Thursday, October 19, 2017

Book Beginnings: My Sister's Bones


My Sister's Bones, by Nuala Ellwood (William Morrow, July 2017). These are the first lines from the book's Prologue:
She is safe now. Free from her demons. Her final resting place is still and tranquil, a little watery pocket of calm.
About the Book:
"Kate Rafter is a high-flying war reporter. She's the strong one. The one who escaped their father. Her sister Sally didn't. Instead, she drinks. 
But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return to the old family home. And on her very first night she is woken by a terrifying scream. At first she tells herself it's just a nightmare, a legacy of her time in Syria. 
But then she hears it again. And this time she knows she's not imagining it... 
What secret is lurking in her mother's garden? And can Kate get to the truth... before she loses her mind?"
Initial Thoughts:

Well, my first thought is that it's a bit of a depressing beginning. Not exactly frightening, just sort of unsettling. But I think I like that. And I think this should be a good read for this time of year. It was actually supposed to be a summer read, since I've had this book (from Library Thing) for several months now. I have really, really fallen behind in my reading for this year. Gotta get back on track, and I'm hoping this one will help me do that.





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.


Friday, October 06, 2017

FrightFall Readathon 2017


This will be my first go-round with the FrightFall Readathon. Autumn is the perfect time of year to be reading spooky stuff and mysterious matter. And this readathon allows you to read other genres as well, doesn't require a huge number of books (just ONE, really), and even has prizes! How could I pass this one up?

FrightFall (#FrightFall for social media) runs through the month of October, and has a dedicated blog (Seasons of Reading) where you can read all the guidelines and sign up.

I don't have a set goal for the event, but I'm hoping to read at least one horror novel this month — possibly...


or...



as well as a couple of mysteries/thrillers. This is one I'm finishing up right now...



And I'll be posting a wrap-up around Halloween to report on what I read.

So that's the plan. Now I just need to get reading.


Thursday, October 05, 2017

Book Beginnings: An Echo of Murder


An Echo of Murder: A William Monk Novel, by Anne Perry (Ballantine Books, September 2017). These are the book's first lines:
"It's a bad one, sir." The policeman shook his head as he stepped back on the wharf, allowing Commander Monk of the Thames River Police to reach the top of the stone stairs up from the water.

About the Book:
"London, 1870: The body of a Hungarian immigrant is found dead in what appears to be a ritualistic killing, with a bayonet through his heart, his fingers broken and his body surrounded by seventeen blood-dipped candles. At first, Commander William Monk of the Thames River Police suspects the killer is from within the community, but when another murder takes place, Monk fears the immigrants are being targeted by an outsider... 
"Meanwhile, his wife Hester is reunited with a doctor who had been left for dead on a Crimean battlefield. Traumatised by his experiences, Fitz has made his way home via Hungary and is now living in the community. Hester is determined to help him and, when he is accused of the killings, she sets out to prove his innocence."

Initial Thoughts:

I was a little worried about diving into this 23rd entry in Anne Perry's William Monk mystery series, since I haven't read any of the earlier books. And I do believe I would have benefitted from a little more familiarity with the recurring characters and relationships. Still, I enjoyed the book quite a lot and intend to get a short review up very soon.

This is one of the Early Reviewer books from Library Thing I've been trying to finish up this week. I've fallen embarrassingly far behind in my reading schedule this year. Just too much real life stuff interfering. Don't you hate it when that happens?



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, September 26, 2017

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XII



It's that time again, and I almost missed it!

One of my favorite reading events started this month, and I'm hoping it's going to help me get back to the books. This year, Carl (R.I.P.'s original host) has passed the duties on to Heather and Andi at Estella's Revenge. (Check out the blog for the announcement page and sign-ups.)

The challenge/reading event continues on through October, so there's still time to get some reading done. This year I'll be going for Peril the First (read four books that fit within the challenge categories of Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, and Supernatural), Peril on the Screen, and possibly Peril of the Short Story.

I'll be tracking my progress over on my challenge blog. I don't have a list yet, but I've got lots of "must-read" books around here that fit those categories. So now, I just need to get reading!




Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book Beginnings: See What I Have Done


See What I Have Done, by Sarah Schmidt (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017). These are the first sentences of Chapter One:
He was still bleeding. I yelled, 'Someone's killed Father.' I breathed in kerosene air, licked the thickness from my teeth. The clock on the mantel ticked ticked.

About the Book:
When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered on a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden — thirty two years old and still living at home — immediately becomes a suspect. But after a notorious trial, she is found innocent, and no one is ever convicted of the crime. 
Meanwhile, others in the claustrophobic Borden household have their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie's unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid, and a boy hired by Lizzie's uncle to take care of a problem. 
This unforgettable debut makes you question the truth behind one of the great unsolved mysteries, as well as exploring power, violence and the harsh realities of being a woman in late nineteenth century America. (-- NetGalley)
Initial Thoughts:

I like that beginning, the way it starts right in the midst of the action. I also like that bit about the clock tick-ticking. That little refrain gets repeated further on. The Lizzie who's speaking to us here in the opening lines of Sarah Schmidt's debut novel has a way of throwing odd little thoughts out at you. She's not easy to figure out or get comfortable with.

I've read other fictional versions of the Lizzie Borden story, and seen it dramatized (and parodied) several times. Not sure why, but I've always found it an interesting subject. So far, this has been one of the best treatments I've found. Definitely disturbing and chilling — but then it would have to be, wouldn't it?



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, August 15, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Color of Fear


This week my teaser lines come from the new Sharon McCone mystery, The Color of Fear, by Marcia Muller. This is, somewhat amazingly, the thirty-second entry in this series; but it's the first one for me. This snippet comes from Location 311 of the Kindle edition, and since it's from an advance copy of the book, please remember that the published edition might differ slightly.
I said, "They're not 'kind of' old — they're old." 
"So what do they want with each other?" 
"The same thing we all do. Wouldn't you want somebody to warm your tootsies when you're in your eighties?"
Well, definitely! Ah, youth! Was I really that smug once upon a time? Hmmm. Yeah, probably.

I started reading The Color of Fear last week, and liked it quite a lot. But the plot involves a vicious, racially-motivated attack and its aftermath — and what with the news from Virginia this past weekend, I might need to take a little break from this one.





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.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Book Beginnings: The Young Widower's Handbook


The Young Widower's Handbook: A Novel, by Tom McAllister (Algonquin Books, February 2017). From the novel:
On Monday Kaitlyn Cady went for a five-mile run, on Tuesday night she experienced severe stomach pains, by Wednesday morning she was dead, on Thursday she was burned down to ashes and poured into a stainless steel cube, and on Friday she was delivered by a stranger to her husband, Hunter. 
To describe her death as sudden is to reduce it to cliché, to not do justice to the swiftness with which she stopped existing.
About the Book:
After his wife Kait dies suddenly, 29-year-old Hunter Cady decides to take her ashes with him on a road trip so he can fulfill the promises he’d made to her that they would someday travel the country.
Initial Thoughts:

I'm cheating a little today — these lines are actually the first sentences of Chapter Two in the book, but somehow they just seem more like the book's beginning. Chapter One is short and has more of a feeling of "prologue" about it.

I was a little dubious about this one. Sounded like it could be a really depressing read. But I was encouraged by the claims that it was insightful, wry, and "laugh-out-loud" funny. And after reading the first 50 or so pages, I can say I'm enjoying it, but haven't really hit anything I'm laughing out loud about.




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.