TBR Thursday 284…

Episode 284

I seem to have read about a zillion books in the last couple of weeks, so that even although half a zillion more have arrived, the overall result is that the TBR has plummeted by an amazing 5 to 197! And now that I’m starting my fast and furious 20 Books of Summer who knows how far it will drop??

freefall gif homer

Here are a few more that should fall off the edge soon…

NB Before I begin, an update on the Review-Along for The Silver Darlings: Rose has now received her copy and we’ve tentatively agreed a new review date of Monday 14th June, if that suits our fellow readers Christine and Alyson. Let me know if it doesn’t – otherwise brush off your notes!

Winner of the People’s Choice Poll

The Black Cabinet by Patricia Wentworth

The Black CabinetThere was never much doubt about the winner this month, People – The Black Cabinet shot into the lead in the first couple of hours and never looked back. The other three were all so far behind I can only describe them as also-rans. A good choice – it sounds like it should be fun, and it’s short! Hurrah! My faith in You, The People, is restored… 😉

The Blurb says: The lowly assistant to a London dressmaker, Chloe Dane yearns for a new life. She has bittersweet memories of being a carefree child playing hide-and-seek at Danesborough, her family’s magnificent country estate. Decades later, the ancestral mansion has been restored to its former glory—and Chloe is shocked to discover that she is the sole heir.

Danesborough is not the sun-filled, evergreen place she remembers. The trees are bare and the house is shrouded in mist. But the enormous gold-and-black lacquered Chinese cabinet in the drawing room is exactly the same. Chloe’s childhood imagination created an entire story out of the intricate carvings on the cabinet: a flowing river filled with boats and fishermen and one frightening man she called Mr. Dark.

But now, as Chloe begins to uncover Mitchell Dane’s true motives for bequeathing her the centuries-old manse, she has a very real reason to be afraid: The truth about what’s hidden in the black cabinet will soon threaten her life.

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Fiction

Highway Blue by Ailsa McFarlane

Highway BlueCourtesy of Harvill Secker via NetGalley. Another in my bid to read more new releases, picked purely on the basis of the blurb. The early reviews are distinctly mixed… 

The Blurb says: Anne Marie is adrift San Padua, living a precarious life of shift-work and shared apartments. Her husband Cal left her on their first anniversary and two years later, she can’t move on.

When he shows up suddenly on her doorstep, clearly in some kind of trouble, she reluctantly agrees to a drink. But later that night a gun goes off in an alley near the shore and the young couple flee together, crammed into a beat up car with their broken past. Their ill-at-ease odyssey takes them across a shimmering American landscape and through the darker seams of the country, towards a city that may or may not represent salvation.

Highway Blue is a story of being lost and found; of love, in all its forms; and of how the pursuit of love is, in its turn, a kind of redemption.

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Science Fiction

Yesterday’s Tomorrows: The Story of Science Fiction in 100 Books by Mike Ashley

Yesterday's TomorrowsCourtesy of the British Library. I’m terrified of this one! It’s similar to Martin Edwards’ The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, which led to a new challenge and pushed my poor TBR rocketing into space. And now they’ve done the same for science fiction! Will I be able to resist yet another challenge?? I can only hope all the books sounds awful! It doesn’t say it in the blurb, but I believe the book’s focus is specifically on British science fiction (though that mention of Asimov has me wondering…)

The Blurb says: From the enrapturing tales of H. G. Wells to the punishing dystopian visions of 1984 and beyond, the evolution of science fiction from the 1890s to the 1960s is a fascinating journey to undertake. Setting out this span of years as what we can now recognize as the ‘classic’ period of the genre, Mike Ashley takes us on a tour of the stars, utopian and post-apocalyptic futures, worlds of AI run amok and techno-thriller masterpieces asking piercing questions of the present. This book does not claim to be definitive; what it does offer is an accessible view of the impressive spectrum of imaginative writing which the genre’s classic period has to offer. Towering science fiction greats such as Asimov and Aldiss run alongside the, perhaps unexpected, likes of C. S. Lewis and J. B. Priestley and celebrate a side of science fiction beyond the stereotypes of space opera and bug-eyed monsters; the side of science fiction which proves why it must continue to be written and read, so long as any of us remain in uncertain times.

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Fiction

Shadows Over the Spanish Sun by Caroline Montague

Shadows Over the Spanish SunCourtesy of Orion via NetGalley. Another new release that caught my eye due to its Spanish Civil War connection. I have a feeling it might be going to be more romance than historical fiction, but we’ll see…

The Blurb says: Spain, 1936. Leonardo’s only connection to his past is the half medallion he wears around his neck – a painful reminder of his origins, and of the man he must fight to become. As the shadow of war falls over his beloved country, Leonardo is drawn into a desperate, forbidden love affair. But risking everything for love is a dangerous gamble, where one mistake could destroy everything…

2019. When Mia Ferris discovers that her beloved grandfather has fallen from his horse and is in need of care, she immediately flies to Spain – leaving behind her new fiancé, and her own complicated feelings. But when she discovers a photograph of an unknown woman and a bundle of old letters in her grandfather’s room, Mia must untangle a terrible history that changes everything she thought she knew.

