TBR Thursday 277…

Episode 277

Oh, no! Despite all my efforts, somehow the TBR has gone up again by one this week to… oh, no! 200!! It’s not my fault though! It’s all those horrible publishers and book-sellers ganging up on me!


Here are a few I’ll be browsing soon…

Winner of the People’s Choice Poll

Sweet Caress by William Boyd

Sweet CaressAn excellent choice, People, though you surprised me – I was sure that Louise Penny’s Still Life would run away with it this time. It was very close – just one vote between them, with the other two lagging a few votes behind. I plan to read this one in June…

The Blurb says: Born into Edwardian England, Amory Clay’s first memory is of her father standing on his head. She has memories of him returning on leave during the First World War. But his absences, both actual and emotional, are what she chiefly remembers. It is her photographer uncle Greville who supplies the emotional bond she needs, who, when he gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography, unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future. A spell at boarding school ends abruptly and Amory begins an apprenticeship with Greville in London, photographing socialites for the magazine Beau Monde. But Amory is hungry for more and her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi monde of Berlin of the late ’20s, to New York of the ’30s, to the blackshirt riots in London, and to France in the Second World War, where she becomes one of the first women war photographers. Her desire for experience will lead Amory to further wars, to lovers, husbands and children as she continues to pursue her dreams and battle her demons.

In this enthralling story of a life fully lived, illustrated with “found” period photographs, William Boyd has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defining moments of modern history, told through the camera lens of one unforgettable woman, Amory Clay. It is his greatest achievement to date.

* * * * *

Classic Science Fiction

Way Station by Clifford D Simak

One from my Classics Club list. I’ve only read a couple of Simak’s short stories before in various anthologies, but I’ve been impressed, so I’m looking forward to this one…

The Blurb says: Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he has done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. But what his neighbors must never know is that, inside his unchanging house, he meets with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.

More than a hundred years before, an alien named Ulysses had recruited Enoch as the keeper of Earth’s only galactic transfer station. Now, as Enoch studies the progress of Earth and tends the tanks where the aliens appear, the charts he made indicate his world is doomed to destruction. His alien friends can only offer help that seems worse than the dreaded disaster. Then he discovers the horror that lies across the galaxy…

* * * * *


The Silence by Susan Allott

Courtesy of HarperCollins. Another unsolicited review copy and I feel this could go either way for me. Dual time story from the looks of it – when will that trend end? But it has pretty high ratings on Goodreads, so fingers crossed…

The Blurb says: It is 1997, and in a basement flat in Hackney, Isla Green is awakened by a call in the middle of the night: her father phoning from Sydney. Thirty years ago, in the suffocating heat of summer 1967, the Green’s next-door neighbor Mandy disappeared. At the time, it was thought she fled a broken marriage and gone to start a new life; but now Mandy’s family is trying to reconnect, and there is no trace of her. Isla’s father Joe was allegedly the last person to see her alive, and now he’s under suspicion of murder.

Isla unwillingly plans to go back to Australia for the first time in a decade to support her father. The return to Sydney will plunge Isla deep into the past, to a quiet street by the sea where two couples live side by side. Isla’s parents, Louisa and Joe, have recently emigrated from England – a move that has left Louisa miserably homesick while Joe embraces his new life. Next door, Steve and Mandy are equally troubled. Mandy doesn’t want a baby, even though Steve – a cop trying to hold it together under the pressures of the job – is desperate to become a father.

The more Isla asks about the past, the more she learns: about both young couples and the secrets each marriage bore. Could her father be capable of doing something terrible? How much does her mother know? What will happen to their family if Isla’s worst fears are realized? And is there another secret in this community, one which goes deeper into Australia’s colonial past, which has held them in a conspiracy of silence?

* * * * *

Christie on Audio

Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie read by Hugh Fraser

After a couple of long audiobooks, I feel I need to feed my Christie/Fraser addiction, and the cats feel it’s too long since their namesakes Tommy and Tuppence got a mention on the blog. I’m a bit surprised the blurb says “six short stories” since I think there are thirteen in the print collection, and the length of the audiobook suggests it’s unabridged. I’m hoping it’s a blurb error… 

The Blurb says: Six short stories from the Queen of Crime, telling, amongst other things, of Pink Pearls and Sinister Strangers.

