A – Z of TBRs: D, E and F

I have been neglecting my TBRs this year and have been reading mainly new books and library books.So here is the second 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.

D, E and F.

D is for David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, a book I’ve had since I don’t know when! I watched a TV adaptation many years ago but I’ve never read the book. This is the novel that Dickens described as his ‘favourite child’.

I was born at Blunderstone, in Suffolk, or “thereby”, as they say in Scotland. I was a posthumous child. My father’s eyes had closed upon the light of this world six months, when mine opened on it. There is something strange to me, even now, in the reflection that he never saw me; and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that I have of my first childish associations with his white gravestone in the churchyard, and of the indefinable compassion I used to feel for it lying out alone there in the dark night, when our little parlour was warm and bright with fire and candle, and the doors of our house were – almost cruelly, it seemed to me sometimes – bolted and locked against it. (page 14)

EExtraordinary People by Peter May, the first in his Enzo Files series (on my TBR shelves since July 2016). This is set in France where Enzo MacLeod, a forensic expert takes a wager to solve seven French murders using modern technology. I bought this because I loved Peter May’s Lewis trilogy.

I was trained as a forensic biologist, Monsieur Raffin. Seven years with Strathclyde police in Glasgow, the last two as head of biology, covering everything from blood pattern  interpretation at major crime scenes, to analysis of hairs and fibres. I was involved in early DNA databasing, interpretation of damage to clothing, as well as detailed examination of murder scenes. Oh, and did I mention? I am one of only four people in the UK to have trained as a Byford scientist – which also makes me an expert on serious crime analysis. (page 14)

FThe Floating Admiral by Members of the Detection Club (on my TBR shelves since May 2014). This is a collaboration by twelve writers from the Detection Club, including Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers.

As it [a small rowing-boat] came nearer Wade laid down his rod. He could see now that there was someone in the boat – not seated, but, apparently, lying in the bottom of her, astern.

… A man of about sixty, with iron grey hair, moustache and close-cropped, pointed beard, dark eyes open with fixed stare. He was clad in evening dress clothes and a brown overcoat, the latter open at the front and exposing a white shirt-front stained with blood. (pages 14-15)

What do you think? Which one would you read first? Are there any you would discard?

My TBR: an ABC

I thought a fresh look at some of my TBRs might inspire me to read more of them by the end of the year. So here is the first instalment of my A – Z of TBRs (I’m thinking of making this a regular post).

A is for The Appeal by John Grisham: a story of political and legal intrigue.  (On my TBR shelves since February 2008.)

People were hurrying from the courthouse from all directions when the Paytons parked on the street behind it. They stayed in the car for a moment, still holding hands For four months they had tried not to touch each other  anywhere near the courthouse. Someone was always watching. Maybe juror or reporter. It  was important to be as professional as possible. The novelty of a married legal team surprised people, and the Paytons tried to treat each other as attorneys and not as spouses.

B is for The Blood Doctor by Barbara Vine: a chilling tale of ambition, obsession and bad blood. (On my TBR shelves since July 2015.)

The Queen appointed him Physician Extraordinary in 1879. Most of her other doctors were in permanent residence but Henry, though sometimes staying a few days at Windsor, retained his professorship and his London home. Though he began on the lowest rung of the royal medical ladder, he enjoyed a special position. He was the Queen’s consultant on haemophilia.

C is for The Children’s Book is for by A S Byatt:  a saga about the years between the closing of the Victorian age and the dawn of the Edwardian, when a generation grew up unaware of the darkness ahead. (On my TBR shelves since August 2009.)

Everyone old and young, now gathered for a kind of sumptuous picnic. As happens in such gatherings, where those whose lives are shaped fortunately or unfortunately, are surrounded by those whose lives are almost entirely to come, the elders began asking the young what they meant to do with their lives, and to project futures for them.

If you’ve read any of these please let me know what you think?

To-Be-Read Books

It’s time for a check of my TBRs. I started listing books on LibraryThing in April 2007, so books I listed in 2007 as ‘to read’ are mainly books I owned before then. Currently I have 319 books listed as TBRs, which is far too many (and that isn’t counting e-books on my Kindle), so I’m going through them to see if I really do want to read them – I did when I first got them, but maybe not now?

I’m beginning by looking at the books I added in 2007 and here are 10 of the oldest books in my catalogue. Some of them I’ve started and put back on the shelves for a variety of reasons:


  • A Dead Language by Peter Rushforth – I really wanted to read this and have started it at least twice. I stopped reading it because of its size ‘“ it’s too heavy to read in bed and it’s very long. I loved Rushforth’s Pinkerton’s Sister and it was whilst I was trying to find out more about that book that I came across the world of book blogs ‘“ which then led me to writing my own blog.
  • Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man by Claire Tomalin – I stopped reading this partway in as I decided I needed to read more of Hardy’s own books before going further. I’ve read a few more of his books, but have never got back to this biography. I will get back to it.
  • Helen of Troy: A Novel by Margaret George – another long book, not started.
  • Martin Chuzzlewit (Wordsworth Classics) by Charles Dickens – I have started this, but this edition is in a very small font! I’ll probably read it on Kindle.

  • The Liar by Stephen Fry – I haven’t started this one. It’s Fry’s debut novel, described on the front cover as ‘Brilliant’, ‘Hilarious’ and ‘sublime’. Will I find it funny? I’m not sure.
  • 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro – I started it but can’t remember any specific reason I haven’t finished this book.
  • Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks – another one I haven’t started. A novel about the early days of psychiatry.
  • A Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela -I must have read about half of this book before I stopped. It was so long ago that I can’t remember why I didn’t finish it.
  • Band of Brothers by Stephen E Andrews – brotherhood on the battlefields in World War Two. Another book I’ve started a couple of times. I’ve watched the TV adaptation and I have a feeling that it’s better than the book.
  • The Olive Readers by Christine Aziz – not started. Dystopian fiction in which the Readers are smuggling and storing books in a secret library.

If there are any books here that you’ve loved or think are not worth reading do let me know.