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DOWNTHETBRHOLEI’ve been thinking of de-cluttering my tbr after seeing Zuky@BookBum‘s posts for the last few weeks. It’s from an idea by  Lia @ Lost in a Story and as my tbr over on Goodreads is now toppling over at 962 books it’s definitely time to get serious!

Anyway, it works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

The books:

 

The Moneypenny Diaries: The Final Fling by Kate Westbrook

21064479Its the mid-1960s and the British secret intelligence service is hit by a series of defection scandals. Facing considerable personal danger, Jane Moneypenny combines forces with 007 to try to smoke out a mole that she is convinced is buried deep in the heart of the Office. But as Bond is sacked and M forced into retirement, Moneypenny may have to find him alone. Forty-two years later, Miss Moneypennys niece and heir, Kate Westbrook, starts to suspect that her aunts death was not an accident. She is sure the clues to what happened lie in the search for the mole. But as she pieces them together, she realises that there are significant forces determined to prevent her. From the glamour of 1960s Jamaica to the treacherous beaches of the Outer Hebrides, Final Fling relates the thrilling adventures of the worlds most famous secretary and reveals just how far people are prepared to go to defend or betray their beliefs.

I’m still interested in this series so this is staying.

Verdict: Keep

 

At Risk (Liz Carlyle #1) by Stella Rimington

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A terrorist is targeting Britain. And to make matters worse it’s an “invisible”–someone travelling under a British passport. Virtually impossible to find before it’s too late.The job falls to Liz Carlyle, the most resourceful counter terror agent in British intelligence. Tracking down this invisible is a challenge like none she has faced before. It will require all her hard-won experience, to say nothing of her intelligence and courage. Drawing on her own years as Britain’s highest-ranking spy, Stella Rimington gives us a story that is smart, tautly drawn, and suspenseful from first to last.

 

 

I’ve already read some of the later books in the series, although I have a funny feeling that I’ve read this one too so it shouldn’t be on my tbr any more.

Verdict: Remove

 

Secret Asset (Liz Carlyle #2) by Stella Rimington

852434Liz has always been particularly skilled at assessing people, and when one of her agents reports suspicious meetings taking place at an Islamic bookshop, she trusts her instinct that a terrorist cell is at work. Her boss, Charles Wetherby, Director of Counter-Terrorism, knows to trust Liz’s instincts as well: he immediately puts a surveillance operation into place.

So Liz is surprised when Wetherby suddenly takes her off the case. And she’s shocked to hear why: Wetherby has received a tip-off that a mole a secret asset has been planted in one of the branches of British Intelligence. If this is true, the potential damage to the Service is immeasurable. As her colleagues work to avert an impending terrorist strike, Liz is charged with the momentous task of uncovering and exposing the mole before it’s too late.

As she did in At Risk, Stella Rimington once again brings all her experience as the first woman Director General of MI5 to bear in a heart-stopping thriller that takes us deep into a wilderness of mirrors where nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted.

I think I must have started at book 3 because I don’t remember this one either.

Verdict: Remove

 

Dead Line (Liz Carlyle #4) by Stella Rimington

3161299As plans get under way for a Middle East peace conference at the Gleneagles resort in Scotland, alarming information comes to MI5 from a high-ranking Syrian source: two individuals are mounting an operation to violently disrupt the conference and lay the blame on Syria. No one knows who they are, exactly what they’re planning or if they’re working independently or being controlled by an unseen foreign hand. But given the stature of the conference attendees—heads of state from the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iran—no chances can be taken.

Initially, the leads look promising, but as the conference deadline draws closer and the clues lead Liz to one seeming dead end after another, she begins to understand that the threat is far greater than she or anyone else has imagined. Her most reliable tool has always been her searingly keen intuition—about what makes people tick, what makes them explode, what makes them defy the most basic constructs of society—but will it be enough to avert a disaster that may forever erase the possibility of peace in the Middle East?

I remember starting this and getting annoyed that there was too much repeated back story about familiar charters. I put it back on the shelf for another go later, but I don’t think I’m going to pick it up again.

Verdict: Remove

 

The Food of Love by Anthony Capella

1029827Laura Patterson is an American exchange student in Rome who, fed up with being inexpertly groped by her young Italian beaus, decides there’s only one sure-fire way to find a sensual man: date a chef. Then she meets Tomasso, who’s handsome, young – and cooks in the exclusive Templi restaurant. Perfect. Except, unbeknownst to Laura, Tomasso is in fact only a waiter at Templi – it’s his shy friend Bruno who is the chef. But Tomasso is the one who knows how to get the girls, and when Laura comes to dinner he persuades Bruno to help him with the charade. It works: the meal is a sensual feast, Laura is utterly seduced and Tomasso falls in lust. But it is Bruno, the real chef who has secretly prepared every dish Laura has eaten, who falls deeply and unrequitedly in love. A delicious tale of Cyrano de Bergerac-style culinary seduction, but with sensual recipes instead of love poems.

