Category: Book Beginnings Meme (page 2 of 3)

#BookBeginnings Night Watch by Iris and Roy Johansen

Today we’ve got Night Watch by the mother-son team of Iris and Roy Johansen 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’re finished,  add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

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Night Watch*

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Kendra Michaels has regained her vision after undergoing a new procedure developed by England’s Night Watch Project. But when the surgeon who treated her goes missing, she gets wrapped up in an investigation of the very same organization that helped her.

First Paragraph of the Prologue:

Those chamber of commerce brochures were right on the money, John Jaden thought. It was freezing, and he was practically up to his [expletive deleted] in snow, yet surfers and sunbathers preened on a warm beach less than ninety minutes away. He’d seen them as he’d driven up the highway on his way to Big Bear.

Discussion:

This is the first time I’ve encountered an expletive in the first paragraph I was going to share. Even though it was a mild one, I wasn’t sure how to handle it. Should I have left it in?  It wasn’t as strong as the one from the famous first line of The Martian.

Have you ever not used a first line because of expletives?

As a writer, I’d also like to know:  Have you ever quit reading a book because of the coarseness of the language? Even though it was appropriate for the character using it?

Otherwise, the first paragraph captures the setting very well and reveals the character’s personality a bit.

What do you think?

#BookBeginnings The Orphan Master’s Son

Today we have The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson 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 Orphan Master’s Son*

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

This novel is coming up next for the ongoing Bestseller Code 100 reading challenge.  It won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Summary:   The history and culture of North Korea are mysterious. Adam Johnson pulls back the curtain with this fictional work, delving deeply into the lives of leaders and regular citizens alike. It follows Pak Jun Do who eventually assumes the identity of Commander Ga, the husband of a famous actress named Sun Moon.

First Paragraph of The Orphan Master’s Son:

“Citizens, gather ’round your loudspeakers, for we bring important updates! In your kitchens, in your offices, on your factory floors — wherever your loudspeaker is located, turn up your volume!

Discussion:

The first things I noticed were the exclamation points because I just read an article in Publisher’s Weekly, “Danielle Steel Loves the Weather and Elmore Leonard Hates Exclamation Points: Literature by the Numbers” According to the article’s author, Leonard Elmore says, “You are allowed no more than two or three [exclamation points] per 100,000 words of prose.” Adam Johnson is reaching his limit in the first paragraph.

What do you think of exclamation points in novels? Do you agree with Elmore Leonard?

Have you read this book? If not, consider joining us next week as we continue with The Orphan Master’s Son.

#BookBeginnings The Horse Whisperer

Today we have an older novel, The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans 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’re finished add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-button-horse-whisperer

The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Published in 1995, this is probably the oldest book on the The Bestseller Code 100 challenge list. It was Nicholas Evans’s debut novel and was made into a movie with the same title.

Here’s the movie trailer:

 

Summary:  A desperate mother risks everything to seek out an horse expert on the hope he can help save her daughter’s broken down horse and perhaps her deeply-wounded daughter, as well.

First Sentence of The Horse Whisperer:

There was death at its beginning as there would be death again at its end.

Discussion:

I read this book when it first came out and I remember the emotional gist of it, if not the details. It will be interesting to read it again to see how well it has withstood the test of time.

Have you read The Horse Whisperer? Your thoughts?

#BookBeginnings Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta

Today we’re highlighting Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta 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. Once you’ve posted, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-michael-koryta

Those Who Wish Me Dead* by Michael Koryta

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

I read and liked Michael Koryta’s first two novels, Tonight I Said Goodbye and Sorrow’s Anthem. The main characters of both novels were private investigators who seemed to really know the business. After taking a writing workshop with Mr. Koryta, I found out why.  He has a degree in criminal justice and has worked as a private investigator. No wonder the details were realistic.

This thriller is a sharp change of direction from his previous works.

