The People’s Choice 10… #begorrathon16
The TBR now stands at a terrifying 166! Between mammoth books, exciting blog posts all round the blogosphere, and my sudden enthusiasm for TV & movie-watching I’m getting nowhere fast with reading, and yet adding books to the TBR seems to be too easy, not helped by Amazon’s Kindle spring sale…
And, talking of exciting blog posts, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this year’s Reading Ireland Month. The participating bloggers have been inspiring me all month over books and authors I’ve never tried before, but who sound unmissable. So… time for you to help me decide which of the ones that appealed most should be added to the TBR. I’d like to add them all, but I’m trying to be realistic… *waits for the laughter to die down*
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 Blurb – When Charles Arrowby retires from his glittering career in the London theatre, he buys a remote house on the rocks by the sea. He hopes to escape from his tumultuous love affairs but unexpectedly bumps into his childhood sweetheart and sets his heart on destroying her marriage. His equilibrium is further disturbed when his friends all decide to come and keep him company and Charles finds his seaside idyll severely threatened by his past.
madamebibilophile says: “The Sea, The Sea is a novel that tackles major themes: the nature of love, the meanings we attach to our lives, how we decide what is real when we can only view from our own perspective, how we recognise what really matters. Arrowby’s narcissism is contemptible, but the skill of Murdoch’s writing shows him as an everyman (despite his belief in his own extraordinariness) and places us in a position where to judge him harshly is to judge ourselves.“
The Blurb – It’s July 1976. In London, it hasn’t rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he’s going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn’t come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta’s children — two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce — back home, each with different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share. Maggie O’Farrell’s sixth book is the work of an outstanding novelist at the height of her powers.
Naomi says: “As with all the best books (in my opinion), this book is all about the characters and their interactions; what they say to each other and what they keep to themselves. Yes, there is a plot, but it would be flimsy without the interesting characters. As long as I could read about their lives, I was happy – it almost didn’t even matter to me what was going on.”
The Blurb – Not everyone who’s missing is lost When two teenage girls go missing along the Irish border, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire has to return to the hometown she left years before. Swirling with rumour and secrets, the town is gripped by fear of a serial killer. But the truth could be even darker. Not everyone who’s lost wants to be found Surrounded by people and places she tried to forget, Paula digs into the cases as the truth twists further away. What’s the link with two other disappearances from 1985? And why does everything lead back to the town’s dark past- including the reasons her own mother went missing years before? Nothing is what it seems As the shocking truth is revealed, Paula learns that sometimes, it’s better not to find what you’ve lost.
jorobertson2015’s review is actually of the 4th book in the series, A Savage Hunger.
Jo says: “If you’ve never read this series before I think you would get way more enjoyment of the plot if you start at book 1 in the series. Then I can guarantee you will want to read the rest pretty quickly to catch up! The background descriptions of the troubles in Northern Ireland make this a very detailed and unique police crime procedural written with a great knowledge and understanding of that time. Bringing a present day missing persons case into the mix but still making it feel relevant to the past is a very clever trick indeed. An intelligent and thought provoking read and I can’t WAIT to see where Paula goes from here!”
The (dreadful) Blurb – The story of the title deals with a little boy named Larry and his feelings towards his father. When his father returns home from World War II, Larry is resentful and jealous of losing his mother’s undivided attention, and finds himself in a constant struggle to win back her affections.
Cathy’s review is actually of Frank O’Connor’s book on the art of the short story, The Lonely Voice, but it inspired me to want to read more of O’Connor’s own work.
Cathy says: “Frank O’Connor, the Irish writer and critic died on this day (March 10th) fifty years ago. Born Michael O’Donovan in Cork in 1903, he went on to wrote plays, biographies and essays and has become known as one of the twentieth century’s greatest short story writers. His book The Lonely Voice, based on lectures he gave at Stanford University in the 1960s is now considered to be one of the first in depth and most influential examinations of the short story form.”
The (spoilerish) Blurb – Josie, the ailing, elderly inhabitant of an Irish country mansion, dwells in the shadowy world of remembered pain and loneliness. McGreevy, the terrorist, reintroduces the possibility of compassion and tenderness, but there is an inevitably violent conclusion to their understanding as the police net closes. With extraordinary skill and empathy, Edna O’Brien shows two faces of a divided land: the yearnings of a woman whose youthful joy was broken, and the intransigent idealism of her captor. Brave and moving, The House of Splendid Isolation is Edna O’Brien at her very best.
lailaarch says: “Reading House of Splendid Isolation, I bemoaned the fact that I had never read anything by Edna O’Brien before. I was thoroughly engrossed in the compelling story and propulsive writing style. O’Brien has crafted a moving story with some thrilling scenes – I was reading the scene where McGreevy breaks into Josie’s house while my husband was working at night, and my son was asleep, and I was convinced I heard a noise outside. (I was totally creeped out!)”
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! 😉