First Sentence Of Current Book - Part Two
This is a continuation of the topic First Sentence of current book..
This topic was continued by First Sentence Of Current Book - Part Three.
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There are 400+ posts on the previous thread, so I'm thinking it's time to start a new one.
May 8. What a wonderful day! I spent all morning stretched out on the grass in front of my house, beneath the huge plane tree that completely covers, shelters, and shades the lawn.
The Horla by Guy de Maupassant
(translated by Charlotte Mandell)
So...do You guys ever think about...THINGS?
Can't We Talk About something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
"Labour history is today flourishing as never before,
at least quantitatively. As to quality, it is difficult to
judge the present against the past, and some of us
would not be too happy to step into the ring with, say,
SIdney and Beatrice Webb, or Gustav Mayer, but we
are fortunately not required to confront them face to face,
since we can stand on their shoulders."
Workers: Worlds of Labour
by Eric Hobsbawm
The auroch appeared quite suddenly from the trees on the other side of the stream.
Spirit Walker by Michelle Paver
"Do you remember where you were when President
Kennedy was killed? Even if you werenʻt alive at the
time, you surely know that a sniper in a high window
was waiting for JFK to ride by that infamous day in
In CHICAGO(!) (emphasis added; the above is in
bold above the opening lines, which are):
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1963
The cityʻs oldest, most famous strip cliub joint was just
a storefront with 606 CLUB emblazoned in neon over its
lighted-up, canopied walkway. Another smaller 606 neon sign
crooked its summoning finger into the street, while windows
promised delight by way of posters of Lili St. Cyr, Ann Corio,
and, Tempest Storm , none of whom was appearing right now.
Target Lancer by Max Allan Collins
*cover title: Target Lancer: November 1963 and theyʻre
Going to Kill JFK - - - in Chicago
'Ah, yes, said Rose Mbikwa, looking up at the large dark bird with elegant tail soaring high above the car park of the Nairobi Museum, 'a black kite. Which is, of course, not black, but brown.'
A Guide To The Birds Of East Africa: A Novel - Nicholas Drayson
A fug of tobacco smoke and damp clammy air hit her as she entered the cafe.
Life After Life. Kate atkinson
"The opening scenes of the Waste Forest episode (69-616, B69-634) initiate several important instances of literal and figurative reflective sequences that run throughout the text. The first reference to mirrors after St. Paul's implicit speculum in the Prologue occurs within the first fifty verses of narration, where the young Perceval rides his hunting horse into his mother's woods and begins to practice throwing his javelins."
from Perceval and Gawain in Dark Mirrors: Reflection and Reflectivity in Chretien de Troyes's Contes del Graal by Rupert T. Pickens.
reposting from older thread.
"Every member of our species is invited
to be a mystic, a lover of the ecstatic."
Jesus in the Lotus; the Mystical Doorway
between Christianity and Yogic Spirituality
by Russill Paul
1st words of the bookʻs "Introduction:The
Call of the Beloved"
"I have had close relationships with three species of wild pigs, each a chance encounter on a different continent, and all continue to enrich my life in surprising ways."
The Whole Hog: Exploring The Extraordinary Potential Of Pigs - Lyall Watson
"There may or may not be a God."
-- from the Introduction
"From the beginning of physics, there have been those who imagined they would be the last generation to face the unknown."
-- from Chapter 1
The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next by Lee Smolin
There were several promising-looking letters in the pile laid on Mrs James Kane’s virgin breakfast-plate on Monday morning, but, having sorted all the envelopes with the air of one expectant of discovering treasure-trove, she extracted two addressed to her in hands indicative either of illiteracy or of extreme youth.
Duplicate Death by Georgette Heyer
Why, I wondered long ago, don't the Iranians smile?
-- In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs by Christoper de Bellaigue
Two o'clock in the morning in that vast third of Continental United States stretching a thousand miles from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast. The immense region is deep in slumber, the peaceful stillness only broken by here and there the rumbling of a night train rolling down from Oregon, a lamp in a lonely ranch-house where a mother fosters a clamant new life, the droning hum of power plants along streams tumbling down the slopes of the Great Divide.
