Episode 21 – The People’s Choice – The Result!
Thank you to everyone who voted in last week’s poll to decide which book should be added to my TBR pile. I am delighted (and not a little surprised) to announce that the runaway winner with 50% of all votes cast is…
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
I will be reading and reviewing the book in the near(ish) future.
Thanks again to Margaret at Books Please for her review of this book!
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Meantime the TBR pile has grown again this week – to 96. This is primarily because the thrill of getting down to 95 last week eroded my self-control and several of you managed to slip past my defences with enticing reviews and recommendations.
So with my usual grateful thanks to all the reviewers who’ve intrigued and inspired me over the last few weeks, here are:
Some of This Week’s Additions…
The Blurb – London, 1937. Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life, so when he’s offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway and at last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year. But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. Soon Jack will see the last of the sun, the sea will freeze and escape will be impossible.
And Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark…
LF says: “Paver slowly ratchets up the endless darkness and a brooding malevolence in the limitless, icy wastes, where anything begins to be plausible, because imagination will make the impossible real. Oh there certainly are recountings and happenings to make the hairs stand up on the back of the neck, but, for me, it is the confrontation with insidious thoughts and reflections which are the real chill.“
The Blurb – Nelson’s life is not turning out the way he hoped. His girlfriend is sleeping with another man, his brother has left their South American country, leaving Nelson to care for their widowed mother, and his acting career can’t seem to get off the ground. That is, until he lands a starring role in a touring revival of The Idiot President, a legendary play by Nelson’s hero, Henry Nunez, leader of the storied guerrilla theater troupe Diciembre. And that’s when the real trouble begins.
The tour takes Nelson out of the shelter of the city and across a landscape he’s never seen, which still bears the scars of the civil war. With each performance, Nelson grows closer to his fellow actors, becoming hopelessly entangled in their complicated lives, until, during one memorable performance, a long-buried betrayal surfaces to force the troupe into chaos.
Matt says: “This novel, by a talented young Peruvian immigrant to America, tells the story of a young man in an unnamed country that’s clearly Peru. A ten-page first chapter sets the stage in pitch-perfect prose, delivering the history of a leftist theater group long since disbanded, and its aging principals who will take Nelson along on one last tour of the political play one of them penned back when. If ever there was a book that sets out its contract with the reader in the first ten pages, and delivers on it in the next three hundred or so, this is it.“
The Blurb – In the tradition of ‘The Orchid Thief’, a compelling narrative set within the strange and genteel world of rare-book collecting: the true story of an infamous book thief, his victims, and the man determined to catch him.
Rare-book theft is even more widespread than fine-art theft. Most thieves, of course, steal for profit. John Charles Gilkey steals purely for the love of books. In an attempt to understand him better, journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett plunged herself into the world of book lust and discovered just how dangerous it can be.
Jilanne says: “I found Bartlett’s book to be as intriguing as The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary. And although I’ll never be a true collector of rare editions, I do love the vicarious thrill, similar, as Bartlett’s points out, to the discovery of lost treasure. So go ahead and get lost in the world of fine libraries and leather-bound tomes with a few unscrupulous people who LOVE rare books and the things those books represent: class and intelligence and no small amount of reverence.”
NB All blurbs are taken from Goodreads.
See why I find it all so difficult? My TBR mountain is not my fault…it’s yours!