Category: Book Beginnings Meme (page 1 of 10)

#BookBeginnings The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith

Today I have the most recent in the  No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith, for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

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The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Precious Ramotswe, owner and chief detective of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, allows herself to be pulled into running for a seat in a local Botswana election. To help her stay on top of everything, her apprentice Charlie takes over the case of a hit-and-run victim, perhaps before he is ready.

First Sentence:

Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, owner of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, and one of the finest mechanics in Botswana, if not the finest, was proud of his wife, Precious Ramotswe, progenitor and owner of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

Discussion:

Isn’t it clever how Alexander McCall Smith introduces two main characters and the setting in the first sentence? I immediately wonder why Mr.  Matekoni is proud of his wife.

One of the things that has made these novels so popular is the Botswana setting. For instance, I always find the names of the businesses to be so memorable.

These are not high tension mysteries, but instead more of a stroll.

What do you think? Have you read any of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series novels?

 

#BookBeginnings Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

Today we’re getting ready to start the next novel in The Bestseller Code Challenge ListMaine by J. Courtney Sullivan, for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-Courtney Sullivan

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

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Summary:  Four Kelleher women gather their families at their summer beach house in Maine, each bringing their own secrets and issues.

Genre:  Domestic fiction

First Sentence:

Alice decided to take a break from packing. She lit a cigarette, leaning back in one of the wicker chairs that were always slightly damp from the sea breeze.

Discussion:

Already I wonder why she’s packing up the summer home before anyone else arrives.

Although this looks like a summertime beach read, it also might be a great way to escape from the February blah weather.

What do you think? Have you read Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan? Would you like to read it?

Join us on social media:

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What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Links in the list go to the landing page from this blog where the discussion starts. However, this is an open-ended challenge so feel free to jump in with any of the books at any time.

The next book is number 46. Room by Emma Donoghue (2010) – Discussion begins March 11, 2019
Literary Fiction

#BookBeginnings The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Have you seen The Library Book by Susan Orlean yet? Let’s take a look for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-Gershkowitz

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Nonfiction

Summary:  Using a horrific arson fire in the Los Angeles Public Library on April 29, 1986 as an “inciting incident,” Susan Orlean explores not only multiple facets of the crime, but also the importance of libraries and librarians.

First Sentence:

Stories to Begin On (1940)
By Bacmeister, Rhoda W.
X 808 B127

Begin Now – To Enjoy Tomorrow (1951)
My Giles, Ray
362.6 G472

A Good Place to Begin (1987)
By Powell, Lawerence Clark
027.47949 P884

To Begin at the Beginning (1994)
By Copenhaver, Martin B.
230 C782

Even in Los Angeles, where there is no shortage of remarkable hairdos, Harry Peak attracted attention.

 

Discussion:

Do you see it?  The author has started the chapter with book titles and their call numbers relating to “beginning.”  All the chapters start with appropriate book titles like this. Isn’t that cool?

I am glad I sprang for a hardcover edition because the book has so many extra special touches, starting with deckle edges. The end papers have the standard book jacket blurb in the front — printed on the endpapers — and an image of one of those old-fashioned library card pockets in the back. The image is so 3-D that it looks real at first glance.

I am really, really enjoying this book.

Have you read The Library Book? Would you like to read it?

#BookBeginnings The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury

Today we’re starting the next novel in The Bestseller Code Challenge List, The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury, for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-Gershkowitz

The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury

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Summary: When four men on horseback dressed as Templar knights steal rare artifacts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, archaeologist Tess Chaykin, who witnessed the theft,  and FBI agent Sean Reilly team up to investigate.

This novel is a historical thriller of sorts. Some say it is similar to The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, an author who also has a book on the challenge list.

First Sentence of Prologue:

The Holy Land is lost.

And so starts the prologue, set in Acre, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1291.

First Sentence, Chapter 1:

At first, no one noticed the four horsemen as they emerged out of the darkness of Central Park.

The setting in Chapter one is modern day (for a book published in 2005) New York City.

I’m actually about half way through and I’m enjoying the action. It seems like the plot is a bit less convoluted than The DaVinci Code, but the author hasn’t revealed everything yet.

What do you think? Have you read this? Ever read The DaVinci Code?  How do you think they compare?

 

Have you read The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury? Join us on social media:

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What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Links in the list go to the landing page from this blog where the discussion starts. However, this is an open-ended challenge so feel free to jump in with any of the books at any time.

The next book is number 47. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan (2011) – Discussion begins February 25, 2019
Domestic Fiction

#BookBeginnings The Spy and The Traitor by Ben Macintyre

Today I’m reading a true spy story recommended by a friend, The Spy and The Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-Gershkowitz

The Spy and The Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre

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Summary:  This is a nonfiction biography of Russian spy Oleg Gordievsky, who secretly worked for Britain’s MI6 during the cold war years. Britain hid him from the CIA, but the Americans wanted to have a piece of the pie. CIA officials assigned Head of Counterintelligence Aldrich Amos to find out the Russian’s identity.  In a spy thriller-worthy twist, Aldrich was secretly spying for the Russians. Which spy will win?

First Sentence:

For the KGB’s counterintelligence section, Directorate K, this was a routine bugging job.

Discussion:

This has been very exciting to read so far. The first paragraph reveals the spies sprinkled radioactive dust in their targets’ clothing and shoes, so they could track them with a Geiger counter. A few paragraphs later we learn the spies made a small, but critical error which let their primary target know they had breached his home. Still, his life is in extreme peril.

 

What do you think? Have you read The Spy and The Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre? Is it something you’d like to read?

