Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays: Tales of Men and Ghosts


This week my teaser lines come from one of Edith Wharton's ghostly tales, "The Eyes," included in the volume Tales of Men and Ghosts (there's a free download available from Project Gutenberg).  I know this snippet is a little long (sorry), but I couldn't figure out where to cut it:
I was waked suddenly by the feeling we all know — the feeling that there was something near me that hadn't been there when I fell asleep. I sat up and strained my eyes into the darkness. The room was pitch black, and at first I saw nothing; but gradually a vague glimmer at the foot of the bed turned into two eyes staring back at me. I couldn't see the face attached to them — on account of the darkness, I imagined — but as I looked the eyes grew more and more distinct: they gave out a light of their own. 
Hmmmm. Okey-dokey. Well, sweet dreams.




Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by mizB at Should Be Reading. If you'd like to read more teasers, or take part yourself, just head on over to her blog.

And please feel free to leave me a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in your comment here.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Monday Reading Update


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. If you want to let the world know what books 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.

Suddenly October is more than half over! I'm really not ready for it, but the holiday season is rapidly approaching, and then 2014 will be just a fond memory. Well, relatively fond, anyway.  Feels like I must've slept through most of this year.

I set myself a reading goal of fifty books for the year, and it looks like I'm going to get close, but maybe not quite all the way.  Here's what I've read since my last reading update back in September:
Peter Pan Must Die (Dave Gurney series #4). John Verdon
Island Girls. Nancy Thayer
The Mist in the Mirror. Susan Hill
The Two Hotel Francforts. David Leavitt
The Celtic Dagger (Alistair Fitzjohn #1). Jill Paterson
As usual, I'm not doing so well at posting reviews, but I'm working on that.  This week I'm reading Children of the Revolution, one of the Inspector Banks books by Peter Robinson:


And if I can plow through that one, I might get back to one of the books I started last month and put aside -- Bliss House, by Laura Benedict:


I've been reading mostly mysteries, thrillers and ghost stories lately -- it's a great time of year for that. But I think I might be ready for something lighter, without all that mayhem, gore and terror.  So I'm looking for suggestions.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Beginnings: Missing Person

VerbaMundi edition by David R. Godine
For this week's Book Beginnings on Friday, I'm looking at Missing Person by Patrick Modiano, translated from the French by Daniel Weissbort.

Modiano just won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and I have to admit I'd never heard of him before the announcement. So I did a quick search for his books and discovered that very few are available in the U.S., in translation (Godine has announced plans to reissue some of his works as soon as possible). I found Missing Person available from Amazon and quickly ordered a copy. Here's the opening paragraph:
I am nothing. Nothing but a pale shape, silhouetted that evening against the cafe terrace, waiting for the rain to stop; the shower had started when Hutte left me.
Initial Thoughts:
Well, right away I'm wondering who Hutte is. And is the speaker a woman? Or a man? And why did Hutte leave? We don't really know much yet, do we? Sounds a little depressing. But interesting, in a bleak sort of way. Enough to keep me reading a bit further.

How about you -- would you go on reading? Or drop this one like a hot croissant?



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. 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 30, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays: Tales from Tinseltown


This week my teaser lines come from Roger Moore's new book of reminiscences, One Lucky Bastard: Tales from Tinseltown. I've loved Roger Moore since I was a kid, ever since his days on The Alaskans TV show. And he was my favorite James Bond, too. So when I saw that GoodReads was offering advance copies of this one, I put in a request and was delighted when they told me I'd won! This snippet is from his chapter on his early years at England's Pinewood Studios (please remember that, as this is coming from an advance copy of the book, the quote might be different in the published edition):
And as for my old mate Maurice Micklewhite, his agent suggested it wasn't the sort of name that tripped off the tongue easily, so young Maurice looked across from the phone box at Leceister Square where he was calling from and saw The Caine Mutiny was playing at the Odeon. Henceforth Michael Caine, film star, was born. (p.78)
Ah, Michael Caine -- another of my faves.  The book is made up of lots and lots of similar anecdotes, and should make for a very fast read -- and a nice break from the murder and mayhem in all the whodunits I've been reading lately.




Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by mizB at Should Be Reading. If you'd like to read more teasers, or take part yourself, just head on over to her blog.

And please feel free to leave me a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in your comment here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Beginnings: Children of the Revolution


Another mystery I'm thinking about reading for RIP/9 is Peter Robinson's Children of the Revolution, No. 21 in his Inspector Banks series. This is the opening paragraph:
As Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks walked along the disused railway track, he couldn't help but imagine two young lovers kissing on the footbridge ahead, shrouded in smoke from a steam engine. All very Brief Encounter. But the age of steam was long gone, and it wasn't love he was walking toward; it was a suspicious death.
Initial Thoughts:
I've only read one other novel in this series, and that was a while ago. But I've been watching the TV series (DCI Banks) based on the books, and that's made me interested in reading more of them. This one sounds pretty good. Starts right off with a dead body and a reference to a classic film. Can't be bad. Right?



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. 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 23, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays: The Mist in the Mirror


This week my teaser lines come from Susan Hill's The Mist in the Mirror, a novel inspired by classic ghost tales. In this snippet (from Chapter 5/Loc.835), the main character is beginning to realize there really is a ghost following him around London:
He stood, pale, ragged, utterly still in the circle of lamplight and as I stared directly at him he raised his head, turned his face up to me, his eyes seeking mine out. And so we stayed, as if frozen in some other time and place, I, James Monmouth, in the dark, upper room of the house, and the ghost of the boy in the cold street below.
This is one of the books I'm reading for RIP/9, and so far I'm loving it.




Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by mizB at Should Be Reading. If you'd like to read more teasers, or take part yourself, just head on over to her blog.

And please feel free to leave me a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in your comment here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays: The Lady in the Lake

Cover of the 1971 Ballantine edition
This week my teaser lines come from The Lady in the Lake, a Philip Marlowe mystery by Raymond Chandler. In this snippet, Marlowe and a companion are looking for (and unfortunately finding) said lady in the lake:
I looked down with him into the water at the edge of the submerged staging.
Languidly at the edge of this green and sunken shelf of wood something waved out from the darkness, hesitated, waved back again out of sight under the flooring.
The something had looked far too much like a human arm. (Chapter 6, Loc.624)
I guess I should apologize for this, but I had a lot of trouble settling on just one teaser, so I'm including a few more. Chandler's work is always so full of quotable lines, it's really hard to choose.
"I don't like your manner," Kingsley said in a voice you could have cracked a Brazil nut on.
"That's all right," I said, "I'm not selling it." (Chapter 1, Loc.98)

The self-operating elevator was carpeted in red plush. It had an elderly perfume in it, like three widows drinking tea. (Chapter 23, Loc.2047)

Degarmo spun on his heel and looked at me wonderingly, "Did he say 'whom'?"
"Yeah, but don't hit him," I said. "There is such a word." (Chapter 35, Loc.2833)
Good stuff.




Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by mizB at Should Be Reading. If you'd like to read more teasers, or take part yourself, just head on over to her blog.

And please feel free to leave me a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in your comment here.