Category: Book Beginnings Meme (page 1 of 4)

#BookBeginnings Convenient Suspect by Tammy Mal

Today we have a new nonfiction book, Tammy Mal’s Convenient Suspect: A Double Murder, a Flawed Investigation, and the Railroading of an Innocent Woman, 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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Convenient Suspect: A Double Murder, a Flawed Investigation, and the Railroading of an Innocent Woman* by Tammy Mal

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

 

Convenient Suspect is a nonfiction book I’m reading as research for a novel.

In December of 1994, someone killed a young woman named Joann Katrinak and her baby boy. Three years later another mother was arrested, one who had never met the victims. The suspect, Patricia Rorrer, was quickly convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Tammy Mal is a journalist who reviewed the evidence and interviewed the people involved in the case.

First Sentence of Prologue:

Sudden and violent death is always tragic, but the kidnapping and murder of a young mother, Joann Katrinak, and her infant son, Alex, only ten days before Christmas 1994, shook the small town of Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, to its core.

First Sentence of Chapter One

Thursday, December 15, 1994, had been a quiet day at he the Leigh County Communications Center, and the mood inside the small, gray building was one of festive anxiety.

 

Discussion:

Tammy Mal explains in the prologue that when she started the book she thought she would write about how a young woman came to commit a horrible crime. As she dug into the details, however, she began to question whether the case was as clear cut as it had been portrayed.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but so far this book has moved right along.

Does Convenient Suspect sound like a book you might read? How often do you read nonfiction?

#BookBeginnings The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

This week we’re looking forward to starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga 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 White Tiger by Aravind Adiga


(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  An example of an epistolary novel,  main character Balram Halwai writes about his rags to riches story as he leaves behind his impoverished Indian village to establish his own taxi business.

Although Aravind Adiga was only 33 when he published this debut novel, it won the Man Booker Prize in 2008.

Beginning:

For the Desk of:
His Excellency Wen Jiabao
The Premier’s Office
Beijing
Capital of the Freedom-loving Nation of China

From the Desk of:
“The White Tiger”
A Thinking Man
And an Entrepreneur
Living in the world’s center of Technology and Outsourcing
Electronics City Phase I (just off Hosur Main Road)
Bangalore, India

Mr. Premier,

Sir.
Neither you not I speak English, but there are some things that can only be said in English.

Discussion:

The beginning is a bit unusual because he starts right out with a letter. I already detect a bit of humor, especially in that last sentence. I’m looking forward to seeing how it progresses.

What do you think? Have you read The White Tiger?

#BookBeginnings The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

It’s about time to start the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith 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-button-hurwitz

The Cuckoo’s Calling* by Robert Galbraith

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

As everyone now knows, Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym used by J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. In addition she wrote The Casual Vacancy, which it turns out is also on The Bestseller Code list.  This makes J.K. Rowling the only author with two novels in our best of the bestsellers challenge.

Summary:  When a supermodel falls to her death, her brother doesn’t believe that it is suicide. He hires private investigator Cormoran Strike to find out the truth.

This is the first in a series.

First Sentence:

The buzz in the street was like the humming of flies

Discussion:

Instead of flies, it’s actually a swarm of paparazzi. The opening paragraphs take on another layer of meaning when you consider the author’s fame and her likely interactions reporters and photographers. Maybe a little private joke?

So far I like assistant, Robin Ellacott, better than the private detective.

What do you think? Have you read any of J.K. Rowling’s mysteries?

#BookBeginnings And The Mountains Echoed

Today we’re starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challengeAnd the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini 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-button-hurwitz

 

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

 

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  The novel starts in 1952, when two motherless Afghan children are separated from one another. It follows the waves of events that result from this traumatic beginning.

This is Khaled Hosseini’s third novel, published in 2013. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t published any since? A medical doctor by training, his previous novels were The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

First Sentence of And the Mountains Echoed:

So, then.

That’s a pretty short first sentence. It might be a record. Do you know of a shorter first sentence of a novel?

Because those two words don’t tell much, let’s continue with the first paragraph.

You want a story and I will tell you one. But just the one. Don’t either of you ask me for more. It’s late, and we have a long day of travel ahead of us, Pari, you and I. You will need your sleep tonight. And you too, Abdullah. I am counting on you, boy, while your sister and I are away. So is your mother. Now. One story, then. Listen, both of you, listen well. And don’t interrupt.

Discussion:

I like the conversational storytelling tone. It seems natural and realistic.

I also like how we learn the names of the two main characters and their relationship in an organic way. Nothing is forced.

What do you think? Have you read any of Khaled Hosseini’s works?

#BookBeginnings Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris

Today we’re looking forward to starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris 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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Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  This small book is a collection of short, fable-like stories featuring anthropomorphic animals.

First Sentence:

The cat had a party to attend, and went to the baboon to get herself groomed.

Discussion:

David Sedaris’s insights are sometimes coarse and sometimes wry. I have read Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, which is one of his more typical collections of personal short stories/essays.