A sweeping novel of passionate love, betrayal and redemption, set against the turmoil and tragedy of the Spanish Civil War.

* * * * *

Thriller

The Killing Kind by Jane Casey

The Killing KindCourtesy of HarperCollins via NetGalley. I love Casey’s Maeve Kerrigan series, but I’m excited to see her do a standalone thriller for a change. Early reviews are glowing…

The Blurb says: He tells you you’re special…
As a barrister, Ingrid Lewis is used to dealing with tricky clients, but no one has ever come close to John Webster. After Ingrid defended Webster against a stalking charge, he then turned on her – following her, ruining her relationship, even destroying her home.

He tells you he wants to protect you…
Now, Ingrid believes she has finally escaped his clutches. But when one of her colleagues is run down on a busy London road, Ingrid is sure she was the intended victim. And then Webster shows up at her door…

But can you believe him?
Webster claims Ingrid is in danger – and that only he can protect her. Stalker or saviour? Murderer or protector? The clock is ticking for Ingrid to decide. Because the killer is ready to strike again.

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

53 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 284…

  1. Plummeting TBR’s and the wrong People’s Choice winner. You’re just full of the bad news today, aren’t you? *wonders if it’s too early to start drinking*

    Pretty sure it goes without saying but tempted by the new Jane Casey, which I’m hoping to get around to really soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, I’m sorry! I don’t know what’s happened – I seem to be racing through them at the moment! Is it ever too early to start drinking? 😉

      I’m going to start the Casey just as soon as Rafa wins his match (at the rate Rafa plays that could be three in the morning, of course). I’ve only seen a few reviews of it, but they’ve all been glowing! 😀

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    • I’m loving vintage crime these days, so The Black Cabinet sounds good! Alyson’s fine with that date too. I’m wondering if Christine’s on holiday – I haven’t heard from her for a week or so. But I think we should go ahead as planned, and hopefully she’ll be back by then…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m very tempted by Yesterday’s Tomorrows – I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it. And I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s reviews of The Silver Darlings – I have it on my kindle but haven’t started it yet.

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    • I couldn’t resist Yesterday’s Tomorrows, even though I have a horrible feeling my TBR will go up by about 100! You’d still have time to read The Silver Darlings before the 14th if you start now… 😉

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  3. You’ve got quite a mixture this week, I’m tempted by a couple of them. The Jane Caisey is particularly appealing, and Highway Blue may have potential, it is another of these ones which I think could either be a hit or mis for you. Glad Rose’s copy of Silver Darlings turned up, I look forward to the reviewalong on the 14?.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it’s a good eclectic bunch I think, and I’m looking forward to them all. Highway Blue isn’t much more than novella length, so I think it must be quite fast-paced which is what I’m in the mood for at the moment. I’m really looking forward to the Casey – good to see her break away from her series and try something new. That’s great – the 14th it is, then! Now all I have to do is try to remember enough about it to write a coherent review… 😉

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  4. I can’t tell you how proud I am of you, FictionFan, for that amazing drop in the TBR! I am just in awe of your self-discipline! You deserve the finest chocolate and a piece of cake for that! As for the books, I’ll have to tell my delhusband resident sci-fi expert about the Ashley. I think he would find that really interesting. And I’m very much looking forward to what you think of the Casey. I like her Maeve Kerrigan novels, too, and it’ll be interesting to see what she does with this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, thank you! I’m proud of myself, if a touch baffled! Suddenly I seem to be speed-reading – if I went on at this rate for long I’d run out of books altogether! 😉 I’d be wary about telling your resident sci-fi expert about the Ashley – it may inspire him to get another 100 books. I’m frightened to read it! I should be starting the Casey as soon as Rafa wins his match… 😀

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  5. Oh good! Glad to see that huge drop. This means you won’t blame me too much when it climbs a little. 🤓
    Really looking forward to your review of The Black Cabinet since that was such an overwhelming winner (though I chose differently).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, you are responsible for a good part of the half zillion that arrived – Amazon got here so quickly I reckon they must have been standing around waiting for my order! Churchill and Graham Greene… 😀

      The Black Cabinet seemed to catch the public mood for some reason – I wouldn’t have expected it to win, but I do think it sounds like fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Highway Blue sounds interesting. And the Science Fiction book could definitely be fun. There’s always something charming about the way people in years past imagine the future. I find those books far more relaxing to read than current science fiction which feels too real and stressful!

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    • Highway Blue is also very short – pretty much novella length – so I’m guessing it must be quite fast-paced. I’ll soon find out! I’m terrified about the science fiction book – I know I’ll end up wanting to read all the books he lists. I always enjoy older SF to contemporary – they seemed to concentrate more on examining humanity than action thrillery stuff.

