Category: Book Beginnings Meme (page 2 of 7)

#BookBeginnings Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walker

Today we’re starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challengeBeautiful Ruins by Jess Walker 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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Beautiful Ruins* by Jess Walker

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Touted both as literary and a historical romance, Beautiful Ruins follows the lives of five people, including Pasquale Tursi and a young movie star named Dee Moray, who meet by chance in an Italian village. Years later Pasquale comes to Hollywood to find her.

First Sentence:

April 1962

Porto Vergogna, Italy

The dying actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly — in a boat that motored into the cove, lurched past the rock jetty, and bumped against the end of the pier.

Discussion:

I like how it introduces a character, setting, and tone all in one sentence.

Have you seen this book? The font is unusual in the paperback version. It is incredibly tiny and the text runs right to the edge of the page. It may be  challenging physically to read this one.

Have you read Beautiful Ruins?

Does the look of the page change your enjoyment of a book?

#BookBeginnings Force of Nature by Jane Harper

This week we’ve chosen Force of Nature by Jane Harper 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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Force of Nature by Jane Harper

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Force of Nature was published in February 2018, but somehow I managed to snag a used copy at the bookstore. Yes! (That doesn’t happen very often.)

Summary:   “Five women go on a hike. Only four return.” Australian Federal Agent Aaron Falk needs to find the missing woman, Alice Russell, because she is key to his latest case.

Aaron Falk was also the main character of Jane Harper’s previous novel, The Dry.

First Sentence of the Prologue:

Later, the four remaining women could fully agree on only two things. One:  No one saw the bushland swallow up Alice Russell. And two:  Alice had a mean streak so sharp it could cut you.

First Sentence of Chapter One:

“Don’t panic.”

Federal Agent Aaron Falk, who until that moment had had no plans to do so, closed the book he had been reading.

Discussion:

First of all, isn’t that an incredible hook? Don’t you want to know what happened to the fifth hiker, the one who didn’t come back? The fact she had a mean streak makes it seem likely that foul play was involved, doesn’t it?

I love a novel with a powerful setting. Harper uses her bushland setting to create an ominous atmosphere.

I also like the wry humor of the first part of Chapter One

As a writer, I noticed right away that the first chapter has a lot more dialogue than her previous novel. The Dry had a lot of exposition, with sparse dialogue. I’m wondering how that will change the pacing.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

#BookBeginnings Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Just in time for World Book Day we’re starting the next novel in The Bestseller Code 100 challengeOrphan Train by Christina Baker Kline 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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Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  When she was a young orphan in New York City, Vivian was put on an orphan train to the Midwest with the idea she would be adopted by a farm family. Much later in life she meets Molly Ayer, who is struggling with being in the foster system. Although they are different in age, the two might find some common ground.

Side note:  The copy I found is a paperback with a fancy deckle edge and a “P.S. section with many extras about the author and about the book. It has a very lush feel.

First Sentence of the Prologue:

I believe in ghosts. They’re the ones who haunt us, the ones who have left us behind. Many times in my life  I have felt them around me, observing, witnessing, when no one in the living world knew or cared what happened.

Discussion:

The narrator sounds lonely to me. The idea that only ghosts care for her is so sad.

This novel has gotten a lot of good reviews. I’m looking forward to reading it.

What do you think? Have you read Orphan Train or any other for Christina Baker Kline’s books?

#BookBeginnings The Dry by Jane Harper

I’m supposed to be reading our next challenge book, but instead I’m reading The Dry by Jane Harper 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 Dry
by Jane Harper

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:   Aaron Falk returns to his former home town for the funeral of his best friend from childhood. He intends to drive back to Melbourne and his job as a Federal Agent immediately afterwards, largely because the bad feelings that caused his family to leave are still lurking under the surface.  His plans change, however, as he learns more about his friend’s death and discovers it may have been murder. What really happened and is it all linked to the secrets of the past?

This is Jane Harper’s debut novel. The paperback just came out last month.

First Sentence of the Prologue:

It wasn’t as though the farm hadn’t seen death before, and the blowflies didn’t discriminate. To them there was little difference between a carcass and a corpse.

Discussion:

I’ve never seen a prologue written from the point of view of blowflies before.

What I’ve read so far is well written and quite gripping. Although the main character is on leave and is a federal agent who investigates financial crimes rather than murder, the novel still falls in the police procedural category, which I enjoy.

It is set in Australia in an area that is experiencing a severe drought. The drought itself adds another layer of tension to the story.

Have you read The Dry? Do you think you’d like to read it?

#BookBeginnings The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Today we’re starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challengeThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted at 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 at the link above. Hope to see you there!

 

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Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon watches from heaven as events unfold after her rape and murder.

First Sentence:

My name was Salmon, like the fish: first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.

Discussion:

What a beginning. That first line reveals so much character in just a few words.

Published in 2002, this is one of the older books on our challenge list. It is Alice Sebolt’s debut novel, although she had already published a memoir, Lucky. In the memoir, she revealed she had been raped as a college freshman, which explains the subject matter.

With the violent events that led to Susie’s death, it would seem like this would be in the thriller/suspense/mystery genres, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. It won a Bram Stoker award, which honors horror novels. The story, however, is also about family and relationships. It seems like this novel defies categorization.

There is a 2009 movie based on Lovely Bones. I wonder how well it follows the book. The movie trailer is here.

What do you think? Have you read this novel?

