TBR Thursday 74…

The People’s Choice 9…The Result!

 

Ooh, last week’s poll was exciting!! For a good while The Secret River was the main challenger, then it was overtaken near the end by In The Shadow of the Glacier! But, right from the beginning, one got its nose in front and kept it there all the way to the line. So I hereby declare…

This Week’s Winner…

 

a heart so white

 

The 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.

Thanks to MarinaSofia at findingtimetowrite for the review that brought this book to my attention.

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

The book will be added to my TBR – now all I have to do is find time to read it!

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Great news! The TBR hasn’t gone up this week! (OK, so it hasn’t gone down either – 2 out, 2 in). Standing still at 162!

Here are a few that will be rising to the top soon…

Fiction

 

the heather blazingColm Tóibín has rapidly moved onto my favourite authors list with his most recent novels, and I’m gradually working my way through some of his older books. Santa helped out by kindly providing this one…

The Blurb – The sea is slowly eating into the land, and the hill with the old watchtower has completely disappeared. The nearest house has crumbled and fallen into the sea. It is Ireland in the late twentieth century. Eamon Redmond is a judge in the Irish High Court. Obsessed all his life by the letter and spirit of the law, he is just beginning to discover how painfully unconnected he is from other human beings. With effortless fluency, Colm Tóibín reconstructs the history of Eamon’s relationships – with his father, his first “girl”, his wife, and the children who barely know him. He gives us a family as minutely realized as any of John McGahern’s, and he writes about Eamon’s affection for the landscape of his childhood on the east coast of Ireland with such skill that the land itself becomes a character. The result is a novel that ensnares us with its emotional intensity and dazzles with its crystalline prose.

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absalom absalomNext up for the GAN Quest! (It’s Absalom! Absalom!, in case you can’t make out the tiny writing on the cover.) It’s got a tough task to follow Beloved – review coming soon…

The Blurb – Quentin Compson and Shreve, his Harvard room-mate, are obsessed by the tragic rise and fall of Thomas Sutpen. As a poor white boy, Sutpen was turned away from a plantation owner’s mansion by a negro butler. From then on, he was determined to force his way into the upper echelons of Southern society. His relentless will ensures his ambitions are soon realised; land, marriage, children. But after the chaos of Civil War, secrets from his own past threaten to destroy everything he has worked for.

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Reference

 

1001 booksOh no! What was I thinking?? A moment of weakness and somehow this slipped into my cart! Expect my TBR to rise by roughly 800 in the near future! But I’m thinking it might perhaps contain the secret of immortality…

The Blurb says: Completely revised and updated to include the most up-to-date selections, this is a bold and bright reference book to the novels and the writers that have excited the world’s imagination. This authoritative selection of novels, reviewed by an international team of writers, critics, academics, and journalists, provides a new take on world classics and a reliable guide to what’s hot in contemporary fiction. Featuring more than 700 illustrations and photographs and presenting quotes from individual novels and authors and completely revised for 2012, this is the ideal book for everybody who loves reading.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads.

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

 

65 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 74…

  1. I missed your People’s Choice vote, but the premise is so good that I would have voted for this one!
    I’m a big Faulkner fan and love Absalom Absalom – enjoy
    Perhaps you could save the Toibin for Reading Ireland Month in March? 😉

    • Oh good – I’ve been worried about Faulkner, so glad to get an endorsement for it!

      Aha! Yes! I usually miss out on these events because I have so many review copies scheduled, but… as it happens, I have the Toibin which I can put back to March, and Dubliners which I can pull forward from April… *rushes off to redo spreadsheet* Does Colum McCann count? He’s actually on my list of American novels, but he is Irish…

  2. Well, I can tell you right now that I cannot possibly get the Boxall for myself, FictionFan. As it is, I have so much to read that it’d take three lifetimes to get through it all. I’ll bet it’s a fascinating reference, though. And to be honest, I’ve been thinking about reading the Marías, myself, so I’ll be keen to know what you think of it when you get to it. You’ve got some worthy additions here…

    • I couldn’t help myself – and I must say at first glance it looks great! Really well laid out and illustrated – oh dear! I’m looking forward to the Marias – sounds intriguing. But I’m sorry to miss out on the ones that lost – I suspect some of them might sneak onto the list when I’m next feeling weak…

    • Oh no, no! I won’t get through them all in 2016! I aim for about 120 books a year, but I seem to be getting slower… That will be great! The polls only happen occasionally, but they’re always good fun. I’m always surprised by the one “the People” pick…

        • 75 is great! It really just depends how much free time we have, and I’m lucky to have lots at the moment. I’m not really a fast reader. There’s lots of good novellas going round at the moment – they seem to be having a bit of a revival.