I loved the Wedding Officer and have been wanting to read this for years. This is definitely staying put and should really be bumped up to the top of this mountain.

Verdict: Keep

 

Secrets of the TSIL Cafe by Thomas Fox Averill

1196065A bitter-sweet and often funny coming-of-age story set in a cross-cultural and extended family that lives between two kitchens-one traditional, the other New World. Weston Hingler’s crib was in the kitchen of BuenAppeTito, his mother’s catering service. There, he learned to read while tasting all the flavours of his mother’s culinary alphabet. But before he was allowed to enter the Tsil Cafe, he had to pass his father’s taste tests. Anchovies. Haba-ero chiles. Chipotle peppers. Food to purge body and soul. Food his loving but sometimes volatile father uses as a measure of family, friends, and enemies. Caught between these two kitchens, Weston quickly learns that he’s also trapped by his wayward parents’ secrets and histories, infidelities and gaping needs, as well as by the cafe customers and employees who are privy to his growing up. Weston chooses his escapes intuitively, but he can’t get away. In this layered and savoury novel, food is the reflection of life’s shifting flavours, and readers will be drawn to the delicious package in which Averill delivers his story-complete with recipes. But ultimately they’ll attach to Weston’s complicated family, and when Averill serves us their feasts of reconciliation, readers will want to raise a toast.

I don’t fancy reading this now and was obviously on a binge with of books about food when I added this many years ago.

Verdict: Remove

 

A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson

963274For nineteen-year-old Harriet Morton, life in 1912 Cambridge is as dry and dull as a biscuit. Her stuffy father and her oppressive aunt Louisa allow her only one outlet: ballet. When a Russian ballet master comes to class searching for dancers to fill the corps of his ballet company before their South American tour, Harriet’s world changes. Defying her father’s wishes and narrowly escaping the clutches of the man who wishes to marry her, Harriet sneaks off to join the ballet on their journey to the Amazon. There, in the wild, lush jungle, they perform Swan Lake in grand opera houses for the wealthy and culture-deprived rubber barons, and Harriet meets Rom Verney, the handsome and mysterious British exile who owns the most ornate opera house. Utterly enchanted by both the exotic surroundings and by Rom’s affections, Harriet is swept away by her new life, completely unaware that her father and would-be fiancé have begun to track her down…

I still like the sound of this and all the better if I can get hold of an audio version from the library.

Verdict: Keep

 

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

714569After the Russian revolution turns her world topsy-turvy, Anna, a young Russian Countess, has no choice but to flee to England. Penniless, Anna hides her aristocratic background and takes a job as servant in the household of the esteemed Westerholme family, armed only with an outdated housekeeping manual and sheer determination.

Desperate to keep her past a secret, Anna is nearly overwhelmed by her new duties—not to mention her instant attraction to Rupert, the handsome Earl of Westerholme. To make matters worse, Rupert appears to be falling for her as well. As their attraction grows stronger, Anna finds it more and more difficult to keep her most dearly held secrets from unravelling. And then there’s the small matter of Rupert’s beautiful and nasty fiancée…

 

I like the sound of this even though I’ve noticed this is also a YA. I’m going to remove it as I can always add it back again if I enjoy the other book by Eva Ibbotson above.

Verdict: Remove

Perfect Timing by Jill Mansell

1592112Poppy Dunbar is out on her hen night when she meets Tom Kennedy. With his dark eyes and quirky smile, he could lure any girl off the straight and narrow, but what really draws Poppy to him is the feeling that she’s known him all her life. She can’t go through with the meeting they arrange – but she can’t go through with the wedding either. Suddenly notorious as ‘The Girl Who Jilted Rob Macbride’, Poppy moves to London. Soon Poppy’s installed in the bohemian household of Caspar French, a ravishingly good-looking young artist with a reputation for breaking hearts. But even in her colourful new home, Poppy can’t get Tom off her mind. Until she’s tracked him down, she’ll never know if their meeting was destiny – or if the future holds something entirely different for her…

This sounds too much like chicklit for me…

Verdict: Remove

 

Good at Games by Jill Mansell

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How does one become accidentally engaged? That’s what Suzy Curtis thinks when she suddenly finds herself very publicly engaged to handsome Harry Fitzallan, local town hero. Harry wants famous rock star Jaz to be his best man—only he’s Suzy’s ex-husband and a recovering alcoholic. Suzy’s half sister Lucille loves getting to know the family she’d never met, but she can’t help her attraction to Jaz, nor can Suzy quash her entirely inappropriate feelings for Leo, Harry’s engaged brother!
With all these wild players at the table, mayhem is bound to ensue. As each new piece comes into play, everyone has more to lose, and the only way to win is if you’re good at the games of love…

No, not interested.

Verdict: Remove

 

Books Removed 7 TBR total 955

I did enjoy doing this again and as the pile is so large I might do another session this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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