TBR Thursday 242 – The People’s Choice…

Episode 242

(A reminder of the People’s Choice plan. Once a month or so, I shall list the four oldest books on the TBR, then the next four, and so on, and each time you will select the one you think I should read, either because you’ve read and enjoyed it, or because you think the blurb looks good. And I will read the one you pick within three months! If I begin to fall behind, I’ll have a gap till I catch up again. In the event of a tie, I’ll have the casting vote.)

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OK, time for the next batch of four! I’m still working through books that I added to my TBR in 2014, strictly in order of acquisition or addition to the TBR in the case of re-reads. A nicely mixed bunch this week. I added The Messenger of Athens after enjoying a short story of the author’s which I came across in a crime anthology. The HP Lovecraft is a collection of short stories, and I’ve dipped into it from time to time for Tuesday Terror! posts and have probably read several more in various other anthologies, but I’m sure there will still be plenty in it I haven’t read before. Tender is the Night is a re-read from long, long ago, and is on my Classics Club list. And The Broken was added after I’d enjoyed another book by Cohen, just before I fell out of love with the domestic-thriller misery-fest style of novel. 

I’m intrigued to see which one you pick…


The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi

Added 13th July 2014. 1,457 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.49 average rating. 324 pages.

The Blurb says: Idyllic but remote, the Greek island of Thiminos seems untouched and untroubled by the modern world. So when the battered body of a young woman is discovered at the foot of a cliff, the local police – governed more by archaic rules of honor than by the law – are quick to close the case, dismissing her death as an accident.

Then a stranger arrives, uninvited, from Athens, announcing his intention to investigate further into the crime he believes has been committed. Refusing to accept the woman’s death as an accident or suicide, Hermes Diaktoros sets out to uncover the truths that skulk beneath this small community’s exterior.

Hermes’s methods of investigation are unorthodox, and his message to the islanders is plain – tell the truth or face the consequences. Before long, he’s uncovering a tale of passion, corruption and murder that entangles many of the island’s residents. But Hermes brings his own mystery into the web of dark secrets and lies – and as he travels the rugged island landscape to investigate, questions and suspicions arise amongst the locals. Who has sent him to Thiminos, and on whose authority is he acting? And how does he know of dramas played out decades ago?

Rich in images of Greece’s beautiful islands and evoking a life unknown to most outsiders, this wonderful novel leads the reader into a world where the myths of the past are not forgotten and forbidden passion still has dangerous consequences.

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Weird Fiction

The Haunter of the Dark by HP Lovecraft

Added 1st January 2014. 2,833 ratings on Goodreads, with a 4.06 average. 610 pages.

The Blurb says: They were removing the stones quietly, one by one, from the centuried wall. And then, as the breach became large enough, they came out into the laboratory in single file; led by a stalking thing with a beautiful head made of wax.’

From the dark, mind-expanding imagination of H P Lovecraft, Wordsworth presents a third volume of tales penned by the greatest horror writer of the 20th Century. Here are some of Lovecraft’s weirdest flesh-creeping masterpieces, including Pickman’s Model, The Shunned House, his famous serial Herbert West – Reanimator, and several classic tales from the Cthulhu Mythos, in which mankind is subjected to the unimaginable terrors known only to those who have read from the forbidden Necronomicon.

Also included in this compelling collection are the complete Randolph Carter stories, chronicling his adventures in this world and the realm of his dreams, where he faces perils beyond comprehension.

* * * * *

American Classic

Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald

Added 23rd November 2014. 108,150 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.82 average. 315 pages.

The Blurb says: Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick’s harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character, Tender Is the Night is lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative.

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Domestic Thriller

The Broken by Tamar Cohen

Added 3rd December 2014. 2,355 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.69 average. 273 pages. 

The Blurb says: Best friends tell you everything; about their kitchen renovation; about their little girl’s schooling. How one of them is leaving the other for a younger model.

Best friends don’t tell lies. They don’t take up residence on your couch for weeks. They don’t call lawyers. They don’t make you choose sides.

Best friends don’t keep secrets about their past. They don’t put you in danger.

Best friends don’t always stay best friends.

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(Click on title and then remember to also click on Vote, or your vote won’t count!)

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NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads or Amazon UK.

