Sample Saturday – bombs, birds and hysteria.


The Wives of Los Alamos by Tarashea Nesbit

Why I have it: It was on Rory’s ‘Missed it in 2014‘ list.

Summary: Military wives holding fort in New Mexico while their husbands secretly invent the atomic bomb.

I’m thinking: Yes. It’s the kind of writing I like – perceptive and sparse.

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Why I have it: Because it appeared frequently on ‘Best Books of 2014‘ lists.

Summary: When Helen Macdonald’s father died suddenly she took up falconry. As you do.

I’m thinking: Have I mentioned my bird phobia? Particularly birds near my head (such as falconry displays)? So although it will be tough reading, it’s a yes, because the writing is just lovely –

“…maybe you’ve glanced out of the window and seen there, on the lawn, a bloody great hawk murdering a pigeon, or a blackbird…and it looks the hugest, most impressive piece of wildness you’ve ever seen, like someone’s tipped a snow leopard into your kitchen and you find it eating the cat.”

The Fever by Megan Abbott

Why I have it: No idea.

Summary: A small-town high school becomes the breeding ground for a mysterious illness.

I’m thinking: The Crucible meets Sweet Valley High? Probably not (although the opening chapters were a great hook).


Interestingly, thoughts on my samples last week suggested I keep reading the two books that I was less inclined toward. So, what are your thoughts this week? Read any of these?

4 responses

  1. I don’t read many e-books unless I’m traveling, but I often spend 20-30 minutes reading first pages of books before I pick my next one…so this reminds me of that experience. I think you’re in a good place if you like The Wives of Los Alamos from the start, and will likely end up loving it. The first person plural continues through the whole novel, which was a little jarring for me at first, but it ended up being a favorite of mine last year.

    • Not sure my sample went as far as switching narrators but regardless, I liked the way it was written. It’s hovering near the top of the TBR stack now. I’ll read it first and then dig a little deeper as to how much the story is based on fact – I like historical fiction however if I happen to know lots about a particular character and the author takes too many liberties, I find it annoying. In contrast, historical fiction that makes me want to read more about a person/ place is the BEST.

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