TBR Thursday with She is Too Fond of Books is a meme to highlight all those hidden gems languishing in our out-of-control TBR piles.
They can be “books that I physically own, be it arc, bought, paperback or ebook. It could have been there for months or just acquired it yesterday.”
My little twist is to highlight one new release and one classic each week.
Although AusReadingMonth is officially over for another year, I still have a few more Australian books lurking on my TBR pile.
The Secret Maker of the World by Abbas El-Zein ended up on my TBR pile because Abbas is a friend of ours. I read several of these short stories immediately after the book launch, but during our move earlier in the year, it got packed away and forgotten, until I went searching for all my unread Australian books for AusReadingMonth.
Abbas was born in Beirut and many of his stories are informed by his childhood experiences. I can hear his voice in my mind telling me these stories as I read.
A boatman fishes bodies from the Yellow River searching for the one he can claim. A construction worker speeds through the Indonesian jungle to board his plane on time. Playing a terrifying game of cat and mouse, an isolated sniper in Beirut observes the city from his rooftop perch.
With profound insight El-Zein’s stories cross continents and time zones, effortlessly melding themes of loss and longing with larger questions of power, politics, faith and love. His characters, as provocative as they are diverse, confront issues of violence, justice and redemption with varying degrees of rage, suspense, satire and wit.
With a sharp eye for the ridiculous, El-Zein’s collection cleverly illuminates stereotypes and contemplates global truths. These are worldly stories in the best sense, and wise ones.
A couple of years ago I read my first Harrower (The Watch Tower) with great love and affection (and just a little creepiness!) I’ve been dead keen to try more, which is why The Catherine Wheel was added to my TBR pile.
Twenty-five-year-old Clemency James has moved from Sydney to a chilly bedsit on the other side of the world. During the day she studies for the bar by correspondence; in the evenings she gives French lessons to earn a meagre wage. When she meets Christian, a charismatic would-be actor, she can see he’s trouble—not least because he’s involved with an older woman who has children. She is drawn to him nonetheless: drawn into his world of unpayable debts and wild promises.
First published in 1960, The Catherine Wheel is Elizabeth Harrower’s third novel and the only one of her books not set in Australia. In it she turns her unflinching gaze on the grim realities of 1950s London, and the madness that can infect couples.
It has been fun highlighting all these Aussie books over the past couple of months….but perhaps I need to declare every month #AusReadingMonth to actually get through them all!!
How do you manage your out of control TBR piles?