TBR Thursday 61…

The People’s Choice 8…The Result!


Ooh, last week’s poll was so close!! One raced ahead right from the beginning and then suddenly a late surge pushed another into a hairsbreadth of a lead! So exciting! In fact, it was such an epic battle it seems unfair for either of them to lose. So I hereby declare them both to be…

This Week’s Winners…


the blessing

The BlurbWith razor-sharp wit, Mitford blends a comedy of manners with culture shock as Grace Allingham, a naive English rose, marries Charles-Edouard de Valhubert, a French aristo who doesn’t believe in fidelity. Both are duped, meantime, by their son Sigismund — the Blessing of the title — a juvenile Machiavelli who mixes Gallic cunning with Saxon thoroughness to become one of Mitford’s most memorable characters. 

Thanks to Disha at Franklenstein for the review that brought this book to my attention.


snow blind

The BlurbSiglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors – accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thór Arason: a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik – with a past that he’s unable to leave behind. When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theatre, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life.

Thanks to Raven at Raven Crime Reads for the review that brought this one to my attention.


And thanks to all who voted! It wouldn’t be the People’s Choice without you!

Both books will now be added to my ever-expanding TBR (151!) – now all I have to do is find time to read them!


Since I’m still desperately trying to finish all the fiction and crime already listed for my 20 Books of Summer challenge, just a couple of factuals that will reach the top of the heap soon…



edmund burkeThis one has been sitting unread on my Kindle for about two years. In fact, those of you who memorise everything I say (What? You don’t??) will be aware that this is its second appearance on a TBR post – but this time I really mean to read it!

The BlurbEdmund Burke is both the greatest and the most underrated political thinker of the past three hundred years. A brilliant 18th-century Irish philosopher and statesman, Burke was a fierce champion of human rights and the Anglo-American constitutional tradition, and a lifelong campaigner against arbitrary power. Revered by great Americans including Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, Burke has been almost forgotten in recent years. But as politician and political philosopher Jesse Norman argues in this penetrating biography, we cannot understand modern politics without him.

Burke won admirers in the American colonies for recognizing their fierce spirit of liberty and for speaking out against British oppression, but his greatest triumph was seeing through the utopian aura of the French Revolution. In repudiating that revolution, Burke laid the basis for much of the robust conservative ideology that remains with us to this day: one that is adaptable and forward-thinking, but also mindful of the debt we owe to past generations and our duty to preserve and uphold the institutions we have inherited. He is the first conservative.

* * * * *


Atmosphere of HopeCourtesy of NetGalley, one can but hope the contents will be better than the cover…

The Blurb – The publication of this new book is timed for the lead-up to the Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015, which aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate from all the nations in the world. This book anticipates and will influence the debates.

Time is running out, but catastrophe is not inevitable. Around the world people are now living with the consequences of an altered climate—with intensified and more frequent storms, wildfires, droughts and floods. For some it’s already a question of survival. Drawing on the latest science, Flannery gives a snapshot of the trouble we are in and more crucially, proposes a new way forward, including rapidly progressing clean technologies and a “third way” of soft geo-engineering. Tim Flannery, with his inimitable style, makes this urgent issue compelling and accessible. This is a must-read for anyone interested in our global future.

(Why does that word “geo-engineering” bring on my nervous twitch?)

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads or NetGalley.

* * * * *

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


54 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 61…

  1. Well, I think we your readers have made fine choices for you, FictionFan! Always listen to what we say. I know all too well *rueful sigh* about books that wait for a long time on the Kindle. I do hope you get to read the Norman and, of course, that you enjoy it.


    • I think so too! I just wish sometimes you wouldn’t all keep picking two… 😉 I’m really trying to read some of the stuff that’s been sitting there for ages – much easier to ignore than a big pile of paper books would be!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I won! Sorta. Snow Blind will be great, I’m thinking. You must let me know. Singing: “Snow bound, let’s sleep in today, wake me up, when the wolves come out to play.”

    And I suppose The Blessing might be good… *gags*

    Now, FEF, you can throw off Edmund Burke. You might die of supreme boredom, if you read it, don’t you know.


    • You did! *tries not to look suspicious* It might be so good I have to make you read it too! (How’s Trillions by the way – you’ve gone very quiet about it. Hating it? *chuckles guiltily*) Ooh, I don’t know that one – sing louder!

      *mumbles* Might make you read that too…

      It sounds awful, doesn’t it? What was I thinking? But maybe it will explain why Americans actually think Donald Trump is… human.


      • Oh no, I’m backed up with books…like Trillions and…some others! Trillions is great. I’m enjoying it. I’m just eternally slow, I fear. I feel bad it takes me so long. But that’s how I read. Do you know Steely Dan?

