TBR Thursday #5

I need to make a graphic at some point

I’ve kind of inherited this weekly meme from the lovely Bionic Book Worm.  If you’d like to participate in TBR Thursdays, please feel free!  Link me in your post so I can talk a look at what you’ve got on your shelves and so we can cry together about how we are never going to actually finish reading through our TBR piles.

TBR Thursday is going to become more and more important for me as the need to save some money grows! We are in the midst of some Exciting Life Things, so book buying is being curbed. I’m hoping to continue this semi-failing project of only reading what I’ve got in the flat.


  • Pick four books from your shelf or you Kindle that you haven’t read yet (the longer they’ve been there the better!)
  • Post a short description of the books
  • Post a few short sentences on when you bought it, why you want to read it, etc.




The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about The Raven Boys and it’s high time I gave this book a shot. It’s the first in a series of four, which means it’s not a huge commitment of time for me. I know pretty much nothing about it, so this is going to be exciting!


Science Fiction


Radiance by Katherine M. Valente

Severin Unck’s father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986 in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family. Rebelling against her father’s films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. For this is not our solar system, but one drawn from classic science fiction in which all the planets are inhabited and we travel through space on beautiful rockets. Severin is a realist in a fantastic universe.

But her latest film, which investigates the disappearance of a diving colony on a watery Venus populated by island-sized alien creatures, will be her last. Though her crew limps home to earth and her story is preserved by the colony’s last survivor, Severin will never return.

Now this looks like a fascinating book! I remember hearing about this one on Book Riot’s fantastic ‘Best Books of the Year’ list, but I never got around to picking it up.  I spotted it at Waterstones and was drawn in by the amazing cover, not realising that it was a book I’ve been after for awhile (moving from the US to the UK has messed me up because of the change in covers).  I’m really looking forward to reading this one.




A History of Scotland by Neil Oliver

Scotland’s history has been badly served over the years. Defined by its relationship to England, Scotland’s popular history is full of near-mythical figures and tragic events, her past littered with defeat, failure and thwarted ambition. The martyrdom of William Wallace, the tragedy of Mary Queen of Scots and the forlorn cause of Bonnie Prince Charlie all give the impression of ‘poor’ Scotland; a victim of misfortune, leading to the country’s inevitable submission to the Auld Enemy. After the Union in 1707, Scotland’s increasing reliance on England culminated in a crisis of confidence and identity that tortures the country to this day. But how accurate is this version of events? Using the very latest in historical research and by placing Scotland’s story in the wider context of British, European and global history, some of the myths that pervade the past will be exploded to reveal a Scotland which forged its own destiny, often with success.

If you know me, you know that I absolutely love Scotland. This was one of the first books I bought when I moved to Edinburgh exactly two years ago today (!!!), but I never got around to completing it. I ran around and explored the city while letting this book gather dust. I may not live in Edinburgh anymore, but I’m planning to get back to it soon because Scottish history is absolutely fascinating.


Historical Fiction


Victoria by Daisy Goodman

In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.

One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….

This is the book that the BBC’s show Victoria is based on. I didn’t buy it for that reason – I actually haven’t seen the show and don’t plan to watch it – but Queen Victoria is one of my absolute favourite historical figures. Historical fiction does take some liberties with fact, but it’s still a fun and accessible way of diving into a particular period in history. I’d love to pair this with a biography of her as well.

That’s it for this week’s edition of TBR Thursday!  What’s in your TBR pile?  Have you read any of these books?  Do you want to start doing this post too?  Let me know!

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