TBR Thursday (on a Tuesday) 340 – The People’s Choice…

Episode 340

(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 – moving in to 2020, and a reasonably varied bunch this month though heavy on crime. I like to run three months ahead with these polls, so the winner will be an October read. I loved the first book I read by William Shaw and abandoned the second, so Salt Lane could go either way. I acquired The Charing Cross Mystery because I’d enjoyed Fletcher’s The Middle Temple Murder. For some reason I’ve read very little Kazuo Ishiguro, so bought Never Let Me Go in a bid to correct that. And Mr Bowling Buys a Newspaper is on the TBR and on my Classics Club list because I loved Henderson’s A Voice Like Velvet. These all have the potential to be great reads, I think… 

I’m intrigued to see which one you pick…

Crime

Salt Lane by William Shaw

Added 1st January 2020. 2,233 ratings on Goodreads, with a 4.02 average rating. 452 pages.

The Blurb says: DS Alexandra Cupidi has done it again. She should have learnt to keep her big mouth shut, after the scandal that sent her packing – resentful teenager in tow – from the London Met to the lonely Kent coastline. Even murder looks different in this landscape of fens, ditches and stark beaches, shadowed by the towers of Dungeness power station. Murder looks a lot less pretty.

The man drowned in the slurry pit had been herded there like an animal. He was North African, like many of the fruit pickers that work the fields. The more Cupidi discovers, the more she wants to ask – but these people are suspicious of questions.

It will take an understanding of this strange place – its old ways and new crimes – to uncover the dark conspiracy behind the murder. Cupidi is not afraid to travel that road. But she should be. She should, by now, have learnt.

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Vintage Crime

The Charing Cross Mystery by JS Fletcher

Added 1st January 2020. 185 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.56 average. 268 pages.

The Blurb says: When a retired police inspector suddenly drops dead in a train carriage arriving at Charing Cross station, young London barrister Hetherwick finds himself the key witness to the murder. Thrust into the centre of this terrifying mystery, Hetherwick must unveil the disturbing truths of the case and locate the nefarious culprit. Fans of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ will be enthralled by this 20th century crime classic, a gripping tale of mystery and suspense that will have them on the edge of their seats till the very end.

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Fiction

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Added 10th January 2020. 578,195 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.84 average. 275 pages. 

The Blurb says: Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.

Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it’s only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

Never Let Me Go breaks through the boundaries of the literary novel. It is a gripping mystery, a beautiful love story, and also a scathing critique of human arrogance and a moral examination of how we treat the vulnerable and different in our society. In exploring the themes of memory and the impact of the past, Ishiguro takes on the idea of a possible future to create his most moving and powerful book to date.

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Vintage Crime

Mr Bowling Buys a Newspaper by Donald Henderson

Added 10th January 2020. 338 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.55 average. 215 pages.

The Blurb says: In Raymond Chandler’s favourite novel, Mr Bowling buys the newspapers only to find out what the latest is on the murders he’s just committed…

Mr Bowling is getting away with murder. On each occasion he buys a newspaper to see whether anyone suspects him. But there is a war on, and the clues he leaves are going unnoticed. Which is a shame, because Mr Bowling is not a conventional serial killer: he wants to get caught so that his torment can end. How many more newspapers must he buy before the police finally catch up with him?

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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!)

There’s a problem with the poll, as you’ve probably discovered! However the votes are being recorded at Crowdsignal, the poll host, even if it shows as still buffering. Thanks for voting and sorry for the problem – hopefully I’ll be able to work out the winner from the Crowdsignal records, and if not I’ll base it on the preferences in the comments. So if your vote doesn’t seem to record, please also tell me your choice in the comments. UPDATE: Problem now resolved and the poll is working normally.

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45 thoughts on “TBR Thursday (on a Tuesday) 340 – The People’s Choice…

