Friday, June 24, 2016

Book Beginnings: Tall Tail


Tall Tail, by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown (Bantam, May 2016). The 25th book in Brown's Mrs. Murphy Mystery series. These are the book's opening lines:
Flaming sword in hand, the Avenging Angel, bestride a monumental tomb, looked over the rolling land toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. His mouth set hard, his eyes piercing, he was not the promise of peace, repose, and eternal joy with the Almighty.
Lying underneath this imposing marble tomb rested the bones of Francisco Selisse, born January 12, 1731. Died September 10, 1784. Historians still puzzle over exactly how he was murdered.
My Thoughts:

I think that's a pretty good beginning. I'm immediately curious about the place, the grave, and the murder. I'm also sort of wondering about that title and if the play on words relates to the story.

I've read quite a few of the Mrs. Murphy mysteries, and though some are definitely better than others, I generally enjoy them all. This one seems to take place in two separate time periods, and I sometimes have trouble maintaining interest when a story jumps back and forth in time. Hoping that doesn't happen with this one.

What do you think? Read a few more pages? Or move on to something else?



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.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Reading Update: It's Monday and Summer At Last!

Sunlight and Shadow, Winslow Homer
Summer is finally here, ya'll !  And we've been having such gorgeous summer weather, these last few days. Hard to believe we were nearly under water just a couple of weeks back. But the flooding is over -- at least in this part of Texas -- and Mother Nature has smiled upon us for this first day of my favorite season of the year. I know I shouldn't get used to it, though. In Texas, if you blink for a second, you can open your eyes to a completely new weather system. So just because it's sunny and warm and lovely at the moment, that doesn't mean it's gonna be that way five minutes from now. So I'm enjoying it while I can!

Generally, summer is a good reading season for me -- I tend to slow down during the spring and then get back on track when the warm weather returns. And I'm hoping that holds true again this year because I really haven't done much reading in June -- finished two short books, but haven't posted any reviews.

See a synopsis at GoodReads

See a synopsis at GoodReads

Both of those were enjoyable reads, and I really do intend to get some brief reviews up this week. I'm finding that if I don't post at least a few words about a book, I might not remember it six months from now. (It's a senior thing -- you'll understand if, like me, you're drifting into your Golden Years.)

I'm still reading the third book I've been working on this month --


Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke -- for the Once Upon a Time X challenge, which officially ends tomorrow. It's taken me two months to get through just half the book, and I'm not sure the nearly 600-page length is the only thing slowing me down. For some reason, it just hasn't grabbed my interest the way I was expecting it to. Not that I dislike it -- but I keep finding reasons to go read something else, and that's been a problem. But I'm determined to finish it up this week.

So, other than Inkheart, what am I reading this week? I have no idea! But I have a small stack of ARCs of books coming out (or already issued) this summer, and I really should be choosing my reading matter from said stack:

So I have lots to choose from, and a nice variety of things bookish. Just need to make myself sit down and read !




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, June 16, 2016

Book Beginnings: The Girls


The Girls, the debut novel by Emma Cline (Random House, June 2016). These are the first sentences of the book's Prologue:
I looked up because of the laughter, and kept looking because of the girls.
I noticed their hair first, long and uncombed. Then their jewelry catching the sun. The three of them were far enough away that I saw only the periphery of their features, but it didn't matter--I knew they were different from everyone else in the park.
...
These long-haired girls seemed to glide above all that was happening around them, tragic and separate. Like royalty in exile.

My Thoughts:

OK, I was hooked immediately. I can understand why the girls would have been noticeable, but why TRAGIC? Also, I'm attracted by the fact that this book is set (partially, at least) in the 1960s -- back when I was a long-haired girl myself. And that cover reminds me so much of posters from that era. I've gotten through the Prologue and into the first chapter, and so far I'm enjoying it quite a lot.

So, how about  it? Would that opening 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 14, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Lovely In Her Bones


This week my teaser lines come from Lovely In Her Bones, a 1985 mystery novel by Sharyn McCrumb. This snippet is from Chapter Six of the Ballantine Books paperback edition (and trust me, it's definitely not a spoiler):
"Well, I reckon the sun musta got too hot fer 'em, poor old Alexander and Robert. They shriveled up and died, the both of 'em." (p.87)
Ouch. Not the easiest way to bow out, is it?

I'm not exactly sure what's going on there because it's a little further along than I've read. But I have a feeling things might not be what they seem. This is the first time I've read a book by Sharyn McCrumb, and so far I'm enjoying it a lot, but sort of wondering when the mystery is going to kick in.




Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat. 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, June 10, 2016

Book Beginnings: This Too Shall Pass


This Too Shall Pass, by Milena Busquets, translated by Valerie Miles (Hogarth Books, May 2016). From the book's first paragraph:
For some strange reason, I never considered what it would be like to be forty. When I was twenty, I could imagine myself at thirty, living with the love of my life and a bunch of kids. Or at sixty, baking apple pies with my grandchildren -- me who can't boil an egg to save my soul, but I would learn. Even at eighty, as an old bag drinking whisky with my girlfriends. But I never imagined myself at forty, not at fifty either. And yet here I am. It's my mother's funeral, and if that's not bad enough, I'm forty.
My Thoughts:

Not the most exciting opening, is it? Right away, I'm saying "so what?" and hoping the story picks up pretty fast. Actually, I've just finished reading this one, and I can tell you it does get better although it's probably not a book for everyone. Hope to get a short review up very soon.




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 26, 2016

Book Beginnings: Everyone Brave is Forgiven


Everyone Brave is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave (Simon & Schuster, February 2016). These are the book's first lines:
War was declared at eleven-fifteen and Mary North signed up at noon. She did it at lunch, before telegrams came, in case her mother said no. She left finishing school unfinished.

Initial Thoughts:

I love that beginning, but I'm very nervous about Mary signing up for military service. I know finishing school can be rough, but it probably didn't really prepare her for actual combat. I've heard a lot about this one, and I'm looking forward to getting started on it.

So, what about it? Would those first few sentences tempt you to read a bit 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 24, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?


This week my teaser lines come from Henry Farrell's classic thriller/horror novel, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? -- the book that served as inspiration for another classic, the 1962 movie starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. This snippet is from the first paragraph of Chapter 11 (p.132 of the paperback edition) -- sorry it's a little more than two sentences:
Jane awoke in darkness, her heart pounding. All around her was a threat of something, a terrible, encircling danger. Her head throbbed, and there was a bad taste in her mouth. She reached out in a frightened, tentative effort to determine where she was. Her hand touched a warm softness....
And I'm not telling what that warm softness turns out to be. You'll just have to read the book if you want to know more.



Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat. 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.