27 September 2011

Starting from Page 1: Six for Early Fall

Don't let the temperatures fool you; fall has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere and it's time to start thinking about indoor pursuits and long evenings devoted to reading. The quality of books coming out this season is astounding, meaning 2011 is going to end as strongly as it began.

As I've mentioned, one way I choose my next book is by reading the opening lines to see what grabs me. Here's what I read yesterday.

Gail Caldwell
Let's Take the Long Way Home
Random House Trade, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780812979114

It's an old, old story: I had a friend and we shared everything and then she died and so we shared that, too.
Beth Kephart
You Are My Only
Egmont USA / Laura Geringer Books, 2011
ISGN-13: 9781606842720
Young Adult - Fiction
My house is a storybook house. A huff-and-a-puff-and-they'll-blow-it-down house. The roof is soft; it's tumbled. There are bushes growing tall past the sills. A single sprouted tree leans in from high above the cracked slate path, torpedoing acorns to the ground.
Anne Enright
The Forgotten Waltz
W. W. Norton, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780393072556
If it hadn't been for the child then none of this might have happened, but the fact that a child was involved made everything that much harder to forgive. Not that there is anything to forgive, of course, but the fact that a child was mixed up in it all made us feel that there was no going back; that it mattered. The fact that a child was affected meant we had to face ourselves properly, we had to follow through.
Brian O'Reilly
Angelina's Bachelors
Simon & Schuster / Gallery, 2011
ISBN-13: 9781451620566
"Perfect," whispered Angelina.

Standing alone in the moonlit warmth of her kitchen, she stroked them each softly in turn and applied the slightest, knowing pressure to each. They were cool to the touch now, all risen to exactly the same height, the same shape and consistency, laid side by side by side on the well-worn wooden table. The dusky scent of dark chocolate lingered in the air and on her fingers.
Greg Olear
HarperCollins / William Morrow, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780062059710
Fatherhood is fear. Fatherhood is disappointment. Fatherhood is anger and envy and lust. And the surest guarantee of fatherly success is a Spock-like mastery of those base emotions. Mister Spock, not Doctor.

Eleanor Henderson
Ten Thousand Saints
HarperCollins / Ecco, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780062021021
"Is it dreamed?" Jude asked Teddy. "Or dreamt?"

Beneath the stadium seats of the football field, on the last morning of 1987 and the last morning of Teddy's life, the two boys lay side by side, a pair of snow angels bundled in thrift-store parkas. If you were to spy them from above, between the slats of the bleachers--or smoking behind the school gym, or sliding their skateboards down the stone wall by the lake--you might confuse one for the other. But Teddy was the dark-haired one, Jude the redhead.
From the opening lines, which of these would you read first? I haven't yet decided.


Col (Col Reads) 9/27/11, 6:34 AM  

Good stuff. I'm particularly intrigued by Angelina's Bachelors (dark chocolate!) and Father-mucker.

Peppermint Ph.D. 9/27/11, 6:59 AM  

These all actually sound good...I'm drawn to Beth Kephart's new one since I've enjoyed others of hers :) I also would like to know more about Angelina's Bachelors...is this a food novel or something else? Who are the bachelors? Now you've got me curious :)

Kay 9/27/11, 7:34 AM  

These all sound interesting, but...I think I'm most interested in the Beth Kephart novel. At least to begin with. Thanks for highlighting these. I've put several on my wishlist.

Kaye 9/27/11, 7:46 AM  

Let's Take the Long Way Home grabbed me right away.

quirky girls 9/27/11, 8:42 AM  

The blurb from Angelina's Bachelors got my attention right away. It brought Chocolat to mind. I am also wondering if this is a food novel.


Zibilee 9/27/11, 9:30 AM  

Oh, a lot of these sound wonderful, and I have to admit to being intrigued with quite a few of these first sentences. Like a lot of the others, I think the quote from Angelina's Bachelors was the most enticing, but I am also eager about the Kephart and Father Mucker as well. This was wonderful post today, and it has me furiously adding titles to my wish list! Thanks!

BookGeek 9/27/11, 10:02 AM  

All of these sounds amazing, but the most catching lines for me were "Lets Take the Long Way Home", "You Are My Only" and "Ten Thousand Saints". Such powerful characters and POV's already.

Anita 9/27/11, 10:09 AM  

What a wonderful idea, I like the looking at first lines of books too. I'm most drawn to The Forgotten Waltz and Angelina's Bachelors. The Caldwell book had been on my TBR list for a long while, but I'm unsure, so I look forward to your thoughts.

Sandy Nawrot 9/27/11, 11:18 AM  

You make me want to read every last one of them...

bermudaonion 9/27/11, 11:26 AM  

They all look good, but I think I would read You Are My Only or Father-Mucker, if I were you.

Wendy 9/27/11, 11:40 AM  

These look great! I can definitely recommend the Caldwell and Kephart books - excellent reads!

Fyrefly 9/27/11, 11:41 AM  

Ooooh, I like the last one. But I also love that cover, which is what draws me to a book (at least in the initial encounter) an embarrassingly large chunk of the time.

Alice Audrey 9/27/11, 12:18 PM  

Shared death? That's a scary thought.

Andi 9/27/11, 12:49 PM  

All very good, but I'm especially fond of the lines from Let's Take the Long Way Home and You Are My Only. Very interesting stuff!

Dorte H 9/27/11, 1:29 PM  

Tough question, but I vote for You Are My Only.

Margot 9/27/11, 7:24 PM  

I liked them all. Very well written opening lines. They each offered enough tease to make me want to keep on going. Never the less, if you want a suggestion of which one to start first, pick up You Are My Only. I also have that book and I read a bit past the opening lines. I can tell you it's very good.

bookdout 9/27/11, 11:30 PM  

I'd be tempted by all of them!I think perhaps Let's Take the Long Way Home the most

Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

Patty 9/28/11, 6:37 AM  

Read " You Are My Only" .
It is quite beautiful, haunting, and lovely.
You will not want to put it down.

David Abrams 9/28/11, 1:23 PM  

To be honest, none of these opening lines hooked me in the way I was hoping they would. Olear's probably comes closest. But based on what I know about the books themselves, I'd probably go with Anne Enright's novel first.

carolsnotebook 9/29/11, 1:53 PM  

Based on just those beginnings, I'd have to go with The Forgotten Waltz, although none of them made me say, "I have to read that!"

Michelle 9/29/11, 8:27 PM  

You Are My Only is already on my digital bookshelf. It's going to be a heartbreaker for sure.

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