TBR Thursday 73 – The People’s Choice…

The People’s Choice 9…


The TBR has gone up again!! How did that happen?! I’ve been so good, too! 162. But in my defence I did spend most of the last two weeks nocturnally watching tennis (end result, two Scottish champions and one Scottish defeated finalist – woohoo!!!) so reading took a bit of a back seat. Oddly, I seem to have been able to fit in adding more books to the pile, though…

Scottish Hall of Fame


Gordon Reid - winner of the Mens Wheelchair Singles
Gordon Reid – winner of the Mens Wheelchair Singles
Jamie Murray, winner of the Mens Doubles, with his partner Bruno Soares
Jamie Murray, (right), winner of the Mens Doubles, with his partner Bruno Soares
Andy Murray, defeated finalist, with winner, Novak Djokovic. (Whoever cleaned that tray really needs to have an eye-test...)
Andy Murray, defeated finalist, with winner, Novak Djokovic. (Whoever cleaned that tray really needs to have an eye-test…)

Anyway… it’s been ages since we last had a People’s Choice vote, but after your success with Snowblind, I feel it’s time for another look at some of the great reviews around the blogosphere, and for you to help me choose which one of these books deserves to be added to my TBR.  As always, an extremely difficult choice, I think…

So which one will you vote for? Which of these tantalising books deserves a place? 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 secret riverThe Blurb – The Secret River is the story of Grenville’s ancestors, who wrested a new life from the alien terrain of Australia and its native people. William Thornhill, a Thames bargeman, is deported to the New South Wales colony in what would become Australia in 1806. The Secret River is the tale of Thornhill’s deep love for his small corner of the new world, and his slow realization that if he wants to settle there, he must ally himself with the most despicable of the white settlers, and to keep his family safe, he must permit terrifying cruelty to come to innocent people.

Rose says: “Kate Grenville certainly doesn’t shy away from putting the settlers in the wrong, clearly showing the terrible ways the Aboriginal people were treated. This is very unusual in Australian fiction, as in a lot of it the reader wouldn’t even realise that anyone else even lived in Australia when the English arrived. I grew up less than a kilometre from a beach called Massacre Bay, and until I was an adult, did not learn that this name was given because (allegedly),  the Aboriginal men living in the area had been driven off the cliffs near this beach, while the women and children had been drowned in a nearby swamp…. To be an Aboriginal person when I was growing up was even worse than having a convict in the family.

The story of The Secret River is sad and depressing, but also fascinating because somehow, from all of the horror and violence during those early times, that is where the Australia that we have now came from.

See the full review at Rose Reads Novels

Another review of this book also caught my eye…

TJ says: “It really struck me how similar the settlement of Australia was to the settlement of America when looking only at the interaction between settlers and natives. I don’t know why that has never occurred to me. Ignoring the fact that one group left voluntarily and the other group was forced to leave, the mindset of all colonists was more or less the same: They considered themselves superior to the native population, completely missing the fact that they could learn from a different way of life. (At the very least, it would have made their own survival a little easier.) And sadly, in both cases, the settlers wreaked havoc among the native population.”

See the full review at My Book Strings


in the shadow of the glacierThe Blurb – Trouble is brewing in the small, bucolic mountain town of Trafalgar, British Columbia. An American who came to Trafalgar as a Vietnam War draft dodger has left land and money to the town. But there’s a catch. The money must be used to build a garden to honor draft dodgers. This bequest has torn the close-knit, peaceful town apart. Then the body of a leading garden opponent is found in an alley, dead from a single blow to the head. Constable Molly Smith is assigned to assist veteran Detective Sergeant John Winters in the investigation.

Kay’s review is actually of a later book in the series. She says: I have loved this series and loved revisiting the characters, the small town charm, and the gorgeous  setting.  Molly is an interesting character and her life is filled with good friends, an eccentric mother, and co-workers that have all kinds of issues, both good and bad.  The cold case mystery is always a favorite of mine and I was caught up in the investigation of the missing man and also loved the personal aspects of these characters.  This author does a good job of giving us a mystery to solve and friends to hang out with.  The best parts of reading a series.”

