A – Z of TBRs: G, H and I

I have been neglecting my TBRs this year and have been reading mainly new books and library books.So here is the third instalment of my A – Z of TBRs, a series of posts in which I take a fresh look at some of my TBRs to inspire me to read more of them by the end of the year. These TBRs are all physical books – I’ve not included e-books.

I’m enjoying searching my shelves – finding books I’d forgotten were there (the disadvantage of shelving books behind others).

a-z tbrs ghi P1020304


G is for The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendella book I’ve had for just over a year. When a new house is being built a long buried secret is uncovered – a tin box is found in an earthen tunnel. It contained two skeletal hands, one male and one female.

Their garden was not beautiful. It had no flowering trees, no roses, no perfumed herbs. Tunnels, they called it at first. The word ‘qanat’, an impossible word, was found by Daphne Jones and adopted by the rest of them. It meant, apparently, a subterranean passage for carrying water in some oriental language. They liked it because it started with a q without a u. Their scholteachers had taught them that no word could ever start with a q unless it was followed by u, so Daphne’s idea appealed to them and the tunnels became qanats. In time to come the qanats became their secret garden. (pages 14 -15)

HHamlet, Revenge! by Michael Innes (on my TBR shelves since May 2015). This is a green Vintage Penguin, first published in 1937, and in this edition in 1961, about a murder planned to take place in the middle of a private performance of Hamlet.

It had begun as a family frolic. And now, although it would not be publicly reported, the dramatic critics were coming down as if to an important festival. Professors were coming to shake learned respectable bald heads over a fellow-scholar’s conception of an Elizabethan stage. Aged royalty  was coming to be politely bewildered. Most alarming of all, ‘everybody’ was coming – for the purpose no doubt, of being where ‘everybody’ was. And even if it was a select and serious everybody – a known set before whom a Lord Chancellor might mime without misgiving – it was still a crowd, and its actions were unpredictable. (page 28)

IThe Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai, a book I’ve had for just over 10 years! It won the Man Booker Prize in 2006. This is set in India, in a dilapidated mansion high in the Himalayas, the home of three people each dreaming of another time – a retired judge, Sai, his granddaughter and a cook.

In Kalimpong, high in the northeastern Himalayas where they lived – the retired judge and his cook, Sai and Mutt – there was a report of new dissatisfaction in the hills, gathering insurgency, men and guns. It was the Indian Nepalese this time, fed up with being treated like the minority in a place where they were the majority. They wanted their own country, or at least their own state, in which to manage their own affairs. Here, where India blurred into Bhutan and Sikkim, and the army did pull-ups and push-ups, maintaining the tanks with khaki paint in case the Chinese grew hungry for more territory than Tibet, it had always been a messy map. The papers sounded resigned. A great amount of warring, betraying, bartering had occurred; between Nepal, England, Tibet, India, Sikkim, Bhutan; Darjeeling stolen from here, Kalimpong plucked from there – despite, ah, despite the mist charging down like a dragon, dissolving, undoing, making ridiculous the drawing of border. (page 9)

What do you think? Do you fancy any of them? 

One reason I haven’t read these books yet is that they’re all in such a small font!

11 thoughts on “A – Z of TBRs: G, H and I

  1. I read Hamlet, Revenge! recently and really enjoyed it, so I hope you do too. I’m sure I’ll be reading more by Michael Innes.


    1. I hope so too. I’ve read one of Innes’ books – Death at the President’s Lodging, which I enjoyed it very much, but after reading it I felt my brain needed a little rest – I had to concentrate so much. It’s complicated with lots of clues


  2. Rendell and Innes are both authors I keep meaning to read. I’m not sure how I missed Rendell, perhaps I had enough of her with Wexford on the television. I read the Desai when it first came out but found it rather hard going. I prefer her mother’s work.


    1. This is one of Rendell’s standalone books – not sure what to expect. I haven’t read any of Anita Desai’s books – sounds like I should.


  3. I’d happily read the Ruth Rendell, as you will have guessed. I have two of hers on my library pile, Babes in the Wood and A Dark Adapted Eye (as BV of course). As soon as I have a bit more time I shall be pouncing on those. I must read something by Michael Innes too.


  4. I have two Michael Innes’ on my shelf waiting to be read as well. I know I will almost definitely like them, and yet somehow I never pick them up off the shelf. To be fair one is a recent addition but the other I must have had a year at least.


  5. All three of these look really interesting, Margaret! The Desai especially appeals to me because of the setting, but they all look great. I look forward to your reviews when you get to them.


  6. I’m sure I read Hamlet, Revenge! years ago, I’ve read a lot of Innes books and usually enjoy them. I sympathise with you about the small font though, very off-putting.


  7. All look terrific. Ruth Rendell (aka Barbara Vine) is my new favorite author in this genre–Brimstone Wedding, which you recommended, was terrific! I love books like the Hamlet one–as long as the writing is good, it should be fun. And I am trying to learn more about India, and the Inheritance of Loss sounds like it would both interesting and educational.

    I really enjoy binging on my TBR shelf as I am doing in October with R.I.P. challenge–it’s satisfying to have so many great books at my fingertips.

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    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed The Brimstone Wedding! I’ve not been doing too well with reading my TBRs this year – but hope to get back to them soon.


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