TBR Thursday 357…

Episode 357

A few books in and a few books out in the couple of weeks since I last reported. Result – the TBR remains stuck on 167!

Here are a few more that I should pull out soon…

Vintage Horror

Our Haunted Shores edited by Emily Alder, Jimmy Packham and Joan Passey

Courtesy of the British Library. Next up in my bumper crop of anthologies is this one from the BL’s Tales of the Weird series. This sounds like it’s going to be a mix of real horrors – shipwrecks, etc – alongside the usual spooky fare…

The Blurb says: From the unsettling expanses of mud flats to foreboding cliffs and treacherous reefs, the coasts of the British Isles have provided inspiration for storytellers for millennia, creating a rich literary and cultural significance for these spaces in between the land and sea. The shoreline can be a destination for pleasure, but it is also the rife with peril. In this new collection, the founders of the Haunted Shores Research Network have curated a chilling literary tour of the coasts of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, including tales of woeful shipwreck, lighthouse terrors and uncanny revenants amid the bustle of the harbourside.

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Fiction

Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash

Courtesy of Canongate via NetGalley. This is one of the couple of remaining books that have been sitting for years on my NetGalley shelf, back from when my self-control collapsed and I requested far more books than I could possibly read – in this case it’s been there since 2016! I acquired it after enjoying Rash’s The Cove, though since then I’ve had a much less positive experience with his Serena. So this one will be the decider…

The Blurb says: Nothing else comes so I set the notebook beside me. What else is here? I ask myself and listen. This section of stream purls and riffles amid small stones. What word might be made for what I hear . . .

Above the Waterfall is the story of Sheriff Les Clary. A man on the verge of retirement, he is plunged into deep and dangerous waters by one final case. A case that will draw him to the lyrical beauty of his surroundings and, in doing so, force him to come to terms with his own past.

Echoing the heartbreaking beauty of William Faulkner and the spiritual isolation of Michel Faber, Above the Waterfall is as poetic as it is haunting.

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Spanish Civil War Thriller

The Gate of the Sun by Derek Lambert

I’m determined to finish the last two books for my Spanish Civil War challenge before the end of the year, which will be harder than it sounds since they’re both stonking doorsteps! I’ve enjoyed a couple of Lambert’s politically-tinged thrillers before, written under his pseudonym Richard Falkirk, so I have high expectations for this one.

The Blurb says: On the bitter battlefields of the Spanish Civil War, an unlikely friendship is forged. Tom Canfield and Adam Fleming are from different countries and on opposing sides, yet they have one thing in common – a passionate love for Spain…

With a fervour to match their own, a woman is battling in the same bloody struggle. She is Ana, the Black Widow; young, beautiful, bereaved – and a dangerous freedom fighter.

The end of the armed conflict will not end the conflicting emotions that draw these people together. For over forty turbulent years, from the dark days of Franco’s victory to the birth of modern Spain, they will be bound together in an intricate web – of love, betrayal, ambition and revenge…

Derek Lambert, who knew and loved Spain for many years, uses his unique understanding of Spanish history and character in this sweeping novel which encompasses some of the most crucial events of twentieth-century Europe, creates characters of extraordinary depth and humanity, and tells a story of compelling power and vitality.

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Fiction on Audio

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières read by Michael Maloney

There was a time when everyone was reading Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – except me! Time to find out what I missed…

The Blurb says: It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals, but as a conscientious soldier, whose main aim is to have a peaceful war, he proves in time to be civilised, humorous – and a consummate musician. When the local doctor’s daughter’s letters to her fiancé go unanswered, the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable. But can this fragile love survive as the war gets closer and the lines are drawn between invader and defender?

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

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So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

40 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 357…

    • Hmm, having listened to the first few chapters I’m not at all convinced that it deserves the hype. I’ll stick it out for a little longer but I suspect it’s heading for the abandoned heap. Verbosity seems to be his major talent!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The only thing I remember about Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is a story that was told in the first chapter which still makes me laugh uncontrollably when I think of it. I’m already looking forward to your review, if only for this bit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha, the pea? I have a horrible feeling this one may never make it to review – the first few chapters haven’t really grabbed me, so it may end up on the abandoned heap if it doesn’t pick up soon!

      Liked by 1 person

            • So long as you read and enjoyed the bit about the pea, abandoning the book is fine by me. I don’t know if another narrator or a paper copy would change your enjoyment of the book or not. I’ve read Red Dog by this author and enjoyed it, but it is a novella which was set in Australia that also became a wildly popular film so there were more reasons for me to enjoy it!