See the full review at Kay’s Reading Life


a month in the countryThe Blurb – In J. L. Carr’s deeply charged poetic novel, Tom Birkin, a veteran of the Great War and a broken marriage, arrives in the remote Yorkshire village of Oxgodby where he is to restore a recently discovered medieval mural in the local church. Living in the bell tower, surrounded by the resplendent countryside of high summer, and laboring each day to uncover an anonymous painter’s depiction of the apocalypse, Birkin finds that he himself has been restored to a new, and hopeful, attachment to life. But summer ends, and with the work done, Birkin must leave. Now, long after, as he reflects on the passage of time and the power of art, he finds in his memories some consolation for all that has been lost.

Margaret says: “I loved this quiet novel, in which not a lot happens and yet so much happens as Tom describes the events of that summer – his relationships with the local people as well as with Moon and Arthur and Alice Keach…I loved the detail of the wall-painting – the original methods of painting, the colours, the people in the painting… But above all it is the writing that I loved the most – words that took me back in time to that glorious summer in Oxgodby.”

See the full review at BooksPlease


the widowThe Blurb – The Widow is the story of two outcasts and their fatal encounter. One is the widow herself, Tati. Still young, she’s never had an easy time of it, but she’s not the kind to complain. Tati lives with her father-in-law on the family farm, putting up with his sexual attentions, working her fingers to the bone, improving the property and knowing all the time that her late husband’s sister is scheming to kick her out and take the house back. The other is a killer. Just out of prison and in search of a new life, Jean meets up with Tati, who hires him as a handyman and then takes him to bed. Things are looking up, at least until Jean falls hard for the girl next door.

JacquiWine says: “…circumstances and events conspire to force a dramatic denouement. This is a first-rate slice of noir from Simenon, just as dark and disturbing as its cover suggests. The style is spare yet very effective with the author carefully modulating the tension as the story unfolds. There is a palpable sense of foreboding from a fairly early stage in the narrative and if anything this feeling only grows as we move closer to the final chapters.”

See the full review at JacquiWine’s Journal


a heart so whiteThe Blurb – A Heart so White begins as, in the middle of a family lunch, Teresa, just married, goes to the bathroom, unbuttons her blouse and shoots herself in the heart. What made her kill herself immediately after her honeymoon? Years later, this mystery fascinates the young newlywed Juan, whose father was married to Teresa before he married Juan’s mother. As Juan edges closer to the truth, he begins to question his own relationships, and whether he really wants to know what happened. Haunting and unsettling, A Heart So White is a breathtaking portrayal of two generations, two marriages, the relentless power of the past and the terrible price of knowledge.

MarinaSofia says: In theory, he is everything that writing craft workshops warn us against; he breaks all the rules and gets away with it. He moves from a personal point of view to a generalisation or something abstract within the same sentence, separated by nothing but a fragile comma. His characters are slippery and unknowable, enigmas to themselves and others. He has sentences that run on into whole paragraphs, half a page or more. He often repeats himself (or his characters do). And yet, somehow it all works (thanks also, no doubt, to Jull Costa’s outstanding translation). He is compulsively readable…”

See the full review at findingtimetowrite


NB All blurbs and covers are taken from Goodreads.

As usual I love the sound of all of these so…over to you! Choose just one or as many as you like – the book with most votes will be this week’s winner and added to my TBR…


Hope you pick a good one! 😉

62 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 73 – The People’s Choice…

  1. Hmm – only one I like the sound of here, so I voted for that. That tray is a bit mucky, you would have thought they would have given it a proper polish. They should have given it to my Nan to do, she is great with buffing up silver.


  2. I suspect that Tommy and Tuppence must be adding to your TBR pile, FictionFan. They have access to your credit details, they can read the blogs you read. And they’re highly suspicious characters. Well, that’s my theory, anyway…

    I really enjoyed both The Secret River and In the Shadow of the Glacier, so I’d say either one. But then, The Widow looks good too. Decisions, decisions…


  3. ND always seems to win, doesn’t he? I think he’s unfair, the sudden. But hey, good results all around.

    A Heart so White is an interest. Why would she shoot herself there? That’s what I want to know. And the first book looks goodly, too.


    • Yep, he’s getting further and further ahead of the rest – gets a bit dull. Brilliant results! Scotland has never had good tennis players all my life and now we’ve got three right at the top! *proud face*

      I think they all look great – that’s the problem! But trust you to go for the longest one… *growls* I do want to know why she shot herself though…


  4. I think you just need to read MORE. So, to encourage you, I have voted for the TWO books I think you should read.

    As for Andy’s tray, hangs head in sluttish shame. That looks like my standards of polishing, in that I never even noticed it might need to be improved. Someone must have slipped it in when I was embarking on the-not-often-furniture polishing. So it’s probably down to using wood polish rather than silverware. I trust Andy is too upset at not having the cup, to notice the so-you-all-say-shoddy-cleaning.

