TBR Thursday 270…

Episode 270

Still on the right track! The TBR has fallen by a massive 1 to 190! I really think I’m getting the hang of this now..

Here are a few more that should float my way soon…

Fiction

Luckenbooth by Jenni Fagan

Courtesy of Random House Cornerstone via NetGalley. I haven’t read any of Fagan’s books to date, but this one sounds as if it could be wonderful… or awful! Only one way to find out…

The Blurb says: The devil’s daughter rows to Edinburgh in a coffin, to work as maid for the Minister of Culture, a man who lives a dual life. But the real reason she’s there is to bear him and his barren wife a child, the consequences of which curse the tenement building that is their home for a hundred years. As we travel through the nine floors of the building and the next eight decades, the resident’s lives entwine over the ages and in unpredictable ways. Along the way we encounter the city’s most infamous Madam, a seance, a civil rights lawyer, a bone mermaid, a famous Beat poet, a notorious Edinburgh gang, a spy, the literati, artists, thinkers, strippers, the spirit world – until a cosmic agent finally exposes the true horror of the building’s longest kept secret. No. 10 Luckenbooth Close hurtles the reader through personal and global history – eerily reflecting modern life today.

* * * * *

Thriller

Domino Island by Desmond Bagley

Courtesy of HarperCollins. I have vague memories of reading a couple of Bagley’s books back in my early teens and enjoying them, but have never revisited him in my adult years. So I was delighted to receive a copy of this one – time to recapture a piece of my lost youth! 

The Blurb says: Bill Kemp, an ex-serviceman working in London as an insurance investigator, is sent to the Caribbean to determine the legitimacy of an expensive life insurance claim following the inexplicable death of businessman David Salton. His rapidly inflated premiums immediately before his death stand to make his young widow a very rich lady! Once there, Kemp discovers that Salton’s political ambitions had made him a lot of enemies, and local tensions around a forthcoming election are already spilling over into protest and violence on the streets. Salton also had friends in unexpected places, including the impossibly beautiful Leotta Tomsson, to whom there is much more than meets the eye. Kemp realises that Salton’s death and the local unrest are a deliberate smokescreen for an altogether more ambitious plot by an enemy in their midst, and as the island comes under siege, even Kemp’s army training seems feeble in the face of such a determined foe.

Unseen for more than 40 years and believed lost, Domino Island was accepted for publication in 1972 but then replaced by a different novel to coincide with the release of The Mackintosh Man, the Paul Newman film based on Bagley’s earlier novel The Freedom Trap. It is a classic Bagley tour de force with an all-action finale.

* * * * *

Fiction

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

When Roth is at his best there is no one better at political fiction, and this is reputed to be one of his best. I’m not sure the blurb writer has grasped that it’s an alternative history, unless I missed the Lindbergh Presidency. But it sounds frighteningly relevant…

The Blurb says: When the renowned aviation hero and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh defeated Franklin Roosevelt by a landslide in the1940 presidential election, fear invaded every Jewish household in America. Not only had Lindbergh publicly blamed the Jews for pushing America towards a pointless war with Nazi Germany, but, upon taking office as the 33rd president of the United States, he negotiated a cordial ‘understanding’ with Adolf Hitler.

What then followed in America is the historical setting for this startling new novel by Pulitzer-prize winner Philip Roth, who recounts what it was like for his Newark family during the menacing years of the Lindbergh presidency, when American citizens who happened to be Jews had every reason to expect the worst.

* * * * *

Vintage Crime

Inspector French and the Crime at Guildford by Freeman Wills Crofts

Courtesy of HarperCollins again. This is the third of a little batch of three Inspector French books they sent me. So far I’ve liked one and loved one, so my expectations for this one are high…

The Blurb says: A weekend board meeting brings a jewellery firm’s accountant to the managing director’s impressive Guildford home. On the Sunday morning, he is found dead and is soon the subject of a murder inquiry by the local police. Meanwhile, Chief Inspector French is investigating the sensational burglary of half a million pounds’ worth of jewels from the safe of an office in London’s Kingsway. French must determine the connection between the theft and the murder as he embarks on a perilous chase to track down the criminals.

