TBR Thursday 50…

The People’s Choice 6…The Result!

 

Ooh! After two books sitting as joint leaders for several days, someone snuck in at the last minute and cast a winning vote. (Not me, honest!) So by the shortest of heads – this week’s winner is…

the guernsey literary and potato peel society

The Blurb – It is 1946, in the thick of World War II, when American writer Juliet Ashton becomes the sudden recipient of letters from the inhabitants of Guernsey, the small island in the English Channel that has fallen under Nazi control. The letter writers have formed the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as a way to gather without attracting the attention of their occupiers. Out of these letters, Juliet comes to know the lives, loves, and hardships of a wonderfully eccentric and vivid cast of characters, and their charming philosophies and anecdotes help her resolve her own romantic conundrum.

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Thanks to all who voted, and to Cleo at Cleopatra Loves Books for the review that brought this book to my attention. Including this one, the TBR has gone back up to 138.

So now all I have to do is find time to read it…

*******

And here’s a few more that should be rising to the top of the pile soon…

Factual

 

gods of the morningCourtesy of NetGalley, a celebration of the natural world of the Scottish Highlands…

The Blurb – For more than three decades, John Lister-Kaye has been enraptured by the spectacular seasonal metamorphosis at Aigas, the world-renowned Highlands field centre. Over the years, the glen’s wildlife has come to infiltrate his soul, whether it is a warbling blackcap’s cascading refrains, whooper swans hauling winter along with them, pine martens causing havoc in the hen run, loyal resident tawny owls defending their territory from adolescents, or a regal roe buck strutting in the broom and gorse, suddenly gilded by a fiery ray of sunlight.

John Lister-Kaye has come to understand intimately the movements of these beloved creatures, but increasingly unpredictable weather patterns have caused sometimes subtle, sometimes seismic shifts in their behaviour. Gods of the Morning follows a year through the turning of the seasons at Aigas, exploring the habits of the Highland animals, and in particular the birds – his gods of the morning – for whom he has nourished a lifelong passion.

* * * * *

Fiction

 

widows and orphansCourtesy of the publisher, Arcadia Books, this one will be a real leap in the dark…

The Blurb – The Francombe & Salter Mercury has served the residents of two South Coast resorts for over 150 years. Hit by both the economic decline and the advent of new technology, Duncan Neville, the latest member of his family to occupy the editor’s chair, is struggling to keep the paper afloat. Duncan’s personal life is also in confusion as he juggles the demands of his elderly mother, disaffected son, irritable ex-wife and devoted secretary. At the same time, Geoffrey Weedon, his childhood friend, turned greatest rival, unveils plans to rebuild the crumbling pier, which, while promising to revive the town’s fortunes, threaten its traditional ethos. Then Duncan meets Ellen, a recent divorcee, who has moved to Francombe with her two teenage children and romance quickly blossoms. After the foreign landscapes and theological dramas of Jubilate and The Breath of Night, Michael Arditti’s latest novel is a return to the home front in both subject and setting. Witty and poignant, Widows and Orphans casts an unflinching eye over the joys and adversities of contemporary life and paints a masterful portrait of a decent man fighting for his principles.

 * * * * *

Crime

 

the winter foundlingsCourtesy of NetGalley, I’m late to the party on this one. But I enjoyed the previous books in the series…

The Blurb – Psychologist Alice Quentin has been looking forward to a break from her hectic London life. She has vowed to stay clear of police work. The previous cases she helped the police with have left her scarred. So, when Alice is given the rare opportunity to study treatment methods at Northwood high-security hospital outside of London, she is eager to get to work. But then a young girl is discovered, dressed all in white, on the steps of the Foundling Museum. Four girls have recently gone missing in North London—this is the third to be found, dead. The fourth may still be alive, and Alice Quentin may be able to help. Britain’s most prolific child killer, Louis Kinsella, has been locked up in Northwood for over a decade. Yet, these recent kidnappings and murders are clearly connected to Kinsella’s earlier crimes. It seems that someone is continuing where he left off. So, when Detective Don Burns comes asking for Alice’s help, how can she refuse? Alice will do anything to help save a child—even if that means forming a relationship with a charismatic, ruthless murderer.

