Tag: Meme: Book Beginnings on Fridays


Meme: Friday Book Memes

Posted 24 April, 2014 by Lianne in Meme / 10 Comments

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Rose City Reader

Here’s a book I started reading:

Until We End
By: Frankie Brown

It’s been nine months since the virus hit, killing almost everyone it touched. Seventeen-year-old Cora and her little brother, Coby, haven’t left home since. Not after the power cut out; not even after sirens faded in the distance and the world outside their backyard fence fell silent. But when a blistering drought forces Cora to go in search of water, she discovers that the post-apocalyptic world isn’t as deserted as she thought when she meets Brooks, a drop-dead sexy army deserter.

Fighting their way back home, Cora finds her house ransacked and Coby missing – kidnapped by the military for dangerous medical experiments in the name of finding a cure. Brooks knows exactly where Cora can find her brother, except he says it’s a suicide mission. Cora doesn’t care. But Brooks can’t let her go…

Here’s the first lines of the book:

Dad always knew the world was going to end.

He prepared us for it. Stockpiling food instead of getting us knew clothes, and getting me a gun instead of a car for my sweet sixteen. He called himself a prepper. Our neighbours called him crazy.

But he was right. All it took was one little virus. – 1% on my Kobo eReader

I forgot which author on my Twitter feed recommended this title but I kept it on my radar. I came across it a few weekends ago when Kobo Books was holding a massive Easter long weekend sale and decided to check it out. The premise sounded interesting and I’ve heard some good reviews about it so far. Needless to say, the opening lines definitely casts the mood and the setting for the novel, doesn’t it?

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Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

For this week’s FF, I chose a YA novel first published in 1999:

Crusader
By: Edward Bloor

There’s a dark secret in fifteen-year-old Roberta Ritter’s past. Her mother was murdered years ago by an unknown killer. Now, Roberta must separate the real from the virtual as she begins her own crusade to discover the cause of a new rash of hate crimes and the truth behind her mother’s death.

on Goodreads

I read this book shortly after it came out (it’s actually still on my shelf, lol, deep in the back with all of my Star Trek novels and other books I used to read in elementary). I think it was the first time I read a novel that had some dark undertones, especially for a YA title.

The details of the novel escape me now–though I do remember her father was more or less absent and she was friends with the owner of one of the stores in the mall–but I remember thinking how this book was unlike others I had read from the genre; Roberta’s life is pretty bleak especially after the death of her mother and found herself questioning the motives of pretty much everyone in her life. I also remember thinking how engrossing the novel was–an impressive 500+ pages at that–as was the mystery.

I also vaguely remember feeling a tad bit sceptical about the ending of the novel and whether it was plausible to do something like that for a teenager, but then thought whatever, the book was interesting anyway =P Definitely a novel that stuck around my bookshelves over the years 🙂

If you’re participating in this meme, be sure to link up over at Bookshelf Fantasies!

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And those are my two books for today’s memes! What books are you reading this Friday? Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Happy reading! 🙂

Meme: Friday Book Memes

Posted 10 April, 2014 by Lianne in Meme / 10 Comments

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Rose City Reader

Here’s a book I started reading:

I Am Pilgrim
By: Terry Hayes

An intelligent and taut debut thriller that depicts the collision course between two geniuses, one a tortured hero and one a determined terrorist.

In a seedy hotel near Ground Zero, a woman lies face down in a pool of acid, features melted off her face, teeth missing, fingerprints gone. The room has been sprayed down with DNA-eradicating antiseptic spray. Pilgrim, the code name for a legendary, world-class secret agent, quickly realizes that all of the murderer’s techniques were pulled directly from his own book—a cult classic of forensic science written under a pen name.

In offering the NYPD some casual assistance with the case, Pilgrim gets pulled back into the intelligence underground. Meanwhile, his adversary—a man simply known as “the Arab”—is plotting his next move in service to jihad. What follows is a thriller that jockeys between astonishingly detailed character study and breakneck globetrotting. It takes us from Pilgrim’s hidden life of leisure in Paris to the Arab’s squalid warrior life in Afghanistan, from the hallways of an exclusive Swiss bank to the laboratories of a nefarious biotech facility in Syria. Secrets are exposed and tension builds until Pilgrim and the Arab arrive in Turkey—where the two masterminds inevitably meet to face off in the shocking finale.

Here’s the first lines of the book:

There are places I’ll remember all my life–Red Square with a hot wind howling across it, my mother’s bedroom on the wrong side of Eight Mile, the endless gardens of a fancy foster home, a man waiting to kill me in a group of ruins known as the Theatre of Death.

