TBR Thursday (on a Friday) 306 – The People’s Choice…

Episode 306

(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.)

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OK, People, time for the next batch of four, a mixed bunch, all from 2018. I’m still trying to get back to being three months ahead with these polls, so excuse the frequency of them at the moment. The winner of this one will be a January read, in theory! The first couple – The Chink in the Armour and The Red Thumb Mark – are two vintage crimes I added because I’d enjoyed other books by those authors. The Scarlet Letter is a hangover from back when I was doing the Great American Novel Quest – I’m kind of ashamed that I’ve still never read it. And The Siege of Krishnapur is on there just because I liked the blurb. I reckon all of these sound as if they could be good or terrible, so it’s up to you to find a good one for me! 😉

I’m intrigued to see which one you pick…

Vintage Crime

The Chink in the Armour by Marie Belloc Lowndes

Added 3rd April 2018. 61 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.43 average rating. 230 pages.

The Blurb says: Wealthy widow Sylvia Bailey is idling around Europe when she befriends another widow, Madame Wolsky, who is a gambling addict. As they are spending their last days together in Paris, two friends decide to go to a fortune teller, but the visit leaves them anxious. However, despite a psychic’s warning that they will find themselves in a grave danger from which at least one of them will not escape, Sylvia and Madame Wolsky decide to go to the gambling town of Lacville in order to test their fortune.

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Vintage Crime

The Red Thumb Mark by R Austin Freeman

Added 13th May 2018. 818 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.73 average. 235 pages.

The Blurb says: In all of London, there are few who know more about science than Dr. John Thorndyke, and fewer still who know more about crime. A “medical jurispractitioner” equally at home in the lab or the courtroom, he has made his name confronting the deadliest criminals in England with irrefutable proof of their guilt. In the case of the red thumb mark, however, Thorndyke must set his singular mind to saving an innocent man.

A cache of diamonds has been stolen out of a shipping firm’s safe, and the only evidence is a perfect thumbprint left in a pool of blood. The print is a match to Reuben Hornby, nephew of the firm’s owner. Hornby insists that he had nothing to do with the theft, however, and asks Dr. Thorndyke to find the real culprit. With all the evidence pointing in one direction, only he is brilliant enough to look the other way.

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American Classic

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Added 19th May 2018. 758,294 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.42 average. 279 pages. 

The Blurb says: Hailed by Henry James as “the finest piece of imaginative writing yet put forth in the country,” Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter reaches to our nation’s historical and moral roots for the material of great tragedy. Set in an early New England colony, the novel shows the terrible impact a single, passionate act has on the lives of three members of the community: the defiant Hester Prynne; the fiery, tortured Reverend Dimmesdale; and the obsessed, vengeful Chillingworth.

With The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne became the first American novelist to forge from our Puritan heritage a universal classic, a masterful exploration of humanity’s unending struggle with sin, guilt and pride.

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Fiction

The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell

Added 17th June 2018. 6,791 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.91 average. 344 pages.

The Blurb says: India, 1857–the year of the Great Mutiny, when Muslim soldiers turned in bloody rebellion on their British overlords. This time of convulsion is the subject of J. G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur, widely considered one of the finest British novels of the last fifty years.

Farrell’s story is set in an isolated Victorian outpost on the subcontinent. Rumours of strife filter in from afar, and yet the members of the colonial community remain confident of their military and, above all, moral superiority. But when they find themselves under actual siege, the true character of their dominion–at once brutal, blundering, and wistful–is soon revealed.

The Siege of Krishnapur is a companion to Troubles, about the Easter 1916 rebellion in Ireland, and The Singapore Grip, which takes place just before World War II, as the sun begins to set upon the British Empire. Together these three novels offer an unequalled picture of the follies of empire.

Winner of the Booker Prize.

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

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VOTE NOW!

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

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46 thoughts on “TBR Thursday (on a Friday) 306 – The People’s Choice…