The reviews are all over for Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. Do you think that perhaps at least in part that is because it is so different from his other works?

Are you a David Sedaris fan? Have you read this book?

#BookBeginnings Daddy’s Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark

Today we’re looking forward to starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challengeDaddy’s Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark 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-button-hurwitz

Daddy’s Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark


(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:   Why does Kate Connelly ask a retired employee Gus to meet her at the family’s antique furniture museum at four thirty in the morning? What are they doing when the building explodes, leaving Gus dead and Kate in a coma? Are they victims or perpetrators?

First Sentence of Prologue:

Sometimes Kate dreamed about that night, even though it wasn’t a dream.

 

First Sentence of Chapter One

At four o’clock in the morning, Gus Schmidt dressed silently in the bedroom of his modest home on Long Island, hoping not to disturb his wife of fifty-five years. He was not successful.

Discussion:

It’s interesting that the book opens with the two characters who according to the book blurb are soon going to be in a coma and dead, respectively.

Mary Higgins Clark is now 89 years old and has written some 51 books. That is a remarkable career!

What do you think? Would you keep reading? Are you a fan of Mary Higgins Clark?

#BookBeginnings A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Today’s book was a gift from  friend who is a reader and a writer. Let’s look at  A Man Called Ove:  A Novel by Fredrik Backman 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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A Man Called Ove:  A Novel by Fredrik Backman

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Ove’s middle name is “curmudgeon”. When a young family moves in next door and disrupts his life by running over his mailbox, will they be the next victims of his grumpiness?

First Sentence:

Ove is fifty-nine.

Discussion:

What a simple first sentence. Apparently the author didn’t feel the need to grab the reader with a harpoon.

Here’s the next paragraph:

He drives a Saab. He’s the kind of man who points at people he doesn’t like the look of, as if they were burglars and his forefinger a policeman’s flashlight. He stands at the counter of a shop where owners of Japanese cars come to order white cables. Ove eyes the sales assistant for a long time before shaking a medium-sized white box at him.

Sounds like this novel is going to be character driven.

What do you think? Have you read A Man Called Ove:  A Novel by Fredrik Backman?

#BookBeginnings The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Today we’re looking forward to starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein 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-button-hurwitz

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

What:  Told from the first person (dog) point of view of Enzo, a lab-terrier mix who lives with race car driver Denny Swift.

First Sentence:

Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature…And that is why I’m here now waiting for Denny to come home — he should be here soon — lying on the cool tiles of the kitchen floor in a puddle of my own urine.

Discussion:

I have to admit when I read this book was written from a dog’s point of view, I was a bit concerned. Without a doubt, I envisioned something “cutesie.” The tone of the first paragraph isn’t at all what I expected. Would you have guessed the narrator was a dog except for the “puddle of urine” clue?

I’m looking forward to reading it now.

What do you think? Would you read a book told from a dog’s perspective?

Have you read this novel?

#BookBeginnings The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

For Book Beginnings on Fridays, let’s take a look at The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer.

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 Chemist* by Stephenie Meyer

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

I’m going to be a bit chatty about this one. Yes, I know it has been out for some time and some of you have already mentioned it, but I just got around to picking it up, so here we are.

Summary:  In this gripping thriller, the heroine is the target of a clandestine organization she once worked for and they want her dead. When a former colleague draws her out with an offer of a job, is it legitimate or is it  another trap?

Note:  Stephenie Meyer lives in Arizona. A few years ago I met her at a local bookstore where she was sitting on a writers panel. She was the nicest person and I became an unabashed fan.

I should also note, I have training as a scientist and taught a high school level chemistry class for home schooled kids. So, I was excited at the prospect of a nerd scientist protagonist. I was a bit disappointed because it turns out she isn’t really a chemist, although she does mix up some wild chemicals. She’s actually in the medical profession. Still cool, but not the same.

First Sentence:

Today’s errand had become routine for the woman who was currently calling herself Chris Taylor.

Discussion:

Sounds a bit mysterious, doesn’t it? Why isn’t she using her real name? What’s the errand?

What do you think? Are you interested in reading The Chemist?

Are you a Stephenie Meyer fan?

 

Stephenie Meyer

Photo via Visualhunt.com

#BookBeginnings The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

Today we’re looking forward to starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison 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-button-hurwitz

The Silent Wife: A Novel* by A. S. A. Harrison

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

 

Sadly, this psychological thriller is both A. S. A. (Angela Susan Ann) Harrison’s first and last novel.  She passed away shortly after it came out.

Summary:   The Silent Wife is explores the dynamics of a marriage on the rocks.

First Sentences:

It’s early in September. Jodi Brett is in her kitchen, making dinner.

Discussion:

Wow, what a soft, low key beginning.The first sentence was so brief I added the second.

It does give the when and who right away, because Jodi Brett and her husband Todd are the main characters. The first two sentences may not be much of a hook, but I do like that the author has given us a lot of information with just a few spare words.

What do you think? Would you continue reading?

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