TBR Thursday 331 – The People’s Choice…

Episode 331

(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 another batch of four! Still in 2019, and an interesting mix this time, I think. I like to run three months ahead with these polls, so the winner will be an August read. A recent Rebus novel, In a House of Lies  by Ian Rankin slipped through my net when it was released and has been lingering ever since. I added Home by Marilynne Robinson because I loved Gilead a few years ago – it’s still the only one of hers I’ve read. Similarly, The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo was added because I loved her later The Night Tiger.  I acquired The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler on the recommendation of a blogger who later disappeared from the blogosphere – I’ve included it on my new Classics Club list.   I’ll be quite happy to read any of these, so you really can’t go wrong… 😉

I’m intrigued to see which one you pick…

Crime

In a House of Lies by Ian Rankin

Added 23rd March 2019. 13,972 ratings on Goodreads, with a 4.11 average rating. 370 pages.

The Blurb says: Everyone has something to hide
A missing private investigator is found, locked in a car hidden deep in the woods. Worse still – both for his family and the police – is that his body was in an area that had already been searched.

Everyone has secrets
Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is part of a new inquiry, combing through the mistakes of the original case. There were always suspicions over how the investigation was handled and now – after a decade without answers – it’s time for the truth.

Nobody is innocent
Every officer involved must be questioned, and it seems everyone on the case has something to hide, and everything to lose. But there is one man who knows where the trail may lead – and that it could be the end of him: John Rebus.

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Fiction

Home by Marilynne Robinson

Added 27th April 2019. 24,611 ratings on Goodreads, with a 4.03 average. 325 pages.

The Blurb says: Jack Boughton – prodigal son – has been gone twenty years. He returns home seeking refuge and to make peace with the past. A bad boy from childhood, an alcoholic who cannot hold down a job, Jack is perpetually at odds with his surroundings and with his traditionalist father, though he remains Boughton’s most beloved child. His sister Glory has also returned, fleeing her own mistakes, to care for their dying father. A moving book about families, about love and death and faith, Home is unforgettable. It is a masterpiece.

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Fantasy

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

Added 23rd August 2019. 28,329 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.80 average. 368 pages. 

The Blurb says: Seventeen-year-old Li Lan lives in 1890s Malaya with her quietly-ruined father, who returns one evening with a proposition – the fabulously wealthy Lim family want Li Lan to marry their son. The only problem is, he’s dead. After a fateful visit to the Lim mansion, Li Lan finds herself haunted not only by her ghostly would-be suitor, but also her desire for the Lims’ handsome new heir. At night she is drawn into the Chinese afterlife – a world of ghost cities, paper funeral offerings, monstrous bureaucracy and vengeful spirits. Enlisting the help of mysterious Er Lang (a dragon turned clerk) Li Lan must uncover the secrets of the ghost world – before she becomes trapped there forever.

Drawing on traditional Malayan folklore and superstition, The Ghost Bride is a haunting, exotic and romantic read perfect for fans of Empress Orchid and Memoirs of a Geisha.

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Spy Thriller

The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler

Added 8th October 2019. 8,827 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.92 average. 244 pages.

The Blurb says: English crime novelist Charles Latimer is travelling in Istanbul when he makes the acquaintance of Turkish police inspector Colonel Haki. It is from him that he first hears of the mysterious Dimitrios – an infamous master criminal, long wanted by the law, whose body has just been fished out of the Bosphorus. Fascinated by the story, Latimer decides to retrace Dimitrios’ steps across Europe to gather material for a new book. But, as he gradually discovers more about his subject’s shadowy history, fascination tips over into obsession. And, in entering Dimitrios’ criminal underworld, Latimer realizes that his own life may be on the line.

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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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58 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 331 – The People’s Choice…

  1. I’ve voted for Home – I’ve never read it but I think Gilead and Lila are some of my favourite novels ever written about faith, so I am hopeful that it will be just as good (I’m saving it for a rainy day).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve read Home and The Mask of Dimitrios, and have The Night Tiger on my list. Home and Dimitrios are very different reading experiences (heart and head). I will vote for Home, because if you enjoyed Gilead, then hopefully Home is another quiet reading treat in store for you. I’m looking forward to reading Jack, the third in the Gilead series, which is waiting on my shelf.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I enjoyed The Night Tiger a few years ago, so I’ve voted for The Ghost Bride. They all sound interesting, though – The Mask of Dimitrios would be my second choice!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think they’re a particularly interesting bunch this month too, and I’ll genuinely be quite happy whichever of them wins. The Ghost Bride sounds a bit more centred on the supernatural then The Night Tiger was, although it also had its magical elements, but I loved her writing which carried me through my usual credibility issues whenever the supernatural appears!

