TBR Thursday 311…

Episode 311

For the third week in a row the TBR has remained steady on 182. Have I found the secret of perfect balance?

Here are a few more I should be tripping over soon…

Winner of the People’s Choice

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

One of the reasons I love the People’s Choice is that I never have any idea which book You, the People, will choose. If I’d had to bet on how You’d vote in the March poll, The Chrysalids wouldn’t even have been in the running. But it went into an immediate lead and gained strength all the way through the voting, winning in the end with a massive majority – more than twice the votes of the next contender. It’ll be a re-read so I’m in the happy position of knowing I’ll enjoy it, and it’s one from my new Classics Club list! Good choice, People!

The Blurb says: First published in 1955, The Chrysalids is a post-nuclear story of genetic mutation in a devastated world, which tells of the lengths the intolerant will go to to keep themselves pure.

David Strorm’s father doesn’t approve of Angus Morton’s unusually large horses, calling them blasphemies against nature. Little does he realize that his own son, his niece Rosalind and their friends, have their own secret aberration which would label them as mutants. But as David and Rosalind grow older it becomes more difficult to conceal their differences from the village elders. Soon they face a choice: wait for eventual discovery or flee to the terrifying and mutable Badlands…

Historical Fiction 

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

Courtesy of Random House Cornerstone via NetGalley. I’ve enjoyed Towles’ previous books, and this one sounds as if it should be just as good. Plus I’m hoping it will fill a box on my Wanderlust Bingo card. Plus gorgeous cover!

The Blurb says: The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America.

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the work farm where he has just served a year for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother and head west where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future.

* * * * *

Classic Crime

The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham

The final book from the Crime section of my first Classics Club list, this one has been recommended to me by many as the best of Allingham’s Campion books. I’ve never yet managed to become a huge fan of Allingham, but maybe this will be the one that finally does the trick…

The Blurb says: A fog is creeping through the weary streets of London—so too are whispers that the Tiger is back in town, undetected by the law, untroubled by morals. And the rumours are true: Jack Havoc, charismatic outlaw, knife-wielding killer, and ingenious jail-breaker, is on the loose once again.

As Havoc stalks the smog-cloaked alleyways of the city, it falls to Albert Campion to hunt down the fugitive and put a stop to his rampage—before it’s too late . . .

* * * * *


As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee

One for my Spanish Civil War challenge. I may be the only person on the planet who has never read Cider with Rosie, and now I’m bypassing it completely to jump straight to the second volume of Lee’s autobiographical trilogy (though there appears to be some debate over just how accurately autobiographical it is). Accurate or not, I’m hoping it will be beautifully written…

The Blurb says: ‘The stooping figure of my mother, waist-deep in the grass and caught there like a piece of sheep’s wool, was the last I saw of my country home as I left it to discover the world.’

Abandoning the Cotswolds village that raised him, the young Laurie Lee walks to London. There he makes a living labouring and playing the violin. But, deciding to travel further a field and knowing only the Spanish phrase for ‘Will you please give me a glass of water?’, he heads for Spain. With just a blanket to sleep under and his trusty violin, he spends a year crossing Spain, from Vigo in the north to the southern coast. Only the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War puts an end to his extraordinary peregrinations . . .

* * * * *


Over My Dead Body by Jeffrey Archer

Courtesy of HarperCollins. Way back when the world was young, I used to enjoy Jeffrey Archer’s books. They were usually nonsense, but good nonsense! Then he committed perjury over a rather sordid incident and went to jail, and I boycotted him. So when this one turned up unsolicited from the lovely people at HarperCollins, I swithered over whether I should stick to my principles or go with the flow. Looks like my principles lost… 😉

The Blurb says: The clock is ticking in this rollercoaster ride of a thriller…

In London, the Metropolitan Police set up a new Unsolved Murders Unit—a cold case squad—to catch the criminals nobody else can.

In Geneva, millionaire art collector Miles Faulkner—convicted of forgery and theft—was pronounced dead two months ago. So why is his unscrupulous lawyer still representing a dead client?

On a luxury liner en route to New York, the battle for power at the heart of a wealthy dynasty is about to turn to murder.

And at the heart of all three investigations are Detective Chief Inspector William Warwick, rising star of the department, and ex-undercover agent Ross Hogan, brought in from the cold.

But can they catch the killers before it’s too late?

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

* * * * *


39 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 311…

  1. That is a rather unexpected vote, FictionFan, but the People Have Spoken. I hope you’ll enjoy it. As for the other books on your list, I really hope you’ll like the Allingham. I have to admit, she isn’t at the top of my list, but she did write some fine novels; it’ll be interesting to see what you think of that one. In the meantime… have a lovely Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Woo hoo, I’ve actually read one of them! I’m interested to see what you think of the Laurie Lee, I read it in the heat of Spain which now seems like 100 years ago! Margery Allingham to finish off the section is great news and I am quite interested in the Wyndham because it’s so far removed from something I want to read. Happy Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m about halfway through the Laurie Lee and have mixed feelings so far, but we’ll see if he wows me when he gets to the war stuff! I’ve tried to keep a few decent books for the end of my CC list rather than leaving all the ones I was dubious about, so I’m looking forward to the Allingham. I usually like her books – just wish I could love them! Haha, I’ll see if I can change your mind about The Chrysalids when I review it – a challenge for 2022! 😉 Merry Christmas, Jane – have a good one!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m pleased to see The Chrysalids has won as it was my choice for you and I’m hoping to read it myself soon. I’m also tempted by The Lincoln Highway as I loved A Gentleman in Moscow! And Albert Campion still hasn’t quite won me over either, so I’ll be interested to hear what you think of The Tiger in the Smoke. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m delighted The Chrysalids won – gives me the perfect excuse to shove it up the priority list! If you read it soon too, we can compare notes. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to The Lincoln Highway – his books are always a pleasure to read! Yes, it’s odd that I can’t seem to love Allingham – I feel I ought to, but Campion is kinda annoying. Merry Christmas, Helen – have a good one!