  3. Aha, well, one of the ones I voted for won, at least. This is good. Now, here’s the thing, if you’re going to shoot yourself why unbutton the shirt? It’s all a set up, see!

    *laughs* 1001 books! What a cover. Wonder how it was picked, you know.

    • One of them? How many did you vote for…? *suspicious eyes* Well, you see, unlike you, most ladies wouldn’t want to get bloodstains on their shirt – she probably wasn’t wearing a purple one, see…

      *laughs and cries* You should get the book – start now and you might have time to fit them all in! (you’ve already read P&P – only 1000 to go…) I know – I can’t really understand the cover myself – it’s very weird! Maybe there’ll be something on the inside to explain its releavnce…

      • I always vote for two. Always two. That way, I’ve less of a chance of being disappointed, see. Plus, I feel it’s my duty to see to it that you read only the good stuff. Hmm…what a ridiculous lady, then! Still, I say it was set-up. That’s just soooooooooooooo silly, hahahehe.

        Oh no, that’s okay. I’ve probably read them all anyway–I’m sure. I think you should throw it out right now! *shakes head* I bet we’ll never understand the relevance…of that.

        • I can’t be sure, but I don’t think anybody cheated properly this time – I must be attracting the wrong kind of people! Good noodles! Has Daddy Salami taken over your body?? I do hope you’re not stuck in his… *shudders*

          I can’t throw it out – I’ve become hideously mesmerised by all the books I haven’t read. I’ve started a whole new spreadsheet… Aha! Apparently that picture was used as the cover of a famous book once. Well, quite famous… or maybe not famous at all, since neither of us recognised it…

          • *laughs* Cheated properly. Now that’s interesting. You’re right. If I really want a book to win, cheating twice won’t help. But still, I’m a sensible cheater, really. Of course not! What a thought that is!

            No way! Did you really? I feel bad, the sudden. Then again, you might find lots of books you really like. Ah. I can only imagine House if you call him back again. What was it about, the book?

            • You are – very sensible! So am I… *whistles innocently* Well, it’s all this hahahehe-ing… sounds like him… *narrows eyes suspiciously* I wonder if DS has a Cousin Black Pudding…

              *laughs* Thank you – your sympathy makes me feel so much better! Eh? House? Who? What?? It was about a geisha girl – shall I add it to your list?

            • *laughs* Yes, I admit that is a bit like DS. But DS has red hair, remember. I just can’t be related either. Now that is a thing! Quite possibly. I’m sure DS would like BP too…

              You know!! House. The chap that took cases and all. A what girl?

            • Oh maybe he dyes it! Or you could! DS eats his cousin?!? He’s worse than I thought…

              Oh yes – I’ve lost track of this conversation, so I’ll just try to look intelligent for a moment… *tries* A geisha girl – a sort of Japanese thing where they dress up in silly clothes and make-up, and “entertain” men…

  4. I have to admit I voted once for each of last week’s contenders! But A Heart so White really captivated me, curious to see what you think of it.
    162 sounds oddly manageable…

    • Hahaha! I reckon I would have too! I’ve been toying with trying Marias for a couple of years so this has been the push I need to finally do it…

      Then I shall pack them up and send them to you. Please return once read with reviews enclosed… 😉

  5. I think you’re terribly brave to count the books on your TBR list. I wouldn’t dare count mine. I don’t even keep them together in the same place. It’s nicer to be looking for something and come across one and say with surprise, “Oh, I forgot I had this! I must read it!” and move it to the stack on the sofa.

