will help me recover my enthusiasm…

Crime

Courtesy of NetGalley – apparently in the US it’s called Beartown. Couldn’t resist this one after reading Keeper of Pages‘ great review…

The Blurb says: Beartown is a small town in a large Swedish forest. For most of the year it is under a thick blanket of snow, experiencing the kind of cold and dark that brings people closer together – or pulls them apart. Its isolation means that Beartown has been slowly shrinking with each passing year. But now the town is on the verge of an astonishing revival. Everyone can feel the excitement. Change is in the air and a bright new future is just around the corner.

Until the day it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear. No one can stand by or stay silent. You’re on one side or another.

Which side will you find yourself on?

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Spies

Courtesy of the publisher, Hutchinson. Robert Harris has become one of my must-read authors and this one sounds fab…

The Blurb says: September 1938. Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace. The issue is to be decided in a city that will forever afterwards be notorious for what takes place there. Munich.

As Chamberlain’s plane judders over the Channel and the Fürher’s train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own.

Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain’s private secretaries; Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. Great friends at Oxford before Hitler came to power, they haven’t seen one another since they were last in Munich six years earlier. Now, as the future of Europe hangs in the balance, their paths are destined to cross again.

When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience?

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Crime

Courtesy of NetGalley. First up for the Murder Mystery Mayhem Challenge and it looks like a goodie to start with…

The Blurb says: A woman is on trial for her life, accused of murder. The twelve members of the jury each carry their own secret burden of guilt and prejudice which could affect the outcome.

In this extraordinary crime novel, we follow the trial through the eyes of the jurors as they hear the evidence and try to reach a unanimous verdict. Will they find the defendant guilty, or not guilty? And will the jurors’ decision be the correct one?

Since its first publication in 1940, Verdict of Twelve has been widely hailed as a classic of British crime writing. This edition offers a new generation of readers the chance to find out why so many leading commentators have admired the novel for so long.

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Yo-ho-ho! And a bottle of rum!

Courtesy of Audible via the lovely people at MidasPR. I love Treasure Island so how could I possibly resist this? (I’ve actually already started it since I prepared this post and it’s stonkingly good so far!)

The Blurb says: Audible Originals takes to the high seas to bring to life this timeless tale of pirates, lost treasure maps and mutiny, starring BAFTA-nominated Catherine Tate (The Catherine Tate Show, The Office, Doctor Who), Philip Glenister (Outcast, Life On Mars), Owen Teale (Game of Thrones, Pulse, Last Legion) and Daniel Mays (The Adventures of Tintin, Rogue One, Atonement), amongst others.

When weathered old sailor Billy Bones arrives at the inn of young Jim Hawkins’ parents, it is the start of an adventure beyond anything he could have imagined. When Bones dies mysteriously, Jim stumbles across a map of a mysterious island in his sea chest, where X marks the spot of a stash of buried pirate gold. Soon after setting sail to recover the treasure, Jim realises that he’s not the only one intent on discovering the hoard. Suddenly he is thrown into a world of treachery, mutiny, castaways and murder, and at the centre of it all is the charming but sinister Long John Silver, who will stop at nothing to grab his share of the loot.

One of the best-loved adventure stories ever written, Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1881 novel introduced us to characters such as the unforgettable Long John Silver, forever associating peg-legged pirates with ‘X marks the spot’ in our cultural consciousness. Following the success of the double Audie Award-winning Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories, Audible Originals UK are excited to announce this reimagination of Stevenson’s coming-of-age story that will captivate all of the family.

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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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55 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 133…

    • Tchah, resistance is futile! I wondered about Verdict of Twelve too – if it had inspired Twelve Angry Men maybe. But there was nothing in the Martin Edwards book to say so, so I suspect not – must be coincidence.

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  1. I don’t see how you could avoid increasing the TBR with a classic crime challenge like that, FictionFan! I think Verdict of Twelve looks appealing; I’ll be interested in what you think of that one. The others look good, too, but that’s the one that especially appeals to me.

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  2. Not long ago, I read Robert Harris’ FATHERLAND, a post-WWII alternate history, and was left spellbound by both story/plot and narrative style. In some ways, the dark and intensely atmospheric novel — set in Berlin with Hitler still alive and ruling — reminded me of Martin Cruz Smith’s GORKY PARK. I plan to read everything by Harris, including MUNICH.

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    • Ah, I haven’t read Fatherland yet but it sounds great. My first Harris was An Officer and a Spy which I thoroughly enjoyed – about the Dreyfus affair – but it was Enigma that turned me into a major fan – about the codebreakers at Bletchley Park in WW2. I’ve only read another one or two so far, but really want to read his whole catalogue. I also haven’t read Gorky Park but it’s on my never-ending TBR!

