It's July 4, which is American Independence Day and thus a day for being with friends and family, grilling, being outside, and watching fireworks. Yesterday, I was thinking about what I might want to read today and on all the warm summer days and evenings of the coming months.
Although some of the books I plan to read in the next eight weeks won't be published until later in the fall, I wanted to tell you about a half dozen titles that are out now or will be by the end of August. One way I choose my next book is by reading the opening lines, and I love it when bloggers share the first sentence or two of their current book. Here's what I read this morning.
The Beach Trees
Penguin / New American Library, 2011
Death and loss, they plague you. So do memories. Like the Mississippi's incessant slap against the levees, they creep up with deceptive sweetness before grabbing your heart and pulling it under.Craig Nova
Brook Trout and the Writing Life
Eno Publishers, 2011 (new edition)
Outdoor writing / essays
Often the connection between things is not obvious to the eye, and even when it is, it can take years, if not decades, for me to see just what is associated with what. The events of my life and brook trout often meet at the line of demarcation between the world of the fish and the world of the fisherman, between the seen and the unseen.Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Language of Flowers
Random House / Ballantine, 2011
For eight years I dreamed of fire. Trees ignited as I passed them; oceans burned. The sugary smoke settled in my hair as I slept, the scent like a cloud left on my pillow as I rose. Even so, the moment my mattress started to burn, I bolted awake.Darin Strauss
Half a Life
Random House, 2011
Half my life ago, I killed a girl.Amy Hatvany
I had just turned eighteen, and when you drive in new post-adolescence, you drive with friends.
Best Kept Secret
Simon & Schuster / Washington Square Press, 2011
Being drunk in front of your child is right up there on the Big Bad No-No List of Motherhood. I knew what I was doing was wrong. I knew it with every glass, every swallow, every empty bottle thrown into the recycle bin. I hated drinking. I hated it . . . and I couldn't stop.Christie Watson
Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away
The Other Press, 2011
Father was a loud man. His voice entered a room before he did. From my bedroom window I could hear him sitting in the wide gardens, or walking to the car parking area filled with Mercedes, or standing by the security guard's office or the gate in front.From the opening lines, which of these would you read first? I'm not sure where to begin.