    • Hah! But they don’t include all the ones on my wishlist – and the Great American Novel list – and now the 1001 books list… 😉 But most of my TBR actually lives on my Kindle, so they’re too easy to forget about if I don’t keep some kind of list…

  6. I think you should have authored 1001 Books! I think you might be right about it being the key to immortality — just never get around to reading the last book and you’ll live forever! I’d want my money back in rainbows if I died before the first 1000 though… Yay, my choice won!

  7. Yep, the People’s Choice sounds interesting, but I’d lean toward the Irish novel (no surprise there, huh?!) You’re seriously going to tackle Faulkner?? I imagine the story is first-rate, but getting past his writing style always challenges me. My alma mater was his old stomping grounds, and I’ve been through his home — one can’t help being proud of his accomplishments (but keeping up with his run-on sentences?? Well, I’m sure you’re up to the task!)

    • The Toibin should be great – I love his writing! There’s an Irish reading month going on in March – the Begorrathon! So there’ll be lots of reviews of Irish books and authors around the blogosphere – and maybe here too if I get myself organised…

      Yeah, have to do Faulkner for the Great American Novel Quest! Can’t be avoided! But I am kinda dreading it… oh well, maybe I’ll love him!

    • Hah! I’m kinda dreading it! I do love Toibin though, so it should be great, I hope! Oh, no I won’t read 162 books in the year – I average about 120-125 usually. That’s why it’s so horrifying there’s more than a year’s worth on the TBr even if I added nothing this year – and we all know that’s not going to happen… 😉

  8. I liked “Absalom! Absalom” when I read it and I always enjoy Toibin. A “Begorrathon”? I’ll have to give it a go.

  9. Oh, I do hope you enjoy A Heart So White. I reread it last year and it’s still fairly fresh in my mind. Marias is one of my favourite contemporary writers – I love the way he uses repetition in his work.

    • Oh, that’s good to know! I’ve been tempted by him several times in the past, so this has been the push I needed to actually try him. I know he divides people, but I’m hoping I’ll fall into the ‘love it’ camp…

  10. Something is wrong.; Something is VERY wrong – I’m kind of tempted by all three. Though 1001 would probably propel me to die (moderately) young. Sort of. Well, younger than I would be without 1001. Basically, it would only be possible if walled up in solitary, Possibly in a room made out of the 1001. There would be a small window, and some kind of DEVICE which would mean you could only post a book out of the small window when it was finished. Eventually, the walls (those books) would be breached, but I reckon with no time to sleep, eat or anything else death by reading would happen fairly soon.

    Hmm, if I ever make it out of 1900 it might be worth seeing if the Begorrathon and my Reading The Twentieth could find a common title……………It won’t be Ulysses though!

    • Hahaha! The 1001 is fabuloso! Just think – even if I never read all these books, I’ll have read ABOUT them – and that must be nearly as good! The next time Tirant lo Blanc comes up in conversation, (as it frequently does, as you know) I’ll be able to say casually “Ah, yes, I do love a bit of 15th century Catalan!” And it’s the perfect book for making lists…

      I did look to see if there were any Irish books listed for 1901, but no… sorry!

  11. Can’t wait until you read A!A! In my Faulkner class, I read it three times in quick succession. It infiltrated my dreams. I may be tempted to read it again when you do. The relationship between fathers and sons in Faulkner’s work is fascinating. And his perspective on race and the South is spot on. Plus, the nuances of Creole culture in New Orleans/Louisiana is also fascinating. I think you’re either going to love it or hate it, but I haven’t a clue as to which it’s going to be.

    • Oh good! I’m glad a few people are saying they love Faulkner – I’m a bit apprehensive because lots of other people have found him almost unreadable. But I quite like a challenge… I shall be starting it in a couple of weeks – date to be confirmed! I need to redo my schedule to take account of the Begorrathon (Irish Reading Month) which I’d forgotten about. Dubliners, ast last…

    • Thanks, shoshi! I must admit I’m loving it too, and loads of the best reads of the last couple of years have come from it. And even the ones I like least are never less than interesting… 🙂

  12. Did you know there’s an app for 1001 Books that includes books from all the previous editions? It’s quite entertaining! I was part of a book club that only read books from the list, which worked well unless people would only nominate the shortest books.

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