TBR Thursday 199…

Episode 199

Well, I couldn’t bear the anxiety I’ve been causing all round the blogosphere the last few weeks with my plummeting TBR. So just for you, I’ve added a few, meaning the total is now up 2, to 223! I hope you all feel better…

No, I don’t see the relevance of that GIF either, but Jessica rises above mere relevance! Anyway, here are a few more that I’ll be guzzling  soonish or in fact June-ish… all four are from my 20 Books of Summer list.

Classic Science Fiction

Courtesy of Oxford World’s Classics. This is such a “me” book I can’t quite understand why I’ve never read it! So this new issue from the OWC complete with a new translation was too tempting – I had to slot it onto my Classics Club list…

The Blurb says: French naturalist Dr Aronnax embarks on an expedition to hunt down a sea monster, only to discover instead the Nautilus, a remarkable submarine built by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Together Nemo and Aronnax explore the underwater marvels, undergo a transcendent experience amongst the ruins of Atlantis, and plant a black flag at the South Pole. But Nemo’s mission is one of revenge—and his methods coldly efficient.

This new and unabridged translation by William Butcher, the father of Verne studies, brilliantly conveys the novel’s varying tones and range. This edition also presents important manuscript discoveries, together with previously unpublished information on Verne’s artistic and scientific references.

* * * * *

Vintage Crime

Courtesy of the British Library. Having loved the first two of the Michael Gilbert novels the BL has reissued, Smallbone Deceased and Death In Captivity, I have extremely high expectations for this third one…

The Blurb says: At the Central Criminal Court, an eager crowd awaits the trial of Victoria Lamartine, an active participant in the Resistance during the war. She is now employed at the Family Hotel in Soho, where Major Eric Thoseby has been found murdered.

The cause of death? A stabbing reminiscent of techniques developed by the Maquisards. While the crime is committed in England, its roots are buried in a vividly depicted wartime France. Thoseby is believed to have fathered Lamartine’s child, and the prosecution insist that his death is revenge for his abandonment of Lamartine and her arrest by the Gestapo.

A last-minute change in Lamartine’s defence counsel grants solicitor Nap Rumbold just eight days to prove her innocence, with the highest of stakes should he fail.

The proceedings of the courtroom are interspersed with Rumbold’s perilous quest for evidence, which is aided by his old wartime comrades. 

* * * * *


This was a People’s Choice back in the days when I used to do that – I stopped because I never seemed to get round to actually reading the books! However, they still linger on my TBR – this one’s been on there since 2015. Hopefully it will fit neatly into my Around the World challenge since I understand it’s set in Papua New Guinea…

The Blurb says: On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, where the teachers have fled with most everyone else, only one white man chooses to stay behind: the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn, who sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and begins to read to the children each day from Charles Dickens’s classic Great Expectations.

So begins this rare, original story about the abiding strength that imagination, once ignited, can provide. As artillery echoes in the mountains, thirteen-year-old Matilda and her peers are riveted by the adventures of a young orphan named Pip in a city called London, a city whose contours soon become more real than their own blighted landscape. As Mr. Watts says, “A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe.” Soon come the rest of the villagers, initially threatened, finally inspired to share tales of their own that bring alive the rich mythology of their past. But in a ravaged place where even children are forced to live by their wits and daily survival is the only objective, imagination can be a dangerous thing.

* * * * *


Courtesy of Random House Transworld via NetGalley. If you’ve been living under a stone recently, you may have missed the fact that Kate Atkinson is about to publish a new book in her Jackson Brodie series. Big Sky. As part of the publicity drive, the publisher has put three of the earlier books on NetGalley so far, so since I’ve long wanted to read the series, that’s given me the push needed to actually do it! This is the first…

The Blurb says: The scene is set in Cambridge, with three case histories from the past: A young child who mysteriously disappeared from a tent in her back garden; An unidentified man in a yellow jumper who marched into an office and slashed a young girl through the throat; and a young woman found by the police sitting in her kitchen next to the body of her husband, an axe buried in his head.

Jackson Brodie, a private investigator and former police detective, is quietly contemplating life as a divorced father when he is flung into the midst of these resurrected old crimes. Julia and Amelia Land enlist Jackson’s help to find out the truth about their younger sister. They embroil him in the complexities of their own jealousies, obsessions and lust.

Another woman named Shirley needs Jackson to help find her lost niece. Jackson meets solicitor Theo Wyre whose daughter, Laura, was murdered in his office and is desperate for Jackson to help him lay Laura’s ghost to rest.

As he starts his investigations Jackson has the sinister feeling that someone is following him. In digging into the past Jackson seems to have unwittingly threatened his own future. This wonderfully crafted, intricately plotted novel is heartbreaking, uplifting, full of suspense and often very funny.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads.

