TBR Thursday 86…and results of the #20booksofsummer poll!

Episode 86…

The TBR is at a frightful 169 – up 4!! However, during my little break it briefly went over the 170 mark, so really it’s going down. (Did you find that as convincing as I did?) But once I’ve powered my way through the 20 Books of Summer, everything will be back under control…

Which brings me neatly to the results of the poll to decide which books should fill the three remaining slots on my 20 Books list. Wow! It was exciting watching the books move! It took a day or two for four leaders to emerge from the pack, but then they raced ahead of the rest and jostled for position. A couple of the trailing pack picked up speed in the final furlong and finally two of the runners shared fourth place. And then there were a couple of also-rans…

Poor Ken Livingstone (You Can’t Say That)! Thrown out of his job by Margaret Thatcher, voted out of his role as Mayor of London, chucked out of the Labour Party, but I don’t think he’s ever suffered quite such a humiliating defeat before – one measly vote! Don’t tell him!

Then poor H Rider Haggard (Nada the Lily) only got two votes! I shall need to convince you all of his worth in the months to come. Mary Queen of Scots (The Queen’s Caprice) was chased by The Invisible Ones right to the door of Uncle Tom’s Cabin – surreal!

Uncle Tom and Ray Bradbury (From the Dust Returned) ended up sharing fourth spot, and since my first book of summer, Barkskins by Annie Proulx, quickly got thrown into the abandoned tub for being boring, then one of these will be the new number twenty. I have exercised my casting vote…

So now, in reverse order…

The Winners!

4. From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury

3. Enigma by Robert Harris

2. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Great choices, People! Thank you all so much for voting, commenting, tweeting – these will be my most looked-forward-to books of the summer. 😀

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And, since I’m still bogged down after my marathon read of books for Bloody Scotland, not to mention still being in the middle of the massive Douglas MacArthur, just a couple that will be reaching the top of the pile soon…

Factual

citizen kaneSince I’ve never felt I appreciate Citizen Kane as much as I should, I thought perhaps learning more about it might help. Courtesy of NetGalley.

The Blurb says: With the approach of the 75th anniversary of Citizen Kane in May 2016, Harlan Lebo has written the full story of Orson Welles’ masterpiece film. The book will explore:

–Welles’ meteoric rise to stardom in New York and the real reason behind his arrival in Hollywood
–Welles’ unprecedented contract with RKO Studios for total creative control and the deeper issues that impeded his work instead
–The dispute over who wrote the script
–The mystery of the “lost” final script, which the author has in his possession, and the missing scenes, which answer questions relating to the creation of the film
–The plot by Hearst to destroy Welles’ project through blackmail, media manipulation, and other tactics
–A detailed look behind the scenes of a production process that was cloaked in secrecy
–The surprising emergence of Citizen Kane as an enduring masterpiece

Using previously unpublished material from studio files and the Hearst organization, exclusive interviews with the last surviving members of the cast and crew, and what may be the only surviving copy of the “lost” final script of the film, Citizen Kane: A Filmmaker’s Journey recounts the making of one of the most famous films in Hollywood history.

* * * * *

 

Fiction

three martini lunchHaving very recently read and enjoyed The Other Typist (review still to come), I spotted that Suzanne Rindell’s new book has just been released and managed to snaffle a copy. Courtesy of the publisher, Allison & Busby.

The Blurb says: In 1958, Greenwich Village buzzes with beatniks, jazz clubs, and new ideas—the ideal spot for three ambitious young people to meet. Cliff Nelson, the son of a successful book editor, is convinced he’s the next Kerouac, if only his father would notice. Eden Katz dreams of being an editor but is shocked when she encounters roadblocks to that ambition. And Miles Tillman, a talented black writer from Harlem, seeks to learn the truth about his father’s past, finding love in the process. Though different from one another, all three share a common goal: to succeed in the competitive and uncompromising world of book publishing. As they reach for what they want, they come to understand what they must sacrifice, conceal, and betray to achieve their goals, learning they must live with the consequences of their choices. In Three-Martini Lunch, Suzanne Rindell has written both a page-turning morality tale and a captivating look at a stylish, demanding era—and a world steeped in tradition that’s poised for great upheaval.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads. (BTW, whatever happened to short blurbs??)

* * * * *

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

 

58 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 86…and results of the #20booksofsummer poll!

  1. Well, personally, FictionFan, I think you should be congratulated on how quickly your TBR pile went all the way from 170 to 169. Impressive! As to these new additions, the Harris looks quite interesting; I really hope you’ll enjoy it as I’ve had it on my radar.

  2. Poor old Ken indeed. Even I didn’t vote for him! Sounds like a good final 4 and a good choice abandoning the boring one (Proulx boring, though – in what way?)