* * * * *

arab jazzCourtesy of NetGalley. Two glowing reviews from Raven and Marina Sofia made this one irresistible…

The Blurb – Kosher sushi, kebabs, a second hand bookshop and a bar: the 19th arrondissement in Paris is a cosmopolitan neighbourhood where multicultural citizens live, love and worship alongside one another. This peace is shattered when Ahmed Taroudant’s melancholy daydreams are interrupted by the blood dripping from his upstairs neighbour’s brutally mutilated corpse. The violent murder of Laura Vignole, and the pork joint placed next to her, set imaginations ablaze across the neighborhood, and Ahmed finds himself the prime suspect. However detectives Rachel Kupferstein and Jean Hamelot are not short of leads. What is the connection between a disbanded hip-hop group and the fiery extremist preachers that jostle in the streets for attention? And what is the mysterious new pill that is taking the district by storm? In this his debut novel, Karim Miské demonstrates a masterful control of setting, as he moves seamlessly between the sensual streets of Paris and the synagogues of New York to reveal the truth behind a horrifying crime.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads, NetGalley or publisher’s publicity bumph.

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Do any of these tempt you?

 

60 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 50…

  1. Well, I can’t vote on my own recommendation, can I? I’ve read Arditti’s previous novel set in the Philippines and enjoyed his style and research, though, so that might be a good option. And I want to read the Kate Rhodes as well.

    • I’d never even heard of Arditti, so good to get an endorsement for him. The Kate Rhodes should be good – I enjoyed the earlier ones. And I’m really looking forward to Arab Jazz! You and Raven did a good job of selling that one to me…

  2. FictionFan – I hope you’ll enjoy the Shaffer/Barrows. The people have spoken! 😉 – I’m actually keen to read the new Rhodes, and I keep hearing good things about the Miské as well. My own TBR intentions may be in real jeopardy here…

  3. The Kate Rhodes is great, I’ve read that. Arab Jazz sounds intriguing – it’s been getting a lot of publicity because the 19th Arrondissement is also where the Charlie Hebdo terrorists lived, but I’m not sure how much of a straight crime novel it is. So I think you should read it, so I can decide whether to (or not!) I got The GL&PPS in the charity shop for 50p after reading Cleo’s great review; look forward to yours!

  4. Oh, I voted for the Guernsey book. Loved it when I read it several years ago. And I’m looking forward to the Rhodes book. Well, after I read book #2 in that series, which I think I already have on my Kindle. Sigh. I keep telling myself I’ll get them all read. Not. 🙂

    • You’re a winner then! 🙂 I know – I keep saying no more series, but it’s too hard to stick to it. I was going to resist the Rhodes, but it’s had so many good reviews…

  5. This means I will have to read The Bees one myself! Pah. But I am very much looking forward to hearing all about the Guernsey book…
    The Kate Rhodes sounds brilliant and the blurb makes it sound like it has a Silence Of The Lambs flavour to it. Excitement all round!

  6. Well I’m thrilled that the Guernsey book won and I didn’t even manipulate the vote! 🙂 I also highly recommend the Rhodes and was quite taken with Marina’s review of Arab Jazz too. Back to 138 eh? 😉

    • I’m looking forward to it – it’s been on the radar forever, so this should finally mean it makes it to the top of the heap soon. And Arab Jazz looks intriguing. Hmm…yes, go on, rub it in! 😉

  7. I have been a real fan of Kate Rhodes ever since her first book, ‘Crossbones Yard’. She really knows London and brings it to life in her writing. The only thing I would say is that it might be hard to follow her personal story if you haven’t read the earlier books.

    • It’s so long since I read the first two that I only have the vaguest memory of her story really, though I do remember enjoying her descriptions of London. I’m hoping the stories come back to me when I start reading this one.

  8. Ok. I’ll have to accept the fact that the book voted for didn’t win. But this one is probably my second choice. It DOES sound interesting.

    LOL, I first thought that a “pork joint” was a restaurant that served pork ribs. Or maybe pied de cochon. 😀 Anyway, this one strikes me as interesting. Perhaps because I’m writing a picture book about an artist in Paris….Or maybe it’s the intrigue of the pork joint mystery.

    • You should read them both and let me know which is best…

      Haha! Who was it who said ‘two nations divided by a common language’? One day I’ll find out what Americans actually do when they ‘broil’ something…

      Ooh! That sounds intriguing! Are you working with an illustrator?

      • I’m not an author/illustrator (not that I can’t visualize what I think it should look like, mind you). Publishers prefer to match authors with illustrators after they accept the manuscript. So an author must create a manuscript that tells the story, evokes tantalizing images for an illustrator, and doesn’t box the illustrator in with specifics so they can bring their own ideas to the book.

        I’ve only “broiled” something once. The house filled with smoke, and the smell of charred flesh remained for days. I would prefer that this particular verb (a combo of bake and roil? or burn and oil?) be stricken from the language.