But nothing is burned deeper in my memory than a walk-up in New York–threadbare curtains, cheap furniture, a table loaded with tina and other party drugs. – p. 3 (ARC; not final)

I received an ARC copy of this novel from the publishers a few months ago and after weeks of my tackling and scheduling around my to-read pile, I’ve finally gotten around to starting this book. I’m really looking to it, it sounds intense 😀 The opening lines is quite an introduction, providing a comparison to who knows what else is at the apartment in New York that he would lodge itself deep into his memory hereon after.

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Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

For this week’s FF, I chose a novel first published in 1995:

The Bourne Ultimatum
By: Robert Ludlum

The world’s two deadliest spies in the ultimate showdown. At a small-town carnival two men, each mysteriously summoned by telegram, witness a bizarre killing. The telegrams are signed Jason Bourne. Only they know Bourne’s true identity and understand the telegram is really a message from Bourne’s mortal enemy, Carlos, known also as the Jackal, the world’s deadliest and most elusive terrorist. And furthermore, they know that the Jackal wants: a final confrontation with Bourne. Now David Webb, professor of Oriental studies, husband, and father, must do what he hoped he would never have to do again—assume the terrible identity of Jason Bourne. His plan is simple: to infiltrate the politically and economically Medusan group and use himself as bait to lure the cunning Jackal into a deadly trap—a trap from which only one of them will escape.

on Goodreads

I read the original trilogy by Robert Ludlum years and years ago, shortly after I had seen the first movie starring Matt Damon. The premise for Jason Bourne was interesting and while the movies obviously were changed to reflect our contemporary period, the books operated during the Cold War, with spies and agencies pitted against each other.

The reason I chose this third novel, as opposed to the first, is because I remember being totally engrossed by the story, I could not put it down once the plot was set and moving. It’s also the climax of his rivalry against the Jackal, his archnemesis, and the final showdown was pretty intense. But I also love this novel because it was pretty realistic: David Webb is much older at this point and despite of his age and his body slowing down, he’s still determined to end their rivalry once and for all. I couldn’t help but chuckle every time he complained about his knee and how he wasn’t as fast as he used to just because it was clear that he was too old for all the chase scenes and stuff. Not something you often hear addressed in thrillers like these, I think (or it was just the first time I came across a novel that addressed the reality of older spies/assassins/agents on the field).

But I digress, I really enjoyed this novel, and it made for a satisfying end to David Webb’s journey 🙂

If you’re participating in this meme, be sure to link up over at Bookshelf Fantasies!

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And those are my two books for today’s memes! What books are you reading this Friday? Wishing a wonderful weekend–happy reading! 🙂

Meme: Friday Book Memes

Posted 3 April, 2014 by Lianne in Meme / 9 Comments

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Rose City Reader

Here’s a book I started reading:

House of Many Ways
By: Diana Wynne Jones

Charmain Baker is in over her head. Looking after Great Uncle William’s tiny cottage while he’s ill should have been easy, but Great Uncle William is better known as the Royal Wizard Norland an his house bends space and time. Its single door leads to any number of places – the bedrooms, the kitchen, the caves under the mountains, the past, to name but a few. By opening that door, Charmain is now also looking after an extremely magical stray dog, a muddled young apprentice wizard and a box of the king’s most treasured documents, as well as irritating a clan of small blue creatures. Caught up in an intense royal search, she encounters an intimidating sorceress named Sophie. And where Sophie is, can the Wizard Howl and fire demon Calcifer be far behind?

Here’s the first lines of the book:

“Chairman must do it,” said Aunt Sempronia. “We can’t leave Great Uncle William to face this on his own.”

“Your Great Uncle William?” said Mrs. Baker. “Isn’t he–” She coughed and lowered her voice because this, to her mind, was not quite nice. “Isn’t he a wizard?” – p. 9

I got around to reading Howl’s Moving Castle (review) last year and absolutely loved it. I read the second book in the series, Castle in the Air, recently and enjoyed that book too (review to follow) so here I am at the third (and final?) book. I’m looking forward to it, I love how Diana Wynne Jones really expanded on the world and focused on adventures in neighbouring kingdoms 🙂 And, by the looks of the opening lines, the story really just throws the reader right into the matter, lol 😉

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Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

For this week’s FF, I chose a novel first published in 1995:

The Winter King
By: Bernard Cornwell

It takes a remarkable writer to make an old story as fresh and compelling as the first time we heard it. With The Winter King, the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell finally turns to the story he was born to write: the mythic saga of King Arthur.

