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My recent Kindle samples

Josh Bazell's brash debut novel about a hit man in the witness protection program, working through his internship at a grungy NY hospital and trying to steer clear of trouble, which of course, is easier said than done. Hardboiled storytelling meets that cleverati prose style being turned out by current creative writing programs -- which doesn't generally work for me, but in this case, the author's unique talent rises above his 20-something.
Verdict: Purchased for $9.99

Jonathan Weiner earned a starred review in PW for his exploration of the history and science of immortality. As far as I can tell from the sample, it's a big geeked-out feast of weird science and history written in accessible, enjoyable prose. Definitely will appeal to my fellow fans of Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The real question is if immortality is...well, is it healthy? I think death is an integral part of evolution.
Verdict: Um...not in the mood right now. But I purchased anyway. I'll be into it when I can get into it.

Colum McCann's novel about Philippe Petit's 1974 high-wire walk between the twin towers and the chain of events it set in motion. I think I read this when it came out last summer, but I wasn't in a place to really give it the go it deserved. Of course, the writing is grand, and the sample makes it pretty much irresistible. Frank McCourt generously blurbs, "No novelist writing of New York has climbed higher, dived deeper. Trust me, this is the sort of book that you will take off your shelf over and over again as the years go along. It’s a story of the early 1970s, but it’s also the story of our present times. And it is, in many ways, a story of a moment of lasting redemption even in the face of all the evidence."
Verdict: Purchased for $6.75

Rhoda Janzen's memoir about making peace with her stringent religious past and her literal and figurative car wreck present. (She gets seriously messed up in a car accident right after her husband dumps her for a guy he met on the Internet and leaves her with a burdensome mortgage and other financial woes.) The opening chapter in the sample reads funny, kind, wise, and true. I figured this was going to be my kind of memoir. Plus I just wanted to support this terrifically talented author.
Verdict: Purchased for $9.99


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