        • Interesting – I always assumed the author and illustrator got together themselves. But I can see that it would be better the way you describe it, and I like that the illustrator gets to add their own creativity. Though I think that might be quite difficult for the author, especially if the illustrator’s vision is different from the author’s. But when it works… I still think that Gaiman’s ‘The Truth is a Cave…’ owes as much to the brilliance of the illustrations as to the words. I’ve just listened to it on audio, and though it’s still a great story, it had nothing like the impact without the pictures.

          Haha! Burn and oil sounds much like many of my own kitchen experiences – perhaps I’m a master-broiler without knowing it…

  9. I’m late! See, that’s what happens when you get old. Don’t you judge me!

    *laughing lots and lots* It won! Kinda rats. I mean, the bee one looked interesting. But it’s so fitting you should get this one…potato.

    Anyways and a few, excited to see IA up there.

    I’d read Gods of the Morning, I think.

    • I have judged, condemned and sentenced you – to twenty years of hard reading! I’m packaging up the books…

      *laughing lots* Yes, I feel I was destined to read it! Though I hope they don’t describe the peeling bit too much… *shudders and hangs on to skin*

      I’m about 10% of the way in, and it’s rather…

      I’m hoping it’ll be good – we shall see!

      • Well, that should be one, right? Give me BH and I should be good for about 20 years, I’m thinking. And Emma–then I might take 30 or 40.

        Why does anyone peel potatoes anyway? Why can’t we eat them with the skin on? It’s a wonder.

        I would growl, but… I would rampage, but…

        Rip it bad!

        • *laughing lots* Poor C-W-W! I might throw in a volume of Burns love poetry too…

          *gasps* Well, while being peeled doesn’t much appeal to me, your alternative sounds worse! So long as no-one gets the deep fryer out…

          Well, he made me laugh out loud several times in the first few chapters, so looking good so far… does he actually go to Britain?

          So mean! *sharpens pencil*

          • The x rated kind, I bet!

            Oh no, no one can peel the FEF potato. Your under warrior protection, see. (Youtube just offered me a free movie to rent…what in the world should I rent?)

            It’s a small part, if he does. How concerning would it be if I said I don’t remember? I think he says something about Scotland… *gulps*

            *hands FEF a sharpie too*

            • *laughs* Maybe, but you’d never understand it, so you could never be sure…

              Awww! That makes me feel all safe! Knobbly, but safe! *wonders if she should admit she didn’t know you could rent videos through youtube and decides against to preserve veneer of coolth* Key Largo! Or The Hobbit 2!

              Very concerning! I think they bypassed Britain altogether, you know, you know – unless they go there on the way back. Probably just as well, ‘cos if he was as rude about the Scottish women as the Moorish ones…well!! I would be forced to dig up his femur…!!!

            • *nods* Yeah, that’d be me. I think that may be my story, you know, you know.

              *laughing* Well, I didn’t know either until just a bit ago. When we did those ripping movies…I found that youtube did that. It was kinda nice, I think. I’ve seen Key Largo a couple of times!!! It’s a good movie. Did you see the Hobbit yet?

              *laughing* I loved that part about moorish women…

            • Awwww! If only he’d written in American…

              It may come in useful – sometimes one gets a sudden urge to watch a classic film and loads of the rental places only seem to offer Disney and CGI specials! Key Largo is one of my all-time favourite films. Did you know that I think Edward G Robinson is cute and cuddly? Worrying, isn’t it? Not yet – 3’s still not out…

              You would! *flounces off on behalf of Moorish women*

            • Let’s be glad he didn’t!

              *gulps* Well, I don’t think they have too many classic films…just CGI specials–which we all know are the best! *laughing* Do you think he is? I think he’s awesome too…though not cute and cuddly. *maybe shudders*

              Wait till he has speaks about the Mormons!

            • *chuckles* Yes, let’s!

              Well, they had Key Largo! Nah, the old stuff’s the best – back when acting was acting! Yes, but then I think Claude Rains is kinda cute too, in a vaguely sinisterish way…

              *laughs* Haven’t got to that bit yet! I wonder if he’s as mean to them as Conan Doyle was!

            • I think you might be right. Cute isn’t that good of a descriptive word, though. He has a cool voice. Battle scenes weren’t that good back then, though…

              Was Mr. Doyle? Now…that’s an interest.

            • Cute is a perfect descriptive word – so long as you’re describing something that’s cute! (Like the Professor!) No that’s true – but the womenfolk wore prettier frocks.

              I fear Mr Twain is just rude about everyone. It seems odd to me that a man who looks like somebody knitted him – badly – should refer to everyone else as ugly…

            • *nods* As cute as a cute orc! You didn’t! You Americans really must try to master English, you know, you know…

              I changed my mind – round about the time he said all French people were dirty, ugly and stupid… Oh, how I wish he would come to Scotland – I’d love to meet him! *swings large club*

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