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

45 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 270…

  1. I can’t tell you how delighted I am that your TBR list has plummeted again, FictionFan! You should give a TED talk on how to manage the TBR! Your choices this week look good, too. It’s nice to see an Inspector French novel; I think in general that those are good stories. And the Roth sounds fascinating. Sometimes alternative history can really work well, and in capable hands like Roth’s, it could be fantastic. I’ll be interested in what you think of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, I’m glad you’ve recognised my expertise in TBR reduction management – I’m thinking of taking a PhD in it! 😉 I’m always a bit hesitant with Roth – some of his stuff doesn’t work for me, but his more political books do, and I’m hoping this one will turn out to be one of the great ones! And Inspector French will give me something a bit lighter to look forward to as a reward… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I never thought that I would read: “the devil’s daughter rows to Edinburgh in a coffin, to work as maid for the Minister of Culture” as a starting point for a book. It sounds hilarious, in a morbid way, of course. Hope you enjoy all the books.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly, the first intrigues me the most. I think you’re right… it will either be brilliant or dreadful. I hope we don’t have long to wait to find out!

    I’ve just never been able to get into alternate histories, though I know there are many good ones out there. But I guess I should never say never. Case in point: I just got some wireless headphones and am now listening to my first audio book in years. It’s working for me so far. (and I think I was wise to go with a non-fiction title that lends itself well to narration)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started Luckenbooth this afternoon so should be able to report soon! So far I’m not at all sure…

      Alternative histories aren’t my favourite either, but I do like Roth when he’s in political mode, so I’m hoping it works. Oh, good! I know it sounds silly but I think wireless headphones make all the difference. I used to hate feeling tied to a computer or having to play books through speakers and stay in one room – my wireless headphones mean I can listen while wandering around the house doing other things. Hope you continue to enjoy it – some of the narrations now are really great. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am not immediately attracted to any of these, but I am looking forward to hearing what you think of them. I while ago I gave away my copy of the Philip Roth book without reading it, and I hope I am not going to regret that. (I do have a huge TBR pile, so I have to cull now and then.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had a mixed experience with Roth – some of his books seem to be simply a man musing over his sexual fantasies and failures. But when he gets into political mode, he is brilliant. American Pastoral is one of the greatest books in the world, in my humble opinion! I’m hoping this one will be one of the good ones. 😀

      Like

    • I’m really looking forward to The Plot Against America – Roth is brilliant when he’s on form! Haha, I wondered why Domino Island had never been published too – worrying! But it seems to be getting very high ratings on Goodreads… 🤞

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, that blurb for A Plot Against America made my pulse quicken for a moment. Thank goodness it didn’t happen. Not sure I could read this right now, while we’re still trying to weed out the QAnon believers and all who supported the “stolen election” theories and those who supported the orange Q-tip in general…and…and….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, I’m afraid from this distance it’s still all looking very dangerous over there, and given the constant gridlock I can’t see how the politicians are ever going to change much. Even tonight we all know the vote will be described very differently on CNN and Fox, so it’ll just lock people even more into their existing positions… 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I will need more information on the first three books before I can commit myself, so awaiting your reviews with interest. I’m very uncertain about Luckenbooth, unless it’s brilliant, and I’m also not usually a fan of alternative histories – but I’ll keep an open mind…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started Luckenbooth yesterday and it’s very much up in the air at the moment – it’ll have to grab me considerably more than it’s doing at the moment if it’s to get a glowing review! I have high hopes for the Roth despite it being an alternative history – hopefully not too high!

      Like

  7. I’m quite partial to an action thriller, so the forgotten Bagley would be my choice. This sort of book was a real staple of my teenage reading too (they seemed to be in everyone’s homes & easy to borrow!) & were the follow-on genre from the Golden Age Mysteries of early teenage reading. It’ll be interesting to see if you find this Bagley still has the appeal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved thrillers back then too and still enjoy the likes of Harlan Coben now and again. But thriller writing of that kind seems to have given way to psychological thrillers now, which are good too sometimes but not nearly as exciting! I’m hoping Bagley isn’t too horribly dated… 😀

      Like

  8. Well done for reducing your TBR with 1! I can’t say that I am overly tempted by any of this week’s selection, but it may be related to the fact that I don’t get much reading done at all. I just finished one, which was a huge disappoint and I can’t help wondering how much our mood or inclination to read affect our evaluation of a book…

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mood definitely affects my enjoyment and I sometimes think it’s unfair on the book, especially if it’s a new release. While going through my huge slump, my ratings were consistently lower than usual – they can’t all have been disappointing books! And I abandoned at least twice as many as usual.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That blurb writer for the Roth book is either really committed to the fiction or needs to brush up on their history! I’ve read a couple of reviews for Luckenbooth recently and I’m intrigued but not sure I want to read it myself. I’ll be interested to hear your opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave a comment - I'd love to know who's visiting and what you think...of the post, of the book, of the blog, of life, of chocolate...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.