I knew it couldn’t last! After a few weeks of dramatic drops, the TBR is fighting back and has regained some lost ground – up 3 to 188! It’s not my fault – I’m clearly suffering from mind control by aliens experimenting to discover the limits of human endurance…
Here are a few more they’ll be making me read soon…
Winner of the People’s Choice
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The voting was pretty close for a while but then We Need to Talk About Kevin pulled out in front and gradually built up a decent lead. I’m delighted it did, because no other book in any previous poll has provoked so many strong opinions, with nearly as many people expressing a desire to vote against it as for it, all of which made me very keen to read it and see why it’s so divisive! I might hate it or I might love it, but either way I can’t wait to find out. Good one, People!
The Blurb says: Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not of the boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who tried to befriend him. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband. Uneasy with the sacrifices of motherhood, Eva fears that her dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so drastically off the rails.
Winner of the 2005 Orange Prize, We Need To Talk About Kevin is a brilliant, controversial, unsettling book.
Rabbit, Run by John Updike
One for my Classics Club list. (This is a replacement for The Last of the Mohicans, which sadly I didn’t get along with at all and abandoned too early to review.) I’ve read Rabbit, Run before but don’t remember much about it. I have a feeling I neither loved nor hated it – they’re the ones I usually forget quickest. However, I’ve read far more American fiction since then, so am hoping I may be more in tune with it now and be able to appreciate it more. I also have the Audible version, narrated by William Hope, so will be switching between print and audio…
The Blurb says: Rabbit, Run is the book that established John Updike as one of the major American novelists of his—or any other—generation. Its hero is Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, a onetime high-school basketball star who on an impulse deserts his wife and son. He is twenty-six years old, a man-child caught in a struggle between instinct and thought, self and society, sexual gratification and family duty—even, in a sense, human hard-heartedness and divine Grace. Though his flight from home traces a zigzag of evasion, he holds to the faith that he is on the right path, an invisible line toward his own salvation as straight as a ruler’s edge.
* * * * *
Classic Science Fiction
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
And another Classics Club one. I know nothing about this book or author and picked it from various “best of” lists when compiling my list of classics. It sounds as if it could be brilliant… or awful! But I love the cover…
The Blurb says: In this pulse-quickening novel, Alfred Bester imagines a future in which people “jaunte” a thousand miles with a single thought, where the rich barricade themselves in labyrinths and protect themselves with radioactive hit men – and where an inarticulate outcast is the most valuable and dangerous man alive. “The Stars My Destination” is a classic of technological prophecy and timeless narrative enchantment by an acknowledged master of science fiction.
* * * * *
The Turnout by Megan Abbott
Courtesy of Little, Brown Book Group via NetGalley. I’ve loved several of Abbott’s earlier books, so have high hopes for this one. However, its lowish ratings on Goodreads have me a little concerned. I’ve avoided reading any reviews though, so I don’t know what it is about it that people are objecting to. We shall see…
The Blurb says: Ballet flows through their veins. Dara and Marie Durant were dancers since birth, with their long necks and matching buns and pink tights, homeschooled and trained by their mother. Decades later the Durant School of Dance is theirs. The two sisters, together with Charlie, Dara’s husband and once their mother’s prize student, inherited the school after their parents died in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago. Marie, warm and soft, teaches the younger students; Dara, with her precision, trains the older ones; and Charlie, back broken after years of injuries, rules over the back office. Circling around each other, the three have perfected a dance, six days a week, that keeps the studio thriving. But when a suspicious accident occurs, just at the onset of the school’s annual performance of The Nutcracker, a season of competition, anxiety, and exhilaration, an interloper arrives and threatens the delicate balance of everything they’ve worked for.
Taut and unnerving, The Turnout is Megan Abbott at the height of her game. With uncanny insight and hypnotic writing, it is a sharp and strange dissection of family ties and sexuality, femininity and power, and a tale that is both alarming and irresistible.
* * * * *
Psychological Thriller on Audio
A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine narrated by Harriet Walter
The Kindle version of this has been lingering on my TBR for far too long so when I spotted it on Audible narrated by the wonderful Harriet Walter, I couldn’t resist! I may flick back and forwards between Kindle and audio, or I may simply immerse myself completely in the narration…
The Blurb says: Faith Severn has grown up with the dark cloud of murder looming over her family. Her aunt Vera Hillyard, a rigidly respectable woman, was convicted and hanged for the crime, but the reason for her desperate deed died with her. Thirty years later, a probing journalist pushes Faith to look back to the day when her aunt took knife in hand and walked into a child’s nursery. Through the eyes of a woman trying to understand an unspeakable, inexplicable family tragedy, Barbara Vine leads us through a shadow land of illicit lust, intimate sins, and unspoken passions—to a shattering and illuminating climax, as inevitable as it is unexpected. In this enthralling masterpiece, a great crime writer has achieved both a flawlessly crafted novel of psychological suspense and a deeply probing work of literary art.
* * * * *
NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads or Amazon UK.
* * * * *