              Liked by 1 person

            • When I got this one I realised he’s written tons of other stuff, but I’ve never really seen much hype around them, or seen reviews of them around the blogosphere. I’m guessing this one just hit the popular mood and became a sensation in the way books sometimes do, without necessarily being better than other books that sink without trace.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed the Rash after having problems with Serena. Unfortunately, the main protagonist’s name is the same as my partner’s surname which given the novel’s billed as a reimagining of Macbeth was a bit of a problem for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, it’s always strange when your name or the name of someone you know turns up as a character. JK Rowling chose my dad’s name for her male pseudonym – I get quite a start every time I see it! I’m glad you feel this one works better than Serena. I read the first few chapters last night and, touch wood, am enjoying it so far…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The one that really catches my eye, FictionFan, is Our Haunted Shores. I don’t normally read a lot of horror, but that collection looks intriguing for some reason. And I do like a virtual tour of a place… I would be interested in the Lambert, but right now is not the time for a doorstop for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So far Our Haunted Shores is more about “true” horrors than the supernatural – drownings, shipwrecks and so on – but I think some of the later stories will be more traditionally spooky stories. Ha, I’ve been putting the Lambert off for ages because it’s such a brick, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter as time passes… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope the Gate of the Sun is good and you are so gripped you can’t put it down and get it finished in time to read the next one and get the challenge finished all in a great big reading rush!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, that’s certainly the plan but you know what they say about plans! Certainly the couple of books of his I’ve read before have been page-turners, though, so I have high hopes, and the other one ought to be reasonably fast-paced too, I think. This challenge has gone on longer than the actual war! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t seen the movie either, and reviews make me think they changed the story a lot from the book. So far the book isn’t really grabbing me, but I’ll give it a while longer…

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  5. Honestly, I’m not really tempted this time, though I’ll be curious how the Ron Rash works for you after that hot mess of Serena.

    When I first glanced at the cover of the top book, I saw it as Our Haunted “S’mores”!! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started the Ron Rash last night and while I’m nit quite sure what it’s about yet, it’s already grabbing me more than Serena – fingers crossed! Hahaha, we never used to have S’mores here, and it’s only from hearing about them around the blogosphere that I learned what they are! Someone should write a story about haunted S’mores! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know why I didn’t read Captain Corelli when it was so popular – I must have been busy at the time! Not sure whether it’s going to work for me based on the first few chapters, but fingers crossed…

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  6. On Haunted Shores does sound interesting….but the blurb for Waterfall that compares the author’s style to the “heartbreaking beauty of Faulkner” gives me pause. Faulkner is quite a challenge to read, although several of his books haunted my dreams while I was reading them, and re-reading them, for a grad school class. Perhaps they’re not talking about sentence structure when referring to Faulkner. Perhaps it’s referring to setting and overall tone. Hmmm. If you do read Above the Waterfall, I’d be interested to hear your assessment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, given that I abandoned my one attempt at Faulkner and swore an oath under the blasted oak that he would never darken my TBR again, I’m kinda hoping the Rash comparison is wrong! 😉 I read the first few chapters last night and so far it’s looking good, but I don’t see anything Faulkner-ish about it, not that I’m an expert!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lambert seems most interesting though that plot, I think, is a little overdone. However, the review I am most looking forward to is the Captain one because I too haven’t read it and want to know whether I have missed something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So far Captain Corelli isn’t grabbing me but it’s early days – I’ll give it a bit longer. I have high hopes for the Lambert – I’ve enjoyed the other books of his I’ve read and someone (can’t remember who) specifically recommended this one as a good addition to the Spanish Civil War challenge…

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  8. I do like Ron Rash’s writing and read Above the Waterfall a few years back. I don’t have sharp memories of the book but do remember it was a good ‘other place to be’ in the midst of some work I had on at the time. I’ll also keep an eye on how you find The Gate of the Sun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m enjoying Above the Waterfall, I think, but I’m about 40% through it now and I can’t quite work out what the plot is! I’m hoping it all becomes clear later… 😉 I’m looking forward to The Gate in the Sun since I’ve enjoyed a couple of his thrillers before, and someone – can’t remember who, unfortunately – specifically recommended this one to me as great for the SCW challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Above the Waterfall and the haunting anthology appeal to me the most. I will say, the fish on the cover of Above the Waterfall, that whole cover really, does not look like a mystery. I was thinking it was literary fiction? or maybe it isn’t a crime novel? I’m just thinking crime based on the fact he’s a Sheriff…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting, because as I was reading it I was wondering how I would categorise it too. There is a crime and a mystery, but they don’t feel like the main thing. The town and society are more important. I think I’d have to class it as “literary crime” perhaps…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, that’s quite re-assuring since I often wonder why I can’t see what’s so good about a much-loved book! I felt he was way too verbose, which given my own verbosity is quite an insult… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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