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

I’m going to take a little break due to having been too lazy to write any reviews. The two big summer tennis tournaments are coming up, so I’ll be drifting in and out for the next few weeks. Be good! You never know when I might be watching…

(I live in hope!)

54 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 199…

  1. 2. 🙄 I’ll have whatever Jessica is having. Bring the bottle.

    Enjoy your fishing, erm, tennis break. Hopefully you’ll return with great news regarding that TBR 😉

    • Hahaha – there’s just no satisfying some people!!! 😂🍷

      I’m pretty sure the TBR will go down dramatically – I’ll be so busy assessing the young tennis players’ *skills* I’ll have no time for book-hunting… 😀

  2. I, too, am taking a little break — it does a body GOOD to do that every now and then, so enjoy yours, FF!! Lots of good reading here, and I particularly enjoy the quote, “A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe.” I never read Twenty Thousand Leagues, but I did see the movie (ages ago), and I came away feeling like I was drowning. I’ll be interested to see whether the book is better than all those visuals, ha!

    • Oh yes – breaks are essential every now and then! I was going to try to keep going till the French started but I’ve run out of reviews and am just not in the mood for writing any! Yes, the blurb for Mister Pip does sound good, doesn’t it? And I’m really looking forward to Twenty Thousand Leagues, though I’ll be cautious and wear a snorkel and flippers while reading… 😂 I don’t think I’ve seen the film either – I really don’t know how I’ve managed to miss it and the book all these years…

      Enjoy your break, Debbie! Hope you get some sunshine and some good tennis-watching… 😀

    • Intriguing! I must say that’s partly why I’m looking forward to the series so much – I’d expect Atkinson to do something a bit different from the norm. I’ll either love them or hate them – I’m hoping for the former! 😀

  3. Whew! You certainly alleviated my anxiety, FictionFan, with that new TBR count! I’m feeling much better! You have some solid reads, there, too. I hope you’ll like the Kate Atkinson Jackson Brodie series – I think it’s quite well done. And I’m interested in the Gilbert, myself, so will be keen to know what you think of it. In the meantime, enjoy the tennis… the game, the game!! 😉

    • Haha – I knew you’d been worrying in case I ran out of books completely! 😉 I’m really looking forward to the Atkinsons, and I’m approaching the Gilbert with very high expectations after loving the other two so much. The blurb of this one sounds very different from the norm again – though I’m really beginning to question the whole idea of there being a Golden Age “norm” at all now I’ve read more of them…

      Yes, I’ll be busily assessing the… ahem… talents of these young players. It’ll be a tough job, but I’m up for it… 😉 🎾😂

    • I can’t wait to get to the Jackson Brodies but now I have to wait till June at least since they’re on my 20 Books of Summer list! Because of course I’d never cheat… 😉 Thank you! 😀

  4. The Verne pick should be fun! I can’t remember if I ever read it, but I do remember seeing a film version. When I was a small child (which would be in the Dark Ages), we had a wonderful 1st Edition collection of Verne’s works. I’m thinking it was missing one volume, which would have decreased its value as a set. (or maybe that was the collection of Baum’s Oz books) Hmmm… I’m wondering which of my siblings ended up with those…

    • Oh, how lovely to have 1st editions of them! I often wonder what happened to the books that we had in the house as kids too. My mother was a crazy clearer-outer though – she probably took most of them to the charity shop when we weren’t looking! I don’t know why I’ve never read or seen Twenty Thousand Leagues – considering that it’s exactly my kind of thing, it’s a very odd omission!

    • Oh, do! We can be reading twins! I’m kinda hoping to catch up with the whole series over the summer in time for the new one coming out… assuming I like them!! 😱

  5. Oh yes I am feeling so much better knowing your TBR is going in the same direction as mine :). Love the Jackson Brodie series – just wish there were more of them….

    • Hahaha – yes, everyone seemed to get very upset at my falling TBR the last few weeks! 😉 I’m really looking forward to the Jackson Brodie books – I’ve been meaning to read them for years…

  6. I’m just in the middle of Smallbone Deceased (thanks to your recommendation), and I love it, so I’m glad to know they’ve released another one of Gilbert’s books! I look forward to reading it.

    • Oh, I’m so glad you’re enjoying Smallbone! The other one I’ve read, Death In Captivity, was very different but just as good, and the blurb of this one sounds different again – can’t wait to get to it… 😀

  7. Enjoy your well deserved break, and the tennis! Thank you for your dedication to keeping us all increasing our TBRs with such entertaining enticements. You have reminded me that I have two of the Kate Atkinson series sitting unread on my bookshelf, time to pick them up. And Mr Pip, is a long overdue read for me. So maybe my winter reading can take care of these. Maybe…

    • Thank you – I’ll do my best! 😀 🎾📚 I’ve been meaning to read the Atkinsons for ages so I’m really looking forward to those. Not quite so sure whether I’ll love Mr Pip – I feel it could go either way. But I have my fingers crossed…

  8. I’ve read both the Lloyd Jones (not a fan, but in the minority here) and the Kate Atkinson (love her Jackson Brodie series – possibly more than Margot does!). Enjoy!

