TBR Thursday 38…

The People’s Choice 4…


The TBR is sitting at a 112 – ridiculously high but heading downwards for once. Despite my iron willpower in requesting nothing from NetGalley and Amazon Vine, my fellow bloggers remain a souce of constant temptation – grrrr!! But I can’t add them all…so, yet again, I need your help in deciding, Which one deserves a coveted place on the TBR?

Here’s my shortlist – and they all look great! So which is it to be?  The winner will be announced next Thursday…

With my usual grateful thanks to all the reviewers who’ve intrigued and inspired me over the last few weeks, here are:

The Contenders…


the brokenThe Blurb – Best friends tell you everything; about their kitchen renovation; about their little girl’s schooling. How one of them is leaving the other for a younger model. Best friends don’t tell lies. They don’t take up residence on your couch for weeks. They don’t call lawyers. They don’t make you choose sides. Best friends don’t keep secrets about their past. They don’t put you in danger.

Best friends don’t always stay best friends.

Rebecca Bradley says: “Then it happened, I looked at the book, looked at the clock and realised I couldn’t put the book down. There just wasn’t a chance it was going to leave my hands until I had got to the end. The tension had been ramped up. The behaviours and relationships were becoming stretched thin and yet the people within them didn’t seem capable of doing anything to stop what was happening and the strange thing was, I could completely see how that would happen.

See the full review at Rebecca Bradley


the professor and the madmanThe BlurbThe Professor and the Madman, masterfully researched and eloquently written, is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary — and literary history. The compilation of the OED began in 1857 – it was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.

I Know What You Should Read says: …by and large, the book reads like fiction—it is fast-paced, interesting, and exciting (War? Check! Murder? Check! Dismemberment? Check!). Appropriately, each chapter begins with an excerpted OED word entry that corresponds to an event or person highlighted in that chapter (the words range from “bedlam” to “sesquipedalian”). The words and definitions serve as a fun tie-in to the OED–they bring to life the work that is being discussed throughout the book.

See the full review at I Know What You Should Read


the house at rivertonThe BlurbSummer 1924 – On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999 – Grace Bradley, ninety-eight, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet’s suicide. Ghosts awaken and old memories – long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace’s mind – begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge, something history has forgotten but Grace never could.

Set as the war-shattered Edwardian summer surrenders to the decadent twenties, The House at Riverton is a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story.

What Amy Read Next says: “From the first paragraph this novel gripped me. The quote above, the novel’s opening paragraph, is one of the many beautiful passages evoking the haunting feel of war-time Britain, so intricately and vividly done that you can almost imagine yourself there. The House at Riverton is a beautifully written and enthralling read, perfect for fans of Daphne Du Maurier, Ian McEwan’s Atonement- and Downton Abbey.

See the full review at What Amy Read Next


the haunting of hill houseThe BlurbFirst published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

Cathy at 746 Books says: The Haunting of Hill House is a taut and creepy master class in how to write a ‘ghost story’ that is as much about the demons of a haunted house as it is about the demons inside our own heads. Like all good ghost stories, Hill House offers some spine-tingling chills, but what the book really exudes is a lingering, oppressive sense of dread.”

See the full review at 746 Books


station elevenThe BlurbOne snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

wanderaven says: You guys, this book is incredible. If, like me before reading this book, you read apocalyptic and cringe, please, please don’t move on. Does it help if I tell you that it is partially set in the current era, before the collapse of the world? Does it help if I tell you that much of the apocalyptic part is during the time immediately after the collapse so it’s all too painfully easy to imagine precisely what it would be like if this all happened to you today?”

See the full review at wanderaven


NB All blurbs and covers are taken from Goodreads.

