Review-Alongers! All welcome…

Time to choose…

I thought it might be easier to have a separate post for this rather than tacking it on at the end of my usual TBR post, so I can post the blurbs of the books plus give us more room for discussion in the comments without it getting confused with other stuff!

So, I nominated Christine and Alyson to come up with a few choices this time since they were both “founder members” and haven’t had a pick yet. Unfortunately I haven’t heard from Alyson this week – hopefully she’s just taking a break and will be back soon – but Kelly had mentioned a couple of books from her new Classics Club list she fancied putting forward, so I’ve included them instead. Alyson, if you read this and are interested, I’ll nominate you again next time!

Click on the title or book cover to go through to Goodreads if you want to look at reviews.

Christine’s suggestions…

Plumb by Maurice Gee

The Blurb says: Long regarded as one of the finest novels ever written by a New Zealander, Maurice Gee’s Plumb introduces us to the intolerant, irascible clergyman George Plumb, one of the most memorable characters in New Zealand literature &- half saint, half monster, superhuman in his spiritual strength and destructive in his utter self-absorption. What personal price is this man prepared to pay in the pursuit of his conscience, no matter what the consequences are for those he loves?

Christine says: I decided I had to have an NZ author in the mix. This is more a character exploration than a plot driven novel.

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

The Blurb says: Go Tell It On The Mountain, first published in 1953, is Baldwin’s first major work, a semi-autobiographical novel that has established itself as an American classic. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy’s discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935. Baldwin’s rendering of his protagonist’s spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.

Christine says: I’ve been planning to read something by Baldwin since I saw a documentary about him some time back.

The City and the City by China Miéville

The Blurb says: When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he investigates, the evidence points to conspiracies far stranger and more deadly than anything he could have imagined.

Borlú must travel from the decaying Beszel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own. This is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen. His destination is Beszel’s equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma. With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, and struggling with his own transition, Borlú is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of rabid nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one. As the detectives uncover the dead woman’s secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them and those they care about more than their lives.

What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities.

Casting shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984The City & the City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

Christine says: A crime meets SciFi story which I enjoyed a decade or so ago and am interested to reread.

Kelly’s suggestions…

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

The Blurb says: Victor Hugo’s Romantic novel of dark passions and unrequited love.

In the vaulted Gothic towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral lives Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer. Mocked and shunned for his appearance, he is pitied only by Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy dancer to whom he becomes completely devoted. Esmerelda, however, has also attracted the attention of the sinister archdeacon Claude Frollo, and when she rejects his lecherous approaches, Frollo hatches a plot to destroy her, that only Quasimodo can prevent. Victor Hugo’s sensational, evocative novel brings life to the medieval Paris he loved, and mourns its passing in one of the greatest historical romances of the nineteenth century.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

The Blurb says: An adventurous geology professor chances upon a manuscript in which a 16th-century explorer claims to have found a route to the earth’s core. Professor Lidenbrock can’t resist the opportunity to investigate, and with his nephew Axel, he sets off across Iceland in the company of Hans Bjelke, a native guide. The expedition descends into an extinct volcano toward a sunless sea, where they encounter a subterranean world of luminous rocks, antediluvian forests, and fantastic marine life — a living past that holds the secrets to the origins of human existence.

 

Rules:

There are no rules really, just a few points:

  1. The book will be chosen on the basis of the discussion below, trying to find one that appeals to most of us. So you should say which ones you fancy and also say if you really don’t fancy one or more – your opinion might or might not win the day, but it won’t count if you don’t tell us what it is!
  2. Since somebody has to make the final decision, that will be me! ( 😂 Maybe we should think about rotating that in future…)
  3. Anyone is welcome to join in!
  4. And the other side of that coin – if the chosen book doesn’t appeal or you don’t have time, no one should feel obliged to join in! The aim is to have fun!
  5. Everyone who participates will review the book on the same day. Non-bloggers will leave their opinions in the comments section of my review. I’m proposing 16th February, 2022, for this one, but if that doesn’t suit anyone, say so in the comments and we can find another date.
  6. I’ll announce the chosen book next Thursday on my normal TBR post.

* * * * *

Let discussions commence!

 

 

59 thoughts on “Review-Alongers! All welcome…

    • Go Tell It on the Mountain is way ahead at the moment and I think most people who’ll be interested have commented now. I’ll confirm next week, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be the one! There’s been a significant flurry of interest for The Hunchback too, so I’m thinking of suggesting it for later in the year, maybe April/May, if you happen to be interested…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. They all look interesting, FictionFan! And a very interesting variety, too! Hmmmm….I don’t know that I’ll play along, if I’m being honest, but I want to read the Baldwin, anyway. It’s an important part of literature, and I would really like to experience it, no matter how I end up feeling about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s looking very much as if the Baldwin is going to be the runaway top choice, so you’d be very welcome to join in with the discussion in the comments on my review if you manage to read it by then. I should have said that in the “rules”, since I know some bloggers like yourself blog about specific subjects that the chosen books might not be a good fit for. No pressure to join in at all, of course! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Go Tell It on the Mountain is way ahead at the moment and I think most people who’ll be interested have commented now. I’ll confirm next week, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be the one! There’s been a significant flurry of interest for The Hunchback too, so I’m thinking of suggesting it for later in the year, maybe April/May, if you happen to be interested… no pressure, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Go Tell it, Journey to the Centre and The Hunchback are all on my Classics Club lists, so I’d be happy with any of them, although if The Hunchback won, I might have to ask for the date to be put back a month or so since I have a string of bricks to read between now and Feb. Plumb looks great, but it’s out of print here and no Kindle version available. I would like to read it sometime though, and if it’s the popular choice I’ll probably be able get a second-hand copy, but if you’re thinking of backing it you might want to check first if you can get it easily in your area. I’m 99% certain I’ll hate The City and the City, but as we know I get as much fun out of scathing one-stars as glowing five-stars, so I’m up for it! 😉

