TBR Thursday 192…

Episode 192

I’m not totally sure I’ve got the hang of this whole TBR reduction thing. I read and read and read, and still it goes up – by one, this week, to 230 (unless my postman has been by the time you’re reading this, in which case, up 2 to 231…)

Here’s the next batch that will rise to the top soon…

Factual

Courtesy of Hamish Hamilton via NetGalley. I haven’t read any of Robert Macfarlane’s previous books but I’ve heard good things about his writing. I thought it might be nice to retreat into deep-time for a bit, given that the shallow-present is rubbish and the parched-future looks worse! Oops! My chocolate levels must have dipped again… sorry! 😉

The Blurb says: The unmissable new book from the bestselling, prize-winning author of Landmarks, The Old Ways and The Lost Words. Discover the hidden worlds beneath our feet…

In Underland, Robert Macfarlane takes a dazzling journey into the concealed geographies of the ground beneath our feet – the hidden regions beneath the visible surfaces of the world. From the vast below-ground mycelial networks by which trees communicate, to the ice-blue depths of glacial moulins, and from North Yorkshire to the Lofoten Islands, he traces an uncharted, deep-time voyage. Underland a thrilling new chapter in Macfarlane’s long-term exploration of the relations of landscape and the human heart.

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Fiction

Courtesy of Jonathan Cape via NetGalley. I’m thinking of doing a new history challenge (details later) and this sounds as if it would fit right in. Also, depending on how much it’s about Palestine, it might work for my Around the World  challenge too. Plus it sounds good!

The Blurb says: As the First World War shatters families, destroys friendships and kills lovers, a young Palestinian dreamer sets out to find himself.

Midhat Kamal picks his way across a fractured world, from the shifting politics of the Middle East to the dinner tables of Montpellier and a newly tumultuous Paris. He discovers that everything is fragile: love turns to loss, friends become enemies and everyone is looking for a place to belong.

Isabella Hammad delicately unpicks the tangled politics and personal tragedies of a turbulent era – the Palestinian struggle for independence, the strife of the early twentieth century and the looming shadow of the Second World War. An intensely human story amidst a global conflict, The Parisian is historical fiction with a remarkable contemporary voice.

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Crime

I learned about this one via the blogosphere’s living encyclopaedia of crime, Margot Kinberg, and, aside from the fact that it sounds good, Shanghai is another of the missing spots on my Around the World challenge…

The Blurb says: Shanghai in 1990. An ancient city in a country that despite the massacre of Tiananmen Square is still in the tight grip of communist control. Chief Inspector Chen, a poet with a sound instinct for self-preservation, knows the city like few others. When the body of a prominent Communist Party member is found, Chen is told to keep the party authorities informed about every lead. Also, he must keep the young woman’s murder out of the papers at all costs. When his investigation leads him to the decadent offspring of high-ranking officials, he finds himself instantly removed from the case and reassigned to another area. Chen has a choice: bend to the party’s wishes and sacrifice his morals, or continue his investigation and risk dismissal from his job and from the party. Or worse . . .

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Crime

Courtesy of Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley. I have read two previous books from Erin Kelly – loved one, was ambivalent about the other one. So this will be the decider as to whether she remains on my must-read list. (Secretly, I shall admit the blurb doesn’t appeal in the slightest – sounds like yet another identikit domestic drama pot-boiler to me. So she has her work cut out…) 

The Blurb says: Marianne grew up in the shadow of the old asylum, a place that still haunts her dreams. She was seventeen when she fled the town, her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried.

Now, forced to return, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving, is finally threatening to expose the truth.

Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built; the husband and daughter who must never know.
Even if it means turning to her worst enemy…

But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.

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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?

40 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 192…

  1. Are you sure it’s gone up? You must be seeing things. Take two chocolate bars and call me in the morning (as doctors used to say–at least in my imagination they did).

    Death of a Red Heroine! It will be fun to visit Shanghai on paper.

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    • Haha – now that’s the kind of medical advice I like! The postie didn’t arrive and I finished TWO books today, so I’m feeling kinda smug tonight… 😀

      It sounds great, doesn’t it? Shanghai seems like the perfect setting for crime somehow…

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  2. I have Erin Kelly’s on preorder so definitely tempted by that one.

