TBR Thursday 152…

Episode 152…

The stunning fall in the TBR continues! Down 2 since I last reported, to 219! I bet you wish your willpower was as superhuman as mine…

Here are a few more that should be coming up soon… well, soonish. After Gone with the Wind

Factual

Courtesy of NetGalley. Conan Doyle is nearly as fascinating a character in his own right as his creation, Sherlock Holmes…

The Blurb says: Just before Christmas 1908, Marion Gilchrist, a wealthy 82-year-old spinster, was found bludgeoned to death in her Glasgow home. A valuable diamond brooch was missing, and police soon fastened on a suspect – Oscar Slater, a Jewish immigrant who was rumoured to have a disreputable character. Slater had an alibi, but was nonetheless convicted and sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment in the notorious Peterhead Prison.

Seventeen years later, a convict called William Gordon was released from Peterhead. Concealed in a false tooth was a message, addressed to the only man Slater thought could help him – Arthur Conan Doyle. Always a champion of the downtrodden, Conan Doyle turned his formidable talents to freeing Slater, deploying a forensic mind worthy of Sherlock Holmes.

Drawing from original sources including Oscar Slater’s prison letters, this is Margalit Fox’s vivid and compelling account of one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in Scottish history.

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Science Fiction

One of the science fictions entries on my Classics Club list. I read several of the Stainless Steel Rat series back in my teens and enjoyed them, but have never revisited them. Will they have stood the test of time?

The Blurb says: Meet Slippery Jim diGriz…

…cosmic criminal, the smoothest, sneakiest, con-man in the known Universe. He can take any bank in the Galaxy, con a captain out of his ship, start a war or stop one – whichever pays most.

So when the law finally catches up with the Stainless Steel Rat, there is only one thing to do – make him a cop. And turn him loose on a villainous lady who is building herself a battleship.

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Crime

Courtesy of NetGalley. I’ve enjoyed a couple of Jónasson’s earlier books so am looking forward to this – the start of a new series apparently.

The Blurb says: At sixty-four, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir of the Reykjavik Police is about to take on her last case before she retires: A young woman, an asylum seeker from Russia, found murdered on the seaweed covered rocks of the Vatnsleysuströnd in Iceland.

When Hulda starts to ask questions it isn’t long before she realizes that no one can be trusted, and that no one is telling the whole truth. Spanning Reykjavik, the Icelandic highlands and the cold, isolated fjords, The Darkness is a thrilling new crime thriller from one of the biggest new names in Scandi noir.

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History on Audio

As my Russian Revolution challenge draws to a close, what better way to end the factual side of it than with this new book from one of my favourite historians, Arthur Herman…

The Blurb says: This is the story of two men and the two decisions that transformed world history in a single tumultuous year, 1917: Wilson’s entry into World War I and Lenin’s Bolshevik Revolution.

In April 1917, Woodrow Wilson, champion of American democracy but also segregation, advocate for free trade and a new world order based on freedom and justice, thrust the United States into World War I in order to make the “world safe for democracy” – only to see his dreams for a liberal international system dissolve into chaos, bloodshed, and betrayal.

That October, Vladimir Lenin, Communist revolutionary and advocate for class war and “dictatorship of the proletariat”, would overthrow Russia’s earlier democratic revolution that had toppled the all-power czar, all in the name of liberating humanity – and instead would set up the most repressive totalitarian regime in history, the Soviet Union.

In this incisive, fast-paced history, New York Times best-selling author Arthur Herman brilliantly reveals how Lenin and Wilson rewrote the rules of modern geopolitics. Through the end of World War I, countries marched into war only to increase or protect their national interests. After World War I, countries began going to war over ideas. Together, Lenin and Wilson unleashed the disruptive ideologies that would sweep the world, from nationalism and globalism to Communism and terrorism, and that continue to shape our world today.

Our New World Disorder is the legacy left by Wilson and Lenin and their visions of the perfectibility of man. One hundred years later, we still sit on the powder keg they first set the detonator to through war and revolution.

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NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads or Audible.

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

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40 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 152…

  1. Oh, you do have some good ‘uns there, FictionFan. I like the sound of the Jónasson very much. And it is interesting to think of Conan Doyle as a character, rather than the real-life person he was. I’ll be interested in your reviews.

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    • I’m looking forward to both of those. I still have some of Jónasson’s original series to read, but couldn’t resist getting in on this one at Book 1 for a change! And I think the Conan Doyle is a true crime book rather than a fictionalised version, but I’m not sure. Sounds fascinating, anyway. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just about all of those, with the exception of the last one. I’m more excited about the first! I can’t help thinking of the series by Stephanie Barron that turned Jane Austen into a detective.

