TBR Thursday 257…

Episode 257

The TBR has been fluctuating wildly during my break but has settled back to exactly where it was last time I reported – 198! I’m still working on it though…

Here are a few more that will be falling off the edge soon…


Red Pill by Hari Kunzru

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster UK via NetGalley. I’ve loved a couple of Hari Kunzru’s earlier books, especially White Tears, so a new release from him is a major event in my reading diary, especially since there’s usually a long wait between books. The blurb of this one makes it sound as if it’s been written specially for me…

The Blurb says: When a Brooklyn writer leaves behind his young family to take up the offer of a three month residency at the Deuter Centre on the shore of Berlin’s Lake Wannsee, he arrives with romantic dreams of days devoted to total artistic absorption. However, The Deuter Centre turns out to be anything but the idyllic writerly retreat he imagines and, rather than study at the clinical and closely monitored desk assigned to him, he opts to spend much of the time holed up in his bedroom watching Blue Lives, an ultraviolent cop show with a bleak and merciless view of the world.

One night, while at a glamourous party in the city, he meets Anton, the charismatic creator of Blue Lives, and they strike up a passionate and alcohol-fuelled conversation about the pessimism at the show’s core. It is a conversation that marks the beginning of the writer’s obsession with Anton and leads him on a journey into the heart of moral darkness that threatens to destroy everything he holds most dear, including his own mind.

Red Pill is a novel about the alt-right, online culture, creativity, sanity and history. It is the story of the 21st century, told through the prism of the centuries that preceded it, and it shows how the darkest chapters of our past have returned to haunt our present. More than anything, though, Red Pill is a story about love and how it can endure in a world where everything else seems to have lost all meaning.

* * * * *


The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman

Courtesy of Atlantic Books via NetGalley. To be honest, I can’t remember why I requested this one, since it doesn’t totally sound like my kind of thing – a glowing review I saw around the blogosphere perhaps? However, it’s got a very high average rating on Goodreads, so I’m willing to be persuaded…  

The Blurb says: A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for five strangers whose paths cross in a London café  their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage. But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and as the captives grapple with their own inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Will the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives?

* * * * *


The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer by Joël Dicker

Courtesy of Quercus via NetGalley. Again, not sure about this one, but I’m trying to get back to reading at least some contemporary crime before I lose touch completely. Maybe this will revive my enthusiasm… or crush it! It’s 640 pages long, so it will have to be really special to justify the length. We’ll see… 

The Blurb says: In the summer of 1994, the quiet seaside town of Orphea reels from the discovery of two brutal murders.

Confounding their superiors, two young police officers, Jesse Rosenberg and Derek Scott crack the case and arrest the murderer, earning themselves handsome promotions and the lasting respect of their colleagues.

But twenty years later, just as he is on the point of taking early retirement, Rosenberg is approached by Stephanie Mailer, a journalist who believes he made a mistake back in 1994 and that the real murderer is still out there, perhaps ready to strike again. Before she can give any more details however, Stephanie Mailer mysteriously disappears without trace, and Rosenberg and Scott are forced to confront the awful possibility that her suspicions might have been proved horribly true.

What happened to Stephanie Mailer? What did she know? And what really happened in Orphea all those years ago? 

* * * * *

Horror on Audio

Dracula by Bram Stoker read by Greg Wise and Saskia Reeves

I’ve been meaning to re-read Dracula for years, so couldn’t resist the idea of the lovely Greg Wise reading it to me… and Saskia, of course! Should keep the porpy and me entertained as we get into the swing of spooky season!

The Blurb says: Young lawyer Jonathan Harker journeys to Transylvania to meet with the mysterious Count Dracula only to discover that his nobleman client is a vampire who is thirsty for new blood. After imprisoning Harker in his castle, Dracula travels to England to seduce Jonathan’s fiancée, Mina, and the battle against an ineffable evil begins.

Led by philosopher and metaphysician Professor Van Helsing – Dracula’s most indomitable adversary – Harker, Mina, and a band of allies unite, determined to confront and destroy the Count before he can escape.