    In short, I’ll be happy to read any of them. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Go Tell It on the Mountain is way ahead at the moment and I think most people who’ll be interested have commented now. I’ll confirm next week, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be the one! There’s been a significant flurry of interest for The Hunchback too, so I’m thinking of suggesting it for later in the year, maybe April/May, if you happen to be interested… no pressure, though!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s looking like it’s going to be Go Tell It on the Mountain for February, but there have been a few people expressing interest in The Hunchback (including me, since it’s on my CC list), so I’m thinking of suggesting we do it to – maybe for April or May? Would that suit you? No pressure, though!

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    • It’s looking like Go Tell It on the Mountain is going to be the runaway popular choice this time, with The Hunchback getting some interest too. But there’s still time for more people to express a preference, so it’s not over yet!

      Liked by 1 person

    • We seem to be falling into a pattern of doing it three or four times a year, so hopefully we’ll be looking at one at some point over the summer. Keep your eye open for Review-Along posts! 😀

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  3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was a teenage favourite of mine and I’d be very happy to revisit it. The City and the City and Journey to the Centre of the Earth are both on the vague list of books I’d like to get to one day, so both of those appeal as well!

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    • It’s looking like it’s going to be Go Tell It in the Mountain for February, but a few people have expressed a preference for The Hunchback (including me, since it’s on my CC list) so I’m thinking of suggesting we do it too – maybe for a date in April or May, Would that work for you? I’d also like to read Journey to the Centre of the Earth at some point, so maybe I’ll put that back on next time it’s my turn to come up with suggestions. (Or maybe you, Kelly and I could do it as a mini review-along just among ourselves sometime if no one else seems interested. I think it would be a quick read…)

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      • Yes, April or May would work for me. I look forward to seeing everyone’s reviews of Go Tell it on the Mountain! I’m always interested to read different accounts of people’s faith so maybe I’ll be convinced to pick it up.

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        • Good, it looks like The Hunchback will have quite a few takers! Go Tell It on the Mountain intrigues me – I saw an old video on youtube of him taking part in a debate at, I think, Cambridge, and what a wonderful speaker he was! Plus it’s shortish… 😉

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  4. Whoops, so sorry, I had to disappear from offline at the end of last week for various reasons, and am only now catching up with blog posts, so I missed your original call out last Thursday. I’ll definitely put a couple of titles into the mix next time round. Great list from Christine and Kelly this time though, and as it happens, Go Tell it on the Mountain is on my own TBR, so this could be the push I need to read it, looks like it is winning at the moment. I would be up for the Hunchback as well though if it came up, as I loved Les Mis a couple of years ago, though it is quite possibly the longest book I have ever read. I suspect Hunchback is another doorstopper, and I have got slightly out of the habbit of reading such things over the last year. I’ll join in of course with whatever wins, but these would be my two top choices.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to hear from you, and that you’re OK! I’ll make sure you get nominated again next time – probably around April or May for a summer read. Go Tell It on the Mountain is way ahead at the moment and I think most people who’ll be interested have commented now. I’ll confirm next week, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be the one! There’s been a significant flurry of interest for The Hunchback too, and I’d like to read it since it’s on my new CC list, so I’m thinking of suggesting it for later in the year, maybe April/May – what do you think? No pressure, though!

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    • There are a few of us who are keen on Journey to the Centre of the Earth, so I might suggest a mini review-along for it later – it definitely looks as if Go Tell It in the Mountain is the popular choice for this one!

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  5. I read the Baldwin a few years ago and recommend it but as I’m having to ration my reading to my classics list (unless it’s quick!) I would go for the Hugo and swap it for Les Mis!

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  6. My first choice would be Journey to the Centre of the Earth, but will try to read whatever is chosen. Unless, of course, I start off the year so hung-ho with my Classics list that I don’t have time for any others!

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  7. I’ve needed to jump back in on the end of the chain, as my machine wouldn’t let me reply to you directly for some bizarre reason. Anyway, I’m up for both the Baldwin and the Hugo, so looks like we have our next two major reviewalongs sorted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh great, does that mean you’ll be joining in with the review-along? If you don’t want to review it on your blog – I know you tend to stick to picture books these days – then you could join in with the non-bloggers by leaving your comments on my review post. No pressure, though! Haha, yes, I just checked your post and I do indeed remember that book, gunky porridge and all. If I had to read Miéville I think I’d rather read that one… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • When the review day comes then, stick a link to your post in my comments and I’ll add it to the list – I’m sure there will be quite a few bloggers who’ve already read GTIOTM. Oh good! The Hunchback should be fun – I read it way back in my youth and don’t remember the details at all, but I’m sure I enjoyed it. It’s a bit of a chunkster though, I think, so I’ll make sure to allow plenty of time for everyone – including me! It’ll be great if you can join in, but no pressure, though! 😀

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