05 December 2011

Starting from Page 1: Six for Early Winter

The solstice is fast approaching and with it comes the official start of winter. For me, winter is the perfect season for reading through my bookshelves. As I've mentioned, one way I choose my next book is by reading the opening lines to see what calls to me. Here's what I read yesterday.

Luis Alberto Urrea
Queen of America
Hachette Book Group / Little, Brown and Company, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780316154864

At first she found it dry. Soon, and forever after, she would find it vast, dreadfully open, more sky than prairie, more prairie than mountain, more mountain than city. The whole would outstrip her ability to see, and she knew her days would end before she had seen one half of the continent and its rivers, its forests, its shores. Dry at first, then running, raining, flooding, wet. Then dry again. But now, in these days, for the first time in her life, she knew she was about to face the endless sea. The Saint of Cabora had discovered America.
Alexandra Fuller
Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness
Penguin Group USA / The Penguin Press, 2011
ISBN-13: 9781594202995
Our Mum--or Nicola Fuller of Central Africa, as she has on occasion preferred to introduce herself--has wanted a writer in the family as long as either of us can remember, not only because she loves books and has therefore always wanted to appear in them (the way she likes large, expensive hats, and likes to appear in them) but also because she has always wanted to live a fabulously romantic life for which she needed a reasonably pliable witness as scribe.
Mark Kurlansky
The Eastern Stars
Penguin Group USA / Riverhead Books, 2010
ISBN-13: 9781594487507
Nonfiction, sports
This is a book about what is known in America as "making it." And like all such tales, it is also a story about not making it. In this Dominican town, San Pedro de Macoris, the difference between making it and not making it is usually baseball.
Maria Duenas
The Time in Between
Simon & Schuster / Atria, 2011
ISBN-13: 9781451616880
Historical fiction
A typewriter shattered my destiny. The culprit was a Hispano-Olivetti, and for weeks, a store window kept it from me. Looking back now, from the vantage point of the years gone by, it's hard to believe a simple mechanical object could have the power to divert the course of an entire life in just four short days, to pulverize the intricate plans on which it was built. And yet that is how it was, and there was nothing I could have done to stop it.
Alica Bessette
A Pinch of Love
Penguin Group USA / Plume, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780452297111
Women's fiction
I knot Nick's camouflage apron under my boobs, unable to remember the last time I wore a bra, or preheated the oven. That's my widow style.
Sara Levine
Treasure Island!!!
Europa Editions, 2011
ISBN-13: 9781609450618
In the aftermath of my adventure, I decided to write down the whole thing, starting with my discovery of Treasure Island and keeping nothing back, not even the names of the friends and family members whose problems plagued me; and so even though I'd love to go into the other room and stab someone with a kitchen knife, I take up my pen--a nifty micro-ball which had been incorrectly capped and would have dried out had I not, at the crucial moment, found it and restored its seal.
Have any of these opening lines grabbed your attention? I have all of them on my winter reading list.


Julie P. 12/5/11, 6:19 AM  

I'm anxious to read THE TIME IN BETWEEN!

bermudaonion 12/5/11, 8:09 AM  

A Pinch of Love grabbed my attention! It sounds so good, but I bet it would make me cry.

Daryl 12/5/11, 9:24 AM  

I've added a couple to my list .. thanks for helping me find new books, I really enjoy your blog and being introduced to new authors!

Barbara 12/5/11, 10:01 AM  

I'm no help. I liked them all, but at this point, having not been able to read for many days, I'd be happy just reading labels for Pete's sake!

Christine 12/5/11, 10:01 AM  

They ALL sound good, but two stand out the most for me: The Time in Between and A Pinch of Love.

Sandy Nawrot 12/5/11, 10:12 AM  

A typewriter shattered my destiny? That one won the contest.

Jennifer-Girls Gone Reading 12/5/11, 11:03 AM  

Queen of America really draws my attention. Plus the author is coming to my city and I am dying to be a part of the conversation.

I like Pinch of Love as well, but I do find it interesting that they renamed the book for its paperback release. I kind of liked Simply from Scratch as a title instead.

Jen - Devourer of Books 12/5/11, 11:29 AM  

I liked Simply from Scratch better as the title too, Jennifer. They also took a long time to bring this out to paperback!

Nise' 12/5/11, 11:30 AM  

The Time in Between and A Pince of Love both grabbed my attention.

Lisa (BaffledBooks) 12/5/11, 11:34 AM  

What an awesome selection! The Queen of America has been on my tbr for ages but I think that A Pinch of Love and The Time in Between are tied for my favorite first lines.

Zibilee 12/5/11, 11:36 AM  

I was so enchanted with that quote from The Time in Between! I need to read that book (and perhaps a few of the others featured here today)!

Anita 12/5/11, 12:18 PM  

The Time in Between and A Pinch of Love both grabbed me!! So tell us, which book did you choose to read first of these opening lines?
I love when you post like this and tease us just a bit!!
I believe my next goal is going to be to tackle the books I've won/been given from 2011, the stack is high!!, Also balancing new books.

Jenners 12/5/11, 12:59 PM  

Actually, three of them grabbed me: Cocktail Hour, Pinch of Love and Treasure Island.

Beth(bookaholicmom) 12/5/11, 3:46 PM  

The Time In Between and A Pinch of Love both caught my attention. I would have had a hard time choosing which one of those to go with first!

Beth Hoffman 12/5/11, 4:32 PM  

When I read "A typewriter shattered my destiny." I was thoroughly hooked!

Girl Parker 12/5/11, 5:01 PM  

Appearing in hats!! And the difference is usually baseball! Definitely "Cocktail Hour" and "Eastern Stars." Delicious beginnings.

softdrink 12/5/11, 10:46 PM  

It's a toss-up between the typewriter and the boobs.

Michelle 12/6/11, 4:39 AM  

These sound like some interesting reads!

Serena 12/6/11, 8:57 AM  

Looks like you've got some interesting books to choose from. Urrea never seems to disappoint.

Melanie 12/6/11, 11:42 AM  

A Pinch of Love grabbed my attention too. Definitely one that sounds emotional.

Robin McCormack 12/7/11, 8:31 PM  

I like "The Time In Between". Captures my interest.

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