Sample Saturday – non-fiction picks


Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.

Beautiful Failures by Lucy Clark

Why I have it: Because I was disappointed to miss a Wheeler Centre session where Clark was speaking.

Summary: By traditional standards, Clark’s daughter was a ‘failure’ at school. Or did school fail her? Clark challenges accepted wisdoms about schooling, calls on parents to examine their own expectations, and questions the purpose of education, and indeed the purpose of childhood.

“School is not for everyone. Oh Well.
Oh well? The more I thought about it, the more this seemed like a pathetic surrender… shouldn’t school be for everyone?”

I’m thinking: Yes – it’s relevant to me.

When the Air Hits Your Brain by Frank T. Vertosick Jr.

Why I have it: Because I love McDreamy in Grey’s. That’s not a good reason, is it?

Summary: Neurosurgeons are the rock stars of doctors (compared to say, dermatologists).

“The high stakes make it tough. Unlike other parts of the body, the brain and spinal cord have little capacity for self-repair… when I cut a nerve, it stays cut. Neurosurgeons do things that cannot be undone.”

I’m thinking: Yes. Maybe it’s self-indulgent to be a brain surgeon and write a book but I want to read tales from the operating table.

Marie Antoinette’s Head: The Royal Hairdresser, the Queen, and the Revolution by Will Bashor

Why I have it: I think Lianne alerted me to this one.

Summary:  For the better part of Marie Antoinette’s reign, one man was entrusted with the sole responsibility of ensuring that her coiffure was at its ostentatious best. His opinions influenced more than her ‘do’ though…

I’m thinking: Maybe – this was one of those rare but frustrating Kindle samples that was mostly introductory notes, a foreword and a map – so, no real feel for the writing.

6 responses

  1. The first one definitely gets my vote, I feel strongly on this issue, despite being childless and fairly academic myself!

    The Marie Antionette could be great – how frustrating that the sample gives you no idea 🙁

    • I feel strongly on this issue as well – there is a lot of pressure on kids to go to university when really, it’s not for everyone. I have four kids with very different skill sets and I have sent them to a school that has more than one path (i.e. university), in the hope that they will be able to pursue what really interests them.

    • I always like the idea of NF but really only read a couple each year (not counting memoirs, which I read a few of). When I do read NF, I tend to pick things I can dip in and out of but agree, would be good as audio.

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