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.
This week, all three were profiled in Susan’s November 2019 ‘Books to Look Out For’ selections.
Delayed Rays of a Star by Amanda Lee Koe
Summary: Berlin, 1928: a photographer captures three very different women together in one frame: up-and-coming German actress Marlene Dietrich; Anna May Wong, the world’s first Chinese American star; and Leni Riefenstahl, whose work as a director would first make her famous and then, infamous. The story follows the trajectories of these women’s lives.
I’m thinking: No (suspect I was wooed by the cover).
Oligarchy by Scarlett Thomas
Summary: When Natasha, daughter of a Russian oligarch, arrives for her first day at an all-girl boarding school, she finds herself thrown into a world of fierce pecking orders, eating disorders and Instagram angst. Then her friend Bianca mysteriously vanishes, and the world of the school gets ever darker and stranger.
I’m thinking: Yes (love campus-lit).
Love by Hanne Ørstavik
Summary: Vibeke and he son Jon have just moved to a small place in the north of Norway. One evening, Jon goes out to sell lottery tickets for his sports club, and Vibeke goes to the library. As they make their separate journeys through a cold winter’s night, a sense of uneasiness grows.
I’m thinking: Maybe.
Thank you for introducing me to a way to cope with the many samples downloaded. Previously I would download and then forget I had and then purchase at some other time and realise I had a sample and could have assessed it more critically. Now I am gathering a few, reading them and deciding on the spot. A couple of times I’ve realised there is a copy available in the library and once on my own shelves. Savingsall round. So. … thanks for that!
I have saved myself a lot of money and, more importantly, a lot of valuable reading time using this approach. Notably, since I started doing this a few years ago, I have hardly had any books that I abandon.
Blimey! Feeling the weight of responsibility here. Love was the one that made it on to my books of the year list. I’ll leave it at that.
Well you will keep publishing lists of enticing books!
I have a copy of Love. Don’t know why I haven’t already read it because it’s very short.
Just set aside an afternoon… 🙂
I’ve just requested Oligarchy from the library. I’d read one of Thomas’s novels in 2015 and enjoyed it, but nothing since.
I haven’t read any of her books – I’m sure you’ll read Oligarchy before I do so will look forward to your thoughts.
Have to say, Oligarchy is very very good, but if you or someone close to you has ever struggled with an eating disorder, do be careful—the descriptions of how the girls at the school restrict their food is blackly funny but also very detailed and potentially triggering. I do hope you enjoy it!
I’ll be fine with it but thanks for the warning.
I like the sound of all of these, but Love gets my main vote because I thought the other Ørstavik I read – The Blue Room – was excellent.
I think I read The Blue Room on your recommendation? I also loved it.
YES please to Oligarchy – like you, I LOVE a campus novel.
I’m hearing a lot of love for Oligarchy!
Love sounds… strange. But… maybe it is supposed to be like that. Too little information to go on for me.