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Sample Sunday: Reviewing the Cs

Sample Sunday is an opportunity to check all the books on my shelves and decide what to keep

I’m moving through my shelves of unread books to decide which to keep, this week landing on all those whose author’s names begin with C.

The Winter Crown by Elizabeth Chadwick

I’m perplexed about how I have ended up with this book. It’s a novel based on the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her husband Henry II. It begins with her coronation at Westminster and ends with her imprisonment at Sarum (the site of the original settlement of Salisbury). The Winter Crown is book 2 in a trilogy and I’ve not read part 1 nor do I own a copy so it seems an odd purchase.

The Verdict: An easy decision here. I do find Eleanor a fascinating historical figure but am doubtful my interest would be sustained over three books. I’m letting this one go.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Carson’s book is a landmark text in the history of environmental science. Published in 1962 it acted as a wake up call about the environmental and human dangers of the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Such was the reaction to Carson’s book that it spawned the creation of environmental groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth and DDT became a banned substance.

The Verdict: Definitely one to keep. I’ve read the opening chapters and was surprised how lyrically Carson wrote. It might not stay that way of course once we get into the nitty gritty of examples of pesticide misuse but I think I should give it a go.

Hostages to Fortune by Elizabeth Cambridge

This autobiographical first novel follows the life of a young woman, the wife of a doctor in a small Cambridge village, It doesn’t have a plot as such but is more a domestic narrative that reflects on a way of life in the period between 1915 and 1933 when the book was published. Persephone describes it as “A quiet, beautifully-written novel …”

The Verdict: Keep. It’s a Persephone that I bought second hand at the National Trust where I was volunteering. These books are hard to come by so whenever I find one, I snaffle it up without even checking who the author is or what the book is about.

Sample Sunday is when I take a look at all the unread books on my shelves and decide which to keep and which to let free. The goal isn’t to shrink the TBR as such, but rather it’s about making sure my shelves have only books I do want to read.What do you think of the decisions I’ve reached? If you’ve read any of these books I’d love to hear from you.

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