The tale begins in Dark Age Britain, a land where Arthur has been banished and Merlin has disappeared, where a child-king sits unprotected on the throne, where religion vies with magic for the souls of the people. It is to this desperate land that Arthur returns, a man at once utterly human and truly heroic: a man of honor, loyalty, and amazing valor; a man who loves Guinevere more passionately than he should; a man whose life is at once tragic and triumphant.

As Arthur fights to keep a flicker of civilization alive in a barbaric world, Bernard Cornwell makes a familiar tale into a legend all over again.

on Goodreads

Funny story about this novel/King Arthur series written by Bernard Cornwell: I had a friend in high school who was really big on the Arthurian stories. She saw I was reading this and thought it was an interesting take on a familiar story so she read it at some point. A few years after she mentioned how it was one of her favourite series and I asked her who wrote it and what it was about and she told me that it was the book that I recommended to her years before *blushes* Oops, memory span was pretty short on that one…

Anyway, yeah, despite the fact that it’s been years since I’ve read it and the plot is pretty hazy to me at this point (I’d love to revisit it, actually, Bernard Cornwell is a great writer), the trilogy has stuck in my mind because of its unique approach to the Arthurian legend. It mixes early Briton history (pre-Norman, if memory serves me correctly) with the legacy of the Romans and the various religions present in the isle at that time. It’s a bit strange for those familiar with the familiar elements of the legend but it’s interesting.

If you’re participating in this meme, be sure to link up over at Bookshelf Fantasies!

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And those are my two books for today’s memes! What books are you reading this Friday? Wishing a wonderful weekend–happy reading! 🙂

Meme: Friday Book Memes

Posted 20 March, 2014 by Lianne in Meme / 7 Comments

Happy Friday! Posting this up a few hours earlier as it’s been a long day and thus turning it in a little earlier than usual:

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Rose City Reader

Here’s a book I started reading:

The Good Luck of Right Now
By: Matthew Quick

Call it fate. Call it synchronicity. Call it an act of God. Call it . . . The Good Luck of Right Now. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook comes an entertaining and inspiring tale that will leave you pondering the rhythms of the universe and marveling at the power of kindness and love.

For thirty-eight years, Bartholomew Neil has lived with his mother. When she gets sick and dies, he has no idea how to be on his own. His redheaded grief counselor, Wendy, says he needs to find his flock and leave the nest. But how does a man whose whole life has been grounded in his mom, Saturday mass, and the library learn how to fly?

Bartholomew thinks he’s found a clue when he discovers a “Free Tibet” letter from Richard Gere hidden in his mother’s underwear drawer. In her final days, mom called him Richard—there must be a cosmic connection. Believing that the actor is meant to help him, Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life, writing Richard Gere a series of highly intimate letters. Jung and the Dalai Lama, philosophy and faith, alien abduction and cat telepathy, the Catholic Church and the mystery of women are all explored in his soul-baring epistles. But mostly the letters reveal one man’s heartbreakingly earnest attempt to assemble a family of his own.

A struggling priest, a “Girlbrarian,” her feline-loving, foul-mouthed brother, and the spirit of Richard Gere join the quest to help Bartholomew. In a rented Ford Focus, they travel to Canada to see the cat Parliament and find his biological father . . . and discover so much more.

Here’s the first lines of the book:

Dear Mr. Richard Gere,

In Mom’s underwear drawer–as I was separating her “personal” clothes from the “lightly used” articles I could donate to the local thrift shop–I found a letter you wrote.

As you will recall, your letter was about the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, China–you were advocating for a boycott because of the crimes and atrocities the Chinese government committed against Tibt.

Don’t worry.

I’m not one of those “crazy types.” – p. 1

There’s been a lot of buzz about this book for the last few weeks (from the same author who wrote Silver Linings Playbook) so I’m pretty psyched to start reading the novel and see for myself what it’s all about. The premise of the novel seems rather quirky; I’m only a few pages in but his recount of what’s happened to him in the last few months already has my sympathy. Can’t wait to read more this weekend (when I’m not studying for tests)! 🙂

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Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

For this week’s FF, and in a sort of pre-celebration of Tolkien Reading Day next week, I’ve decided to feature a particular title first published in 1937:

The Hobbit
By: J.R.R. Tolkien
My review of the novel

Bilbo Baggins is a reasonably typical hobbit: fond of sleeping, eating, drinking, parties and presents. However, it is his destiny to travel to the dwarflands in the east, to help slay the dragon Smaug. His quest takes him through enchanted forests, spiders’ lairs, and under the Misty Mountains, where he comes across the vile Gollum, and tricks him out of his ‘Precious’ – a ring that makes its bearer invisible, and wields a terrible power of its own.