Bram Stoker ingeniously modernized gothic folklore by moving his vampire from traditional castle ruins to modern England. With Dracula, which has been interpreted and dissected by scholars for generations, Stoker changed the vampire novel forever.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads, Amazon UK or Audible UK.

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

46 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 257…

  1. Hmmm….The Dicker interests me, FictionFan, but that is a doorstop-length book, so not sure I want to make time for it now. I might at some point, though. And I have liked the Norman work I’ve read, so that one might appeal to me. If/when you get to it, I’ll be interested in what you think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You can’t go wrong with Dracula, and that thriller sounds intriguing. But gee, 640 pages??? I hope this one’s as good as it sounds because I’d hate to wade through something that thick (or maybe it’s one of those large-print monsters my mom is fond of?!?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • it’s years since I read Dracula – don’t remember much about it, so it should be fun to revisit it. Haha, I wish it was! I also wish NetGalley gave some indication of length – too late by the time you’ve clicked and been approved. Oh well, maybe it will justify its length…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Secret of Strangers seems very interesting. Dicker’s too for that matter but I am wary of contemporary crime fiction and so would wait for your review. And 600+ pages! Anything above 200 pages nowadays gives me trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Secret of Strangers seems to be one of those books that readers can’t decide if it’s crime fiction or not. The Dicker sounds good but 640 pages puts me right off – if only NetGalley gave an indication of length before you request a book!


    • Hahaha, the only way I want to eat blood is in the form of black pudding. Fortunately, I learned to like it before discovering it was basically dried blood and cereals! Dracula wouldn’t have to kill people in Scotland – he could just go to the supermarket…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Semi-tempted, but not enough to add any of these to my wishlist. I read Dracula for the first time a couple of years ago and I loved it! I hope Porpy doesn’t get scared and try to hide under the covers with you while listening to it. That might be painful for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s years since I read Dracula so I only have vague memories of it, but Greg Wise spooked me out nicely the other night when our hero was escaping from the castle. 😀 Haha, it would be even more painful for him if I rolled over in the middle of the night…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would actually be most tempted by the Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer, but 640 pages does see’m a bit long for a thriller, hopefully it is all necessary and not just padding for the sake of it. It’s years since I read Dracula, and I remember having a few issues with it, but I imagine it would sound suitably sinister on audio.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the problem with NetGalley is that they don’t give an indication of length before you request the book – the idea of 640 pages for a thriller is appalling! But maybe it will justify its length – fingers crossed. I seem to remember Dracula having good bits and long dips, but it’s so long since I read it my memory of it is quite vague. So far Greg Wise is doing great and I’m just about to start a Saskia Reeves section now…


    • I’ve loved both the Hari Kunzru books I’ve read. Although he tends to tackle big political subjects, he usually comes at them from a unique angle so that they don’t feel too polemical. Fingers crossed!


  6. I’m with madamebibliophile. None really tempt me. Kind of like that feeling you get when you’ve had a huge meal and the dessert menu is waved in your direction. However, if I had to choose one of them, the Dracula audiobook might do it, especially with Greg Wise reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’m glad you enjoyed White Tears! I’m so steeped in American politics at the moment that the alt-right thing appeals, especially since Kunzru usually fins a unique angle to approach these big subjects. My hopes are high!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. No temptation and this is GOOD. I’m into my not buying books phase (Christmas and birthday and some not so secret santas coming up, plus I want to clear down to one shelf of TBR (physical shelf) for the new year … )

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I haven’t read Dracula. Perhaps your reread review will tempt me to pick it up? I could imagine it is suited to the audioformat – a good narrator would certainly help to create an atmosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s many years since I last read Dracula so I only have a vague memory that some bits were great but there were also some bits that dragged. So far Greg Wise is doing a great job and I’m just about to start a Saskia Reeves section. Greg spooked me out nicely the other night! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Holy hell a 600 page thriller? I’ve got my fingers crossed its worth the long page count. I’m slogging my way through a 600 page book at the moment and although I’m enjoying it, it could do with a little trim…

    Liked by 1 person

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