16 August 2011

Starting from Page 1: Six for Late Summer

August is half over, and in the United States that means it's time to squeeze in a few more days of freedom before the kids go back to school and to scramble to finish all those warm-weather projects you never did get around to doing.

I was looking over the barely touched stack of books that I was sure I was going to read this summer and realized I will likely never find time to read every book that calls to me. As I mentioned earlier this summer, one way I choose my next book is by reading the opening lines to see what grabs me. Here's what I read yesterday.

Sally Goldenbaum
The Wedding Shawl
Penguin / New American Library
ISBN-13: 9780451233196
Cozy mystery

It would be a night of murder, they'd been told. And there'd be lemon squares, too.
Joanna Briscoe
Bloomsbury, 2011
ISBN-13: 9781608194834
It's haunted, she thought.

They emerged from the lanes on to the upper reaches of the moor, and Cecilia understood that the baby girl was still there: there in the sodden cloud shadows, there in the bracken.
Amanda Kyle Williams
The Stranger You Seek
Random House / Bantam, 2011
The sun had not even burned dew off the grass under the live oaks, but the air was thick and soupy already, air you could swim around in, and it was dead-summer hot.

Inside the car she had not yet noticed parked on her street, a patient hunter dabbed at a trickle of perspiration and watched as Westmore Drive began a sleepy jog toward midweek.
Jeff Hirsch
The Eleventh Plague
Scholastic Press, 2011
Young adult dystopian
I was sitting at the edge of clearing, trying not to stare at the body on the ground in front of me. Dad had said we'd be done before dark, but it had been hours since the sun had gone down and he was still only waist deep in the hole, throwing shovelfuls of dirt over his shoulder.
Leila Cobo
Tell Me Something True
Hachette / Grand Central, 2009
ISBN-13: 9780446519366
The air feels sweet and moist and just the slightest bit warm when you get off the 9 p.m. flight to Cali. It clings to your skin, but in the faintest, most tenuous way, like the sheerest of gauze blouses touching but not touching your arms as you breathe.
Jacques Strauss
The Dubious Salvation of Jack V.
Farrar Straus Giroux
ISBN-13: 9780374144128
When I was eleven I was too old to cry in front of my friends, but not too old to fake a stomachache at a sleepover if I was suddenly overcome with homesickness because my friend's mother and made mutton stew and prayed before the meal and bought no-name-brand toothpaste that tasted funny.
From the opening lines, which of these would you read first? I haven't yet decided.


Susan 8/16/11, 7:43 AM  

Love those opening lines - especially the first one with murder and lemon squares - I'm already hooked on that one!

Jen Forbus 8/16/11, 8:16 AM  

I'm totally biased on this one because I also have THE STRANGER YOU SEEK and can't wait to read it, opening lines or not. :-)

caite 8/16/11, 8:41 AM  

Trying to snag a copy of The Stranger You Seek on NetGalley...really hope I do now.

Jenn's Bookshelves 8/16/11, 8:54 AM  

Totally envious you have The Eleventh Plague!

bermudaonion 8/16/11, 9:08 AM  

Well, I loved Tell Me Something True, so I can recommend that one. The Dubious Salvation of Jack V. sounds good to me.

Barbara 8/16/11, 9:40 AM  

I like the description in Tell Me Something True, but the murder and lemon squares sounds like the kind of light witty mystery I'm in the mood for now. I think I'm in the middle of The Stranger You Seek right now with the soupy air you can swim in.

Madeline Mora-Summonte 8/16/11, 9:40 AM  

For me, it's a tie between YOU and THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE. Both are going on my to-be-read list.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) 8/16/11, 9:48 AM  

Man I love these. I think the first is my favorite. Nothing quite like murder and lemon squares, right?

Beth Hoffman 8/16/11, 9:57 AM  

I laughed out loud at this one, "It would be a night of murder, they'd been told. And there'd be lemon squares, too."

Bwahahahaaa, I loved it ... sounds like the beginning of a story we'd tell while sitting around the campfire at Happydale.

Sandy Nawrot 8/16/11, 10:13 AM  

OMG STOP! You make me want to read every darned one of them! I feel overwhelmed with want.

Anonymous,  8/16/11, 1:38 PM  

I never get as much reading done in the summer as I anticipate! The last book is the one that grabs me the most.

Dorte H 8/16/11, 4:06 PM  

A close race between the first two, but I vote for "The Wedding Shawl".

Lissa 8/16/11, 4:26 PM  

The Stranger You Seek looked really good to me, but I am always up for a really good thriller. Close second would be the Wedding Shawl. =D

Joy Weese Moll 8/16/11, 4:52 PM  

Just from the first lines, I would go with The Dubious Salvation of Jack V or The Wedding Shawl.

The second person of Tell Me Something True bugs me, but if it didn't look like it was going to do that through the whole book, I might be more willing.

The second sentence of The Stranger You Seek has a view point problem, doesn't it? Or am I just reading it funny? How can "she" be telling us about a car she hasn't noticed yet? That sort of thing would bug me if it happened very much. Although, I am more forgiving on the first page or two since there's awkwardness in getting stories and view points started.

Beth F 8/16/11, 4:58 PM  

Joy: interesting! The change in Stranger You Seek intrigues me rather than bothers me.

And second person is also fine with me when it's well done. Can't tell yet about Tell Me Something True until I read past page 1.

Anonymous,  8/16/11, 6:46 PM  

I don't read cozy mysteries, but the mention of lemon squares made my mouth water!

Nise' 8/16/11, 8:46 PM  

Three of them have my interest: You, The Stranger You Seek and The Eleventh Plague.

jeanne 8/16/11, 9:02 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeanne 8/16/11, 9:06 PM  

I'll try this again. Definitely would go with The Wedding Shawl, but The Dubious Salvation of Jack V would be a close second. Which book did you pick? Some great reads here.

Kailana 8/16/11, 10:47 PM  

I am thinking it would be nice if summer was a bit longer because of the depressing weather we have had lately...

David Abrams 8/17/11, 6:58 AM  

"The Wedding Shawl" is a good opener.

Out of the titles you listed, only one--"The Dubious Salvation of Jack V."--is sitting in the TBR pile on my desk. That entire first paragraph is a gripper. The sentence following the one you quoted:

When I was eleven I had a nightmare and went to my parents' room and intrrupted them having sex.

Darlene 8/17/11, 11:08 AM  

Wow, that would be a hard one but I'd be picking between You and Tell Me Something True. As a matter of a fact I think I may have just added two books to my wishlist. lol.

Margot 8/17/11, 12:32 PM  

I'd take the lemon bars and a good cozy, so my pick would be The Wedding Shawl. However, I don't think you can go wrong if you just close your eyes and pick. I hope you let us know which one you go with.

Heather 8/17/11, 10:43 PM  

I had already added The Eleventh Plague to my list.

BookGeek 8/18/11, 2:56 PM  

I like both The Dubious Salvation of Jack V. and The Eleventh Plague.

Michelle 8/19/11, 6:47 AM  

I really like this feature. It's a great way to give some insight to a book without being able to read more of it.

Jenners 8/21/11, 4:57 PM  

I hate that I'd probably want to read The Eleventh Plague. Why do I keep getting drawn to YA Dystopia books when I hardly ever like them?

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