-- Our Times: The United States 1900-1925 - Part IV, The War Begins 1909-1914 by Mark Sullivan
Touchstones not working for this book. Plus, I had to include the second line to get to the "first sentence," since the book starts with a fragment.
It's late, almost dusk, when Rigo finally gets off work, grabs a quick bite at Salmon Ella's, and catches the Bay to Bay shuttle from Monterey to visit his ailing mother in San Jose.
Clade Mark Budz
"If you're curious as to what mass extinction looks like, you might want to visit the remains of the Capitan Reef at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, the highest mountains in Texas."
The Next Species: The Future Of Evolution In The Aftermath Of Man - Michael Tennesen
Prince Christian Augustus of Anhalt-Zerbst was hardly distinguishable in the swarm of obscure, penurious noblemen who cluttered the landscape and society of politically fragmented eighteenth-century Germany. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Womanand
And so it went until the men finally sought refuge in a cave. "Grant us thy mercy," they said. My Father's Notebook
"The strangest thing about my wifeʻs
return from the dead was how other
"The Beginnerʻs Goodbye; a novel"
by Anne Tyler
The wraiths of mist curled up slowly from the gray-and-silver surface of the river, gleaming in the first light from the sun.
Half Moon Street Anne Perry
In my Manhattan dining room hangs a framed enlargement of a family snapshot my dad inscribed "Asbury Aug. '40."
Going into the City: Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man by Robert Christgau
"Unique in world history is the prospect
of an adult king and his ranking chiefs
going to school."
The Hawaiian Chiefsʻ Childrenʻs School
by Mary A. Richards
"Birds was produced by Callistratus
at the Dionysia of 414 (B. C.) and
placed second; Ameipsias placed first
with Revelers and Phrynichus third
with The Loner. Birds
has the distinction of being the
longest* surviving comedy from
antiquity . . ." (opening of "Introductory Note".)
Birds. Lysistrata. Women at the
Thesmophoria by Aristophanes;
ed. and tr. by Jeffrey Henderson
The Tube had broken down. Again.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
The Schoolroom in the parsonage at Heythram was not a large apartment, but on a bleak January day, in a household where the consumption of coals was a consideration, this was not felt by its occuupants too be a disadvantage.
Arabella by Georgette Heyer
Among the many political entities that comprise
the island states of the Pacific Ocean. Tonga is
the only one that was not subject to direct colonial
rule during the age of European hegemony.
Island Kingdom: Tonga Ancient and Modern; (with a
Foreword by Prof. Futa Helu).*
by I. C. Campbell**
"Who is history's first known atheist?"
Imagine There's No Heaven - Mitchell Stephens
The idea for this book first came to me while listening to twenty-eight middle school boys recite the Gettysburg Address from memory in front of their classmates and proud parents.
-- from the Preface*
On March 1, 1781, three and a half years after they were endorsed by the Continental Congress, the Articles of Confederation were officially ratified when the last state, Maryland, gave its approval.
-- from Chapter 1
The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis
* This sentence contains the only dangling modifier I've noticed in the book so far.
From Phundahl at their western extremity, east to Toonol, the Great Toonolian Marshes stretch across the dying planet for eighteen hundred earth miles like some unclean, venomous, Gargantuan reptile--an oozy marshland through which wind narrow watercourses connecting occasional bodies of open water, little lakes, the largest of which covers but a few acres.
Synthetic Men of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The universe has it's secrets.
-- from the Introduction
The word "dimension," like so many words that describe space or motion through it, has many interpretations--and by now I think I've heard them all.
-- from Chapter 1
Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions by Lisa Randall
Hercule Poirot looked with interest and appreciation at the young woman who was being ushered into the room.
Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie
"The actors in the old tragedies, as
we read,piped their iambics to a tune,
speaking from under a mask and
wearing stilts and a great head-dress."
The History of Henry Esmond, Esquire
by William M. Thackeray
(Intro) (Amidst the sounds of a gay crowd)
Alright! Quiet down! Quiet down!
Here ye, here ye!