    All I can say on this important matter is my gratitude that at this moment Scotland is part of the UK. For many reasons, but, perhaps most of all because British tennis would almost be nowhere (certainly the men’s) without those sterling North of the Border chaps.


    • Read more?!?!? *faints* Which two????

      Haha! I noticed it as soon as they handed it to him – I was kinda hoping he’d hand it back and tell them to finish cleaning it first! I used to do the silver when I was a kid, so I consider myself a bit of an expert – my Dad (army background) would have been horrified if I’d left a single mark! My standards have slipped somewhat over the years though…

      I rather meanly considered doing a post recently entitled “Scotland wins the Davis Cup” but I restrained myself… I’m just so thrilled ‘cos until recently we’ve never had a good tennis player from up here and now we’ve got three right at the top!


      • It must be the haggis, the porridge and the whisky. I reckon the South of the borderers tennis coaching associations could get rid of all their expensive sports psychologists and training pundits and just force feed Sassenach tennis players haggis and porridge. Those breaking into the top 50 to be allowed a small tot of blended whisky on a Sunday night. Those getting seeded at Grand Slams can make that a single malt. Players outside the top 100 will be forced to beat double portions of haggis until they break into the top 100


        • Haha! I almost feel sorry for the Sassenachs noo! I reckon we owe it all to Judy. Well, maybe not Gordon – I’m not casting aspersions about anyone’s parentage here!! But I think we should make Judy breed more so we’ve got another generation to come. Mind you, Andy’s started breeding…

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m voting for two “A Month in the Country” because I loved it when I read it, and “The Widow”, because I haven’t read it – how can this be? I looked it up and it isn’t on Kindle in English, but it is in French, so maybe I’ll give it a go.


  6. I was about to vote for A Month in the Country because it seems like a novel I would like, but wowwie, A Heart So White sounds too tempting! I MUST know why someone would shoot themselves in the heart after their honeymoon!! Perhaps there was not enough chocolate and champaign? That would certainly be just cause.

    On another note, so happy Djokovic beat Murray. For some reason my mother cannot stand Murray and would have been in a very sour mood if he took the trophy. And you’re right! That plate is horribly polished. What does one do with that sort of thing? (What a cutie Gordon Reid is!)


    • I suspect she came back, watched Pride and Prejudice, realised her husband could never match up to Mr Darcy and… perfectly understandable really! I do want to know though…

      Nooooooo!!!! You can’t be happy that Andy got beat! I won’t allow it! (I would if he’d been beaten by Rafa though!). Andy was a bit of a brat when he was younger but he’s improved a lot now and is actually quite a sweet chap off court. And he’s just about to become a dad… Isn’t it awful? The silver-polisher needs a serious talking-to! I’m ashamed that I’ve only just become aware of Gordon Reid – the TV hardly ever covers the Wheelchair event. Bet they will in future though!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think The Secret River sounds great! I’m hoping it wins – but then I’m hoping each of them wins!! Haha! Is it really mean of me to find that funny? Oh dear – we’re all hopeless really… 😉


  7. I voted for In the Shadow of the Glacier. It just sounds like the most interesting choice here — and after watching all that lovely tennis, you know you probably need something a bit mysterious to challenge your brain! Five more months until Wimbledon!!


  8. Well that was hard to choose just one! What a brilliant selection, there isn’t one book on this list that I wouldn’t happily pick up to read, but I’ve made my choice and at the moment it’s in the lead!


  9. I bet you can figure out which one I voted for….and thanks so much for your kind words. Vicki Delany’s series is a big favorite of mine. Oh, and one more thing. A new book has just been published in this series – just saying….LOL!


    • Haha! I always love it when I manage to increase other people’s TBR!! It looks like we’ll both be reading A Heart So White then (don’t tell anyone, but I have a sneaking suspicion The Secret River might end up on my list even if it loses…)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I like the sound of “shadow of the glacier”..’bucolic mountain town’, and “Heart so white” sounds so much like something agatha Christie would write.. 🙂


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