Down the TBR Hole # 5

Welcome back to Literary Weaponry’s rendition of Down the TBR Hole. This week, we are traversing this hole for the fifth time. There a few books on this list that I honestly don’t remember ever crossing paths with. Let’s see how this goes, shall we?

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The Mountain of Light by Indu Sundaresan

As empires rose and fell and mighty kings jostled for power, its glittering radiance never dimmed. It is the “Mountain of Light”—the Kohinoor diamond—and its facets reflect a sweeping story of love, adventure, conquest, and betrayal. Its origins are the stuff of myth, but for centuries this spectacular gem changes hands from one ruler to another in India, Persia, and Afghanistan. In 1850, the ancient stone is sent halfway around the world where it will play a pivotal role in the intertwined destinies of a boy-king of India and a young queen of England—a queen who claims the Mountain of Light and India itself for her own burgeoning empire, the most brilliant jewels in her imperial crown.

The Mountain of Light is a magnificent story of loss and recovery, sweeping change and enduring truth, wrapped around the glowing heart of one of the world’s most famous diamonds.

I vaguely remember this book. Very vaguely. One weekend I was meandering a Barnes and Noble with my husband and kiddo and, since we had driven quite a ways to do a bit of shopping, I felt obligated to buy something. I really wasn’t feeling any of the books I was stumbling across so I just picked up one with a pretty cover. The concept had worked for me before, it has found me some of my favorite books, but this time? Not so much.

Verdict: tenor

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A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate (Lucy Campion Mysteries #1) by Susanna Calkins

For Lucy Campion, a seventeenth-century English chambermaid serving in the household of the local magistrate, life is an endless repetition of polishing pewter, emptying chamber pots, and dealing with other household chores until a fellow servant is ruthlessly killed, and someone close to Lucy falls under suspicion. Lucy can’t believe it, but in a time where the accused are presumed guilty until proven innocent, lawyers aren’t permitted to defend their clients, and—if the plague doesn’t kill the suspect first—public executions draw a large crowd of spectators, Lucy knows she may never find out what really happened. Unless, that is, she can uncover the truth herself.

Determined to do just that, Lucy finds herself venturing out of her expected station and into raucous printers’ shops, secretive gypsy camps, the foul streets of London, and even the bowels of Newgate prison on a trail that might lead her straight into the arms of the killer.

I certainly have a thing for historical fiction. Granted, this book does not cover the usual time frames that I am interested in. This book still sounds pretty interesting. I think I’m going to keep it around a while, maybe I’ll get to it eventually.

Verdict: KEEP

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The Other Boleyn Girl (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #9) by Philippa Gregory

Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: The love of a king

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realises just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king and take fate into her own hands.

A rich and compelling novel of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue, The Other Boleyn Girl introduces a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamourous court in Europe and survived by following her heart.

I completely love Gregory’s books. I have three or four others of hers and have not been disappointed in a single one. Some people say her writing is a little dry but I don’t see that. They are immersive, detailed, and entirely entertaining.

Verdict: KEEP

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The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all.  As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress’s maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue.   

Featuring a cast of characters drawn from history, The Queen of the Night follows Lilliet as she moves ever closer to the truth behind the mysterious opera and the role that could secure her reputation — or destroy her with the secrets it reveals.

Oh look! A book I have absolutely zero memory of! I always wonder what the heck I was doing when I added those to my TBR list. Maybe it floated my boat then, doesn’t sound like my cup of tea now. Needless to say, this one is going to go.

Verdict: tenor

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Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Two this week I have no memory of. I’m on a roll, folks! I’m on a fence about this on. It is sitting at a 3.75 on Goodreads which is above my minimum of 3.5, it sounds like it could be good but it could also be massively boring. You know, in the long run, I don’t think that I will ever read it with just a moderate interest so off it goes!

Verdict: tenor

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Three out of five this week, not too bad! Every time I do one of these I wonder what the heck I was thinking when I added those books to my TBR. Always glad for a purge, though. Makes room for more books that will hold my interest. Happy Friday, everyone!

2 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole # 5

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