#BookBeginnings The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

Today we’re starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challengeThe Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz 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 Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:   Amy Redwing has devoted her life to rescuing golden retrievers. When she puts herself in danger to save Nickie, she develops a special bond with the dog. But now someone is after Amy. Who is going to rescue whom?

 

First Sentence of Chapter One:

Behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition, Amy Redwing drove as if she were immortal and therefore safe at any speed,

Discussion:

Dean Koontz is throwing us right into the action with this first sentence.

I was curious about the photograph on the book jacket of Dean Koontz and a golden retriever, so I went to his website. It turns out that he had a golden named Trixie. She died in 2007, the year this book came out. He says he couldn’t write for a month after he lost her.

Knowing this will probably change how I look at this book. Obviously this is going to be a very personal story, even though it is fiction.

Are you a Dean Koontz fan? Have you read this one?

 

Public domain photograph by Karen Arnold

#BookBeginnings The City of Brass

Today we’re reading The City of Brass: A Novel (The Daevabad Trilogy) by S. A Chakraborty 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 City of Brass: A Novel* (The Daevabad Trilogy) by S. A Chakraborty

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:

Living in eighteenth-century Cairo, Nahri is a multilingual con woman. She has never had a reason to believe in magic, at least not until she accidentally summons a mysterious djinn warrior named Dara during one of her scams. Now Nahri is forced to reconsider both her beliefs and her place in the world.

This is S. A Chakraborty debut fantasy novel. It is the first of The Daevabad Trilogy.

First Sentence of The City of Brass:

He was an easy mark.

Nahri smiled behind her veil, watching the two men bicker as they approached her stall.

Discussion:

I really like the main character’s voice so far. She’s quite smart and cunning. It’s also set in an interesting time and place, at least at the beginning.

I don’t read a lot of fantasy, but a friend who loves books lent me her copy (Thanks, Shan.) I’m looking forward to reading more.

What do you think? Have you read The City of Brass? Do you think you might enjoy it?

#BookBeginnings Cross Roads by Wm. Paul Young

Today we should be starting the next novel in The Bestseller Code 100 challengeCross Roads by Wm. Paul Young for Book Beginnings on Fridays.  (We’re both still reading The Goldfinch).

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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Cross Roads by Wm. Paul Young

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Tony Spencer does whatever it takes to be a success. When he falls into a coma, he has an experience that allows him to re-evaluate his past behavior. Will he act on his revelations?

Cross Roads is considered to be Christian fiction. From the back, quote from Chapter 6:

Jesus reached over and took Tony’s hand. “On this journey, you can choose to physically heal one person, but only one, and when you make that selection, your journey will end.”

First Sentence:

Some years in Portland, Oregon, winter is a bully, spitting sleet and spewing snow in fits and starts as it violently wrestles days from spring, claiming some archaic right to remain king of the seasons — ultimately the vain attempt of another pretender.

Discussion:

I like the alliteration of splitting sleet and spewing snow. I was a bit confused about the last part.

It continues:

This year was not like that. Winter simply bowed out like a beaten woman, leaving head down in tattered garments of dirty whites and browns with barely a whimper or promise of return. The difference between her presence and absence was scarcely discernible.

The Bestseller Code Challenge is definitely introducing us to a wide diversity of books. This is so different from The Goldfinch. It will be interesting to compare the two novels to see how they both ended up on the same list.

#BookBeginnings The Curse of La Fontaine by M. L. Longworth

Today we’re reading a slow-paced mystery, The Curse of La Fontaine by M. L. Longworth 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 Curse of La Fontaine by M. L. Longworth

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Set in Aix-en-Provence, France, newlyweds Verlaque and Bonnet are drawn into investigating when a new restaurant in the neighborhood tries to expand and runs into a historical mystery.

First Sentence:

Antoine Verlaque liked die Corallini so much he almost regretted that his wedding was going to be so small.

Discussion:

M. L. Longworth continues on with a discussion of the history and architecture of the church.

I picked this up as an impulse at the library. It is part of a series. The French setting was what drew me to it, and it seems like that is going to be a big part of the book.

Have you ever picked up a book to transport yourself to another place?

Do you have a favorite book that immerses you in a novel setting?

#BookBeginnings The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Today we’re starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 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 Goldfinch* by Donna Tartt

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

The blurb:  Thirteen-year-old Theo Decker survives the accident that kills his mother. Because his father left him, the family of a friend takes Theo in. Struggling with his grief and the changes that have occurred, the teenager clings to a small painting that reminds him of his mother. But there’s more to the painting than anyone suspects.

The Goldfinch took Donna Tartt a decade to write. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013.

Public domain image from Wikimedia

First Sentence:

While I was still in Amsterdam, I dreamed about my mother for the first time in years. I’d been shut up in my hotel for more than a week, afraid to telephone anyone or go out; and my heart scrambled and floundered at even the most innocent noises:  elevator, rattle of the minibar cart, even church clocks tolling the hour, de Westertoren, Krijtberg, a dark edge to the clangor, an inwrought fairy-tale sense of doom.

Discussion:

Apparently the narrator is an older Theo, not the teenager.

I included two sentences to give a feel of the complexity of the writing. No wonder the book is 771 pages long.

 Have you read The Goldfinch or any other of Donna Tartt’s novels? What do you think?

The goldfinch in the painting is the European goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis. Here’s a short video about the famous painting behind the novel’s  title:

 

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