    Personally, I think you’re doing fine. Although I would prefer bigger increments per week. Like maybe a nice round 10? 😉

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    • I have high hope of the Erin Kelly despite not finding the blurb very tempting – she’s such a good writer! Hahaha – don’t even suggest it! My New year’s Resolutions are not going well… 😉

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  3. Thanks so much for the kind mention, FictionFan! 😊 I do hope you’ll like Death of a Red Heroine. I thought it was very well done. The MacFarlane looks quite good to me – accessible, yet informative. Now, please go have a chocolate before your levels dip any lower. That could be dangerous! 😉

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    • My pleasure, Margot – it’s amazing how often your name shows up on my wishlist! 😀 I’m looking forward to Death of a Red Heroine – it sounds perfect for my virtual Shanghai trip! The MacFarlane does look interesting and my blog buddy Lady Fancifull has praised the quality of his writing in the past, so fingers crossed. Haha – I shall happily take that advice! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll be interested to see what you make of The Parisian. It’s sitting on my shelves and it does sound good but it’s such a doorstopper that I can’t quite bring myself to start it.

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    • Haha – that’s the problem with Kindle ARCs from NetGalley – you can’t see how big they are till it’s too late! It does sound good though, so hopefully it’ll be worth it… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ll add my praise for DEATH OF A RED HEROINE to Margot’s. We read and discussed it several years ago in our mystery group. We paired it with Eliot Pattison’s first book in his series set in China, THE SKULL MANTRA. Just saying….

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    • Hahaha – you’re not trying to make my TBR situation even worse, are you?? Glad to get a second endorsement for Red Heroine – I’m looking forward to it. And now I shall toddle off and investigate The Skull Mantra… and try to resist temptation… #ResistanceIsFutile

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  6. Woo hoo, this made my day! I love to see that number rise. (I’m sorry! Everyone needs to feel validated, FF!) These all sound great and Stone Mothers just arrived here this week. I loved He Said/She Said. Enjoy your new books!

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    • Hahaha – you’re supposed to be stopping me, not encouraging me!!! I need an intervention! 😉 I have high hopes for Stone Mothers even though the blurb doesn’t appeal much – she’s such a good writer! Hope we both love it… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ugh I know what you mean about that Erin Kelly. A woman escaping insanity? Is she crazy or not? Been there done that!!!! I’ll be shocked if you end up liking it. Publishers need to move on already…

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  8. I loved Death of a Red Heroine! It’s as much historical fiction as it is crime fiction. There is so much in it about China, its culture and its history before 1990 – the Communist regime and then the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s – as well as the changes brought about in the 1990s after the massacre of Tiananmen Square. And I also loved A Loyal Character Dancer, Qiu Xiaolong’s second book featuring Chief Inspector Chen Cao.

    Underland tempts me. I’ve read Robert Macfarlane’s The Wild Places, which overall I enjoyed – is beautifully written – but I had mixed feelings about it as I thought in places it is overwritten and also repetitive.

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    • Oh, that’s good to hear! And since I’m reading it as part of my Around the World thing, I’m glad it actually has a lot about China in it – sometimes books don’t say much about the society they’re set in. I’m looking forward to getting to it!

      Ah, I’ve heard that MacFarlane writes beautifully but I’m not a fan of overwritten prose or repetitiveness s fingers crossed this one is tighter… we’ll see…

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  9. Underland appeals to me – I’ve never read MacFarlane but I recently saw a repeat of his programme about wild Essex (not what I initially assumed 😉 ) which was so good. It’s made me keen to catch up on his written work.

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    • Hahaha – the actual wildlife in Essex must have to work extra hard to get noticed! 😉 I don’t think I’ve ever seen him – I hardly watch any TV these days. But Lady Fancifull has raved about his writing in the past, I’m sure…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have (I mean, Pearl has) The Lost Words and it’s such a lovely book. I hadn’t heard of Robert MacFarlane before but I’d love to read more of his work. I also have a soft spot for books set in Shanghai so Death of a Red Heroine actually appeals to me.

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    • Oh, I hadn’t heard of The Lost Words, but it looks fab – how sad that words like dandelion are fading away! I’m looking forward to trying him for myself – everyone who’s read anything by him seems to have been impressed. The Shanghai one looks great too – another commenter, Margaret, has read it and tells me it has a lot to say about the society and stuff…

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Lost Words is such a beautiful book. I was surprised by some of the words too – we have so many dandelions here I can’t imagine that word ever disappearing!

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        • I think Britain, being so tiny, is much more urbanised and built up maybe than your part of the world. We do have plenty of wilder areas but most kids probably grow up in cities, with pocket-handkerchief-size gardens…

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          • That is probably very true. I grew up in a major city but we still always had a yard (and dandelions). I think Britain is portrayed in so many movies and books as farms and castles and moors that we forget how much more densely populated it is than North America!

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