Sample Saturday – fall of the Wall, a heiress, and a library

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.

New Lives by Ingo Schulze

Why I have it: Recommended by Jenny Erpenbeck.

Summary: East Germany, 1990. Enrico Türmer, once artist, now entrepreneur, documents the vast changes gripping Germany – the fall of the Wall and a reunified nation – through letters to the people he loves the most.

I’m thinking: Yes.

Mrs Osmond by John Banville

Why I have it: Not sure but it has a Henry James vibe.

Summary: Isabel Osmond, a spirited, intelligent young heiress, flees to London after being betrayed by her husband. She must decide whether to return to her him and the deceit in which she has become entangled, or to strike out on her own.

I’m thinking: Maybe. I’d have to be in the right mood.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Why I have it: Because why haven’t I read this yet?!

Summary: April 29, 1986, a fire begins in the Los Angeles Public Library. The fire was disastrous, burning for more than seven hours and consuming four hundred thousand books. Despite investigations, the mystery remains thirty years on: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

I’m thinking: Yes.

8 responses

  1. Can recommend Mrs Osmond. It imagines what happened next to Isabel Archer picking up where Henry James ‘Portrait of a Lady’ ends – however the style is all Banville – his sentences are brilliantly well crafted and so it’s a great book!

  2. I’ve had The Library Book on my TBR for ages. I really need to squeeze that in sooner rather than later. 🙂

  3. Earlier this summer I listened to The Library Book on CD and really enjoyed it. I got tired of the fire – as did the author – it really detours into the history of libraries and how the LA system operates, and that was what I most enjoyed. In fact, I don’t think it is unrelated that I suddenly decided to enroll in graduate library school and had my first class last Wednesday!

  4. Mrs Osmond is Banville’s try to continue James’ story from A Portrait of a Lady. I love Henry James and his book. I must say that Banville has managed to capture the stile and atmosphere of HJ, so I found the book great. From my very short review: “A wonderful combination to read was Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady and the continuation of the story, Mrs Osmond, as written by John Banville. Always a fan of Henry James, as is John Banville, which is the reason it took him many years to decide on a sequel. It is done with utmost skills and a language close to James, that it is hard to notice a difference. The only difference might be that Banville makes an ending.”

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