TBR Thursday 187…

Episode 187

I’m getting a bit worried that my postman may have been abducted by aliens – there has been a distinct dearth of parcel deliveries so far this year. The result is a massive drop in the TBR – down 2 to 225! It’s worrying…

Here are a few more that should fall over the edge soon…

Factual

This is one I’ve wanted to read for a long time. I remember the Patty Hearst story from when it happened, when I was in my early teens. I was fascinated by it without ever fully understanding what it was all about – in fact, it may well have been that vagueness that made it so intriguing…

The Blurb says: Domestic terrorism. Financial uncertainty. Troops abroad, fighting an unsuccessful and bloody war against guerrilla insurgents. A violent generation gap emerging between a discontented youth and their disapproving, angry elders.

This was the early seventies in America, and it was against this backdrop that the kidnapping of nineteen-year-old Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Front – a rag-tag, cult-like group of political extremists and criminals – stole headlines across the world. Using new research and drawing on the formidable abilities that made The Run of His Life a global bestseller, Jeffrey Toobin uncovers the story of the kidnapping and its aftermath in vivid prose and forensic detail.

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Fiction

Courtesy of Serpent’s Tail via NetGalley. It feels like too long since I randomly picked a book based purely on the blurb, with no prior knowledge of either it or the author. I suspect I shall either love this or hate it – I’m hoping it’s the former!

The Blurb says: As dusk approaches, a former surgeon goes about closing up his dilapidated clinic in rural India. His day, like all his days, has been long and hard. His medical supplies arrive late if at all, the electrics in the clinic threaten to burn out at any minute, and his overseer, a corrupt government official, blackmails and extorts him. It is thankless work, but the surgeon has long given up any hope of reward in this life.

That night, as the surgeon completes his paperwork, he is visited by a family – a teacher, his heavily pregnant wife and their young son. Victims of a senseless attack, they reveal to the surgeon wounds that they could not possibly have survived.

And so the surgeon finds himself faced with a preposterous task: to mend the wounds of the dead family before sunrise so that they may return to life. But this is not the only challenge laid before the surgeon, and as the night unfolds he realises his future is tied more closely to that of the dead family than he could have imagined.

At once dustily realist and magically unreal, Night Theatre is a powerful fable about the miracles we ask of doctors, and the fine line they negotiate between life and death.

* * * * *

Fiction on Audio

I’ve often been tempted by Conn Iggulden’s books and the subject matter of this one sounded particularly appealing. So since I had some Audible credits to use up, I gave into temptation. I’ve sneakily started listening to this already and am loving it so far – Geoffrey Beevers is doing a wonderful narration…

The Blurb says: “I have broken my vows. I have murdered innocents. I have trod down the soil over their dead face with my bare heels, and only the moon as witness. I have loved a woman and she ruined me. I have loved a king and yet I ruined him.”

The year is 937. England is a nation divided, ruled by minor kings and Viking lords. Each vies for land and power. The Wessex king Æthelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, is readying himself to throw a spear into the north. Behind him stands Dunstan, the man who will control the destiny of the next seven kings of England and the fate of an entire nation. Welcome to the original game for the English throne.

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Korean Crime

Courtesy of HarperCollins. I don’t get many unsolicited books from publishers except for vintage crime, but this popped through my letterbox a few weeks ago, and it looks like fun. The blurb makes it sound quite dark, but the quotes on the cover and early reviews suggest there’s lots of black humour in it. I’m intrigued…

The Blurb says: Reseng was raised by cantankerous Old Raccoon in the Library of Dogs. To anyone asking, it’s just an ordinary library. To anyone in the know, it’s a hub for Seoul’s organised crime, and a place where contract killings are plotted and planned. So it’s no surprise that Reseng has grown up to become one of the best hitmen in Seoul. He takes orders from the plotters, carries out his grim duties, and comforts himself afterwards with copious quantities of beer and his two cats, Desk and Lampshade.

But after he takes pity on a target and lets her die how she chooses, he finds his every move is being watched. Is he finally about to fall victim to his own game? And why does that new female librarian at the library act so strangely? Is he looking for his enemies in all the wrong places? Could he be at the centre of a plot bigger than anything he’s ever known?

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NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads.

