Down the TBR Hole #10

rainbowchalkTBRHOLE

This week I accomplished something I was rather proud of. I managed to only add one book to my TBR! While that may be the case I am still hovering around 150 on my TBR and I continue to weed out the ones that I know I will never get to or have lost interest in over time. 

All That Remains by Al Barrera – The old world is dead, and humanity struggles to survive in the shadows of the new one. Kyle, Sara, and Tim are scavengers, hiding in the remains of human civilization from the hungry things that destroyed it. Living on the few items that haven’t rotted in the thirteen years since civilization was wiped out. 

But something has shown itself: A terrible creature that betrays an intelligence in the madness of the beings that rule the planet. 

When the group finds Kaylee, a little girl who claims to know of a safe haven somewhere in Tennessee, they embark on a desperate journey to find it. Memory and loss, depravity and salvation— their last run will put them face to face with horrors of both man and monsters the likes of which they’ve never seen.

Meh. Just meh. For a while there I was really into the whole dystopian, end of the world, humanity is doomed concept. That feeling has passed.

Verdict: tenor

Mayan Mendacity (Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth #2) by L.J.M. Owen – Dr Elizabeth Pimms has a new puzzle.

What is the story behind the tiny skeletons discovered on a Guatemalan island? And how do they relate to an ancient Mayan queen?

The bones, along with other remains, are a gift for Elizabeth. But soon the giver reveals his true nature. An enraged colleague then questions Elizabeth’s family history. Elizabeth seeks DNA evidence to put all skeletons to rest.

A pregnant enemy, a crystal skull, a New York foodie, and an intruder in Elizabeth’s phrenic library variously aid or interrupt Elizabeth’s attempts to solve mysteries both ancient and personal.

With archaeological intrigue, forensic insight and cosy comfort, Mayan Mendacity takes readers back into the world of Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth. Really cold cases. 

I still haven’t managed to get my hands on this series. I can order it through Book Depository but their prices are ridiculous. I’m going to end up having to get it on Kindle at some point.

 

Verdict: KEEP

The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford – Hoping to make a clean break from a fractured marriage, Agatha Christie boards the Orient Express in disguise. But unlike her famous detective Hercule Poirot, she can’t neatly unravel the mysteries she encounters on this fateful journey.

Agatha isn’t the only passenger on board with secrets. Her cabinmate Katharine Keeling’s first marriage ended in tragedy, propelling her toward a second relationship mired in deceit. Nancy Nelson—newly married but carrying another man’s child—is desperate to conceal the pregnancy and teeters on the brink of utter despair. Each woman hides her past from the others, ferociously guarding her secrets. But as the train bound for the Middle East speeds down the track, the parallel courses of their lives shift to intersect—with lasting repercussions.

Filled with evocative imagery, suspense, and emotional complexity, The Woman on the Orient Express explores the bonds of sisterhood forged by shared pain and the power of secrets.

I’m really on a fence about this one. It sounds interesting but will I actually read it? There are so many other books on my TBR I’m not sure this one would ever finds its way to the top. I think for now it is going to have to go. If I stumble across it later and change my mind that is fine but for now…

Verdict: tenor

The Gargoyle Hunters by John Freeman Gill – Hilarious and poignant, The Gargoyle Hunters is a love letter to a vanishing city, and a deeply emotional story of fathers and sons. Intimately portraying New York’s elbow-jostling relationship with time, the novel solves the mystery of a brazen and seemingly impossible architectural heist: the theft of an entire historic Manhattan building that stunned the city and made the front page of The New York Times in 1974.

With both his family and his city fracturing, thirteen-year-old Griffin Watts is recruited into his estranged father’s illicit and dangerous architectural salvage business. Small and nimble, Griffin is charged with stealing exuberantly expressive nineteenth-century architectural sculptures gargoyles right off the faces of unsung tenements and iconic skyscrapers all over town. As his father explains it, these gargoyles, carved and cast by immigrant artisans during the city’s architectural glory days, are an endangered species in this era of sweeping urban renewal.

Desperate both to connect with his father and to raise cash to pay the mortgage on the brownstone where he lives with his mother and sister, Griffin is slow to recognize that his father s deepening obsession with preserving the architectural treasures of Beaux Arts New York is also a destructive force, imperiling Griffin’s friendships, his relationship with his very first girlfriend, and even his life.

As his father grows increasingly possessive of both Griffin’s mother and his scavenged touchstones of the lost city, Griffin must learn how to build himself into the person he wants to become and discover which parts of his life can be salvaged and which parts must be let go. Maybe loss, he reflects, is the only thing no one can ever take away from you.
Tender, funny, and achingly sad, The Gargoyle Hunters introduces an extraordinary new novelist. 

A few years ago this would have really sparked my interest. But, times change and so do people. At this point in my life, this story doesn’t hold any pzazz for me.

Verdict: tenor

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones – The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. 

We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to sign Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights. 

This is the era of chivalry, of Robin Hood and the Knights Templar, the Black Death, the founding of Parliament, the Black Prince, and the Hundred Year’s War. It will appeal as much to readers of Tudor history as to fans of ‘Game of Thrones.

Please, I am obsessed with this period in history and Dan Jones is a most entertaining expert on it. I actually have this book sitting on my physical shelves at the moment and will read it eventually, I have no doubt about that.

Verdict: KEEP

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Every time  I do this I seem to weed out 3/5  of the books. Not a bad ratio, if you ask me. Have you read any of these books? What do you think about my deletes?

3 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #10

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