Tag: Book Beginnings (page 1 of 7)

#BookBeginnings After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

Today I’m starting After Anna by Lisa Scottoline 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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After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

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Genre:  Domestic thriller

Summary:  After Maggie Ippolitti marries Dr. Noah Alderman and becomes mother to his young son Caleb, she is surprised when she gets a call from her long-lost teenage daughter, Anna. She and her husband are happy to welcome Anna into their family, but things do not go smoothly. Before long someone murders Anna and the police accuse Noah. Maggie must put aside her grief and search for the truth about what really happened.

First Sentence:

Dr. Noah Alderman watched the jurors as they filed into the courtroom with their verdict, which would either set him free or convict him of first-degree murder. None of them met his eye, which was a bad sign.

Discussion:

The chapters skip back and forth in time. This one is labelled “Noah, After.” The next is “Maggie, Before.”

I hope this is a fast read. I signed up to attend a conference in the fall and, because I want to to read a novel written by each of speakers, my TBR pile just became a TBR skyscraper.

Have you read anything by Lisa Scottoline? What do you think?

#BookBeginnings In The Woods By Tana French

Today we’re looking forward to starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, In The Woods by Tana French 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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In The Woods* by Tana French

Reprint cover:

My paperback copy has this cover:


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Which cover do you like better?

Summary:  Twenty years before, three young children disappear into the woods that surround their Dublin neighborhood. Only one survives, and he can’t say what happened. Now he’s a police detective faced with investigating the murder of a young girl in the same woods.

This award-winning novel is the first in a series of six featuring the Dublin Murder Squad.

First sentence of Prologue:

Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s. This is none of Ireland’s subtle seasons mixed for a connoisseur’s palate, watercolor nuances within a pinch-sized range of cloud and soft rain; this is summer full-throated and extravagant in hot pure silkscreen blue.

First sentence of Chapter 1:

What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with truth is fundamental but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass.

I am so looking forward to reading this book. The first person narrator in Chapter 1 is intense. I’m also intrigued that it is set in Ireland.

Have you read In the Woods? Any of the others in the series by Tana French? What do you think?

#BookBeginnings High White Sun by J Todd Scott

Today we have High White Sun by J. Todd Scott 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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High White Sun* by J Todd Scott

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Summary:  A sequel to J. Todd Scott’s debut novel The Far Empty,  Chris Cherry is now sheriff of Big Bend County and America Reynosa is one of his new deputies. With Ben Harper, a retired detective who signs on as a deputy as well, they investigate the murder of a local river guide, only to find themselves swept up into something much deeper and much more dangerous than they ever expected.

J. Todd Scott currently works as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the DEA, but also manages to find the time to write exceptional novels set in west Texas. He is a local Arizona author and masterful storyteller.

First Sentence:

Goodbye stranger…

He had the radio up too loud, singing along with the words he knew, blasting down Texas 70, when he saw the girl standing on the side of the road waving him down.

Discussion:

I like the eeriness of “Goodbye stranger.” At one level it likely refers to the lyrics of a song by Supertramp, but also the reader gets the feeling that perhaps either the man driving the car or the girl standing on the side of the road might experience some trouble in the near future.

What do you think?

#BookBeginnings The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

Today we’re starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challengeThe Choice by Nicholas Sparks 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 Choice* by Nicholas Sparks

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Summary:  Travis Parker is happy being a bachelor. However, when he meets his new neighbor Gabby Holland, his life might just turn upside down.

The Choice was made into a movie that was released in 2016.

First Sentence of Prologue:

Stories are as unique as the people who tell them, and the best stories are those in which the ending is a surprise. At least, that’s what Travis Parker recalled his dad telling him when he was a child.

Do you agree that the best stories are those with a surprise ending?

I like a surprise ending that is an interesting twist, but I don’t like a surprise ending where nothing is as I thought it was.