  1. Both the Lowndes and the Freeman interest me, FictionFan. Both authors have written some great stuff, so there’s a good chance you’d like them. If I’m being honest, I never did warm to the Hawthorne. If that’s the people’s vote, I hope you connect with it more than I did. The Farrell fascinates me, and I don’t know enough about Colonial India. Hmm….. I think my vote’s for the Freeman, but there are a few here that might be excellent choices.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve enjoyed what little Freeman I’ve read so far, mainly stories in anthologies, so I’d be quite happy if it comes up, or the Lowndes. The Siege of Krishnapur sounds very much my kind of thing, although more heavyweight. The Scarlet Letter… hmm, I’m not at all sure about it, but it’s one I feel I should read at some point…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Chink in the Armour I think; The Thumb Mark seems interesting and I title I too, will be reading in 2022 because one of my Goodreads groups has picked it; I have read Krishnapur and Scarlet Letter but am completely blank on the first and don’t remember very much of the second except that it was once again a case where the woman was paying the price for her ‘sin’ while the man involved was pretty much going around scot free–now I think I better pull these out again. I have copies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Chink in the Armour sounds like fun, and I love the title! I’ve enjoyed what little Freeman I’ve read before so would be quite happy with it too. Not a good sign that The Siege of Krishnapur has entirely faded from your memory! I kinda know the story of The Scarlet Letter but for some reason have never read the book – it’s one I feel I *should* read, rather than having any particular enthusiasm about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Glad to hear Freeman is promising. I’m looking forward to picking him up next year–my Goodreads group is reading 12 titles by Detection Club members, most of them new to me.

        Scarlet Letter I think I read back in college so it has been a while. Krishnapur has also good reviews from what I can see–don’t know why I can’t remember it at all; perhaps just the time gap. I have found my copy so will dip into it when I can

        Liked by 1 person

        • That sounds like fun – I think most of the BL Crime Classics are by authors from the Detection Club, and Martin Edwards wrote a good history of the Club, The Golden Age of Murder, which I enjoyed a couple of years back. Have fun!

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  3. I voted for the first one. It sounds a bit different. In the past I’ve started reading The Scarlet Letter and it didn’t appeal, so if that one is chosen I’ll be very interested to know how you get on with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have read two of these: Scarlet Letter and Krishnapur and have voted for the latter because found it engaging and funny. The blurb is wrong though, it wasn’t merely the Muslim soldiers who revolted against the British. The Hindus were also very much part of the revolt. It was perhaps the last great fight put up by both the religious communities in such solidarity. Now that I have written this, I feel like reading the book again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t realised The Siege of Krishnapur would be funny – the blurb doesn’t mention that aspect. Looks like they need a new blurb writer! I’m hoping the book gets the history right even if the blurb is wrong…

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  5. I read The Scarlet Letter in high school and honestly don’t remember that much about it other than the basic storyline. (certainly not 279 pages worth of details)

    I voted for The Chink in the Armour. Something about it really appeals to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I keep voting for the ones I want to read myself (as a sort of spur or reminder to myself) – so it’s Krishnapur for me. I know little about British colonial rule in India (in fiction at least) and have heard many good things about this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As good a reason as any! I’ve been on a real colonial literature kick in the last few years, so The Siege of Krishnapur sounds very appealing. It’s fallen one vote behind at the moment but it’s still too close to call… 😀

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  7. Chink in the Armour looks interesting, so I would vote for that one. I haven’t read the Scarlet Letter either I’m afraid, but have had my fill of fallen women stories, so I’ll give it a miss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vote recorded! I like the sound of The Chink in the Armour and I’ve enjoyed other stuff by her, so I’ll be quite happy if it wins. Yes, I’m not sure The Scarlet Letter will work for me, but it’s one of those books I feel I should read…

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    • I’d like to read The Scarlet Letter just because I feel it’s one of those books I should have read – if I also enjoyed it that would be a bonus! 😉 The voting has been very close this time so all the books are still in contention – depends how many late votes drift in… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Krishnapur got my vote. I haven’t read it, but it sounds good, and I’ve recently been interested in stories about India during its years under the British Crown. The Scarlet Letter is a good classic, especially to know the background of the phrase “wearing a scarlet letter.” Still, couldn’t get myself to vote for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been reading a fair amount of colonial fiction recently which is why I was attracted to The Siege of Krishnapur, so I’ll be quite happy if it wins – it’s still too close to call! The Scarlet Letter is one of those books I feel I *should* read, rather than it really appealing to me much, but lower expectations might mean it turns into a wonderful surprise… maybe!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve added your vote for The Scarlet Letter. I don’t know why the poll widget doesn’t seem to show up in some browsers – annoying! It’s still quite close – I don’t think The Scarlet Letter’s going to win but you never know where those last late votes might go… 😀

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    • I’ve not read much Hawthorne, just a couple of short stories, but he does seem to focus on Puritanism! It’s one of these books I feel I should have read, so I’ll be quite happy if it pulls off a last minute victory!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. it’s been ages since I read the Scarlett Letter, so I don’t remember much about it. The Chink in the Armour really intrigues me, because the idea of reading about rich ladies swanning about town sounds pretty fun to read about – hopefully it’s entertaining!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel as if I know the story of The Scarlet Letter even though I’ve never read it – it’s just one of those books! The Chink in the Armour does sound like fun. The winner will be revealed tomorrow… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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