57 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 242 – The People’s Choice…

  1. Tender is the Night is a good ‘un, FictionFan. But that said, I voted for The Messenger of Athens. It’s got a great sense of place and local culture, and some solid characters, too. And it’s the start of an interesting series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a feeling I’d put The Messenger of Athens on because of reading about it on your blog, but I don’t always remember to make a note of where I heard about a book. So I’m glad to have your recommendation for it – especially since it has leapt into the lead!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That would be great fun! Even if it doesn’t win (and it doesn’t look like it will at the moment) I’ll still be wanting to read it fairly soon for the Classics Club. Maybe we could do it sometime around September/October if that suited you? Talking of which, Sandra and I are planning to read A Month in the Country for a synchronised review on 31st August if you were interested in that one…


      • Sounds like a plan. I’ll join you and Sandra for A Month in the Country too, as I’ve seen quite a few enthusiastic reviews of it. Like you, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump recently, so setting deadlines might help me get back on track again.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hurrah! Yes, I’m hoping some deadlines might push me too – I don’t know why I can’t get into it at the moment. My slump began because of anxiety about the virus, but I haven’t felt particularly anxious in weeks now. It’s annoying…


    • I read it way back in the dim distant past and think I enjoyed it, but I really don’t remember much about the actual story. Drunkenness and insanity, perhaps? Haha – yes, that might not be the cheeriest thing to read right now! 😉


  2. Another Tender is the Night vote from me. I’m very anti Fitzgerald based on my very limited experience with him. (The Great Gatsby was enough for me.) But if you read this and give it a seriously good review, I may just start to think differently.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I shall be the canary then! However, I should tell you Alyson and I are going to read Tender is the Night at the same time later in the year, so I may be trying to tempt you… Did Rose not warn you I’m going to fall out with both of you if you don’t learn to love Gatsby, by the way? You won’t like me when I’m grumpy… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha, yes! Rose and I enjoyed a good old moan about GG 😆 Whoops! A read-along for TitN sounds very promising. I could eaily be tempted. Anything to get back in your good books 👼 😂


        • Yes, you did! 😣 And you’re both wrong!
          Alyson and I are going to try for September/October for our read of Tender is the Night, so pencil it in to your schedule! I’ll firm up a date nearer the time and see if anyone else wants to join in. 😀


    • The Messenger is in a strong lead now but I’ll be reading Tender is the Night sometimes soonish even if it doesn’t win since it’s on my Classics Club list. 😀


  3. I didn’t like Tender is the Night at all, but I wasn’t impressed by The Great Gatsby either and have decided Fitzgerald just isn’t my sort of author. I voted for The Messenger of Athens as I’ve read two of the other books in that series and remember enjoying them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read Tender is the Night back when I was young, and although I seem to remember liking it it certainly didn’t have the effect on me Gatsby had. So I have no idea what how the more mature me will get on with it! Good to hear you’ve enjoyed Zouroudi’s books since The Messenger has gone into a strong lead… 😀


  4. I voted for The Messenger of Athens. Something about the setting and the storyline intrigue me, and you know how hard it is for me to turn aside from a good mystery!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I read Tender is the Night years ago too and remember almost nothing about it – but I don’t think I hated it either! 😂 The Messenger of Athens has raced into the lead at the moment…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It was harder for me to narrow down this time, but I ended up voting for The Messenger of Athens. Still…. I unofficially vote that you go on and finish off the Lovecraft collection. It wouldn’t take you long. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good choice – The Messenger of Athens has raced into the lead at the moment, and will fit in well with my summer of lighter reading. But I do want to read the rest of the Lovecraft – maybe I shall have to wake up the poor porpy to keep me company… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I voted for The Messenger of Athens. I read it some years ago and loved it. I must read more of her books. Anne Zouroudi was on The Chase a while ago – if I remember correctly she won!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s good to hear – that’s a few of you who have recommended the Zouroudi now, and it has leapt way into the lead, It sounds as if it’ll fit in well with my plan for some lighter reading for the next few months.


  7. Scott Fitzgerald became a terrific writer, and a personality with all the pal’ing around with the Hemingway crowd. But he only wrote two great books, and this is one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read it way back when I was about 20, just after reading and being blown away by Gatsby. I don’t remember much about it – I seem to remember that I liked it but not nearly as much as Gatsby. However I suspect that may have been a combination of making comparisons and of maybe being a bit too young for it. I’m intrigued to see what the more mature version of me makes of it!


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