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

37 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 187…

  1. Perhaps your postman opened some of the parcels meant for you, FictionFan, and has been reading your books on the sly. You’ll see him when he’s finished with them… 😉 As for this group of books, you have some interesting ones there. I haven’t read enough Korean crime, so I’ll be especially interested in what you think of The Plotters.

    • What??? I shall be on the lookout for a new book-blogger from Kirkintilloch then – and woe betide him!! This is my second attempt at Korean crime in the last few weeks and the first one didn’t go well! So I’m hoping this one will work better for me – it could go either way, I feel…

  2. Congratulations on that drop! Okay, I admit I’m responsible for bribing your postman. I told him you’d be the one to pay him though. So next time you see him, just slip him some chocolate truffles, no questions asked. Just nod and he’ll know what you mean.

  3. Whew, safe again! These sound pretty dark to me, FF, and winter is already dark enough as it is! But hey, Congrats on that drop in your TBR — well done! Have a spot of chocolate as your reward!

    • I hadn’t realised they were all darker books this week, but they do look that way from the blurbs. However Dunstan has lots of humour and I’m hoping the Korean one will be lighter than it looks too. I shall take your advice and stock up on chocolate just in case though… 😀

  4. Interesting books, although I’m not sure I’d want to read them all, especially the Korean one after reading The Good Son, which was also dark and decidedly odd! Night Theatre doesn’t tempt me but I’d like to find out more about the Patty Hurst kidnapping as like you I never really followed what happened. I have read Dunstan, which I enjoyed, so I think I’d have liked following on the audiobook at the time.

    • Yes, I already had this one before I tried to read The Good Son and now I’m a bit worried about this one! But it does sound as thought there’s some black humour in it, and hopefully less blood! I’m enjoying Dunstan a lot so far, and the narrator is excellent which always helps. And I’ve heard good things about the Patty Hearst book, not least from our Cleo, so fingers crossed…

  5. Oh no poor postie!
    I have a feeling you will enjoy The Heiress, especially the political parts which were a complete revelation to me. Night Theatre sounds intriguing, I hope you enjoy your foray into the more unknown with this choice.

    • He still seems capable of delivering bills though… 😡
      I’m looking forward to the Toobin book – especially since you were kind enough to try it out for me! It’s a story I’ve always wished I knew properly. The Night Theatre could go either way… I must have been feeling brave the day I clicked that button… 😉

    • I like the sound of them both too, especially the book about Patty Hearst – I’ve always vaguely wished I’d understood the story better at the time. Ha — he still seems perfectly capable of delivering bills, so he’s clearly still around… 😉

  6. Night Theatre does sound intriguing…I saw it on NetGalley and decided not to request it, so I’ll be interested to know whether I made the wrong decision! I’m glad you’re enjoying the Conn Iggulden book. I tried one of his others a few years ago and it wasn’t for me, but Dunstan sounds a lot more appealing. 🙂

    • I do like the sound of Night Theatre though I don’t always get on with magical realism. But I’m trying to jerk myself out of my comfort zone a bit – I’ve got in a rut. I often don’t fancy the blurbs of Conn Iggulden’s books though he always gets great reviews – a bit too violent and gory for my taste usually, I suspect. But this blurb intrigued me and I must say so far I’m thoroughly enjoying it – he really can write! 😀

  7. The only thing my postman still delivers (in this digital age) is bills! But Korean crime? My reading of non-English (even translated) fiction is almost zero though I hope to remedy the imbalance this year. NetGalley is so tantalising I’m glad I frequently forget my login/password!

    • Ha – yes, oddly there still seems to be a steady flow of bills arriving at my house despite the postman having been abducted by aliens! I’m really insular in my reading, especially crime… I have to remind myself to read something other than British crime every now and again. NetGalley should be banned by law – it’s far too easy to request things…!! 😉

  8. American Heiress sounds enticing, heh! Perhaps it’s because of the holidays? I know it’s mid-January and all, but some packages here still take a bit to come in a few weeks after the rush of last month’s holidays and shipments.

    • It could just be that publishers haven’t got back in action yet – either that or they’ve decided they hate me, which would be tragic… 😉 American heiress does sound interesting and I’ve seen good reviews of it, so fingers crossed!

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