Summary:   Jace Wilson is the only witness to a murder, so the authorities must protect him. They give him a new identity and send him to a remote wilderness-survival program to hide. It isn’t long, however, before the highly-motivated killers are on his track.

First Sentence:

On the last day of Jace Wilson’s life, the fourteen-year-old stood on the quarry ledge staring at the cool, still water and finally understood something his mother had told him years before:  Trouble might come for you when you showed fear, but trouble doubled-down when you lied about being afraid.

Discussion:

“On the last day of Jace Wilson’s life…”? Those first few words are quite a hook.

Have you read anything by Michael Koryta? Have you read this book?

I always forget when to hyphenate ages, but in this quote “fourteen-year-old” is a noun, so I think it is properly hyphenated.

What do you think?

#BookBeginnings One Day by David Nicholls

Today we’re highlighting a novel originally published in 2010, One Day by David Nicholls, 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’re done, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

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One Day* by David Nicholls

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Starting on July 15, 1988 and running through July 15, 2006, the story unfolds by revealing how Dexter and Emma’s relationship progresses on one day each year, July 15.

Of course they made it into a movie.

Note:  We’re reading this book next for The Bestseller Code 100 challenge.

First Sentence:

‘I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference,’ she said. ‘You know, actually change something.’

Discussion:

Does anyone know why the author uses single quotation marks for the dialogue? I looked and it seems to be carried throughout the book.

Seems like an interesting premise for a book.

What do you think?

#BookBeginnings Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Today we’re highlighting Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize Winner Olive Kitteridge 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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Olive Kitteridge* by Elizabeth Strout (2008)

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  A classic example of literary fiction, this novel reveals the life of school teacher Olive Kitteridge as she interacts with  her family and acquaintances in the small town of Crosby, Maine.

First Sentence:

For many years Henry Kitteridge was a pharmacist in the next town over, driving every morning on snowy roads, or rainy roads, or summertime roads, when the wild raspberries shot their new growth in brambles along the last section of town before he turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy.

Discussion:

Interesting that the author chooses to introduce the main character’s husband before the main character.

Have you read Olive Kitteridge?

Do you like literary fiction?

 

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As you may know, we have been reading through the list of the 100 bestsellers picked by the computer algorithm as revealed in The Bestseller Code by Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers.

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.

The next book is number 93. Olive Kitterage by Elizabeth Strout (2008) – Discussion begins February 13, 2017.

#BookBeginnings The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

Today we’re highlighting Stieg Larsson’s third book, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest,  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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(*Amazon Affiliate link)

 

Note: this post doesn’t reveal anything that isn’t on the dust jacket, but could be a potential spoiler for the second book in the trilogy.

As you may know, we have been reading through the list of the 100 bestsellers picked by the computer algorithm as revealed in The Bestseller Code by Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers. Book number 94 on the list, Hornet’s Nest is actually the third in a trilogy featuring flawed genius Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist. We decided we needed to read all three to understand why the third was chosen for the list. We talked about the beginning lines of the first two books last week.

Summary:  The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest starts where the second (The Girl Who Played with Fire ) left off, with Lisbeth headed to the hospital with a bullet in her head. She’s been accused of murders she didn’t commit. Will she survive long enough to be able to prove her innocence?

First Sentence:

Dr. Jonasson was woken by a nurse five minutes before the helicopter was expected to land.

Discussion:

Since I began participating in Book Beginnings, this is the first time I’ve had the urge to rewrite the sentence.  You see that passive voice? Why didn’t Stieg Larsson make it active? “A nurse woke Dr. Jonasson…” Was it so the first name the reader sees is Dr. Jonasson?

What do you think?

hornet's nest

#BookBeginnings Comparing Two Books by Stieg Larsson

Today let’s compare the beginning lines of two books by Stieg Larsson 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. After you’ve published, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-button-stieg-larsson

We start reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest next week for The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, which means the computer algorithm picked the third book of a trilogy as the best. Karen and I decided we should read the books in order, so we will be reading three books this time.  Wish us luck!