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    • Haha – I’ve still not turned you into a Russian Rev fan then? 😉 They do look good though. I think the Conan Doyle one is actually a true crime book rather than a fictionalised version, but it sounds good either way. I haven’t come across the Jane Austen ones – must investigate… 🙂

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  3. How cruel to dangle these choices before me – I fancy all of them. The trouble is that a whole load of library reserves have arrived in exactly the same week & I’m still not touching my own TBR 🙂

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    • Haha – they do sound good, don’t they? But look on the bright side – maybe I’ll hate them all and then think what you’ll have been saved from… 😉 Personally I think libraries should have hazard notices on the doors…

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  4. I like the Conan Doyle best — sounds like an intriguing story! Darkness might work, too, but I can’t read something like that during the cold of winter, ha!

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    • I love the sound of the Conan Doyle – I hope it lives up to my high expectations! Ha – his books do always tend to be dark, snowy and cold – it kind of cheers me up that Iceland’s weather is even more brutal than ours… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Whew! Thank goodness. Really, I’ve got to cool it with the TBR additions. So this week you didn’t get me, and for that I am grateful. 🙂

    So this is the last book for your Russian challenge? Seems like just yesterday you were beginning that!

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    • Haha – Ok, I’ll let you have this week off. But I’ll try to get you next week! 😉

      Last of the factual. I’ve still got a couple of fiction books to go – one light and short that I’m really looking forward to, and the other heavy and long, that I’m not sure I can face… it seemed like a good idea at the time!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m a bit worried about you. Your TBR is falling dangerously low and you could be in danger of falling over as you bend down too quickly to lift another to diminish the pile.

    I’m going to suggest a useful adjunct to one of your existing medications (sorry, I meant reads) If Sir Arthur is making you feel better as himself, you could do worse than try Julian Barnes’ Arthur and George. The Arthur, or course, being Sir himself and okay he has turned what was a real case into the form and drama of fiction. And Sir Arthur, again, a knight in shining armour on a miscarriage of justice………..

    I’m doing the ghastly task of taking down every book from the shelf and hoovering up the attendant dust kittens. I don’t do this very often, hence it really is a ghastly task and I shall end up looking as if I have surfaced after a day in the mines. I won’t finish it in one fell lot, especially as I keep getting distracted by all the books I realise I have not yet read and the even higher piles of ‘that was such a good book, I fancy reading it again. A pile of ‘to the charity shop, I shan’t want to read THAT again’ is also mounting, though curiously I can’t really see spaces have substantially opened up on the shelves. Never mind the space time continuum, what about the mysterious foldings of bookie black holes. I swear the Big Bang is continually taking place on my bookshelves as books expand outwards, upwards, like galaxies. Perhaps that is all a galaxy is, an ever expanding library……

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    • I know – it’s frightening – less than two years worth! I may have to top up soon…

      Aha! You can’t get me, because I’ve already read Arthur and George! Admittedly it was ages ago and I remember very little about it – pre-reviewing days. Oh no, I feel a re-read coming on… how could you do this to me!

      Ha! I’ve never understood how I can take two bags full to the charity shop and still have exactly the same number of heaps all over the place – I suspect your theory is right. I now have a terrible fear that when I’m selected for the first womanned flight to Mars (what? It might happen!) I’ll get there and discover the planet is actually just a massive spherical TBR pile. Would that be utopian or dystopian?? I suppose it would depend on whether there were also comfy chairs and a chocolate shop…

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      • Not to mention what the books were, or is that less crucial than the armchair and the chocolate. What if there was only one comfy chair – but it was made of chocolate. And was the only chocolate source. Discuss.
        To sit, or not – to eat! Aye, where’s the butt?
        Whether tis nobler in the mouth to suffer
        The Twix and Mars Bars of outrageous fortune
        Or to take rest against a seat of troubles
        And by opposing, melt them……

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        • Oh dear! I fear I’d have to eat the chair and make a nest out of the books – maybe all the war stories I didn’t want to read. Or the romances! To sleep, perchance to dream! Who knows what sleeping on a pile of romances might do to my dreams?

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    • Me too! And I’m so thrilled at the idea of actually starting at the beginning of a series for once…

      Thank you – I’m glad you recognise my astonishing achievement. I’m thinking of doing a TED talk to assist all you willpowerless types…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha – if you find that, pass the secret on! Though I’ve always felt growing an extra head or two is probably the way to go. I think the ACD book looks great – he’s such a fascinating bunch of contradictions…

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    • I’m often surprised when people review audiobooks and don’t really mention the narrator – it seems to me that’s the thing I most want to know when deciding whether to read or listen…

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    • Yes, my willpower is truly exceptional. *kicks over a pile of unread books* I’m not doing a good job of selling poor old Lenin and Trotsky to the masses, am I? I’ll never get to work in the propaganda department at this rate… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his previous books – they’re a great mix of traditional style crime fiction but in a bang up to date modern setting. And I’m really trying to read more from authors I know I like rather than a constant stream of new-to-me authors… 🙂

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