        You will not!!!!

        *laughs* I like Donald Trump! See, we’re sick of the lying politicians over here. The bad thing about Trump is he stood for the exact opposite of what he stands for now a few years back. I can’t tell if he’s liberal or conservative. He stands for Trump, and that’s a truth. (I’m like him, anyway, if I was running, that’d be me!)


        • Don’t you find you forget what’s going on? I can forget overnight if the book is particularly dull… I know their name and would probably recognise some of their singles if I heard them, but can’t say I know them well – was that what you were singing?

          *whistles innocently*

          Noooooooo!!! No, I’m sorry – I’m putting my foot down! You will never ever ever ever EVER again say that you are like Donald Trump, do you hear? Please, please, ask America pleeeeease not to elect Donald Trump! I’ll give you all my chocolate… Shnoddy would make a better President…


          • Oh no, I keep track of everything. Except their names. That’s been confusing since the beginning. Well, that’s Snowbound by Donald Fagen. From Nightfly…I think? That’s one of his solo albums. Do you know Deacons Blues?

            *laughing lots* That bad, huh? I can’t see why I can’t be like DT if I want to be, dadblameit!


            • I’ve forgotten all their names. Still remember the plot though! I didn’t recognise the name but yes, I vaguely remember it when I listen to it. I really didn’t listen much to music in my youth, I fear – except David Bowie. And Marc Bolan. And Don McLean. And Rod Stewart. And Alice Cooper.

              That bad!!! You can only be like him if you agree to get your hair done like his…


            • I actually loved Alice Cooper and still listen to a couple of his old albums occasionally. But Bowie was my real love – those early albums were, are, amazing! Saw him live, you know, you know, back in the day – one of the greatest experiences of my life…

              Well, you should check it out before you rashly agree…


            • *laughs too* But you know I’m fickle! He can – and back in the early days his lyrics were brilliant too.

              Charm?!? It’s worse than Kenny’s! You must never have your hairstyle changed without my prior approval – I worry about you!


            • The fire and gasoline is a bit after I’d kinda stopped following him with so much fervour. But Major Tom is a hero of mine! Not as much as Ziggy Stardust was though…

              I’d get Schwarzy to shoot you…


            • I love the whole album – that and Aladdin Sane was when he was at his peak. I used to… no, I’m not sure I want to reveal that to the world, on second thoughts…

              I’m only looking out for your best interests… *buries all the medallions in the world*


            • Well… *whispers* I once had a jumpsuit with the Aladdin Sane flash on the front. Honestly, it was really very cool – at the time… *blushes*

              Yep! There are none left in the whole world – you’re safe at last! *sighs happily*


  3. The people have spoken! I can’t remember who I voted for now, but I am pretty pleased with the results. That climate change one looks a bit heavy-going – might be handy if you have trouble sleeping. But then my Nan always says not to judge a book by its cover…


    • Yes, the people have picked well! Maybe. And if it turns out they’ve picked badly, then I’ll know who to blame… 😉

      I feel it’s my moral duty to read a book about climate change at least once every two years – then I can go back to destroying the environment with a clear conscience, knowing I’ve done my bit! But I need to know what he means by geo-engineering anyway – I have visions of the moon exploding or us hurtling towards the sun…


      • I have a sudden fear that some people might be in trouble… 😉
        Now, that is rather scary. I am glad that you are going to find out about geo-engineering and explain it in terms we can all understand, rather than having to wade through the technicals myself. You are providing a national – nay, international – service, FF and I feel you should be rewarded with some sort of amazing prize. I shall contact some authorities, somewhere.


    • It looks dreadful, I admit – when I was reading the blurb last night for this post, I couldn’t believe how nauseatingly sycophantic it sounded! I can only assume it had a different blurb when I bought it a couple of years ago – that’s my excuse anyway! I definitely bought it as biography, but now I’m not so sure. It has loads of 5-star reviews on Amazon – but maybe they’re all from Donald Trump… Thanks for the link – I shall enjoy perusing that later. 🙂


  4. Good choices (I think I voted for one or the other if I remember correctly).
    The factual ones sound a bit deadly, but I suppose, like me, you feel guilty about not reading everything on your Kindle. I am sure I have some lurking there that I should toss away… figuratively speaking.


    • Yes, hopefully they’ll both be good – and neither is a 700-page tome! Haha! I know – but these are slightly better than the massive history of Peter the Great that’s been sitting there for years. It must have been on a 99p offer, I think! I suppose it’s a good sign that I’m getting down to the dregs, so to speak… 😉


  5. I must confess I didn’t vote, but Snow Blind sounds most interesting. *chuckling lots* over your comment on the book cover of the climate change book! What a mess! Guess somebody thought more words was the way to go to grab a readers’ attention!