Nicholas Sparks’s first published novel was The Notebook. In it a man reads stories from an old notebook. Does it seem like stories are a theme with Nicholas Sparks?

First Sentences of Chapter One:

“Tell me again why I agreed to help you with this.” Matt, red-faced and grunting, continued to push the spa toward the recently cut square at the far edge of the deck.

It is interesting that the first person introduced in Chapter One is not the main character.

What do you think?

#BookBeginnings Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Today we have the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, Me Before You by JoJo Moyes 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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This post does not contain spoilers.

Me Before You* by JoJo Moyes

 


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Summary: When Louisa Clark takes a job as a companion for Will Traynor, she learns he had an accident that left him in wheelchair. Can she convince him that life is still worth living?

First Sentence of Prologue:

When he emerges from the bathroom she is awake, propped up against the pillows and flicking through the travel brochures that were beside his bed.

As to be expected, the prologue reveals a glimpse of Will Traynor’s life before the accident that left him paralyzed. We’re not sure who the “she” is.

First Sentence of Chapter 1, Me Before You:

There are 158 footsteps between the bus stop and home, but it can stretch to 180 if you aren’t in a hurry, like maybe if you’re wearing platform shoes.

This could be interpreted at least  two different ways. The first –I think what the author meant — is that the route is so familiar and traveled so often, that Louisa Clark even knows the number of steps it takes. Counting steps, however, could also indicate that she is a bit obsessive-compulsive. We will have to see which the author intended.

What do you think?

As with many of the novels we’ve read for this challenge, this Me Before You is also a movie. Trailer:

#BookBeginnings The Pyramid of Mud by Andrea Camilleri

Today let’s look at The Pyramid of Mud by Andrea Camilleri and translated by Stephen Sartarelli 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 Pyramid of Mud by Andrea Camilleri

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Summary:  When someone shoots accountant Giugiù Nicotra  in the back on a construction site, the victim crawls into a water supply tunnel. Inspector Montalbano comes to investigate and soon begins to wonder if the place Nicotra died was supposed to send a message.

Note:  Author Andrea Camilleri is currently 92 years old and is still writing.

First Sentence:

The thunderclap was so loud that not only did Montalbano suddenly wake up in terror, but he gave such a start that he nearly fell out of bed.

Discussion:

I always wonder about translations. How much freedom does the translator have? For example, in this one I wondered about the “not only, but” construction, which seemed like it should be “not only, but he also“?

I haven’t read any Inspector Montalbano mysteries before. I picked up this copy from our local library’s new mystery display. The books in the series seem to be quite popular. Now I wonder whether I should go pick up the first one before going any further with this one.

What do you think? Have you read any mysteries in this series? Should I read it in order?

#BookBeginnings The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Today we’re looking forward to starting the next book in The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes 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 above. Hope to see you there!

 

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The Sense of an Ending* by Julian Barnes

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Summary:  Tony Webster has been through a divorce and retired from his job. He is looking forward to a quiet existence when some old school friends come back into his life. Are events from the past as he remembers them?

The Sense of an Ending is literary fiction and won the Man Booker prize in 2011.

First Sentence:

I remember, in no particular order:
–a shiny inner wrist;
–steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it;
–gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house;
–a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams;
–another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface;
–bathwater gone long cold behind a locked door.
This last isn’t something I actually saw, but what you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed.

Discussion:

There a lot going on here, particularly with all the references to water. In case you were wondering, “gouts” means drops or spots.

The topic of the fallibility of memory is intriguing.

There is a recent movie based on the book. I wanted to watch the trailer to give me a feel for what the book might be about. Do you ever watch the movie or movie trailer to see if you’d like the book? Have you ever read the book to figure out if you’d like the movie?

Trailer for The Sense of Ending movie

What do you think? Would you like to read it?

#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!

 

book-beginnings-beautiful-ruins

Beautiful Ruins* by Jess Walker

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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

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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!

 

book-beginnings-button-hurwitz

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

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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?

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