Bonus Feature: Includes an exclusive Q&A session between Hugh Fraser and David Brawn, Publishing Operations Director at HarperCollins.

Tommy and Tuppence Beresford were restless for adventure, so when they were asked to take over Blunt’s International Detective Agency, they leapt at the chance. After their triumphant recovery of a pink pearl, intriguing cases kept on coming their way: a stabbing on Sunningdale golf course; cryptic messages in the personal columns of newspapers; and even a box of poisoned chocolates.

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

60 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 277…

  1. I couldn’t agree more, FictionFan! It’s a nefarious plot to make your TBR pile increase. Such things should be thoroughly investigated! It certainly couldn’t be you, after all! 😉

    I’ll be interested in what you think of the Boyd. If I’m being honest, it wasn’t my first choice, but it does look interesting, and I hope you’ll enjoy it. The Allott has been getting some good buzz; I hope it lives up to it for you. I was thinking of it myself, but haven’t decided yet. And of course, it’s hard to go wrong with Christie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just don’t see why they’ve all chosen me to their chief victim – life is so cruel! All I want is a couple of extra heads so I can read three at a time…

      I haven’t seen any reviews of the Allott around the blogosphere so that’s good to know. These unsolicited ones are fun – about half end up straight on the abandoned pile but the other half have given me some unexpectedly enjoyable reads that I probably wouldn’t have chosen for myself. I have my fingers crossed for Boyd – when he’s good, he’s very, very good! And I can be confident with Christie, Fraser and T&T. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you’ll enjoy all of them. I am struggling to keep the to-read list on goodreads under 200, but I have a few more lists at the libraries and I also have an excel… so it’s not going great. :))

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad Sweet Caress won last week, it should be interesting. For some reason, I never quite clicked with Tommy and Tuppence, but Hugh Fraser is such a good narrator, so they would still make for a great listen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What??? The cats are devastated! Well, sweet little pink-nosed Tommy is anyway – he’s gone off to hide in his secret grooming corner. Tuppence is more angry and has just gone out – if you hear a sudden snarling behind you, RUN!!!! 😉 Looking forward to Sweet Caress – hope it’s one of his good ones!


  4. I love that Black Books gif! And of course I love the Christie – Tommy and Tuppence are real favourites of mine. I’ve seen very good reviews of The Silence by people whose opinions I trust, so hopefully it will work for you!

    I’ll be interested to hear what you make if the Boyd – I tried to read one of his novels when I was a teenager (Any Human Heart, I think) and hated it, but I now think that maybe I was just much too young to engage with it and have judged him harshly. I’d be interested to see if I should revisit him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, me too – I love Bill Bailey! It’s been years since I last read this T&T book so I’m looking forward to it, and I’m glad to hear that The Silence is getting good reviews – for some reason I don’t seem to have seen many around the blogosphere. I have my fingers crossed for it!

      Boyd is strange. When he’s on form, he’s one of my favourite authors, but quite often he simply misses and you end up with huge long books mainly about middle-aged men and their sex lives. I can’t remember for sure which category Any Human Heart fell into, but I think I thought it was one of the good ones. If you decide to try him again, I highly recommend Brazzaville Beach – his best, in my opinion, though there are still a few I haven’t read.


    • This is the second of the T&Ts, and is kind of short stories with another story running through them in the background. It’s many years since I last read it, so I’m looking forward to revisiting it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A small part of me is disappointed that Still Life didn’t win. But onwards! Having just listened to Joan Hickson reading The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, which must have been inspired by you, I’m keen to hear what you think of Tommy & Tuppence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This time I knew I was going to be happy with whatever won and disappointed about whatever lost – not always the case with these polls! 😉 I will get to Still Life one of these days – but when? It’s a mystery! I love the T&T books as you’ll have gathered from the cats’ names, so I’m looking forward to revisiting this one. To be honest, they’re not as good as the Poirots or the Miss Marples, but they have their own special charm because of the relationship between Tommy and Tuppence. Hope you enjoyed The Mirror Crack’d! Joan Hickson is wonderful. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Don’t beat yourself up. Publishers are nefarious. They know how to wave their shiny books at people.