    • Haha! I felt so sorry for him, I nearly voted for him myself! I guess British political memoirs is a bit of a niche…

      The Proulx – well, it’s basically about the destruction of the forests, but she’s got so wrapped up in the ‘message’ that she’s kinda forgotten to turn it into a novel. It’s full of regurgitated research. To be honest, I rather wished she had gone the whole hog and written a factual book on the subject. The whole thing could be summed up as – white man bad, destroys trees, land and indigenous culture. True, but hardly revelationary and the characterisation and story just wasn’t strong enough to carry it. But plenty of other people are loving it…

      • I read an interview with Proulx over the weekend where she said she hated her editor throughout the process of the book, because she made Proulx take out an additional 150 pages of research…

          • Oh gosh, poor editor. And you don’t know that she tried to take out more and Proulx resisted. I read a review in New Statesman that made it sound quite good but I’m going to trust you on this one!

            • Hahaha! I shall upgrade her to silver medal then! I feel kinda bad about putting people off it though – these things are so much a matter of personal preference. There were some good bits in the 200 or so pages I read – it just wasn’t hanging together as a novel for me…

  3. As a writer, I can’t help finding Three-Martini Lunch most interesting. My condolences for your beefy TBR, though — mine, too, is chunking up, but ’tis pretty hard to find time for reading when the sun is out and there’s so much on my To-Do List!!

    • It does look interesting, doesn’t it? And if it’s as well written as her previous book, it should be enjoyable too. I know – my reading always goes down in summer but this challenge does help me to concentrate – and to pick lots of books I really want to read…

  4. I’ve read three of your top four and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them. Maybe “rain stopped play” will set in, and give you a few extra hours.

    • All bar Jane Steele, I assume? I like the look of my list overall – managed to resist the temptation to put too many ‘worthy’ reads on there. And if there’s going to be no Rafa at Wimbers, I should have plenty of time…

  5. You know, I think I lost again. *thinks about this for a second, then roars*

    Sniffle a copy! Wow. I wish I could sniffle. That’s a great word, btw. Citizen Kane! I know about it. *proud*

    • Goodness! You must not have cheated enough then! So I’ll blame you if they’re all rotten! I thought you’d have liked the idea of Jane Eyre as a serial killer though…

      *laughs* Did I say sniffle? *checks* Hahaha! Snaffle! Not sniffle!! Though you must admit snaffle’s a great word too.

      Have you watched it? I shall be watching it again this weekend in preparation for the book…

      • Yes…but…wasn’t she so plain and bland? Oh, so you know about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…but did you know about Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters? It’s becoming a thing, I tell you.

        Ooops… I bet they mean the exact same thing. I’m not sure why I’ve not heard of snaffle before. I dig it lots.

        I think I have…but that was sooooooooooo long ago. When I was young.

        • Only on the outside – on the inside she’s a smouldering volcano of suppressed passion just waiting to erupt!! (Are you scared of her now?) Haha! Yes, I’d heard about that one – sounds… dire! Have you given it to your poor Mom yet?

          You should use it – it’s a kind of Professorish word, I feel…

          Goodness! I didn’t realise dinosaurs made films!

  6. I am pleased that Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye got voted onto your list ( I voted for it) and I am excited to read it myself, as part of this challenge too 🙂 I am also interested to see From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury made it onto your list – I have loved many of Bradbury’s novellas but I haven’t read this one. Happy reading!

    • Jane Steele should be a lot of fun, I hope, whether it’s good or bad…

      I haven’t read much Bradbury but have loved the little I have read, especially The Martian Chronicles which I thought was truly wonderful. Some of the stories in it have taken up permanent residence in my mind (and that doesn’t happen often! 😉 ).

  7. The book on Citizen Kane sounds most tempting! I’m afraid to watch the movie because I’ve never yet particularly liked an Orson Welles movie and with all the raves about it, I hate to expose my lack of sophistication by hating it. 🙂 Maybe a book is just what is needed!

    • I tend to struggle with Orson Welles too. I think I may have said to you before, though, that I once saw Touch of Evil in the cinema and was wowed by it, whereas I found it nearly unwatchable on the small screen. I wonder if something about his technique works better on the big screen – perhaps the way he uses the camera or something. But I’m going to give Citizen Kane another go before I read the book and then again afterwards to see if my opinion changes at all…

    • I really enjoyed The Other Typist, so I have high hopes for Three Martini Lunch. I should get to it within the next couple of weeks hopefully…

      Oh good!! Normally I hate these “follow-on” novels or pastiches or basically playing around with the classics (though I still can’t resist reading them!), but this one sounds like a lot of fun and I think every review I’ve seen of it has been positive. Can’t wait! 🙂

    • Oh, did I say boredom? I meant to say the book was so stunningly brilliant I was afraid it would spoil all future books for me, so I reluctantly laid it reverently to one side… here, have a tissue! And some chocolate…

    • Hahaha!! I watched those votes in terror for the last couple of days in case anybody snuck in and shoved him up the list… I may have had to resort to cheating if they had… 😉 Yes, my willpower is clearly working well…

  8. Ill be really interested to hear how you get on with Citizen Kane, The Third Man is probably my all time favourite film, but I’ve never really warmed to Kane in the same way. Maybe you’ll convince me to revisit it!

    • I love The Third Man too – I think it’s Welles’ direction that I struggle with rather than his acting. But I’ve found that watching films more carefully with a view to talking about them in reviews has actually upped my concentration levels – I’m usually a terrible film watcher – and as a result I’m appreciating them more. We shall see!

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