    • Tut! The suffragettes will be horrified! 😉 Snow Blind does sound good – but then they all did! Isn’t it awful? I think it might win the prize for Year’s Worst Book Cover… though there’s still a few months to go…!


  6. These two new possible contenders sound potentially worthwhile. For some reason, though I have read a fair amouont of British history and philosophy, I do not recall reading more than a very little Burke. I know that the long-time American conservative pundit George Will would always laud Burke on the Sunday talk shows, so that made me suspicious of him. But Burke was probably a fine thinker, maybe anti-populist, who has somehow become a conservative icon. And though I wish there were, I do not see any “robust conservative thinking” of today, at least in America. What passes for conservative thinking is “no government; no safety net; no market controls; simply let the corporations run things to the benefit of 1%, and the detriment of at least 90%.” So I am afraid that this book is set up to linke Burke to all of this, which I hope is very unfair. If the author is going to write like the blurb, the book will not be good.

    Climate change is something which I alternately lose sleep over, and try to not think about too much. But something must be done. Inserting my own personal political views, I do think that Hillary Clinton is the one candidate for president who is actually determined to try to do something about it. The Republicans, controlled by the oil and coal barons, have no interest whatsoever in doing one single thing. I hope that they do not somehow use Burke as support for this horrendous dereliction of responsibility. I am not sure what “geo-engineering” means; it may involve trying to do something to block some of the sun’s rays by sending up clouds of something or other. Yes, it does sound unsettling. But the problem has to be faced, not just wished or ignored away. I am afraid that this will not be a pleasant reading experience, but then not all of them can be, Nor would reading the review be pleasant, either, but I think we all have to try to do something, or at least support political leaders who are willing to. The human race, past, present and future, deserves that of us.


    • I went through a little phase of reading about the Enlightenment a couple of years ago and I think the Edmund Burke book is a left-over from that. I know ridiculously little about him, in fact, so I’m hoping the book isn’t too biased and sycophantic. It intrigues me though that America went in such a different political direction following Independence – any nation that can seriously be considering Donald Trump for President requires study, I feel… 😉

      Yes, climate change is such a major concern and yet politicians all over the world don’t seem willing to grasp the nettle. I had high hopes of the Obama presidency doing something positive, and I suppose there’s still time yet, but I doubt a ‘lame-duck’ President will get anything significant through. I try not to express too much of an opinion on US politics (except Trump – he’s irresistible!) but I have to feel the Democrats are marginally more likely to tackle the problem than the Republicans. Maybe. Or maybe they’ll all just keep their heads in the sand till it’s even more too late than it already is. Not that we’re any better – but we’re smaller. I don’t think the subject even came up in our recent General Election campaigns. But it’s the huge countries that have the most impact and they’re so locked in a bid to be the ‘superpower’ it doesn’t seem to be high in their agenda.


  7. Yay! I voted for Snow Blind and feared that stuffy looking one would win… Victory! Looking forward to the review. You are awfully gracious to accept two, FF. We’re such a fussy bunch! Somehow I blame the Professor.


  8. I’m SULKING on behalf of London, Londoners, Norman Collins AND ME! But as I voted for the Mitford as well as my own, particularly as I thoroughly enjoyed my own recent re-read of The Pursuit of Love, my sulking won’t last too long as if i read THIS Mitford, I’m sure the wit and style of her writing would make the most serious resentful sulker forced into smiling and gracious defeat at the hands of a very worthy (and light touch) winner.

    Come on, FF you KNOW you wanted to pick up 700 pages of London………….


    • I did! I really did! I wish all the books on my TBR were 700 pages! But what could I do? The people have spoken – and their decision must be respected. At least until I declare an end to democracy and install myself as World Dictator, that is…

      I haven’t read any Mitford and it was partly your review that inspired me to add this one, so you can take a bit of credit… with no fear of getting the blame… 😉


  9. I’ve read the Mitford, but none of the others. I really don’t think I could bear to read another book about Burke, so I won’t. You can’t make me – I’m retired!


    • This will be my first – and I seriously anticipate my last also! I can only hope it’s better than the blurb! But I’m hoping it might shed light on the Trump phenomenon. How can you be retired? You can’t be more than 31… 😉


  10. The Blessing should be read by people who are undecided about having children. This book made me laugh out loud, (and want to smack Sigi – yes, I know, it is politically incorrect and possibly morally wrong to smack children, even brats, but I only said that I wanted to, not that I had).


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