Another drop in the TBR this week – down 2 to 175! This is mainly because I’m running out of steam on the #20(Audio)BooksOfSummer challenge and drifting back to paper books…
Here are a few more I’ll be sniffing soon…
Homage to Caledonia by Daniel Gray
One of the last few books for my Spanish Civil War challenge. While it’s true that Scottish support went pretty overwhelmingly to the Communists/Republicans, I’ll be interested to see if the book acknowledges that there was support for the Fascists/Nationalists too, as readers of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie will be aware. Sometimes we like to airbrush bits of history out…
The Blurb says: Thirty-five thousand people from across the world volunteered to join the armed resistance in a war on fascism. More people, proportionately, went from Scotland than any other country, and the entire nation was gripped by the conflict. What drove so many ordinary Scots to volunteer in a foreign war?
Their stories are powerfully and honestly told, often in their own words: the ordinary men and women who made their way to Spain over the Pyrenees when the UK government banned anyone from going to support either side; the nurses and ambulance personnel who discovered for themselves the horrors of modern warfare; and the people back home who defied their poverty to give generously to the Spanish republican cause.
Even in war there are light-hearted moments: a Scottish volunteer drunkenly urinating in his general’s boots, enduring the dark comedy of learning to shoot with sticks amidst a scarcity of rifles, or enjoying the surreal experience of raising a dram with Errol Flynn. They went from all over the country: Glasgow, Edinburgh. Aberdeen, Dundee, Fife and the Highlands, and they fought to save Scotland, and the world, from the growing threat of fascism.
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The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths
I loved the first book in Griffiths’ new Harbinder Kaur series, The Stranger Diaries, but for some unknown reason I missed this second one when it was released. And now the way too prolific Griffiths has already produced a third! I need to learn how to speed read!
The Blurb says: The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death.
But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her…
And that Peggy Smith had been a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to…
And when clearing out Peggy’s flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure…
Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.
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Du Maurier on Audio
The Rendezvous and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier read by Edward de Souza
Another couple for the #20(Audio)BooksOfSummer challenge! First, another collection of stories. I prefer du Maurier as a short story writer than a novelist, on the whole. I don’t know Edward de Souza well, but his narration of this collection gets heaps of praise from Audible reviewers!
The Blurb says: A happily married woman commits suicide for no apparent reason; a young man tries to break some important news to the beautiful girl he had hoped to marry; a con girl plays the same bold game too often and a novelist embarks on a romantic adventure but is woefully disappointed.
In all these stories, glimpses into personal lives are vividly portrayed, but they are all written with warmth and are wonderfully evocative.
This collection includes 14 of du Maurier’s short stories.
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Hardy on Audio
The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy read by Samuel West
Having loved Timothy West’s narration of Trollope last week, now here’s his son narrating Hardy! I’ve listened to Samuel West before, narrating Brighton Rock, and I thought he was wonderful, so I’m expecting great things of this one. It’s the longest remaining book on my challenge…
The Blurb says: In this classically simple tale of the disastrous impact of outside life on a secluded community in Dorset, Hardy narrates the rivalry for the hand of Grace Melbury between a simple and loyal woodlander and an exotic and sophisticated outsider. Betrayal, adultery, disillusion, and moral compromise are all worked out in a setting evoked as both beautiful and treacherous. The Woodlanders, with its thematic portrayal of the role of social class, gender, and evolutionary survival, as well as its insights into the capacities and limitations of language, exhibits Hardy’s acute awareness of his era’s most troubling dilemmas.
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NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads, Amazon UK or Audible UK.
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