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.
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 1984, The 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.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
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.
There are no rules really, just a few points:
- 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!
- Since somebody has to make the final decision, that will be me! ( 😂 Maybe we should think about rotating that in future…)
- Anyone is welcome to join in!
- 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!
- 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.
- I’ll announce the chosen book next Thursday on my normal TBR post.
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Let discussions commence!