TBR Thursday (on a Wednesday) 287 – The People’s Choice…

Episode 287

(A reminder of The People’s Choice plan. Once a month, 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.)

* * * * *

OK, People, time for the next batch of four, and a nicely varied bunch this time, I think, still all from 2016. As usual I’m planning three months ahead so the winner will be a September read. Knock, Murderer, Knock was, I think, another Kindle impulse purchase during my early vintage crime frenzy – I’ve never read anything by the author before, but it sounds fun. The Vegetarian was one of those books everyone seemed to be raving about, so I acquired it and then, as usual, didn’t get around to reading it – the reviews make me feel I could love it or hate it. I’m ashamed to say Above the Waterfall is one of my ancient NetGalley ones that slipped through the net – I’ve loved one Ron Rash novel before and not loved one, so again it could go either way. And I acquired Life of Pi after loving Martel’s later book, The High Mountains of Portugal – I feel I may be the only person left alive who hasn’t read it. I still would like to read all of these pretty much equally, so you really can’t go wrong…

I’m intrigued to see which one you pick…

Vintage Crime

Knock, Murderer, Knock by Harriet Rutland

Knock Murderer KnockAdded 15th July 2016. 202 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.70 average rating. 259 pages.

The Blurb says: “I think,” said Palk slowly, “there’s a homicidal maniac loose in the Hydro, but who it is, God knows.”

Presteignton Hydro is a drably genteel spa resort, populated by the aged and crippled who relish every drop of scandal they observe or imagine concerning the younger guests. No one however expects to see gossip turn to murder as their juniors die one by one – no one, that is, except the killer. The crusty cast of characters make solving the case all the harder for Inspector Palk – until the enigmatic sleuth Mr. Winkley arrives to lend a hand.

* * * * *

Fiction

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The VegetarianAdded 20th July 2016. 104,335 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.59 average. 188 pages.

The Blurb says: Before the nightmare, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary life. But when splintering, blood-soaked images start haunting her thoughts, Yeong-hye decides to purge her mind and renounce eating meat. In a country where societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye’s decision to embrace a more “plant-like” existence is a shocking act of subversion. And as her passive rebellion manifests in ever more extreme and frightening forms, scandal, abuse, and estrangement begin to send Yeong-hye spiralling deep into the spaces of her fantasy. In a complete metamorphosis of both mind and body, her now dangerous endeavour will take Yeong-hye—impossibly, ecstatically, tragically—far from her once-known self altogether.

* * * * *

Fiction

Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash

Above the WaterfallAdded 15th August 2016. 5,115 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.52 average. 252 pages. 

The Blurb says: Les, a long-time sheriff nearing retirement, contends with the ravages of poverty and crystal meth in his small Appalachian town. Nestled in a beautiful hollow of the Appalachians, his is a tight-knit community rife with secrets and suspicious of outsiders.

Becky, a park ranger, arrives in this remote patch of North Carolina hoping to ease the anguish of a harrowing past. Searching for tranquillity amid the verdant stillness, she finds solace in poetry and the splendour of the land.

A vicious crime will plunge both sheriff and ranger into deep and murky waters, forging an unexpected bond between them. Caught in a vortex of duplicity, lies, and betrayal, they must navigate the dangerous currents of a tragedy that turns neighbour against neighbour—and threatens to sweep them all over the edge.

* * * * *

Fiction

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of PiAdded 12th October 2016. 1,406,996 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.92 average. 461 pages.

The Blurb says: After the sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a wounded zebra, an orangutan—and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and beloved works of fiction in recent years.

Universally acclaimed upon publication, Life of Pi is a modern classic.

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

VOTE NOW!

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

* * * * *

60 thoughts on “TBR Thursday (on a Wednesday) 287 – The People’s Choice…

  1. “There’s a homicidal maniac loose in the Hyrdro” made me laugh. BUT Above the Waterfall and The Life of Pi both intrigue me. And I’m someone who hasn’t read Life of Pi….so it was a toss up. Will be interesting to see which one wins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been surprised at how many people haven’t read Life of Pi – it seemed like one of those books everyone has read but me! Above the Waterfall sounds good too, and I do like his writing even if I didn’t get along with Serena…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve voted for The Vegetarian – I remember this being everywhere a few years ago, to the point where I think it got a bit overexposed and I lost interest in it, but now that time seems to have passed I think the premise is very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s what happened to me with The Vegetarian too, plus after I’d acquired it some of the reviews made me feel I might hate it. But then again I might love it! Tricky one… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I loved Rash’s The Cove and, although I didn’t enjoy Serena, I’d still like to read more of him so I’d be happy if it wins. Interesting – The Vegetarian was so popular at the time, but some of the reviews have left me feeling I might hate it. But who knows? 😉

