Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Beginnings: The Westing Game


The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin (first published 1978). These are the book's first lines:
The sun sets in the west (just about everyone knows that), but Sunset Towers faced east. Strange!
Sunset Towers faced east and had no towers.
About the Book:
The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.
Initial Thoughts:

Lately I've been having a really hard time sticking with any book long enough to finish it, and sometimes a good children's book will give me a little jump start and get me back on track. The Westing Game was the winner of the 1978 Newbery Medal, the annual prize handed out to the most distinguished literary work for young people. I've had it on my "must read" list for decades and I finally picked up a copy recently and thought maybe now might be a good time to give it a look. So far, it's holding my interest — and it's a fairly short read, so I'm hoping I'll actually stay with this one right to the end!

What about you? Do you ever read children's lit or books written for young adults? Do you have any strategies for overcoming the dreaded reading slump? And would that opening draw you in and keep you reading?




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, June 13, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Grief Cottage


This week my teaser lines come from Gail Godwin's latest novel, Grief Cottage (Bloomsbury USA, June 2017). This quote comes from an advance copy of the novel, so please remember it might be slightly different in the published edition.

In this snippet, eleven-year-old Marcus is visiting the ruined cottage the locals call "Grief Cottage" for the first time; he's been napping, but slowly realizes he's actually awake now. And someone (or something) is watching over him.
I felt its presence by the electric prickles all down my back and by my serious reluctance to move a muscle. Then the reluctance turned to cold fear. There was no way in the world I could muster the courage to roll over and see what was in that doorway. (Kindle, Location 309)
I've never read anything by Gail Godwin before this, so I didn't really know what to expect. I haven't officially started this one yet (just took a quick look at the early pages), but so far I like what I've seen.





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 30, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Body in the Library


This week my teaser lines come from The Body in the Library, by Agatha Christie (first published in 1942). This snippet comes from Chapter One (pg.5):
"Do you mean to tell me," demanded Colonel Bantry, "that there's a dead body in my library — my library?"

The butler coughed.

"Perhaps, sir, you would like to see for yourself."

Well, yeah. The Colonel probably should take a teensy look. Very bad form to leave a corpse just lyin' around the old mansion, doncha know.

Lately I've been having trouble sticking with any book long enough to finish it. So I thought a little Miss Marple might get me going again. This is the third book in that series, and though I haven't actually read it yet, I'm familiar with it from all the TV versions I've seen over the years. So far, it's got me hooked.




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.



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.