TBR Thursday 24…

Episode 24 – The People’s Choice 2 – The Result!


Now I mean this in the most complimentary way, but…you folks are really quite weird! Of all the books in last week’s poll, I would never have expected the runaway winner, with 40% of all votes cast, to be…

the phantom tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

However, I’m delighted with your choice and will be reading and reviewing the book in the near(ish) future. Thanks to everyone who voted – I hope you enjoy these occasional polls as much as I do.

Thanks again to Vishy for his review of this book!

* * * * * * *

I’m also delighted to say that the TBR has dipped to 94 (well, 95 once I add The Phantom Tollbooth…actually 96, since the runner-up The Jewel in the Crown seems to have slipped on there too when I wasn’t looking). In line with my policy of iron self-control (which you can see is really working well), I’m adding nothing (else) this week, so here are a few of the ones that are getting close to the top of the list…

Coming soon…


a dark and twisted tideCourtesy of NetGalley – the next instalment of one of my favourite series. Interesting to see that SJ Bolton has decided to start using her full name – she explains why on her blog.

The BlurbYoung policewoman Lacey Flint knows that the Thames is a dangerous place – after all, she lives on it and works on it – but she’s always been lucky. Until one day, when she finds a body floating in the water. Who was this woman and why was she wrapped so carefully in white burial cloths before being hidden in the fast-flowing depths? DCI Dana Tulloch hates to admit it, but she’s fond of the mysterious Lacey. Even if she keeps on interfering in her investigations, and is meddling with the latest floater case. But now she’s got to break some terrible news to her – news that could destroy Lacey’s fragile state of mind. And Lacey will need to keep her wits about her because there’s a killer that’s lurking around her boat, leaving her gifts she’d rather not receive . . .


the dead of winterThis has been on my wishlist (the hundred or so books that I like to pretend are not part of the TBR) since it was published in 2009. It has now become urgent since the next book in the series is due out this summer. Thank goodness for the occasional incredibly unprolific author!

The Blurb – The murder of a young Polish girl in wartime London puts John Madden on the trail of a ruthless hired killer. On a freezing London night in 1944, Rosa Novak is brutally murdered during a blackout. The police suspect she was the victim of a random act of violence and might have dropped the case if former police investigator John Madden hadn’t been the victim’s employer. Madden’s old colleagues at Scotland Yard are working on it, but their scant clues lead them to Europe, where the ravages of the war halt their inquiries. Madden feels he owes it to Rosa to find her killer and pushes the investigation until he stumbles upon the dead girl’s connection to a murdered Parisian furrier, a member of the Resistance, and a stolen cache of diamonds.
With rich psychological insights and vivid historical details, this riveting third novel in the Madden series promises to expand Airth’s readership among discerning fans of crime fiction.


a fine balanceSanta brought me this one so it’s long past time it reached the top of the pile. Another massive brick but I have very high hopes of this one…

The Blurb – With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers–a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village–will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.

As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.


NB All blurbs are taken from Goodreads.

So what do you think? Have you read any of these or do you intend to?

51 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 24…

  1. FictionFan – You wouldn’t like us if we weren’t weird… ;-). About today’s TBR list, it all looks terrific. I think you’re going to like the Airth – well, I hope you will. It’s a good ‘un in my opinion. And I must say I like the variety in your TBR.


    • Haha! So true, Margot! I think I will enjoy the Airth – I’ve enjoyed the earlier ones and don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get around to this one…


  2. *laughing lots* Yes! Maybe I should do a victory dance? I will be looking forward to nice ripio…

    Okay…I think I like the last one, but…FEF, we need to get some adventure books on this TBR!


    • *still wide-eyed with amazement* Yes do!! And video it!! Who knows – maybe I’ll love it… *reaches for smelling salts*

      Like The Martian, you mean? See, the thing is, I don’t read very many adventure books – and apart from the classics I don’t really know what authors to look for. Hints?


      • It’s funny – a lot of the books I read are hand-me-downs from my daughter and her mother-in-law. I tend to like watching adventure stories rather than reading them. I can’t explain that.


        • Sadly no – I’ll just have to faint after all…

          No but it’s on my TBR. (I’ve just checked and 4 books on my TBR are your fault – there’s something wrong here.) But I thought you meant books you haven’t read, because otherwise how can I add to your TBR?


            • I have a very vague memory of my mother having some when I was a teeny-tiny tot…but I don’t know if that’s a true memory…it seems unlikely somehow. Maybe BUS will know…

              Well…thanks…that was….helpful…


            • Huh! No, till I met the Professor, I so rarely swooned…

              Isn’t that that rather strange-sounding one you mentioned before? Have you read it yet?