Random House Audio presents William Shakespeare's Star Wars -Verily a New Hope.
Hey! Quiet in the front!
It is a period of civil war. The spaceships of the rebels striking swift from base unseen have gained a victory o'er the cruel Galactic Empire now adrift....
William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher
I never knew my father. My mother said he died heroically fighting the Comanches at Adobe Walls, but since that battle took place two years before I was born and since my mother's favor in later years ran toward medicine drummers and goldbrickers, I came to assume he'd simply left.
Sudden Country by Loren D. Estelman
(OK, I know that's two sentences, but the first is rather general and the second adds a bit of interesting flavor.)
There were twenty-two days to go before Christmas, but Lenny was doing his Christmas shopping early this year.
All Through the Night by Mary Higgins Clark
"There are many thoughts in a man's heart."
-- Tevye's Daughters by Sholom Aleichem (translation from the Yiddish by Frances Butwin)
Twenty past one in the morning on New Year's Day.
Raven Black Ann Cleeves
"History has been described as one damn thing after another."
The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage To The Dawn Of Evolution - Richard Dawkins
Maybe if he had one more drink they'd leave him alone.
The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville
This was the day that Daniel vaulted the wall.
The Dust that Falls From Dreams Louis De Bernieres
I remember how good the weather was that September.
-- from the Prologue: Berlin, September 1937
We were just a stone's throw from what had once been the concentration camp.
-- from Chapter One: Munich, 1949
The One from the Other by Philip Kerr
By midnight he knows his discontent will not let him sleep.
Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams
"In the 2,000 years since the death
of the first Roman emperor, Augustus and
Julius Caesar have been the subject of
more learned debate than any other
ancient political personalities."
Romeʻs Revolution: Death of the
Republic and Birth of the Empire
by Richard Alston
"The decision to write a book about a life changer like the Camino de Santiago was a real struggle for use."
In Movement There Is Peace: Stumbling 500 Miles Along the Way to the Spirit
by Elaine Orabona Foster, Ph.D. and Joseph Wilbred Foster II
Some of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence
About 13.5 billion years ago, matter, energy, time and space came into being in what is known as the Big Bang.
Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari
There could have been prophecy in the storm that blew up at the time of Julia's birth.
Demelza by Winston Graham
Upper Main Street in the village of North Bath, just above the town's two-block-long business district, was quietly residential for three more blocks, then became even more quietly rural along old Route 27A, a serpentine two-lane blacktop that snaked its way through the Adirondacks of northern New York, with their tiny, down-at-the-heels resort towns, all the way to Montreal and prosperity.
Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo
The news had already been on the radio, and all hell had broken loose.
Still Talking by Joan Rivers
Over the course of the last twenty years or so, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a bizarre statistical mystery.
The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
by Matt Taibbi
"As an eighteen-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, Lieutenant Sandra Smith was no stranger to danger, but she never expected the random act of fate that would change her life forever."
The Black Badge: Confessions of Corruption by C.L Lowry
"Every day one fifth of the world's oil exports flow through the twenty-mile-wide Strait Of Hormuz that links the Persian Gulf with the outside world."
The Twilight War: The Secret History Of America's Thirty-Year Conflict With Iran - David Crist
"Who was Jesus?"
This is a question that has interested
theologians as well as lay men and women
all over the world, ever since reports of
that unusual person were spread abroad.
The Law of Light by Lars Muhl
They say death aims only once and never misses, but I doubt Ty Yorkshire thought it would strike with a scrubbing brush.
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
What's left about two months after an apartment complex is set on fire?
-- from the Introduction
Don't listen to the dead, please do not listen to the dead--whatever they tell you, whatever fancy name or un-name they wish to go by, howsoever lyrical they might wax, because once you lend them your ears, they will nibble at your guilt, feed on your pity, swallow you whole, from head to toe, make no mistake.
-- from Part One
Fireproof by Raj Kamal Jha
"Our Dragon doesn't eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley."
Uprooted Naomi Novik
Terrific fantasy! How could one resist after that first line?
"Like a good detective story, the
history of capitalism begins with a puzzle."