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  4. You’ve got some great choices here, FIctionFan! Usually when you do this, there’s one book that, for me, is the clear choice. Not this time, though, because there are three of them (the Rankin, the Ambler, and the Robinson). Hmmm….I think my vote goes to the Ambler; it’s a really interesting take on the thriller, and I thought Ambler did a fine job with the ‘Everyman gets caught up in intrigue…’ plot point. Whichever wins, I hope you’ll enjoy it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I usually have a preferred option in my head too (and sometimes the People even pick it for me!) but like you, I’d be hard put to choose this month – they all sound great. I enjoy a good spy thriller and have seen lots of positive reviews for the Ambler, so I’ll be quite happy if it wins! But I’ll be sorry to see the other ones lose… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve voted for The Ghost Bride because it sounds most unlike the type of book I associate with you so I’m intrigued by your being drawn to it. But I’d equally like to see Home win. Hopefully this winner, whatever it is, will be more successful than the most recent people’s choice you read!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. These are some good choices. I like anything by Marilynne Robinson and Home is an excellent novel. But I’m also intrigued by Ghost Bride because I really enjoyed The Night Tiger too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m intrigued by The Ghost Bride too, especially since I feel I shouldn’t have enjoyed The Night Tiger because of the supernatural elements, but I loved it! So I’m interested to see if she can pull it off again. But I also want to read Home – I’m annoyed I’ve left it lingering for so long! I’m glad you all have to choose this month and not me… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think they all sound good this month, so I’m very glad you all have to choose and not me! 😉 I’ll be very happy if The Ghost Bride wins – I’m intrigued to see if she can defeat my aversion to the supernatural as she did in The Night Tiger…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve voted for Home because I read Gilead last year which deals with the same characters and I’m very interested to see what you think. I wasn’t too sure about Gilead but I am interested enough to read the others in the series.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Good to hear you thought so highly of it! I enjoy a good spy thriller, so I’ll be very happy if it wins – though all the others sound good this month too! Glad you all have to choose and not me… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It was between Home (I’ve read the first three in the series and have Jack waiting on my shelf) and The Ghost Bride. I went with the latter since I also loved the Night Tiger and want to know if it’s just as good!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m annoyed at myself for not reading any more of the Robinson books after loving Gilead so much. Always distracted by new shiny things! But I also really want to read The Ghost Bride to see if she can get past my aversion to the supernatural again, so I’ll be very happy if it wins!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The voting is all over the place this month! Rebus has snuck up and taken a narrow lead at the moment but they’re all still in contention. I’m intrigued by The Ghost Bride and am interested to see if she can get past my aversion to the supernatural as she did in The Night Tiger. So I’ll be quite happy if it wins!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Once again, it seems I’m casting a vote with the underdog (in this case, In a House of Lies). Who could go wrong with all those secrets?? But I’ll be waiting to find out which one wins … and then to read your review. Good luck, FF — at least these all contain a reasonable number of pages, ha!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, the Rebus has sneaked up quietly from behind and is currently in a narrow lead! I’ll be quite happy if it wins, but they are a particularly interesting bunch this month, and I’ll actually be quite happy whatever wins. Haha, yes, no monsters which is always good!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think I am one of the few mystery lovers that read The Mask of Dimitrios and did not care for it. I did not hate it but I wasn’t that impressed. And there are other books by Eric Ambler that I have enjoyed a lot. But it is a mystery classic and well worth the read.

    I voted for the Ian Rankin because I have liked his books although I have only read a few. The other two I know nothing about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that’s interesting – as you say, most people seem to rate it highly, but our reaction to books is always so subjective. I haven’t read any of Ambler’s books as far as I can remember – not since teen years anyway. I’ll be quite happy if Rankin wins – Rebus is always a good bet! 😀

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  11. I see it’s a tight race so far! Home sounds a bit depressing, too much like the John Steinback novels (I seem to recall) you hating haha

    The Ghost Bride sounds really unique which is why I voted for it..

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Ghost Bride is trailing a bit at the moment, though it’s still in with a chance. I’d be quite happy if it wins – it sounds intriguing, and I loved her other book! But all four of these sound so good…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Out of this group I’d go for the Ambler simply because too often he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the kind of unusual approach he took at the time. Many others have now followed in his footsteps. And there’s no unnecessary character development!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ambler has edged into a narrow lead at the moment, although the voting is so tight anything could still win! I’ll be quite happy if he wins – I’ve never read anything by him and he sounds like he could well be my type of thing!

      Liked by 1 person

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