    • I’m not at all sure about Mister Pip – I feel it could go either way with me, but I have my fingers crossed. I’m really looking forward to the Atkinsons, though, so it’s good to hear you’re another fan… 😀

  9. I hope you enjoy the tennis matches! I will miss you! These all sound terrific, especially that Atkinson. I’m super curious about that one. When I saw Jessica, I thought maybe you were reading one of the Murder She Wrote mysteries! I have one coming up! Enjoy your well-deserved break, FF! ♥️

    • Thank you – I will, especially if Rafa wins! 😀 I’m looking forward to the Atkinsons – I used to be a fan of her I her early days but kind of lost touch with her books for some reason. Ha! I read one of the Murder She Wrote books a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, but I’m a huge fan of the shows – comfort viewing! Hope you enjoy the one you’re about to read… 😀

  10. Have a good tennis time! I thought I was going to be reading a lot while I tapered for my marathon, but that’s coming up with a rush and no. But I have to have plenty of rest before my next big event, so here’s hoping. I don’t fancy any of your reads and that is A Good Thing – have you SEEN the state of my TBR and review books pile???

    • I’m not sure why I always seem to be short of reading time these days – I don’t have a good reason like running marathons! Hahaha – I’m always pleased if I escape from someone else’s blog too without being tempted… 😀

  11. I think (& hope) you will really enjoy the Jackson Bodie series – they have that quirkiness, despite also having a detective with personal problems !!
    Recently, unexpectedly & disappointingly failed to connect with Gilbert’s Smallbone – too much faffing about in the charactes I think. Mr Pip I read some years ago and found memorable – sort of reminded me of that Evelyn Waugh book (?Handful of Dust) where he strangely ends up in the jungle at the end 🙂

    • I loved Atkinson’s early (non-crime) books and then lost touch with her for some reason – just a case of too many books, I think – so I’m really looking forward to getting back into her. I’m hoping they’ll be a highlight of the summer!

      Oh, no! I’m sorry Smallbone didn’t work for you – maybe you’d have done better with Death In Captivity which has less humour and a stronger underlying story. But sometimes an author and a reader just don’t gel. 😦 I’m ashamed to say I don’t think I’ve read any Evelyn Waugh – not that I remember anyway. I’m a bit wary of Mister Pip – I feel it could go either way for me, but I have my fingers crossed…

  12. Enjoy the tennis. Choosing a potential successor will require time and concentration. Will we see smoke rising when the choice has been made? 💨💨😆

    While we wait for your return, I shall imagine you reclining in the Scottish sunshine, pina colada in one hand, Jackson Brodie in the other…. 😂🎾🍹😎

    (And I’m adding Mr Pip to my Dickens stack…)


    • Much time and I may possibly have to give my specs a special clean! Hahaha – you will all be the first to know! 😉 🎾💪

      Yes… well… close! But more likely reclining on a Scottish sofa, coffee in one hand, cake in the other, and book balanced precariously on the back of a snoozing cat…

      I’m a bit wary about Mr Pip – not sure whether it will work for me or not, but my fingers are crossed (which makes the coffee/cake business even trickier… )

  13. The vintage crime and the Jackson Brodie novel sound intriguing!
    Enjoy your break! We can all rest easier knowing your TBR list is back up where it needed to be! 😄

  14. Hmmmm, I’m thinking I’m going to pass on these. No temptation here, and no wanting to add to the TBR pile to relieve others’ anxiety, LOL. Soooo, taking a little holiday, are you? Enjoy!

    • What?? There’s just no pleasing some people!! Haha – but you have to admit blaming the rise in my TBR on other people’s anxiety is pretty sneaky… 😉 Thank you – I’ll do my best! 🎾🍸📚🍰💪😎

  15. Oh my goodness, I”m a little nervous about you reading Case Histories. It’s one of my favorite books of all time and I’m thrilled to pieces to finally have another one in the series later this year. Enjoy your tennis!

    • I’ve just started Case Histories so it’s still early days, but I loved the first section about the little girl going missing form the tent! I’m hoping to get into it properly today. I was lucky enough to get book 4 in the series from NetGalley too, so I’m seriously hoping to snaffle the new one when it comes out… assuming I’m still liking them! 😀

  16. Love that MSW GIF! Ah yes, now I see why you’re reading so much Atkinson right now, makes total sense. And i’m excited for that book that takes place in Papa New Guinea, I’ve never read a book set in that region and your pick sounds very promising…

    • A Jessica GIF always makes everything better! It’s been years since I binged a series, so I’ll be interested to see how I feel about doing it with the Atkinsons. And the Papua New Guinea book – hmm, I feel it could go either way… fingers crossed!

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