      Like

  3. I’ve never actually read the Life of Pi either, so at least I’m in good company. I would vote for the Vegetarian though, it somehow passed me bye. A bit out there perhaps, but hopefully something different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been surprised at how many people haven’t read Life of Pi – I thought everyone had except me! The Vegetarian sounds as if it could be wonderful… or awful! I think I’m going to have to read it whether it wins or not, to fill one of the slots on my Wanderlust challenge, so we’ll see…

      Like

  4. A nice group here, FictionFan! I think you might like any (all) of them. But my vote’s going for Above the Waterfall. It’s selfish, perhaps, because I was thinking of reading it, too, and I’m interested in your view. Plus it does sound like a great read. May the best book win!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think this is a great group and would happily read any of them. I loved Rash’s The Cove, so even though I didn’t get on with Serena, I’d still like to read more of him. Because I’m trying to clear up these ancient overlooked NetGalley books, I’ll probably be reading it soonish even if it doesn’t win… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Life of Pi was everywhere for a while, both the book and the movie. Interesting that it didn’t work for you! Knock, Murderer, Knock sounds like great fun, doesn’t it? There simply aren’t enough homicidal maniacs in crime fiction any more… 😉

      Like

  5. Woo Hoo, I’m finally voting with the cool kids!! I haven’t read Life of Pi either, but I’ve seen bits and pieces of the film, which I found enjoyable. That one gets my vote this time (but as you said, all of these sound pretty good!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, it’s nice to be in the gang, isn’t it? Mind you, Knock, Murderer, Knock seems to be creeping up on it at the moment, so it could go either way! Yes, I like this batch – I’d be happy to read any of them. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. knock, murder, knock does sound fun but I’ve gone for The Life of Pi, because you loved another of his books. I haven’t read anything by him or any of the others on your list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I adored The High Mountains of Portugal – it’s one of those books I still think about often even though it’s years now since I read it. So it seems crazy that I’ve never got around to reading anything else by him! Knock, Murderer, Knock is slowly catching up at the moment, so the homicidal maniac may still win… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • I must say Life of Pi sounds very weird and the blurb doesn’t do much for me, but I adored the one other book of his I’ve read, which was also pretty weird! I will get to Knock, Murderer, Knock one of these days even if it doesn’t win – a homicidal maniac running loose in a spa sounds irresistible… 😉

      Like

  7. I picked Above the Waterfall, forgetting that Ron Rash also wrote Serena! 🙀 I don’t think it’s in danger of winning, though.

    Add me as another who hasn’t read Life of Pi. I saw the film (which I enjoyed) and remember thinking at the time there was no point in reading the book after the fact.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I know – I already had this one before the unfortunate Serena incident! But I did love his other book The Cove, so I’d still like to try more of his stuff – hopefully Serena was… er… unique… 😉

      I haven’t seen the movie either. I’ve been surprised by how many people haven’t read it – I thought it was one of these books the whole world had read except me!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I really struggled to decide – such a great selection! I narrowed it down to The Vegetarian because it just sounds so weird and unusual, and Knock Murderer Knock because it sounds like my perfect read. In the end I had to opt for the latter so hopefully it wins 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a good batch this month – I still think they all look as if they could be great! The Vegetarian was so popular when it came out, but it does sounds weird. At the moment Knock, Murderer, Knock is slowly catching up, so it could still win… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hurrah! After saying that everyone has read Life of Pi except me I’ve been surprised that everyone’s been saying they haven’t read it, so I’m glad to hear that you actually have! I loved the only other book of his that I’ve read so I’ll be quite happy if it wins. But I agree – a good batch this month – they all sound appealing… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Vegetarian sounds grim; you are very likely to read Rash anyway. So my choice is between two.