An impossible choice, isn’t it? So…over to you! Choose just one or as many as you like – the book with most votes will be this week’s winner…

Hope you pick a good one! 😉

58 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 38…

    • 😀 Good choices! I know I’d love the Jackson, but then I’m pretty sure I’d love them all! I’ve been seeing great reviews of Station Eleven all over the place too…


  1. FictionFan – Oh, they all look good, and I’m impressed with the variety as much as with anything else. Little wonder you’d rather not make the choice yourself; don’t know if I could. But… I’ve voted. We’ll see see what everyone else thinks…


    • I know – an impossible bunch this time. I’d cheerfully read them all, if only I had time! Thanks for voting – it looks like it might be a close one this time round. 😀


  2. I could easily go for three of those – have read The Broken and Hill House and can recommend them both, and really want to read Station Eleven. Such a conundrum this week!


  3. Love this idea! If I was any use with computing I’d set up my own vote weekly. And 112 made me feel slightly better – although I think I’m on a par with you, it’s good knowing you’re not the only one! Plus thanks for mentioning some blogs new to me I must seek out. I sneakily voted for two books, but I just LOVE the sound of The Professor and the Madman. The House At Riverton is good, but it’s been around a while. As I love ghost stories, my second choice will be clear. Now I’m off to find out how much The Professor and the Madman is….can’t wait to get the results! Almost as exciting as our referendum was (the two halves of our country are still, in many cases, bitchin’ and whinin’ at each other! It’s not a good place to be right now. But I digress…)


    • Thanks! (It’s easy-peasy – just click on Add Poll when you’re in Edit Post. But wait a few days – there’s some kind of problem with it that they’re looking into at the moment.) They all sound great – that’s the problem! And I love that you come across some older books around the blogosphere in among all the new releases.

      Hehe! I’m guessing you don’t know that I’m a Glaswegian then! But it’ll settle down once the political elite have decided what the vote really meant – turns out it actually was all about devo-max and home rule! Who knew?!? 😉


      • Great to meet a Glaswegian on here! I lived there for 16 years, and my other half is from the salubrious area of….Barrowfield! He is also OBSESSED with Celtic FC, having grown up on their doorstep. We often talk about moving back down, but I’d want to stay in the West End/Charing Cross/Garnethill and as you’ll know the rents there are insane (they’re actually quite bad here too!). So it’s a pipe dream for now, until I’ve the cash to do so (prob never!) Which area do you live in?


        • I’m slightly outside Glasgow now in Kirkintilloch, but grew up in Pollok. so very much a Southsider. I was a Celtic fan myself in my youth, but I’m glad to say I grew out of it! 😉 Where are you then? Up North somewhere?


      • In order to improve my VERY BASIC looking blog, although the writing itself is great (lol) I bought The Dummies Guide To WordPress – anyone found it useful? It’ll mean going back to blogging on my crap laptop, but the Kindle’s nice and portable. Problem is, there’s a limit to how much you can do it.


        • I’ve looked at it – I’ll be interested to hear if you think it’s useful. You should review it! I couldn’t bear to blog on the Kindle – laptop all the way for me. That tiny onscreen keyboard on the Kindle does my head in…!!


  4. I picked The House at Riverton because I’ve already read Jacksons shivery offering. .

    I read Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House some time ago and it is quite as creepy as promised. I remember clearly a lot of the details – something that seldom happens.


  5. Thanks so much for the link! This is such a fun and intriguing list. I actually voted for Station Eleven. It is on my TBR list, and I have heard EXCELLENT things about it! I would love to hear your thoughts on it!!


    • My pleasure! 😀 I’ve heard great things about Station Eleven too. Think it’s going to be huge. But The Professor and the Madman sounds like just the kind of quirky factual book I love… it’s all SO difficult!! 😉


  6. Blimey! Your tempters have done a FINE job this time as what is tempting you is also tempting to me (though i have read the divine Jackson, and would happily, happily read it again. I voted for THREE and (I have a feeling i may even have read the Professor and The Madman, unless this is a new publication, I know I DID read an account of this a while ago and was fascinated. And I’m going to have to have a good look at Station Eleven.