Book 1:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo*

(*Amazon Affiliate links)

Summary: This is the first book in the trilogy. Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist and prodigy Lisbeth Salander team up to investigate the disappearance of a woman forty years before.

First sentence of the Prologue:

It happened every year, was almost a ritual.

First sentence of Chapter 1:

The trial was irretrievably over; everything that could be said had been said, but he had never doubted that he would lose.

 

 

Book 2:

The Girl Who Played with Fire* by Steig Larsson

(*Amazon Affiliate links)

Summary: In the second book in the trilogy, Mikael Blomkvist tries to clear Lisbeth’s Salander’s name after she is implicated in a murder.

First Sentence of the Prologue:

She lay on her back fastened by leather straps to a narrow bed with a steel frame.

First sentence of Chapter 1:

Lizbeth Salander pulled her sunglasses down to the tip of her nose and squinted from beneath the brim of her sun hat.

Discussion:

Looking at all the first lines, I was struck how different they are from one another.

Between the two books, it looks like the first chapter has shifted focus from Mikael Blomkvist (the reporter) to Lizbeth Salander.

What do you think of the first sentences of the prologues versus the first sentence of chapters? Should the first sentence of a prologue “hook” for the reader or should it be the first chapter, because some readers skip the prologue?

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What are we reading next for the Bestseller Code 100 Challenge?

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.

The next book is number 94 on the list, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson (Third in a series, originally published in 2007) -Discussion begins January 30, 2017.

#BookBeginnings Rough Day by Shelley Coriell

Today we’re reading a collection of short stories, Rough Day by Shelley Coriell 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. Then add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

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Rough Day: Detective Lottie King Mystery Short Stories*

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Author Shelley Coriell introduced Detective Lottie King as a minor character in the first book of her Apostles series, The Broken (reviewed here).  Lottie was so popular, Shelley decided to write more about her. By the way, Shelley is a bit of a foodie and she includes some Lottie-inspired recipes in this volume, as well.

The stories range from Lottie working with her granddaughter’s Girl Power group to solve a locked room mystery, to helping a twelve-year-old boy find his missing grandfather.

First Sentence:

Forty years ago Lottie King buried a Smith and Wesson 9mm under a peach sapling in her back yard.

Discussion:

Given that Lottie is a police detective, we have to wonder what’s going on here. What else has the author told us about Lottie in a subtle way?

I started this book last year, but other obligations got in the way and I never finished it. How many books do you read at once? Do you think collections of short stories are easier to put aside than novels?

#BookBeginnings Darcie Chan’s The Mill River Recluse

Today we’re starting to read the next book from The Bestseller Code list of 100 best of the bestsellers – The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan – for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a wonderful meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. The premise to share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it.

 

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The Mill River Recluse: A Novel* by Darcie Chan

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary: Widow Mary McAllister lives in a white mansion on a hill outside of the town of Mill River, Vermont. Past circumstances have left her with severe social anxiety — among other issues — and she has been a recluse for many years. No one knows her story except Father Michael O’Brien, who is her only friend and confidante.  Will the residents of Mill River find out about her secrets?

First Sentence:

As she gazed out the bay window in her bedroom, Mary McAllister knew this night would be her last.

Darcie Chan has given us a lot to wonder about in the very first sentence. We wonder what’s going to happen to Mary and how does she know?

I was also wondering about what genre this novel belongs to. Some of the blurbs call it a “genre-breaking thriller with romantic overtones,” but what I’ve read so far doesn’t seem to fit my idea of a thriller. It just doesn’t have that level of suspense. It doesn’t really feel like literary fiction either. Have you read this book? Do you have any insights?

Intrigued? Pick up a copy of Darcie Chan’s The Mill River Recluse and join our discussion which starts next week.

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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.

The next book is number 94 on the list, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson (Originally published in 2007) -Discussion begins January 30, 2017.

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