The Relentless Revolution: a History
of Capitalism* by Joyce Appleby
*Reading currently; the author is on
my Favorites List.
Weird touchstone. Your Joyce Appleby goes to Common Sense by Thomas Paine.
" Appleby (Touchstone) goes to "Common
Sense" . . .
Not exactly a surprise to me, because a lot
of the things Iʻve bracketed have been weird; I used to
report them, but theyʻve become too frequent. I
assume there is something(s) in the data base of
the weird product that somehow matches up.
The boat was the SS Giovanni, which seemed only appropriate given the fact that at least three of its passengers, including myself, had been in the SS.
A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr
Looks like we're tackling similar subject matter these days.
The day I met George was one of the worst in my life.
Night Fall by Joan Aiken
"In writing this book, I took a deep breath
and created new characters and incidents in
the life of one of the most famous people
who ever lived." (1st sentence of "Authorʻs note")
"One crisp day, King Suddhodhana turned in his
saddle to survey the battle field."
(1st sentence of the novel)
Buddha (a novel) by Deepak Chopra
In the twilight of the morning when an old midwife began her "first-of-the-week" chores, there was nothing to indicate that life at the little village of Twin Fords would not go on in the usual way.
Morning Ran Red by Stephen Bowman
He could see the soldiers coming, hear their shouts, and he saw the sunlight breaking silver on his father's cap-badge.
The Run of the Country by Shane Connaughton
"Britain, the best of islands, is situated in
the Western Ocean, between France and
The History of the Kings of Britain
by Geoffrey of Monmouth
>107 artturnerjr: My vote would be for Who's Next, but that would be quibbling. Let me know how you like the book.
Lol - well, that whole period (1967 - 1973, let's say) was to popular music as the Italian Renaissance was to the visual arts - I think there was a new masterpiece album coming out about every three days then, or so it now seems.
The book is pretty good. The Rolling Stones, of course, are one of the most written-about bands of all time, so I don't know if there's a lot to say about them that hasn't already been said, but it's a pleasant and enthusiastic enough diversion and a quick read. Also, Janovitz is a guitar player in addition to being a writer (he was in the band Buffalo Tom) - always a helpful thing (as I'm sure you'll understand) when it comes to understanding the greatness of the Stones. ;)
#107 - 110> Actually, "Exile on Main Street" isn't even my favorite Stones album; my favorite is "Sticky Fingers," although of course here we're just talking about degrees of greatness. Glad to hear that that book is enjoyable. Maybe I'll get to it one of these days.
Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I'm really enjoying this YA fantasy adventure!
"I have a personal koan:
How do we live a life we canʻt hold on to?
How do we live with the fact that the moment
weʻre born we move closer to death; when we
fall in love we sign up for grief? How do we
reconcile that gain always ends in loss; gathering
in separation? "
The Power of an Open Question: the Buddhaʻs
Path to Freedom by Elizabeth Mattis Nangyel
"Quid fit, Maecenas, ut nemo quam sibi sortem
Seu Ratio dederit, seu Fors obiecerit illo
Contentus vivat: laudet diversa sequentis?" /
"How is it, Maecenas, that no one lives happy
with his own lot in life (whether his own Reason
bestowed it,, or mere obtrusive Chance): instead
he puts in a good word for those that follow
Horace Satires I,1: 1-3
The Malavoglia had once been as numerous as the stones on the old Trezza road.
The House by the Medlar Tree by Giovanni Verga
Yes, we sailed into Boston Harbor on that glorious day, all of us up on the deck of the Juno, we, the students of the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls, having recently delivered ourselves from confinement most cruel on the vile slaver Bloodhound.
Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and Lily of the West by L. A. Meyer
The sky over London was glorious, ochre and madder, as though a dozen tropic suns were simultaneously setting round the horizon; everywhere the searchlights clustered and hovered, then swept apart; here and there pitchy clouds drifted and billowed; now and then a huge flash momentarily froze the serene fireside glow.
Officers and Gentlemen by Evelyn Waugh
The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke's house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Dear Husband, I lost our children today.
