Sample Saturday – a journalist, and orchard, and a toymaker

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 Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcom

Why I have it: Mentioned in The Media and the Massacre and also by Kim.

Summary: Janet Malcolm examines the psychopathology of journalism, delving into the always uneasy, sometimes tragic relationship that exists between journalist and subject.

“Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible.”

I’m thinking: Yes – how good is that first line?

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

Why I have it: Spotted on Margaret’s #6Degrees chain and it reminded me I’d been interested when it was released.

Summary: A story about seeds and what you plant (literally and metaphorically). There’s a family, an apple orchard, resentment and bitterness.

I’m thinking: No – I like Chevalier but this one didn’t grad me.

The Toymaker by Liam Pieper

Why I have it: Spotted on Melinda’s #6Degrees chain.

Summary: Mistakes past and present, history catching up with you. – Adam Kulakov, rich, successful, philanderer. Arkady, Adam’s grandfather, Auschwitz survivor, living with the impossible choice he made decades before.

I’m thinking: Yes.

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7 responses

    • She’s being deliberately provocative, Bill. The book is a careful examination of how difficult it is to be a journalist writing about the truth because in doing so you are liable to piss off many people, including the source of your story. It’s a terrific book; one of my all time favourites. As a journalist it really resonated with me.

  1. I cant agree with that opening line from The Journalist and the Murderer. In the years when I worked in this capacity I certainly had times when I wasnt comfortable but I never felt everything I did was morally indefensible. Not all journalists are sensation seekers. Plenty of us worked hard to expose corruption and wrong doing.

  2. Thanks for the link, Kate. The Journalist and the Murder remains at the pinnacle of the narrative non-fiction genre… so many people try to emulate it but never quite make it. The closest is our own Helen Garner, who often cites Malcolm as her hero.

    And despite the first line, this book doesn’t tear journalists apart… it shows the very difficult lines we must sometimes tread in order to get to the truth. In today’s world we need journalists more than ever to shine a light where those in power don’t want us to shine lights. This is a really important book, but it’s also highly readable. I hope you take a punt on it.

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