Sample Saturday – a murder, a bride, and a Penelope

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.

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Why I have it: No idea.

Summary: Before Marzano-Lesnevich begins a job at a law firm helping defend men accused of murder, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. That changes when she learns of murderer Ricky Langley’s case and she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper into the case and discovers something in his story that is uncannily familiar.

I’m thinking: Yes. The memoir combined with true crime is gripping.

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

Why I have it: Spotted in Becky’s Books #6degrees chain.

Summary: The story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as ‘picture brides’ nearly a century ago.

I’m thinking: Yes – hooked from the beginning.

Eggshells by Caitriona Lally

Why I have it: Spotted on a ‘Best of 2017’ list.

Summary: Vivian is a loner, with no job and few social skills. She knows she is different. She decides she wants a friend called Penelope and advertises. A Penelope replies.

‘I want a friend called Penelope. When I know he well enough, I’ll ask her why she doesn’t rhyme with antelope. I would also like a friend called Amber, but only if she was riddled with jaundice.’

I’m thinking: Yes. It’s weird. And I have a good track record with Penelopes.

14 responses

    • All true! I must admit to having a soft spot for Penelopes (that’s my daughter’s name and I’m constantly amazed by how often it is mispronounced…).

  1. The Buddha in the Attic is brilliant. The writing is hypnotic, the story heartbreaking. I read the true crime memoir late last year and had mixed feelings about it…

      • I struggled with her “facts” as she writes about feelings / conversations / incidents that she has no way of knowing / corroborating. There’s a lot of “she must have done this” or “he must have felt that” and all these assumptions began to wear thin. But as an examination of incest and child murder it’s rather extraordinary.

      • I’m not sure… She was trying to tell a story through public documents so I guess without being able to interview key people she had to imagine how they thought / felt etc. It’s an interesting approach but as ex journalist makes me uncomfortable.

  2. The Fact of a Body is a tough read that gets very dark, but I was ultimately impressed by how the author brought everything together.

    The Buddha in the Attic is unique for its first person plural POV (“we”) — I always love that in a novel.

  3. I really love that cover of The Fact of a Body. It was an interesting one. Loved the true crime/memoir combination.

    • I haven’t seen it in Australian bookstores – think it was a UK release?? As soon as I’ve finished my Stella Prize reading I’m going to allow myself a little book shopping…

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