  1. I’m finding this a hard one to call. I’ve read something from all of these authors including the books Never Let Me Go, and Mr Bowling. Salt Lane is on my list after reading and enjoying the atmosphere of The Birdwatcher, I also read The Middle Temple Murder on your recommendation a few years back. I think Never Let Me Go and Mr Bowling bring, each in their own way, unique perspectives which I appreciated, even when they were challenging. I’ll have to go and try and make a decision 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, you may have discovered the problem with the poll if you’ve popped back, so if you can’t get your vote through let me know which one you decide on! I’m not sure whether Never Let Me Go is my kind of thing, but I’ve seen so many glowing reviews of his books that I really feel I should try him. I think I’ve only read The Remains of the Day long ago, and I can’t really remember what I thought of it. I did like William Shaw’s writing but in the one I abandoned half the story was told from the viewpoint of a badger – haha, definitely not my thing! You intrigue me even more about Mr Bowling…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are a few tempting ones here, FictionFan! Hmm…..I’d like to read the Shaw – I heard that was a good ‘un – but the Ishiguro sounds very good, too. And so does the Henderson. And the Fletcher. A very difficult choice this time. Hmm…. mindful of The People’s responsibility to choose wisely and well, I’m going for the Henderson. But only barely…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d find it hard to choose this time too – the only one I’m dubious about is Never Let Me Go, but I’m interested enough to want to try it anyway. I’d be delighted if the Henderson wins – I loved the other book of his I read. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I voted and clicked VOTE, but it never stopped buffering. So I don’t know if my vote counted. This was a tough choice. In case my vote didn’t show up, I chose The Charing Cross Mystery by JS Fletcher.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh dear, it looks like there’s a problem with the poll host. The votes are going through on their site, but we can’t see them or the result here. I should be able to work out the winner from their site, but if not I’ll go by the comments, so thanks for letting me know which one you chose! I thoroughly enjoyed the only other Fletcher I’ve read so I’ll be delighted if The Charing Cross Mystery wins!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh dear, it looks like there’s a problem with the poll host. The votes are going through on their site, but we can’t see them or the result here. I should be able to work out the winner from their site, but if not I’ll go by the comments, so thanks for letting me know which one you chose! I love the sound of Mr Bowling and thoroughly enjoyed the only other book of his I’ve read, so I’ll be delighted if it wins!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not sure if my vote saved either – it’s still buffering – but I voted for Never Let Me Go. Ishiguro has been hit or miss for me, but I love his The Remains of the Day very much – Never Let Me Go didn’t really do it for me, but so many people love it and it is a very good book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh dear, it looks like there’s a problem with the poll host. The votes are going through on their site, but we can’t see them or the result here. I should be able to work out the winner from their site, but if not I’ll go by the comments, so thanks for letting me know which one you chose! I’m sure I read The Remains of the Day long ago, but I can’t remember what I thought of it. Not sure whether Never Let Me Go will work for me, but I’m interested to find out, so I’ll be quite happy if it wins!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh dear, it looks like there’s a problem with the poll host. The votes are going through on their site, but we can’t see them or the result here. I should be able to work out the winner from their site, but if not I’ll go by the comments, so thanks for letting me know which one you chose! I love the sound of Mr Bowling and thoroughly enjoyed the only other book of his I’ve read, so I’ll be delighted if it wins! Not sure whether Never Let Me Go will work for me but there’s only one way to find out…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh dear, it looks like there’s a problem with the poll host. The votes are going through on their site, but we can’t see them or the result here. I should be able to work out the winner from their site, but if not I’ll go by the comments, so thanks for letting me know which one you chose! I’m never sure whether his books appeal to me or not but they always attract so much praise that I’m keen to find out, so I’ll be quite happy if Never Let Me Go wins…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A hard one to decide – Never Let Me Go, is a love story that both shocked and horrified me, but I’ve enjoyed all the books by hum that I’ve read. I also have The Salt Path to read and as I liked The Birdwatcher I’, tempted to vote for that. And then the crime fiction books both look good. So, I’m torn. I’ve tried to vote but it’s still buffering. I decided in the end to vote for Never Let Me Know as I’d like to know what you think of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh dear, it looks like there’s a problem with the poll host. The votes are going through on their site, but we can’t see them or the result here. I should be able to work out the winner from their site, but if not I’ll go by the comments, so thanks for letting me know which one you chose! I’m never sure whether Ishiguro’s books will work for me or not, but they always attract so much praise I’m keen to find out, so I’ll be quite happy if Never Let Me Go wins…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh dear, it looks like there’s a problem with the poll host. The votes are going through on their site, but we can’t see them or the result here. I should be able to work out the winner from their site, but if not I’ll go by the comments, so thanks for letting me know which one you chose! Haha, fortunately their site also shows multiple votes – you are not alone! – so I should be able to eliminate all the extra ones… I think! 😂 Good choice – I thoroughly enjoyed the only other book of his that I’ve read, so I’ll be quite happy if The Charing Cross Mystery wins!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Actually I’d be quite interested to hear what you make of any of these but I’ve also had several William Shaw books TBR for ages. I’ve seen the Mr Bowling book mentioned but know very iittle about it and am intrigued by the title for some reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved the first Shaw I read and then abandoned the next one because half of it seemed to be told from the perspective of a badger – not my cup of tea! But I’m keen to give him another go, And I do think Mr Bowling sounds as if it could be great…

      Like

  7. Salt Lane gets my vote as it’s the only one I’ve read. Of course, realistically I’d be happy with whichever (so long as it’s one of the crimes!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved the first William Shaw book I read and then abandoned the next one because half of it seemed to be told from the perspective of a badger – not my kind of thing! But I’m keen to give him another try, so I’ll be quite happy if Salt Lane wins. I agree – all three of the crime ones look good this time… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Never Let Me Go is very good, but I’ve also read Fletchers which I’ve enjoyed. I think this was one. One of his I read was I think not entirely PC but the next I remember made up for it. But I can’t remember if this was either of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have The Birdwatcher on my Kindle, but since I haven’t read it yet (therefore don’t know if I want to know more about the next one), I voted (or attempted to vote) for Never Let Me Go. It sounds intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m never sure whether Ishiguro’s books will work for me or not, but they always attract so much praise I’m keen to find out, so I’ll be quite happy if Never Let Me Go wins…! I haven’t read The Birdwatcher – as usual I jumped in later on – but I loved the first book of his I read and then abandoned the next one because half of it seemed to be told from the perspective of a badger – not my kind of thing! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The only one I’ve read is Never Let Me Go, which I didn’t particularly enjoy but did find interesting and thought-provoking. I think Mr Bowling sounds great, though, so my vote goes to that one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m never sure whether Ishiguro’s books will work for me or not, but they always attract so much praise I’m keen to find out, so I’ll be quite happy if Never Let Me Go wins. However I love the sound of Mr Bowling so I’ll be delighted if it wins too! Easily pleased, that’s me… 😉

      Like

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