on Goodreads

I believe I read this book when I was…16? 17? Definitely after I read LOTR and really just losing myself in Middle Earth and all of its luscious history, culture and lore. It was a bit of a culture shock for me at first because it was written quite differently compared to LOTR, rather fairy tale-ish almost. Then again the target audience was a little different but it was quite an adventure anyhow and it definitely sits comfortably as a part of the history of the One Ring and part of the fabric of the greater Middle Earth. And what an adventure it was! Exploring a different part of Middle Earth, hanging out with the dwarves, etc.

I mentioned it in my review but re-reading it a few times since, it’s great to pick up on a lot of little things: how funny the characters can be and how grumpy the dwarves get, how sassy Gandalf can be, the state of Mirkwood, etc. I don’t know if I’ll re-read the book before the final movie comes out in December but it’s a wonderful book to turn to when one is in a reading slump or wishes to slip back to Middle Earth for an adventure 🙂

If you’re participating in this meme, be sure to link up over at Bookshelf Fantasies!

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And those are my two books for today’s memes! What are you reading this Friday? Wishing a wonderful weekend–happy reading! 🙂

Meme: Friday Book Memes

Posted 14 March, 2014 by Lianne in Meme / 8 Comments

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Rose City Reader

Here’s a book I started reading:

The Bards of Bone Plain
By: Patricia A. McKillip

Eager to graduate from the school on the hill, Phelan Cle chose Bone Plain for his final paper because he thought it would be an easy topic. Immortalized by poets and debated by scholars, it was commonly accepted-even at a school steeped in bardic tradition-that Bone Plain, with its three trials, three terrors, and three treasures, was nothing more than a legend, a metaphor. But as his research leads him to the life of Nairn, the Wandering Bard, the Unforgiven, Phelan starts to wonder if there are any easy answers…

Here’s the first lines of the book:

Phelan found his father at the river’s edge. It was morning, early and quiet. Tide washed softly against the flank of one of the great, weathered standing stones scattered so randomly on both sides of the river that some said they moved about restively at night when the moon was old. – p. 1

I love the description of the standing stones and about the “night when the moon was old.” Readers of my blog will know that I’m quite a fan of Patricia A. McKillip’s books. I’ve read a number of her books at this point so I can’t be bothered to post them here; a search should bring them all up 🙂 I got this particular title for a very good price online and I was in the mood for a fantasy so, here we are. The premise is intriguing and with McKillip nothing is ever what it seems so it will be something. Looking forward to really delving into this novel this weekend! 🙂

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Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

For this week’s FF, I chose a novel written by a Canadian author and first published in 2001:

All Families Are Psychotic
By: Douglas Coupland

The most disastrous family reunion in the history of fiction.

The Drummond family, reunited for the first time in years, has gathered near Cape Canaveral to watch the launch into space of their beloved daughter and sister, Sarah. Against the Technicolor unreality of Florida’s finest tourist attractions, the Drummonds stumble into every illicit activity under the tropical sun-kidnapping, blackmail, gunplay, and black market negotiations, to name a few. But even as the Drummonds’ lives spin out of control, Coupland reminds us of their humanity at every turn, hammering out a hilarious masterpiece with the keen eye of a cultural critic and the heart and soul of a gifted storyteller. He tells not only the characters’ stories but also the story of our times–thalidomide, AIDS, born-again Christianity, drugs, divorce, the Internet-all bound together with the familiar glue of family love and madness.

on Goodreads

I first read this novel around 2002/2003. It was my first Douglas Coupland novel (well-known author up here) and I was rather drawn to it because of the title, lol. My paperback copy didn’t outright have the blurb written on the back so I didn’t know much about what the story was about. Let’s just say that blurb up above? Yeah, it really is as crazy as it sounds. The poor mum is trying to keep everything together for a pleasant outing before Sarah goes into space and basically mayhem ensues thanks to pretty much every single member of this family. It veers into borderline impossible but there’s a heart to the story that just makes it work as a whole.

Overall, yeah, this novel is really mad, but I love it; enjoyed it so much that I lent my copy to my best friends after I had read it. It’d be fun to revisit this novel, especially as some of the particular details of the plot have escaped me now.

If you’re participating in this meme, be sure to link up over at Bookshelf Fantasies!

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And those are my two books for today’s memes! What books are you reading this Friday? Wishing a wonderful weekend–happy reading! 🙂