Tube Tales – The Return Journey

So yesterday I discussed adverts for books on the tube. I also set you a quiz to see if you could guess how well you know me sort of an also asking had I bought any of the books advertised in the last four weeks since noticing the book adverts on the underground and if any of them have made it into the top reads I have seen on the tube. Believe me from my nosey parker behaviour on public transport in the last few weeks I have noticed people do read in trends.

So which books did I buy that were advertised on the tube, if I bought any at all? Well clearly advertising works a little bit for me as I now own two of the books in the adverts. The first of which may come as a bit of a surprise…

I actually bought not one but two copies of Linwood Barclay’s ‘Too Close To Home’, the other copy was for Novel Insights as on her trip round the world we had made a pact to read four books together though in different parts of the world and one was ‘No Time For Goodbye’ which we absolutely and utterly loved. If you like fast plots, punchy dialogue, a complete page turner and a book that is difficult to put down then Linwood Barclay’s last novel is a must, seriously. Now I would have bought his new novel anyway but if it hadn’t been for the advert on the tube I wouldn’t have been aware of it being out in paperback. Novel Insights hasn’t been able to hold back from reading this one and is already in and loving it. With the premise being “when the Cutter family’s next-door-neighbours, the Langley’s, are gunned down in their house one hot August night, the Cutters’ world is turned upside down. That violent death should have come so close to them is shocking enough in suburban Promise Falls, but at least the Cutters can console themselves with the thought that lightning is unlikely to strike twice in the same place. Unless, of course, the killers went to the wrong house...” I can see I am going to be completely gripped again. 

The other book that I bought, though I will admit second hand not new, was ‘The Piano Teacher’ by Janice Y.K. Lee which has very dangerously been labelled ‘this season’s Atonement’. This is a very careless statement as it implies a book as good as that is written every three months and they aren’t, plus what if people hated that book? However it did actually intrigue me and then once I found out it was set in Hong Kong in the 1940’s I knew I had to have a copy. I then happened to be in a store just the other day and there it was. I think this might be a book to take on my travels to be read on the beach so will report back after my trip away in the first week of September. Here’s the blurb though in case you fancy it… 

 “Ambitious, exotic, and a classic book club read, ‘The Piano Teacher’ is a combination of ‘Tenko’ meets ‘The Remains of the Day’. Sometimes the end of a love affair is only the beginning! In 1942, Will Truesdale, an Englishman newly arrived in Hong Kong, falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their love affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese, with terrible consequences for both of them, and for members of their fragile community who will betray each other in the darkest days of the war. Ten years later, Claire Pendleton lands in Hong Kong and is hired by the wealthy Chen family as their daughter’s piano teacher. A provincial English newlywed, Claire is seduced by the colony’s heady social life. She soon begins an affair only to discover that her lover’s enigmatic demeanour hides a devastating past. As the threads of this compelling and engrossing novel intertwine and converge, a landscape of impossible choices emerges — between love and safety, courage and survival, the present and above all, the past.”

It could actually be a perfect escapist tube journey read, speaking of which, what are the most common books that I have seen (this isn’t official just my observations) on the tube at the moment and did any of the above get in? Two did actually as you will see in italics… 

  • New Moon – Stephenie Meyer (9 copies)
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson (6 copies)
  • Twilight – Stephenie Meyer (6 copies)
  • The Girl Who Played With Fire – Steig Larson (4 copies)
  • The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (4 copies)
  • Armadale – Wilkie Collins (3 copies)
  • Eclipse – Stephenie Meyer (3 copies)
  • The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga (3 copies)
  • My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Piccoult (3 copies)
  • Too Close To Home – Linwood Barclay (2 copies)
  • The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (2 copies)
  • Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer (2 copies)
  • This Charming Man – Marianne Keyes (2 copies)
  • Scarpetta – Patricia Cornwell (2 copies)
  • Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith (2 copies)
  • The Host – Stephenie Meyer (2 copies)
  • The Secret Scripture – Sebatien Barry (2 copies)
  • Dear Fatty – Dawn French (2 copies)
  • Secret Life of Evie Hamilton – Catherine Elliott (2 copies)
  • The Return – Victoria Hislop (2 copies)

So there you have it, it shows a very small slice of what people are reading and yet as my journeys are at peak commuter time its interesting to see so many people in one carriage on one journey over 4 weeks reading so much in common. I was thrilled by the copies of ‘Armadale’ and that just goes to show the power of people looking hooked by a book on the tube as I have been hankering after it ever since!

 Have you read any of the twenty I most commonly saw? Are you surprised by the results? Will any of you be reading ‘The Piano Teacher’ or ‘Too Close To Home’? What book does everyone seem to be reading when you look around on your travels?


Filed under Book Thoughts

15 responses to “Tube Tales – The Return Journey

  1. I’ve only read two: The White Tiger and The Time Traveler’s Wife. I might be reading The Piano Teacher someday. Not a priority though.

  2. I’ve read all the Twilight series, The Kite Runner, The White Tiger and Child 44. I am surprised at the showing of Wilkie Collins! Way to go! I have TTW on my shelf, wanting to be read before I see the movie! Don’t know if that is going to happen or not!

  3. I have seen most of those books being read but especially The Time Traveler’s Wife. Lots of people are gearing up for the movie release or Niffenegger’s upcoming release, Her Fearful Symmetry. And like Claire, The Piano Teacher is on my someday list. But Armadale? Biggest surprise by far. Think I might start taking a closer look around. Happy reading!

    • I have to say I am very excited by Her Fearful Symmetry I honestly can’t wait and the movie of The Time Travellers Wife actually looks good, its going to need to be though as thats such an amazing book.

  4. I’ve only read four of them : The White Tiger, The Secret Scripture, My Sister’s Keeper and The Kite Runner.

    Seen a fair few people reading The Damned United {David Peace}, A Thousand Splendid Suns {Khaled Hosseini}, The Brass Verdict {Michael Connolly}, The God Delusion {Richard Dawkins} and The House At Riverton {Kate Morton} in the recent past.

    • I don’t fancy the Damn United at all, but then that very factor makes me think that I should give it a go and challenge myself. Haven’t seen The Brass Verdict (or even heard of it) but have seen a copy of the God Dellusion whizz by.

  5. I was right!!! I may read them one day – but I have a small Booker pile looking at me at the moment!

    • You were definately the closest Jackie everyone said I would get none and I got two. I have to say Linwood Barclay is amazing so do give him ago as I know how you love great plots and his are superb.

  6. New Moon, Twilight, Eclipse, Breaking dawn, White Tiger, Child 44 (which I loved!!!) and both Stieg Larssons. I have devoured all finger nails waiting for the third installment from Larsson (out next month). Very interesting list and i would say fairly accurately reflects what people are reading in the wider community if the best seller lists are anything to go by.

  7. I’ve read Time Traveller’s Wife, Secret Life of Evie, and the Kite Runner. I own the White Tiger. Am interested that the majority of these books were published last year or earlier…

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