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    • They sound great, don’t they? 😀 I’m a huge Harris fan, though I’ve only read a few of his books so far. But I want to gradually read them all. Enigma is a great one if you’re looking for a place to start. Hahaha! I do like “stonkingly” – in fact, one might say it I’m stonkingly fond of it… 😉

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  3. You’ve done it… I’m tempted by all of them. Thankfully, I already own Beartown (The Scandal), so there is one less to put on the list. I’m listening to a fabulous narration of The Island of Dr. Moreau at the moment, which has only increased by love of classics as audio.

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    • Oooh, I love the idea of an audio version The Island of Dr Moreau – who’s the narrator? I acquired some freebie credits unexpectedly last week, so I’m having a bit of a spree on audiobooks. 😀 Treasure Island is great – it’s a dramatisation rather than a narration, but seems to be sticking pretty closely to the plot so far. And I’ve picked up Derek Jacobi reading Frankenstein and can’t wait to get into it…

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    • Ha! I thought you’d be horrified by the idea of a book about a jury at the moment! 😉 Treasure Island is great – it’s a dramatisation rather than a narration and it’s very well done – great script, great acting…

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  4. Treasure Island is a wonderful adventure story but it has some darker elements like the way Jim feels both attracted and repelled by Long John Silver. Verdict of Twelve could be interesting – those British Library Classics can be a bit varied in quality

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    • Yes, I wondered if they might have sanitised it a bit, but no – the dramatisation gets pretty dark and scary. So far, it’s great! I find the BL books variable too, but I still seem to enjoy even the less good ones – sometimes the outdated attitudes make me laugh even when the rest isn’t so good…

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  5. Doggone it, FF, you’ve got a batch of interesting selections here! Verdict of Twelve immediately grabs my attention, but so does Munich. And Treasure Island is definitely a classic. Come to think of it, I should probably re-read some of those classics.

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    • They’re goodies this week, aren’t they? I can’t wait to read Munich – he’s one of my favourite authors and the subject matter sounds perfect for my tastes. I’m finding listening to some of the classics on audio is loads of fun – there are some really brilliant actors and narrators doing them these days. So far, Treasure Island is great! 😀

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    • He’s only become one of my must-reads fairly recently which means I have the delight of still having loads of his books to read. This one sounds great, and then I really want to read his Roman trilogy… 🙂

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      • The first one of his I read was Pompeii – a great book. I’ve also read his Roman trilogy – really good. I liked Fatherland, but not as much as his other books. It’s alternative history which is not one of my favourite genres. I’ve just borrowed Conclave from the library, which I think you’ve read, and looking forward to that.

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        • Oh, you’ve reminded me Pompeii is another I’d love to read! I’m not too keen on alternative history either – I get tied up in knots trying to work out what’s real and what’s not – but he’s such a good writer I’m willing to give it a go. I thoroughly enjoyed Conclave, with just a couple of very minor issues (but you know me – always those pesky issues! 😉 ) I think you’ll love it – hope so!

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    • I’m about a third of the way through now and so far, it’s great! It’s a dramatisation rather than a narration but they seem to be sticking quite closely to the plot and the acting is top-rate. 😀

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    • Treasure Island is fab so far – they’re sticking quite closely to the plot and the acting is great! Verdict of Twelve really appeals, so I’m glad it has your recommendation. And I have very high hopes for Munich… 🙂

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  6. 😂😂 sorry I almost couldn’t read past the super high 218 number!! I was tempted by The Scandal and it’s on my TBR and I’m trying to resist The Verdict of Twelve which has received great reviews. You can however keep Treasure Island unless it comes with a complementary bottle of rum. I received it for a Christmas present as a child, beautiful copy but I wasn’t impressed by the story 😞.

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    • You’re just jealous of my ever-expanding TBR! But I know once you start reading The Story of Classic Crime, you’ll soon catch up… 😉 I can’t remember what I thought of Treasure Island when I was a kid though I think I liked it, but I re-read it as an adult a few years ago and thought it was great, and I must say this dramatisation is excellent so far…

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    • Ha! I know – but you should see the increase on my wishlist! I’ve just started Verdict of Twelve and so far it seems excellent – good writing, nicely dark. Treasure Island is abby fabby! I finished it last night and actually feel like starting it all over again tonight! The quality of the acting is fab! (You can tell my review is going to include the word fab quite often, can’t you?)

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  7. I’m tempted by Munich, which I think it a bit unusual for me, as I don’t think I’ve really ever read a spy novel. But the synopsis sounds really good! I’ll wait for your assessment before adding it to my TBR (currently at 374, I think.) 🙂

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