    I don’t think I voted for Sweet Caress, which means it will be the best book ever.
    I read Partners in Crime ages ago–probably in the 80s or 90s!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They really are, and they seem to pick on me! It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!! Haha, I suspect it was as far back as the ’70s that I first read Partners in Crime – it’s frightening to think that I’m actually old enough to remember when Agatha Christie was still bringing out new books… just!!


  7. Oh, the Christie … definitely! Not sure what I think about the dual time story trend. Probably felt innovative when it was first used, but now borders on same-old, same-old. Interesting meme!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The dual time thing sometimes works for me but often I find I’m only interested in one timeline and the other one just gets in the way. Hopefully this one will get the balance right! At least I know I’ll love the Christie… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m also a little disappointed Still Life didn’t win (so close!), but maybe you’ll get to it eventually.

    I’ll be interested to see what you think of the Simak. I’m currently in Classic SF mode and reading the Beyond Time anthology.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew this time I was going to be happy with whatever won, but also disappointed about whichever ones lost! I will read Still Life sometime – it’s just a matter of finding space among all the review copies and challenges…

      I’m getting more into Classic SF at the moment because I’ve enjoyed the BL’s selections so far, though I’ve only read a few of them. The anthologies are great though – hope you’re enjoying Beyond Time! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. We’ll all know the back story if you ever fail to post in a timely manner. Something about a cataclysmic avalanche…..If any were tempt me, it would be Sweet Caress. So please don’t make us wait too long for a review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, that avalanche is getting more likely by the day, due to the charity shops having been closed for the best part of a year! When they finally re-open it’ll take me about a million trips to get rid of the books I’ve accumulated. I’m looking forward to Sweet Caress… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I swore I wouldn’t reach 200 again, but how can I help it if publishers send me unsolicited books?? 😉 Looking forward to Sweet Caress, and the cats and I are all looking forward to Tommy and Tuppence… 😺😺

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I await your recommendations with interest on each of these books (and I have yet to introduce myself to the Tommy and Tuppence series 😳).
    Since I decided that there was no harm in filling my virtual shelves (library books yet to be borrowed) with as many interesting books as I come across – numbers (well over 200 now) have become irrelevant 😁 – just more possibilities to browse – no pressure! Enjoy your many interesting options too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What??? Tommy and Tuppence are most unhappy… and trust me, you don’t ever want to make Tuppence angry… 😾

      Haha, I used to shove everything that took my fancy onto my Amazon wishlist, but it got so out of hand I could never decide what books I actually wanted. So now I still stick everything on it as I go along, but then I cull it at the end of the month – it’s amazing how soon that initial enthusiasm brought on by a glowing review wears off… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve kind of accepted there’ll never be a point when everything on my list will be read and just enjoy having such a range of options to choose from (or look over again if they’ve faded from memory). You’ve got a good system there with accommodating enthusiasm, then tempering it with a second look-over later.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Once I discovered that something like 400,000 books are published every year in English, I gave up the idea of being “well-read”! Especially since I do like to read a lot of light entertainment in amongst the heavyweight fiction and factual stuff. Sometimes girls just wanna have fun… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I think it’s inevitable that you will cross the 200 threshold again – will follow the development closely the next couple of weeks. 😉 I noticed there is an audiobook sale going on and I actually considered downloading a couple of Christie / Fraser books. Can you ever get enough of those? It might even be a T&T story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Never!!! I shall start eating them if I can’t read them quickly enough! No, never too many Christie/Frasers! I’ve got loads now but there are still at least as many again on my wishlist. Hope you enjoy them – the T&T books are great, but you also have to listen to him doing some of the Poirots – he’s brilliant at sounding like David Suchet… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have some of the Poirot books read by Fraser already and hope to pick up more. I’ve considered featuring Appointment with Death in one of my “Literary Locations” post, but let’s see how it goes. At the moment I have so many ideas for posts, but most of them never materialise…

        Liked by 1 person

        • You’re lucky! My reading slump seems to be over and I can just about squeeze out a review again, but I fear my inspiration for different posts seems still to be in a coma! Appointment with Death is one of my favourites – I think Mrs Boynton is a wonderfully horrible creation… 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh darn, hopefully you get to Louse Penny sometime! Guess what I’m reading right now-an FF recommendation!!! I finally got it from the library-the mirror crack’d by Agatha Christie. I’m loving Miss Marple right now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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