TBR Thursday 285…

Episode 285

Well it was all going brilliantly! Until yesterday, when it seemed as if postmen were queuing at the door with parcels from everywhere. End result – the TBR has gone back up 3 to 200. 

Horse treadmill

Here are a few I should be galloping through soon – the two middle ones are from my fast and furious 20 Books of Summer list…


Summerwater edited by Sarah Moss

SummerwaterCourtesy of Picador via NetGalley. This had a lot of buzz when it came out and I’ve had this copy for ages, plus it’s very short, but here I am as usual – all behind like the cow’s tail!  It’s had mixed reviews, but the overall impression seems to be positive…

The Blurb says: On the longest day of the summer, twelve people sit cooped up with their families in a faded Scottish cabin park. The endless rain leaves them with little to do but watch the other residents.

A woman goes running up the Ben as if fleeing; a retired couple reminisce about neighbours long since moved on; a teenage boy braves the dark waters of the loch in his red kayak. Each person is wrapped in their own cares but increasingly alert to the makeshift community around them. One particular family, a mother and daughter without the right clothes or the right manners, starts to draw the attention of the others. Tensions rise and all watch on, unaware of the tragedy that lies ahead as night finally falls.

* * * * *


Mother Loves Me by Abby Davies

Mother Loves MeCourtesy of HarperCollins. This is an unsolicited one from HC. They’ve sent me some brilliant ones I’d never have come across otherwise, and also some dire ones (or, to be fairer, not to my taste) that have been abandoned very quickly. The blurb of this suggests it’s more likely to fall into the second category, but I’ve been wrong before… 

The Blurb says: The creepiest debut thriller you will read this year!

One little girl.
Mirabelle’s mother loves her. She’s her ‘little doll’. Mother dresses her, paints her face, and plaits her hair. But as Mirabelle grows, the dresses no longer fit quite as well, the face paint no longer looks quite so pretty. And Mother isn’t happy.

Two little girls.
On Mirabelle’s 13th birthday, Mother arrives home with a present – a new sister, 5-year-old Clarabelle, who Mother has rescued from the outside world.

But Mother only needs one.
As it dawns on Mirabelle that there is a new ‘little doll’ in her house, she also realizes that her life isn’t what she thought it was. And that dolls often end up on the scrap heap…

* * * * *


The Pact by Sharon Bolton

The PactCourtesy of Orion via NetGalley. Sharon Bolton used to be a totally safe bet for me, but her last few books have seemed more variable and have sometimes strayed too far over the credibility line, so this could go either way…  

The Blurb says: A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .

* * * * *

Maigret on Audio

Cécile is Dead by Georges Simenon read by Gareth Armstrong

Cecile is DeadI’ve been dipping my toe into the Maigret series over the last couple of years, but fellow blogger José Ignacio over at the excellent A Crime is Afoot plunged in head-first and has now read all 79 novels and 28 short stories. He has given a list of his favourites, and finished by saying “However, if you just want to read one before making up your mind, I would suggest: Cécile is Dead.” With an endorsement like that, it had to be the next on my list! 

The Blurb says: A new translation of this moving novel about the destructive power of greed.

Poor Cécile! And yet she was still young. Maigret had seen her papers: barely 28 years old. But it would be difficult to look more like an old maid, to move less gracefully, in spite of the care she took to be friendly and pleasant. Those black dresses that she must make for herself from bad paper patterns, that ridiculous green hat!

In the dreary suburbs of Paris, the merciless greed of a seemingly respectable woman is unearthed by her long-suffering niece, and Maigret discovers the far-reaching consequences of their actions.

This novel has been published in a previous translation as Maigret and the Spinster.

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

47 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 285…

  1. I’m feeling rather grumpy this evening, so none of these pique my interest, thankfully. I really need to focus on getting my own TBR pile down to a manageable level. And you’re up to 200! Am thinking in another year or two you’ll be at 300….emergency measures may need to be taken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been taking emergency measures for about three years – it’s not working!! I think I’ll have to block up the letterbox. Or read three times as quickly (how I wish I could!) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Three of these share a theme, don’t they, inappropriate clothes — for camping, for being a growing child, for being a young woman. Good luck with choosing! I’d go for the first or the last…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw quite a few, mostly positive reviews for Summerwater a couple of years ago and thought I would probably like it, then inevitably forgot about it as I became distracted by other books, thanks for the reminder. On the other hand, Mother Loves Me sounds too depressing for my mood just now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mother Loves Me sounds too depressing for me too, but there was another one about a child recently that I thought would be awful and it turned out to be quite entertaining and not nearly as grim as the blurb made it sound, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Summerwater sounds very good – I think some of the negative reviews are from people who were expecting a mystery or thriller, but because I’ve read so many reviews I think I have a good idea of what style to expect.


