Tuesday, August 7, 2018

First lines: May-June 2018 edition


During May we went on vacation.  Jet lag afforded me the chance to do more reading than usual.  

I’ve included June here because I only read two books both of which I had started reading in May.  I was not able to read more in June because I was too busy objecting to the abuse and kidnapping of children by Trump and his Administration, and taking to task my spineless GOP legislators who are too wimpy to stand up for basic human rights.  Should I post details on the actions I took?

Book 1
Rannoch House
Belgrave Square
London W.1.
Monday, June 6, 1932
The alarm clock woke me this morning at the ungodly hour of eight.  One of my nanny’s favorite sayings was “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”  My father did both and look what happened to him.  He died, penniless, at forty-nine.

Book 2
Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Consider the kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town. A great black stove is its main feature; but there is also a big round table and a fireplace with two rocking chairs placed in front of it. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal roar.

Book 3
Daniel Mercier went up the stairs at Gare Saint-Lazare as the crowd surged down. Men and women hurried distractedly past him, most clutching briefcases but some with suitcases. In the crush, they could easily have knocked into him but they didn’t. On the contrary, it seemed as though they parted to let him through.

Book 4
This is what you should look for on this 90-degree June morning: The broadcast news interns pairing running shoes with their summer business casual, hovering by the Supreme Court’s public information office.

Book 5
What Possessed Me?
If I hadn’t been naïve and recklessly trusting, would I ever have purchased number 10 Turpentine Lane, a chronic headache masquerading as a charming bungalow?

Book 6
When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun.

Book 7
What made Isabel Dalhousie think about chance? It was one of those curious coincidences—an inconsequential one—as when we turn the corner and find ourselves face-to-face with the person we’ve just been thinking about.


* * * * * *

Titles and authors revealed:

Book 1
A Royal Pain, by Rhys Bowen, (#2 in the “Royal Spyness” series).  © 2008 by Janet Quin-Harkin.  Starring an impoverished royal who is often surrounded by murder.  Not as enjoyable as the first one.

Book 2
A Christmas Memory, by Truman Capote. © 1956. Actually three short memoirs.  Excellent writing.  

Book 3
The President’s Hat, by Antoine Laurain.  © 2013. Read for book club.  Quite enjoyable and thought-provoking, even for this second reading. 

Book 4
Notorious RBG, by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. © 2015.  it was encouraging to read about this courageous woman.

Book 5
On Turpentine Lane, by Elinor Lipman.  © 2017. A great vacation read. Funny.

Book 6
Far from the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy.  1874. This was my second read, but my first read was about 30 years ago, so I didn’t remember at all what happens.  The opening line is one of my favorites of all opening lines.

Book 7
The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday, by Alexander McCall Smith (Isabel Dalhousie #5) © 2008.   
Ah, the comfort of well-known characters.  And Scotland.

* * * * * * *

Dear Reader, what have you been reading?  Any comforting books?  Challenging ones?  Books with great writing?


4 comments:

Aileen said...

I always enjoy your first lines posts. I haven't read any of the books you shared here. I'm currently just reading a very entertaining romantic suspense novel by Norah Lofts: Lovers All Untrue. It's a bit creepy and thrilling. A touch trashy, but the writing is good enough to keep you interested. A nice diversion for troubled times.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Were you down here for the rally at the end of June? Sorry I missed you!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

ANYTHING with "Turpentine" in the title would make me look at it with interest. You always find the best reads.

slow panic said...

Somehow I have turned into an audio book only reader.

Things I've listened to recently:

Sharp Objects by Giliian Flynn

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Out of Africa by Isak Dineson

Less by Andrew Sean Greer