    I appear to be one of the few who have read Life of Pi. I’m not at all convinced it’s your sort of book, FF. Stuck on a boat with a tiger et al, not a lot happens 🤔 There’s not really a plot and I’m mindful of your comments on The Silver Darlings. Of course, I’ve not read The High Mountains of Portugal and have no idea how similar these two may be. Or not. But I predict another dnf for Pi if it wins. See how I have your best interests at heart here; I’m also taking into account your recent unfortunate experience with Boyd, Good heavens, I’m feeling kind! 😂

    And so…. I’m voting for Knock, Murderer, Knock. A little bit of Golden Age crime in September sounds good to me. Perfect as autumn beckons.

    😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha, you are being kind – thank you! 😀 I’m not at all sure about The Vegetarian either. It was so popular back when it came out I think I got carried away (the root of my TBR problems!) but sometimes I end up loving things I’m wary of and hating things I expect to love, so who knows?? Life of Pi never appealed to me until I read and adored The High Mountains of Portugal which, come to think of it, didn’t really have a plot as such either. But the writing was so beautiful and it was so thought-provoking, and there was always something intriguing happening. I will be reading the Rash soonish, if I keep to my plan to finally read these old NetGalley books I missed back before I learned to control my greed! And a homicidal maniac is always fun! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have read Above the Waterfall and enjoyed it because of Rash’s writing and the Appalachian setting and I ended up voting for this, but I hope the (light) plot issue doesn’t arise for you. I’ve also read The Life of Pi. I didn’t enjoy it as much I expected I would. I’m still not sure if it wasn’t a good match for me, or wrong timing when I read it. I might need some more reasons to pick up the other two books,

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved Rash’s The Cove so despite Serena having been a major fail for me I’m still keen to read more of his stuff. Life of Pi never really appealed to me until I read and loved The High Mountains of Portugal, which is also rather strange, but strangely wonderful. So I don’t know if Pi will work in the same way, but I hope so. Hahaha, you mean a homicidal maniac running loose in a spa isn’t reason enough for you?? Picky! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I saw on goodreads The Vegetarian by Han Kang and initially I thought I would like to read it. But, as a veggie (vegetarian for 13+ years) I think I would get annoyed by what is described, so I it’s not on my to-read list.
    So, Knock, Murderer, Knock by Harriet Rutland is my choice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I was looking at reviews for The Vegetarian when I was compiling this post and I’m not at all sure if it will work for me, but sometimes it’s the books you least expect to like that blow you away, so who knows? I did try to be vegetarian for a couple of years, but failed, although I eat very little meat now.

      Knock, Murderer, Knock has crept up from way behind and is now neck and neck for the lead – it’s exciting! A few late votes usually come in over the weekend so anything could happen… 😀

      Like

    • I’m the same with The Vegetarian – if I didn’t own it, I wouldn’t buy it now, but it was so popular at the time I think I got brainwashed… 😉 But sometimes it’s the ones you think you’ll hate that turn out to be the ones that blow you away, so who knows? Life of Pi and the vintage one are neck and neck for the lead now – it’s exciting! Either will do nicely… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Knock Murderer does sound like a fun read. The Vegetarian was one of those books that I read and felt like I wasn’t smart enough for. But I think my vote has to go to Life of Pi. If you enjoyed The High Mountains then I think you will appreciate Martel’s specific style of weirdness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not at all sure about The Vegetarian – I have a feeling I might hate it, but sometimes the ones I’m most dubious about turn out to be the best reads! Knock, Murderer, Knock sounds like a real romp. And I do have high hopes for Life of Pi – I loved The High Mountains and still think of it often, although by rights it shouldn’t have worked for me either! It’s neck and neck at the moment so could still go either way… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. So I think you should read LIfe of Pi for a few reasons. It is lovely, it’s a bit harrowing, but also shocking, and in a way, heartwarming? Plus, he’s Canadian!!!! And then go watch the movie, but definitely read the book first 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always forget that Yann Martel is Canadian! I don’t think it’s going to win barring a few last minute votes, but I do want to read it so I must try to fit it in soonish. And of course I’ve been putting off watching the movie till I read the book… life is just one problem after another… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. FF, I was very torn between this month’s choices, so I can see why you were struggling to pick. I eventually went for Above the Waterfall because I loved the sound of the setting, but I equally like the sound of Knock, Murderer, Knock, which seems to be the current leader. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Looks like Knock, Murderer, Knock is going to win, barring any last minute votes! I love the sound of Above the Waterfall too, and hope to get to it quite soon even if it doesn’t win… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

Please leave a comment - I'd love to know who's visiting and what you think...of the post, of the book, of the blog, of life, of chocolate...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.