Category: Book Beginnings Meme (page 2 of 6)

#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

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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:

 

#BookBeginnings Don Winslow’s The Force

The Force by Don Winslow is making a lot of best of the year lists, so let’s take a look at it 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 Force by Don Winslow

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Denny Malone is a renowned and decorated NYPD detective sergeant. A hero, he is considered to be part of the law enforcement elite. The only problem is that he has a dirty little secret. He and his partners have stolen some money and drugs during a raid. Will he get caught, and if he does, will he take down all the other dirty cops and politicians with him?

First Sentence:

The last guy on earth anyone ever expected to end up in the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Park Row was Denny Malone.

Discussion:

Don Winslow has worked as an investigator and anti-terrorist trainer, plus he’s written a number of bestsellers. So far this story has a gritty, authentic feel. In fact, I had to check to make sure it wasn’t nonfiction.

I’m only a few pages in, but it seems to be told from a omniscient point of view, which is unusual these days.

 

What do you think? Have you read anything by Don Winslow?

#BookBeginnings The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

We’re starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challengeThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz 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 Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

This novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008, along with many other major awards.

Summary:  We follow the story of Oscar Wao, a young man of Dominican Republic descent who lives in New Jersey. All he wants to do is find love and write like J.R.R. Tolkien, but will his family’s curse destroy his dreams?

First Sentence:

They say it came first from Africa, carried in the screams of the enslaved; that it was the death bane of the Tainos, uttered just as one world perished and another began; that it was a demon drawn into Creation through the nightmare door that cracked open in the Antilles.

Discussion:

I have been playing catch up all week, while I put out fires and dealt with emergencies. Our last book, The Bourne Betrayal was a perfect choice for that kind of week. I’m not sure this one, which I can already tell is going to require some heavy lifting to read, is going to be as good a fit. Maybe things will be quieter next week and I’ll be able to concentrate on it.

And off I go again…

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Have you read anything by Junot Díaz? Have you read any of his short stories?

#BookBeginnings The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel

Today we are featuring  The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel 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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(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Even though Dean Koontz is a super popular author, I haven’t read anything of his before. When I saw a review for his most recent publication, The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel, I had to pick up a copy.

Blurb:  Jane Hawk is an FBI agent who has uncovered evidence of an evil organization which is brainwashing innocent people and forcing them to carry out crimes. Things go wrong when she tries to expose their plot and she becomes a fugitive from the law.

First Sentence:

Cora Gunderson walked through seething fire without being burned, nor did her white dress burst into flames.

Discussion:

Does this sentence seem a bit awkward? I think it jolts because I’m expecting a parallel sentence structure, like:  “She walked through the seething fire without being burned and without her white dress bursting into flames.” I wonder why he doesn’t use the same verb form throughout?

The image is still compelling to me. I want to know how this is possible and what is going to happen.

What do you think?

Are you a Dean Koontz fan?

#BookBeginnings The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader

Today we’re starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challengeThe Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader, 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-lustbader

 

The Bourne Betrayal* by Eric Van Lustbader

 


(*Amazon Affiliate link)

This novel is part of a series that features Jason Bourne, a spy/assassin who has lost his memory. Throughout Bourne fights to stay alive while he figures out his real identity and pieces together his past.

Robert Ludlum wrote the first three books in the series. After he passed away, Eric Van Lustbader took over.

The Bourne Betrayal is the fifth in the series. In it Jason Bourne’s friend, a CIA deputy director, has been kidnapped. When Bourne heads to Africa to look for his friend, he finds out he might be a pawn in a plot to destroy America.

(Also made into a popular movie series featuring actor Matt Damon.)

First Sentence of Prologue:

The Chinook came beating up into a blood-red sky. It shuddered in the perilous cross-currents, banking through the thin air. A web of clouds, backlit by the failing sun, streamed by like smoke from a flaming aircraft.

First Sentence of Chapter One:

“When did this particular flashback begin, Mr. Bourne?” Dr. Sunderland asked.

Discussion:

I like the first sentence of chapter one better than the prologue, but in this case it’s important to read the prologue because it reveals what happened to Bourne’s friend.

Although this is the fifth book, we’re reading it out of order because it was picked by the computer algorithm in The Bestseller Code as one of the 100 best. Hopefully the novel works as a stand alone.

Have you watched any of the movies? I liked the movies. Now I envision Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, though.

What do you think? Do you like the Jason Bourne series?

#BookBeginnings The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

Today we’re starting the first romance novel in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst 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 Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Alexa Maria McKenzie needs money badly. Billionaire Nicholas Ryan has to have a wife right away. She is a convenient choice because she’s  his sister’s childhood friend, and therefore getting married — as a business arrangement — seems the best solution.

First Sentence of Chapter One:

She needed a man.

Discussion:

I had a brief “fling” with romance novels when I was in my teens, so I’m familiar with some of the tropes. So far this one seems to cover them all. Of course there’s a rich, hot guy who needs to marry someone to inherit something. Yes, of course it’s a marriage in name only. And, of course, I’ll get sucked in and  keep reading.

Have you read any of Jennifer Probst’s books? What do you think?

__________________

What are we reading next for The Bestseller Code 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. 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 71. The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader (2007) –  Discussion begins December 11, 2017
Thriller

#BookBeginnings The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

Today we’re looking forward to starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf 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 Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:   Two young girls, Calli and her friend Petra, go missing in the night. Now their families struggle to find out what happened to them.

This is Heather Gudenkauf’s debut novel.

First Sentence of the Prologue:

Louis and I see you nearly at the same time.

The first person narrator here is Antonia, Calli’s mother. Louis is a deputy sheriff who plays a key role.

First Sentence of Chapter One, Calli:

Calli stirred in her bed. The heat of a steamy, Iowa August morning lay thick in her room, hanging sodden and heavy about her.

Discussion:

So far the suspense is palpable. I definitely want to know what is going on.

Throughout the book, each chapter is named for the person who narrates it. Calli’s chapters are told in the third person, perhaps because she doesn’t speak. Calli is what is called selectively mute.

The video trailer is pretty intense, too.

What do you think?

#BookBeginnings A Day Late and A Dollar Short by Terry McMillan

Today we’re starting a book with an intriguing title for The Bestseller Code 100 challenge:  A Day Late and A Dollar Short by Terry McMillan. It’s just in time 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

A Day Late and a Dollar Short*


(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  A peek into the dynamics of a complex and frankly dysfunctional family.

You might recognize some of Terry McMillan’s other novels, such as Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

First Sentence:

Can’t nobody tell me nothing I don’t already know.

Discussion:

What a strong voice! You have to hear the next paragraph:

Which is exactly how I ended up in this damn hospital:  worrying about kids. I don’t even want to think about Cecil right now, because it might just bring on another attack. He’s a bad habit I’ve had for thirty-eight years, which would make him my husband, Between him and these kids, I’m worn out. It’s a miracle I can breathe at all.

Can’t you just hear this character talking in your head? I’m looking forward to see what more she has to offer.

The front matter shows a family tree, which I think I’m going to need to keep everyone straight. Looks like a lot of the people in the family have been married more than once, reflections of the realism of complicated modern families.

What do you think? Would you keep reading? Have you read any of Terry McMillan’s books?

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