  4. Summerwater is a yes from me. It isn’t a joyful read but I did find it to be one which resonates through because of the quality of Sarah Moss’ writing. I’ll be interested to see how you find Sharon Bolton’s latest book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to get your recommendation for it! I think a lot of the negative reviews were from people who felt the blurb was promising them a mystery or thriller, but happily I’ve read so many reviews I feel I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Fingers crossed! With Sharon Bolton, it often depends as much on my mood – whether I can go with the flow or whether I get too hung up on lack of credibility. I’m in thriller mode at the moment, so hopefully it’ll be a winner…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Plus 3! Oh, happy days! 🥳

    Sharon Bolton might just slightly go over that credibility line again but I loved The Pact, which was a huge relief after The Split, so I hope you do as well. She’s still on my go-to list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, it was so nearly another big drop too! I’m sure you must bribe these publishers… 😀

      Well, I abandoned The Split, so this one has to be better! A lot of it depends on my mood – whether I can go with the flow or get too hung up on credibility issues. I’m in thriller mode at the moment, so hopefully it’ll be a winner…


  6. There’s no doubt in my mind, FictionFan: your postman is in league with your feline overlords to keep that TBR pile growing! It’s not your fault at all! I think that, of this week’s lot, the Bolton sounds most interesting to me. I do like her writing as a rule. And of course, you can’t go far wrong with a Simenon. The others, I must admit, don’t capture my fancy as much. I hope you’ll enjoy them, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not my fault! I had to laugh yesterday – it was as if the whole world was conspiring against me! But it’s a good problem to have, I suppose… 😉 I usually love Bolton, so I have my fingers firmly crossed for it. And Maigret always works well in audio format, so it should be good. The others… well, who knows? might be brilliant, might be abandoned! We shall see… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d be willing to give any of these a shot. (especially if they’re reasonably short!)

    I finished Four Winds and I’m glad I read it, however…. The story could have been told in at least 100 less pages, it’s awfully bleak in places, and I’m still a little confused as to her stance on Communism. She tells a good story and I did learn some things I didn’t know about the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression (especially in the western US), but I don’t know if it would be your cup of tea. You asked about the comparison to The Grapes of Wrath. Someone in the comments called it the “Harlequin Romance” version. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summerwater and Cécile is Dead are deliciously short – the other two not so much, but they should be fast-paced, I hope!

      Haha, I do feel The Grapes of Wrath might have been improved by a bit of Harlequin Romance! But it sounds as though you have pretty mixed feelings about it, and you know how I feel about books that are too long. (Mind you, I felt TGoW could have done with a sever edit too.) Steinbeck was pro-Communism, at that stage of his life anyway, and his political preaching got up my nose a bit, so maybe her leaving you confused was better…

      Liked by 1 person

    • José Ignacio has given a list of all the Maigrets he liked most – useful for those of us who only want to dip in and out of the series. I still have high hopes for Summerwater – I think some of the negative reviews are from people who expected it to be a kind of thriller, but I think I’ve got a reasonably good idea of what to expect, so fingers crossed… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, whose side are you on?!! If I could just stay below that pesky 200 mark! 😉

      I’ve never read any of her stuff before so it’ll be a new experience. I’m hopeful – I think it sounds as if it should be interesting…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, it sounds as if you’re galloping toward a page-turning summer, FF! I’m intrigued by the premise to The Pact. Twenty years is a long time to spend anywhere — especially in prison — so I imagine Megan will exact plenty of revenge upon her little friends. I’m going to check that one out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am – and I’m reading up a storm at the moment! I can’t keep up with the review writing! Sharon Bolton is usually great, so hopefully The Pact will be a winner. I should be starting it any moment now… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Of course 200 must be your lucky number, the world’s just making sure you don’t stray too far away! Based entirely on selfish reasons, I’m going for Summerwater since it’s on my TBR too. And I can always happily listen to a Maigret.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I seem to have been stuck at that 200 mark for years now! Still at least it has stopped skyrocketing upwards! The Maigret is going very well so far and I should be starting Summerwater tonight…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the mother-daughter one is the one I’m most dubious about, but it’ll all depend on how the author handles it. If it gets too grim, it’ll end up on the abandoned heap!


  10. I will be interested in your thoughts on Cécile is Dead by Georges Simenon. I keep having intentions to read more by him and then it doesn’t happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So far it’s going well – it always takes me ages to listen to even short audiobooks. I know – he’s written so many it can feel quite overwhelming just to decide which one to read!


  11. OMG, why does that HC book have a woman in a red coat on-will these cliches never end! I remember you specifically pointing out those covers annoy you (and me too!) so I don’t have high hopes for that one. Now the Summerwater on the other hand, that sounds intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

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