  4. Well, I find the the lady balancing on the wire — in full ruffles, no less! — to be quite hilarious! Looks like you’ve got some good ones here, FF. No, you’re not the only one on the planet who hasn’t read Cider with Rosie!! In fact, I haven’t read any of these though The Lincoln Highway sounds pretty interesting. Have a splendid Christmas and give Tommy a special treat!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, do you think it can be real? I couldn’t find on google whether she was a real lady or if it was taken from a film. If it’s real, she’s clearly insane! 😉 The Lincoln Highway sounds great and I’ve really enjoyed his previous books, so I have high hopes! Merry Christmas, Debbie! Tommy and I will be sharing our turkey but he better not eat my chocolates or I’ll eat his munchies! 😀 🎅😺

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’ll need to read The Chrysalids in March so we can compare notes! I’m really looking forward to The Lincoln Highway – his books are always a pleasure to read. 🤞

      Merry Christmas, Kelly – hope you have a good one! 🎅

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m amused by your comment about boycotting Jeffrey Archer then being tempted by his book! Sometimes it’s better not to know too much about artists whose work we admire so we can just get on with enjoying their work.
    Cider With Rosie sounds familiar, but I don’t think I’ve read it (or if I have, I’ve forgotten it) so I’m joining the only person on the planet club with you and a few others I see who haven’t read it either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, that’s why I try really hard not to learn anything about authors – if they annoy me then I find it hard to appreciate their books! But I did used to find his books fun, so it’s probably time I forgave and forgot… 😉
      I really though everybody had read Cider with Rosie – cheers me up to know I’m not alone! Maybe this one will persuade me to backtrack and read it. Maybe…
      Merry Christmas, Rose – hope you have a good one! 🎅

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So the Chrysalids won in the end, no real surprise there judging from last weeks pole, enjoy the re-read. I read Cyder with Rosie many years ago, and only have a vague recollection of it now, but think I quite enjoyed it at the time. The second volume looks good, even if it is probably leaning towards what we would nowadays call Autofiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it won by a landslide – I’m still surprised! But pleased – I’m looking forward to re-reading it. I’m about halfway through the Laurie Lee now, and am more and more convinced that a lot of it is at the very least embellished. I’m interested to get to the bit where the war is starting…

      Merry Christmas, Alyson – hope you have a good one! 🎅


    • It’s bound to be a biggie given the success of his previous books, and I must say the blurb makes it sound even more appealing than them! I should be starting it in a few days – here’s hoping!


  7. I am swithering between Lincoln Highway and The Tiger in the Smoke. I have read Allingham’s book (in 2020) and I love all of Allingham’s books. I found it to be very unlike most of Allingham’s books. I just finished reading Rules of Civility, and loved it, so I would be interested in how you liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like Allingham in a kind of lukewarm way but I always wish I loved her – I feel as if I should! I’m hoping this will be the one that finally wins me over. I loved Rules of Civility and liked his last book, A Gentleman in Moscow too, though not quite so much. The blurb of this one sounds great, so I have high hopes!


  8. Merry Christmas to you FF! I think I may have that Jeffrey Archer on my shelf – is it his new one? I’ve never read him before, but people seem to be intrigued by him as a writer, perhaps I should give it a try.

    I’m curious about the new Amor Towles – doesn’t everyone love his last book? Hopefully that will be a good read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hope you had a great Christmas!
    For some reason, I never took too strongly to the Campion series, though I preferred the TV series to the book series quite honestly, having given both a shot. I loved A Gentleman in Moscow. But the book here doesn’t float my boat. So I’m going to say I’m not tempted at all this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you – a quiet Christmas here! Hope you had a good one too!
      I’m the same – I think it’s the character of Campion himself that doesn’t appeal to me, plus I hate it when Golden Age authors give their posh ‘tecs a comedy working-class sidekick. I like the sound of the blurb of the Amor Towles, so I’m hoping it’ll be good – we’ll see!


  10. Happy holidays! Yes, I do realise, I’m a bit late… Had an unscheduled blogging break in December, but I’m back now (with a vengeance??!)

    Are you subscribing to Audible? They have added four John Wyndham books to their free catalogue (incl. The Chrysalids) and I binge listened to three of them in December. Sometimes, it’s just nice with a story, which doesn’t require any effort: gripping from page 1 and at the same time providing food for thought. Still marginally prefer The Triffids, but love The Chrysalids as well.

    I loved A Gentleman in Moscow and look forward to your review of The Lincoln Highway. Didn’t know about Jeffrey Archer, but after working my way through The Clifton Chronicles, I decided I had enough of him for a lifetime. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merry Christmas! Blog breaks are a necessary part of the process sometimes!
      I do subscribe to Audible, but I’m currently on a pause because I’ve accumulated far too many books in all their sales. I only listen to about fifteen or so a year, but I seem to acquire twice that! But I’ve acquired Kindle copies of a few of the Wyndhams and am looking forward to re-reading them. It’s so long since I read The Chrysalids I remember very little except the basic premise.
      The Jeffery Archer was OK-ish but not good enough to make me want to dig out more of his stuff. I’m looking forward to the Towles though – I loved Rules of Civility and enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow, and the blurb of this one really appeals to me. We’ll see! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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