Sunday, May 21, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

So, May 22nd. This month is zipping by even faster than April did. Isn't it? Or maybe I just feel that way because I sort of lost a week. Pulled a muscle in my shoulder last week and spent much of the time sort of snoozing because of the pain meds. Couldn't really concentrate on anything for very long. Consequently didn't get much reading done.

I'm still trying to finish up a couple of books I started several weeks ago:

Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout

and...

The Fifth Petal, by Brunonia Barry

I really do intend to get those done this week. And after that, I have several possibilities, but I'm thinking seriously of this from my TBR list:


Haven't read much Neil Gaiman, and this one would fit in with the springtime fantasy-reading project I've got going.

So that's the plan. Of course, I'm not real good at sticking to plans. But that's OK. The main idea is to have fun reading, right? Right. Hope you all have a great, fun week of reading!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Beginnings: Anything Is Possible


Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout (Random House, April 2017). I've already posted a quote from this one for Teaser Tuesday, but I'm still reading it — so... here are the opening lines:
Tommy Guptill had once owned a dairy farm, which he'd inherited from his father, and which was about two miles from the town of Amgash, Illinois. This was many years ago now, but at night Tommy still sometimes woke with the fear he had felt the night his dairy farm burned to the ground.
About the Book:
In Elizabeth Strout’s Anything Is Possible, her stunning follow-up to My Name Is Lucy Barton, a famous author returns to the Midwestern hometown of her childhood, touching off a daisy-chain of stories narrated by those who knew her—memories of trauma and goodwill, resentments small and large, and the ever-widening gulf between haves and have-nots.”—Vogue
My Thoughts:
I read Elizabeth Strout's My Name Is Lucy Barton last year, and had mixed emotions about it. I'm having pretty much the same sort of reaction to this one. Enjoying it, but having some trouble dealing with the disturbingly high level of emotional damage that exists in nearly every one of her characters. After a while, it becomes just a tad exhausting.




Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Book Beginnings: How It All Began


How It All Began, by Penelope Lively (first published 2011). Chapter One begins...
The pavement rises up and hits her. Slams into her face, drives the lower rim of her glasses into her cheek.
She is laid out there, prone. What is this? Voices are chattering above her; people are concerned. Of course.
Bag.
She says, "My bag."
A face is alongside hers. Woman. Nice woman. "There's an ambulance on the way, my dear. You'll be fine. Just keep still till they come."
Bag.
"Your shopping's right here. The Sainsbury bag."
No. Bag.
Bag is not. She'd known that somehow. Right away.
About the Book:
"When Charlotte is mugged and breaks her hip, her daughter Rose cannot accompany her employer Lord Peters to Manchester, which means his niece Marion has to go instead, which means she sends a text to her lover which is intercepted by his wife, which is just the beginning in the ensuing chain of life-altering events. 
In this engaging, utterly absorbing and brilliantly told novel, Penelope Lively shows us how one random event can cause marriages to fracture and heal themselves, opportunities to appear and disappear, lovers who might never have met to find each other and entire lives to become irrevocably changed."
Initial Thoughts:
It's been too long since I read anything by Penelope Lively. I've always loved her writing. I've been looking for a book to read as my May book in the Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge, and this would fit nicely — so it gives me a good excuse to read something by one of my favorite authors.

That opening grabbed me right away. I would feel the same way — getting knocked down in the street would be terrible. But having my handbag disappear? Now that would really make me panic!

Also, I love that cover. It is not the cover of the edition I'm reading. I'm reading the Kindle edition which really doesn't have a cover, so I pilfered this one from Goodreads. That scene just makes me feel really happy and cozy and ready to settle in with a good book and a nice cuppa. Love it.

So — how about it? Would that beginning make you want more?




Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Anything Is Possible


This week my teaser lines come from Elizabeth Strout's new novel, Anything Is Possible (Random House, April 2017). This snippet comes from page 41, or Location 459 of the Kindle edition.
Little dust bunnies were gathered up and down the floor. "Oh dear," Patty said. She said that a few times, sitting on her bed. "Oh dear, oh dear," she said.
This just really jumped out at me, for some reason. Not that there are any dust bunnies in my house, of course. Yeah. Just don't look under the bed.





If you'd like to see more Teaser Tuesday offerings, or do some teasing yourself, just head on over to The Purple Booker and leave your link. And please feel free to leave me a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in your comment here.


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Fifth Petal


This week my teaser lines come from The Fifth Petal, by Brunonia Barry (Crown, January 2017). This snippet comes from page 2 of the book's Prologue (Location 106 of the Kindle edition):
One of the officers at the scene had asked the older nun why she'd waited to make the 911 call when the screaming continued into the night. "It was Halloween in Salem," she said, sadly. "It would have been strange if we didn't hear screaming."
I've always wanted to see Salem — the Massachusetts town where a number of people were tried and executed for witchcraft back in the 17th Century. But this book is making me think maybe Halloween is not the best of times for a visit.

This is a book I've been trying to get to for several months now. Finally getting started and really enjoying it so far. Hope to finish it up this week.




If you'd like to see more Teaser Tuesday offerings, or do some teasing yourself, just head on over to The Purple Booker and leave your link. And please feel free to leave me a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in your comment here.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Beginnings: His Last Bow


His Last Bow: Some Later Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes. This is the first sentence of the title story (which is actually the last story in the collection):
It was nine o'clock at night upon the second of August — the most terrible August in the history of the world.
About the Book:
His Last Bow is a collection of previously published Sherlock Holmes mysteries, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The earliest of the stories first appeared in 1908, and the last one ("His Last Bow") was originally published in 1917, a month before this volume was issued.

Initial Thoughts:

First of all, I'm assuming that the quote is referring to the beginning of the First World War, in August 1914. I'm sure that to Conan Doyle's generation, it did seem like the most terrible August in history.

I'm a big Sherlock Holmes fan, though I don't think I've read any of these later stories. But I have seen several of them dramatized for British TV — with the magnificent Jeremy Brett as Holmes. The cover above is not the cover of the book I'm actually reading. It's from a "tie-in" edition, with the actors from the BBC One production (which I haven't seen). I'm reading one of the Kindle editions, with this cover:


I believe the drawing is one of the original illustrations — most of the stories were serialized in magazines and illustrated when they first came out. I have another print edition, one of a complete set of Holmes stories, and it's one I like a lot, so I'll include a photo of that one, too. Just becuz.


......



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Fix


This week my teaser lines come from David Baldacci's new thriller, The Fix (Grand Central Publishing, April 2017). It's the latest entry in his "Memory Man" series centered around police detective Amos Decker. This excerpt comes from Location 1772 of the e-book edition, and is from an uncorrected advance copy, so please remember that it might be different in the published volume.
"Good workout?" she asked, without looking at him.
"Any workout I have that doesn't involve a coronary is a good workout for me."
 
Yeah, that's kinda how I feel about workouts, too.





If you'd like to see more Teaser Tuesday offerings, or do some teasing yourself, just head on over to The Purple Booker and leave your link. And please feel free to leave me a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in your comment here.