    PS MY TBR Kindle is currently at 115 as having suggested you read Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black i fancy a re-read and have just downloaded it. I might save it for after the clocks go back, as Halloween beckons.

    And when I tidied my bookshelves up after major flat refurb recently I put ALL my books (including the REAL TBR’s in with the read stuff, so I’ve kind of..lost my real TBRs. Though I have just started a TBR dedicated shelf for new bought real books. It’s a little alarming to note that though this has only been in place for JUST a week there are some 5 books ALREADY on it. And another has just been posted to me today. (too many books which don’t exist as ereads)


    • It’s awful isn’t it? They all sound great. No I don’t think The Professor and the Madman is a new one, and it also seems to go by a different name – The Surgeon of Crowthorne or something – so it’s quite possible you’ve read it already.

      Yes, ’tis the season for spooky reads. Need to dust off the old fretful porpentine soon…

      I can’t imagine having a whole shelf for unread books – such luxury! No, mine get piled up on the bedside cabinet until they become hazardous, at which point they move to any surface I can find…or the floor. Fortunately I don’t buy many paper ones any more or it wouldn’t be safe to walk from room to room…


  7. I’m another of these multiple voters. Voted for The Haunting of Hill House since it’s October and it’s a good Halloween read. My other vote was for the one which really intrigued me: The Professor and the Madman.


    • Yes, time for the spooky reads to begin, I think. The weather has been so unusually good for the time of year here that I’d kind of forgotten we’re heading into October. The Professor and the Madman looks brilliant! But then, they all do sadly…

      Thanks for voting! 😀


  8. There are some truly tough choices here. I had to vote for The Professor and the Madman. I have the compact OED and its associated magnifying glass, so it was a no-brainer for me. Besides, it’s a fast and fascinating read, both huge pluses when it comes to TBR piles.


  9. What?!!!!! My TBR is longer than yours? *hideously ugly face*

    Okay…Let’s see…definitely the first one or The Haunting of Hill House. No…go with the first. The Broken just seems cool. (Looks as if I’ll lose, though.)

    Don’t read the second book, since it’s got my name in the title.


    • It’s my new system – I take two off mine every day and transfer them to yours. It’s working well! (Even the Professor’s hideously ugly face is c&a…)

      Well, it does look as if you’ll lose, but I agree – The Broken looks great. You can read it and tell me what you think! (157)

      I’d never be so rude as to call you a madman!


    • I know, I’ve just figured mine is higher too…and that’s the books I have a desire to read right now…there’s also the ones I know I’ll never read, but pretend to myself I will, one day – I’ve just got to be in “the right mood”, I tell myself, as I refuse to get rid of them “just in case”! Sound familiar to any of my fellow addicts?


      • Oh, I know! I don’t even include all the ones sitting on my Kindle – only the ones I really intend to read in the foreseeable future! But don’t be fooled by the Professor – he’s an expert at saying no to books… 😉


  10. I voted for Hill House, which I read years ago and loved, and the Professor and the Madman. With my interest in dictionaries, it seems a natural.


    • I’m sure I’ll read Hill House at some point – it’s just trying to fit them all in. But The Professor and the Madman really does sound good. But then so do all the rest…


  11. Have been eying up “The Professor and the Madman” for my own stack of books. Will be curious to see what happens with your poll and what you have to say about it.


    • It’s nudged into an early lead but you never can tell. These polls never turn out the way I expect – the voters are an unpredictable bunch! But The Professor does look good… 😀


  12. What a fantastic list to choose from. The House at Riverton sits on my bookshelf as a favourite read from years ago and as you know I’m a fan of Tamar Cohen and her first psychological thriller is well worth a read – the other three look great too but as you know my willpower is exceptional 😉


    • Haha! I forgive you! 😉 Station 11 sounds great – but that’s the problem, they all do! At least the big pre-Christmas publication rush is nearly over, so I’m hoping there won’t be so much temptation for a while…


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