 

by Ben Macintyre

#BookBeginnings The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Today we’re getting ready to start the next novel in The Bestseller Code Challenge ListThe Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling, for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-Gershkowitz

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

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Summary:  In the little town of Pagford, Barry Fairbrother’s seat on the council comes open when he dies unexpectedly. Behind the scenes of Pagford’s idyllic small town atmosphere are different groups of residents who are regularly at odds with each other; rich fight with the poor, teenagers battle and annoy their parents, wives attack their husbands, teachers  grapple with their pupils. Before long, however, Barry’s empty seat on the town’s council soon becomes prize for the biggest brawl the town has ever seen.

First Sentence:

Barry Fairbrother did not want to go out to dinner. He had endured a thumping headache for most of the weekend and was struggling to make a deadline for the local newspaper.

Discussion:

I missed reading this when it first came out because I knew I’d be disappointed because nothing could match the Harry Potter books and my expectations were too high. Now, enough time has probably passed that I can give it a fairer reading. Plus, I did like the first three of Rowling’s mysteries.

Have you read The Casual Vacancy? What do you think?

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Karen and I have been reading through the 100 novel challenge list and doing formal reviews of each novels, which is time consuming and no one reads them. So instead, we invite you to take part in our casual discussions on facebook. If we get enough interest, we’ll post a discussion summary here on the blog.

Have you read The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling? Join us on social media:

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What are we reading next?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Links in the list go to the landing page from this blog where the discussion starts. However, this is an open-ended challenge so feel free to jump in with any of the books at any time.

The next book is number 48. The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury (2005) – Discussion begins February 11, 2019
Mystery/suspense

#BookBeginnings The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Today I’m reading the next book in The Bestseller Code Challenge, The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-Gershkowitz

 

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

 


(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary: Westish College baseball star Henry Skrimshander is destined for the big leagues. That is, until he messes up an easy throw which leads to disaster. With his future in jeopardy, can Henry overcome his crippling self doubt?

The Art of Fielding is a work of literary fiction.

First Sentence:

Schwartz didn’t notice the kid during the game. Or rather, he noticed only what everyone else did — that he was the smallest player on the field, a scrawny novelty of a shortstop, quick of foot but weak with the bat. Only after the game ended, when the kid returned to the sun-scorched diamond to take extra grounders, did Schwartz see the grace that shaped Henry’s every move.

Discussion:

Baseball and literary fiction seem like an odd combination, but I like what I’ve read so far.

What do you think? Would you read The Art of Fielding?

 

#BookBeginnings The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

Let’s take a look at the young adult novel The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-Gershkowitz

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

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Summary:  A student at Arkwell Academy for magic, sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses at night. She doesn’t, however, break in to steal possessions. Instead she enters the dreams of sleeping people, feeding off their energy. When she sees the murder of a fellow student in a boy named Eli’s dream, Dusty teams up with Eli to try to figure out who killed the girl and why.

First Sentence:

Breaking and entering wasn’t as easy as it looked in the movies. Especially not from the second story of a house in the suburbs, Yet there I was, perched on the ledge by my tippy toes and tugging on the stupid window that refused to budge even though I could see it wasn’t locked. My feet were starting to cramp.

Discussion of The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

Some other regulars at Book Beginnings have featured books by Mindee Arnett, so I was eager to read the first in her Arkwell Academy trilogy.

So far I really like the first person voice of the protagonist. She sounds like a teenager, which is appropriately young adult. I also like that it seems to meld fantasy with a bit of romance and a good mystery.

What do you think? Have you read any of Mindee Arnett’s books? Do you think you’d like to read this one?

#BookBeginnings Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Time to start the next book on The Bestseller Code challenge list, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-Gershkowitz

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

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Summary:  Nine-year-old Oskar Schell’s father died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. When he finds a key, he thinks it is part of a scavenger hunt game he and his dad played, so Oskar goes on a quest to find out what it fits.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a work of literary fiction.

First Sentence or Two:

What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me? I could invent a teakettle that reads in Dad’s voice, so I could fall asleep…

Discussion:

Oskar Schell obviously isn’t a regular nine-year-old boy. He has a big imagination.

Below is the trailer of the movie based on the book. For some novels I don’t want to see any part of the movie before I’ve read the book because I want to envision my own characters in the role. (I have to admit Daniel Radcliffe has taken over for whomever I had envisioned as Harry Potter, but Tom Cruise will never be Jack Reacher ). In this case however, I wanted to have some idea what was going on, so I did watch the trailer.


What do you think? Have you read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close? Have you seen the movie? Did you like them? Do you have any opinion which should come first?

#BookBeginnings The Girl Who Drew Butterflies

For something different, I’m reading a middle grade/young adult nonfiction title The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-butterflies

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  A biography of seventeenth century artist, adventurer, and scientist Maria Merian.

In another life, I review children’s books at Wrapped in Foil blog. The last month or so I’ve been a round one judge for a children’s book contest, Cybils and along with a number of other judge’s I’ve read 130+ children’s books (this is one of them.) It has been a challenge, but a fun and educational one.  By the way, if you  are looking for gift ideas for kids, the Cybils nomination lists are a great way to find new books (published in the last year) already sorted by age and genre.

First Sentence:

A girl kneels in her garden. It is 1660, and she has just turned thirteen:  too old for a proper German girl to be crouching in the dirt, according to her mother.

Discussion:

This is a beautiful book. Between Maria Merian’s gorgeous paintings of flowers and insects, and Joyce Sidman’s lovely photographs, it is hard to tear your eyes away to read the text. But Maria’s story is pretty fascinating, too.

I know they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I really like biographies written for children, particularly picture book biographies. Author’s of picture books have distilled an entire life to fit into 32 pages. That is amazing to me.

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies is technically a middle grade level book, but I think it could easily work for older kids, too.

What do you think?  Is it something you might be interested in reading?

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