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  7. I’ll be interested to hear more about The Black Cabinet as I think I have one of Patricia Wentworth’s other books on my TBR. I’m not really tempted by any of the others this week, but I hope you enjoy them all!

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    • I think I’ve read one of her Miss Silver books long ago, but I don’t remember anything except a vague feeling that I enjoyed it and always meant to read more. So I have reasonably high hopes for The Black Cabinet! 😀

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  8. Definitely tempted as always by Jane Casey. I’m glad my pick was chosen for the People’s Choice, woohoo! Congrats on the TBR drop. Mine dropped by 8 only because I ruthlessly culled my Goodreads list, ha ha. It’s now a very reasonable 397. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, culling is always so satisfying, but I’ve pretty much culled my list to the bone now – sadly I want to read pretty much every book on it! I’m looking forward to The Black Cabinet – The People did much better this month… 😉 And a new Jane Casey is always a major treat for me. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Most of these sound quite good … so good that I probably shouldn’t have read your post today and allowed myself to be tempted, ha! Congrats on the TBR drop but tell me — how are you going to maintain that progress when there are so many new (and old) books seducing you?!?

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    • Haha, have you no faith in my iron willpower?? 😉 I don’t know why I suddenly seem to be speed-reading through them – if it lasted I’d soon run out of books altogether! But somehow I feel that’s unlikely… 😀

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  10. I’m glad The Black Cabinet won. I hope we picked well for you!

    I’m curious about Yesterday’s Tomorrows. I probably don’t need to read it since I already have more of the BL Classic Sci-Fi anthologies than I should. (wait, why shouldn’t I have them?? 🤔)

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    • I’m so happy it’s short, I’ll even forgive The People if it’s awful… 😉

      I’m terrified of Yesterday’s Tomorrows. I know I’m going to want to read all 100 books – I can only hope most of them are out of print… 😉 Spaceworlds is great, btw – review soon. 😀

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  11. Hope the Wentworth book is a thoroughly enjoyable one! I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

    Out of this group the Jane Casey appeals the most. I’ve not read any of hers, but will someday, I’ve heard so much positive comment on her work.

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    • I’m looking forward to the Wentworth – vintage crime is my comfort zone at the moment! I love Jane Casey’s series – it’s pretty much the only current series I’m following at the moment. She is a very modern writer but her books have the traditional feel of mysteries, with proper clues and closed groups of suspects and so on. I’m looking forward to seeing how she does in the thriller format. 😀

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  12. I do like the Miss Silver books, they are very civilised reading which is a relief in not so civilised times. I think I’m already interested in Highway Blue and maybe Shadows Over the Spanish Sun too. I’ll wait to learn more about Jane Casey’s latest, while I like her writing, I’m not sure I want to immerse in that story content these days.
    Yes, definitely on for The Silver Darlings. Since my memory is so holey, I put it aside before so I could read it closer to our review time. I’ll start it again now. (No holidays unfortunately, just busy and using reading time as a respite.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really don’t remember the one Miss Silver I read long ago except for a general impression of liking her – I must read more of them at some point. Highway Blue – hmm, I’m halfway through and will finish today (it’s very short) and so far I’m not sure I’ll be recommending it very strongly. Jane Casey’s going well so far! Haha – I’ve almost completely forgotten The Silver Darlings and of course didn’t write my review at the time – I’m just hoping I took copious notes!! Ah, of course, I keep forgetting it’s not summer holiday time in your part of the world!

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    • Hahaha, I suspect the TBR dip will be short-lived! Something made me look back at a TBR post from four years ago recently, and whaddya know? I was hovering around the 200 mark then too! The People have picked a good one, I hope!

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  13. Well done for getting that TBR down! I am holding out high hopes for my 20Books getting my TBR shelf lower, although once it reaches a certain point it will trigger me spending my book tokens and fill up again …

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    • Yes, I’m hoping the 20 Books will make dramatic reductions over the next couple of months but that all depends on how many books come through the letterbox or mysteriously appear on the Kindle! 😉

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  14. And me! I have sat quietly under the radar without committing but I did get a copy of The Silver Darlings and am 70% through so with luck I’ll be finished and with even more luck I’ll have some sort of review written by 14th 😃

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    • Oh good! I’ll look forward to your review! Haha, it’s so long since I read it I’m really going to struggle to write a review – let that be a lesson to me to write the review quickly even if I won’t be posting it for a while… 😉

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      • The review is already looking increasingly unlikely 😣 But for good reasons – I really don’t want to rush the final chapters. Rose must be a very fast reader! In any event I’ll be able to join in the discussion. And I’m confident that your review will be up to your usual high standard 😀

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        • I found it took me a long time to read too – not one to be gulped down! But I’m sure we’ll all avoid spoilers so even if you aren’t quite finished, I’ll look forward to hearing what you think of it so far. Haha – I’m still putting it off… it’s become like facing an exam I haven’t properly studied for… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

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