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.
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
Why I have it: Because it’s everywhere (and I studied a number of forestry subjects at uni).
Summary: Two penniless Frenchmen, bound to a feudal lord, become wood-cutters (barkskins) for three years in exchange for land. The story of the men and their families spans three hundred years. Epic.
“Fallen needles muted their passage, the interlaced branches absorbed their panting breaths. Here grew hugeous trees of a size not seen in the old country for hundreds of years, evergreens taller than cathedrals, cloud-piercing spruce and hemlock. The monstrous deciduous trees stood distant from each other, but overhead their leaf-choked branches merged into a false sky, dark and savage.”
“The forest had many edges, like a lace altarpiece. Its moody darkness eased in the clearings. Unknown plants and curious blossoms caught their eyes, funereal spruce and hemlock, the bright new-growth puffs at the tips of the pine branches, silvery tossing willow, the mint green of new birch – a place where even sunlight was green.”
I’m thinking: Maybe – the opening descriptions of the forest are sublime but can I do 700+ pages of it?
An Abbreviated Life by Ariel Leve
Why I have it: No idea.
Summary: Ariel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric and psychologically abusive mother – “a poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker.” This is the story of how her mother shaped her.
I’m thinking: Yes.
Three-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell
Why I have it: Because I loved The Other Typist.
Summary: New York, 1958 – booze, drugs and Greewich Village meets books with the story of three twenty-somethings working in the publishing industry.
I’m thinking: No (!). The language is so forced.