            • BUS does know: we did. Other Sister went through a period of quite dramatic fainting at one stage, and there was nothing like a good sniff of sal volatile (which made one cough, splutter, sneeze and cry), to bring her round. 🙂


            • Eh? Hold on a moment! When did we agree that I have to read your TBR as well as my own? *thunderstruck face*

              Yes, I believe it is – if my memory is accurate at all.


  3. I really really must get either new glasses or a new brain – every time i look at the title A Phantom Tollbooth there is a moment when i read it as the (to my mind) MUCH more interesting title The Phantom Toothbrush. That’s clearly the book I would want to read. Authors! Please write a book called The Phantom Toothbrush. A reader awaits……………….

    Anyway, I MUST correct your TBR FF – I think you are wilfully ignoring the complete works of authors, which, (on YOUR pile, even if not on anyone else’s) ought to count as however many books are in the complete works. I’m SURE you are really in treble figures if only you would unwrap each collected work!

    I can see we would be bound to squabble over a box of chocs – on the command, ‘take one each, turn by turn’ you would pick up the whole raft of soft centres, calling them ‘the collected soft centres – ONE choice’ whilst I’d be scrupulously sobbing with the one soft centre you couldn’t squash into your chocolatey little paw.

    Mind you, you would after that, have severe need of The Phantom Toothbrush


    • Hmm…I like that idea re choccies. Must remember that for next family get together…

      But I solved the issue by creating an additional folder on the Kindle – ‘Collected Works’. That way I was able to remove them all from the ‘Unread’ folder, so they can’t possibly be part of the TBR any more. Why, if they were, that would mean the wishlist would really have to be part of the TBR too, which would push the total up to…er…well…what comes after zillions?


      • I think with creative accounting skills like that a position as chancellor of the exchequer should be yours. Or it could be a novel way ( har har) to learn the new maths. Any number can become one.


        • You’d think with all my accounting skills I’d be able to keep the TBR down to a reasonable figure, though, wouldn’t you? I blame all you people…it’s just not my fault!


  4. I think The Phantom Tollbooth will be a quick read for you. I was one of the weird people who voted for it. 😀

    I look forward to hearing what you say about A Fine Balance. I read it ten or eleven years ago, and I recall enjoying it.


  5. I really must protest. You expected “Jewel in the Crown” to make it all along and since the outcome was drastically different than what you hoped, you’ve added it as well. Oh agony to know that my vote was in vain!


    • HahaHA! No, no, your vote was not in vain! ‘The Phantom Tollbooth’ won fair and square and will get priority over ‘Tthe Jewel’! But do you really think my TBR list would be so out of control if I had any self-discipline? *guilty face*


      • Hmmm…. I suppose so though technically, voting is a selection process that excludes non-winners.

        And just be glad you don’t have a ITMOR pile (in the middle of reading). The way I look at it, there’s no sense waiting to start a book so I just start whatever whenever and well… some of them I finish and most of them….


        • I’m not good at working to strict rules when it comes to books though…so keep pulling me up when I stray – I’m sure it’s good for me…

          That would drive me insane! Giving up on a book halfway through is really hard – I used to not be able to do it at all, but I’m getting better. But I only abandon them if they’re really, really dire. Oooh, the very thought of an ITMOR pile makes me shudder…


  6. I loved The Phantom Tollbooth – but I only discovered it as a adult. I hope you enjoy and thanks for the change to vote for a TBR. A privileged indeed. 😉


    • That’s good to know – I hope/think I’ll enjoy it too. Haha! Thanks for voting – it’s always a worry when you do one of these polls that no-one will vote at all… 😉


  7. bwahaha, I’m super excited to see that you took my advice by including the second-place book as well. 😀 Good luck winnowing the TBR plus the “wish list that isn’t really a TBR list.” I have one of those as well!


    • You wicked temptress, you! (But I thought it was a brilliant plan… 😉 )

      It’s tragic – I have to keep all these lists separate because if I really added them all together I think my head might explode – which probably wouldn’t help with the reading…


  8. ‘A Fine Balance’ has to be one of the most profound and highly intelligent books I have ever read. I simply couldn’t put it down and just wish that Mistry was more prolific. I can’t imagine you reading this and then not wanting to go out and get copies of his other works. I know I had to.


    • That’s great to hear, Alex! To be honest, I haven’t heard anyone say anything bad about Mistry so I’m really looking forward to it. I meant to read it long before now but there have been so many huge bricks in my reading list this year that I’m way behind – so if I’m going to have to add all his other works too, then I’m glad to see he hasn’t been too prolific! 😉


    • I accidentally took a sneak peak last night and ended up reading the first 10% before I remembered I’m not actually reading it yet…so I suspect I’m going to enjoy it! 😀


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