A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
I am standing in line for Walt Disney's It's a Small World ride, holding my four-year-old daughter in my arms, trying to entertain her as the serpentine line of parents and children moves slowly toward the flat-bottomed boats emerging from the grotto to the music of an endless audio loop.
The Quiet Game by Greg Iles
Christ our Saviour, in the Gospel of St.
Matthew hearing the confession of St.
Peter who, first of all others, openly
acknowledged him to be the Son of God,
and perceiving the secret hand of His
Father therein, called him (alluding to
his name) a rock, upon which rock He
would build his Church so strong that
the gates of hell would not prevail against
Foxeʻs Book of Martyrs
by John Foxe
Isn't that what pretty much what I just said in post 128? :)
". . .pretty much what I said
in post 128?"
!!!?? (I donʻt see any affinity between
128 and 129).
>131 rolandperkins: It was a joke. I was making note of the comparison between Heaven and Disneyland. Irony and such.
"First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey."
The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
I remember very well the day it happened.
Autobiography of a Schizophrenic Girl
"When Present Obama took office in (January 2009),
said ANDREW* ROSS SORKIN in THE NEW# YORK TIMES
MAGAZINE, the global economy was in free fall."
"Obama: How will History Judge his
Economic Legacy?" (article)
by THE WEEK (unsigned, May 13, 2016)
*Caps are Bold in the original
#Caps are Italics in the original
Two streams of blood trickled slowly across the rough boards of the floor.
Spawn of Dagon by Henry Kuttner
(online here: http://www.fadedpage.com/showbook.php?pid=20130524)
Now we make you ugly, my mother said.
Prayers for the Stolen Jennifer Clement
The company stood at attention, each man looking straight before him at the empty parade ground, where the cinder piles showed purple with evening.
Three Soldiers by John Dos Passos
One of the most-traveled roads in post-World War II America was the highway leading out of the city.
-- from the Introduction
"Peace sure is hell," Marine Corps Captain Walter Mansfield told a reporter in 1945.
-- from Chapter 1
When Tenants Claimed the City: the Struggle for Citizenship in New York City Housing by Roberta Gold
Imagine a tropical forest so vast that you could roam in it all your life without ever finding out there was anything else.
A Stranger at Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
Through the deserted gate,
Full of ripened leaves.
I follow the small path.
Earth is as red as a childʻs lips.
I am aware
Of each step
Thich Naht Hahn ʻEssential Writingsʻ
Ed. by Robert Ellsberg;
Introd. by Sister Anabel Laity
James Kidd, a colonel of cavalry in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, was sure we would never forget its final battle, fought at Cedar Creek.
-- from the Preface
In a cold October rain the rider came, ambling his horse back down into the Valley of Humiliation.
-- from Chapter 1
The Guns of Cedar Creek by Thomas A. Lewis
Whatever they thought when they found her was bound to be wrong.
Hearts and Bones. Margaret Lawrence
"Edward Bennett Williams wanted to
be in control to the end, and a little beyond."
The Man to see Edward Bennett Williams:
Ultimate Insider, Legendary Trial Lawyer
by Evan Thomas
Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord
Ever since his young wife had given birth to a cat as an unexpected consequence of his experiments in sexual alchemy, and ever since his accidental invention of a novel explosive that confounded Newtonian physics by loosing its force at the precise distance of 6.56 feet from the source of its blast, President Veracruz had thought of himself not only an adept but also as an intellectual.
The grease-sllicked hair is a dead giveaway - no pun intended.
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Of the pleasures and pains of opium much has been written.
The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions by H.P. Lovecraft et al. (from the short story "The Crawling Chaos" by Winifred Virginia Jackson and H.P. Lovecraft; online here: http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/crc.aspx)
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - by Anne Fadiman
If Lia Lee had been born in the highlands of northwest Laos, where her parents and twelve of her brothers and sisters were born, her mother would have sqautted on the floor of the house that her father had built from ax-hewn planks thatched with bamboo and grass.
A Passion for Coffee by Hattie Ellis
Coffee beans begin life as the seeds inside the cherries of an evergreen plant, Coffea arabica,which grows in the humid lands between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
We came 10,000 miles, almost 3 million of us, to fight America's longest war.
Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam
Her rucksack contains her life reduced to small pieces.
The Garden of Letters Alyson Richman
" ʻA journey of a thousand miles begins
with the first step,ʻ wrote the Chinese
philosopher Lao Tzu , as sage adviser to
fellow travelers on the Taoist path. The
renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell
often referred to the first stages of "the
Heroʻs Journey" as the :Call to adventure,"
a step that all of us must take, many times
in the course of our lives. "
Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart; the Taoist path
through Stress and Spirituality
by Brian Luke Seaward
Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides
December 14, 1944
Puerto Princesa Prison Camp, Palawan, Philippines
All about then, their work lay in ruins.
Octoober 27, 11 A.M.
It was the third week of a high-plains October; and an unseasonably extended summer had baked the color from the landscape and had turned the rusted girders of the old bridge a thinned-out, tired brown.
The Dark Horse Craig Johnson
Sonny awakened to the sound of a chain saw and felt it slicing through his leg.
... Zia Summer by Rudolfo Anaya
Love this book (and the other two in this trilogy)
Before she became the Girl from Nowhere - the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years - she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy.
The Passage by Justin Cronin
Though seemingly a contradiction, it is nevertheless true that time only renders the character of Washington more clear, while the circumstances which developed it become more and more indistinct.
-- Washington and His Generals by Joel Tyler Headley (published 1875)
"A thud from the hallway outside her
hotel room wrenched Lauren Bradley out
of a light sleep."
Dangerous Impostor by Virginia Smith
Two men, who were brothers, went to Suffolk
-- La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith
The fire in our habitual public-house spurted and fell.
-- George Passant by C.P. Snow
I returned from the city about three o'clock on that May afternoon pretty well disgusted with life.
-- The 39 Steps by John Buchan
"Ne raillons pas les fous; leur folie dure plus longtemps que la nôtre.... Voila toute la différence."*
Toward the end of the year 1920 the Government of the United States had practically completed the programme, adopted during the last months of President Winthrop's administration.
The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers (online here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/8492 (and elsewhere))
(from the short story "The Repairer of Reputations")
*Translation (per S.T. Joshi, editor of the Barnes & Noble edition of the book): "Let us not laugh at the insane; their madness last longer than our own... that's the entire difference."
"When Cyrus entered Babylon in 539 B.C,.
the world was old. More significant, the world
knew its antiquity."
History of the Persian Empire by A. T. Olmstead
In that coastal triangle of Cornwall lying between Truro, St. Ann's, and St. Michael, social life did not extend far in the 1790s.
Warleggan Winston Graham
When King Richard's Holy War was first proclaimed in the month of December, in the year 1189, I laughed and said, I think to Robert of Kinwarton, with one of those bursts of rhetoric that Robert never approved: "I would as soon go on a voyage to the Unattainable Mountains."
-- Men Like Shadows by Dorothy Charques
Above, in the dried aromatic scrub, an early cicada churred.
-- The Wooden Shepherdess by Richard Hughes
The day was unseasonably warm for November, but in some misguided deference to the Chinese embassy,t he fire in the Admiralyt boardroom had been heaped excessively high, and Laurence was standing directly before it.
-- Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
On a rocky north slope near the village of Toukola in the southern part of the province of Hame stands the Jukola house.
-- Seven Brothers by Aleksis Kivi
In 1864 Caddie Woodlawn was eleven, and as wild a little tomboy as ever ran the woods of western Wisconsin.
-- Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
In the summer of 1943, the American carrier air force in the Pacific finally came into its own.
-- McCampbell's Heroes: The Story of the U.S. Navy's Most Celebrated Carrier Fighters of the Pacific War by Edwin P. Hoyt
Once upon a time the diary had a tiny key.
-- The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel
Amoeba leave no fossils.
-- Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
"From the Journals of Dr. Lester Sheehan:
MAY 3, 1993
"I havenʻt laid eyes on the island in several years".
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
She'd been feeling a seizure coming on for weeks, and for the first time in twenty-five years.
-- Waterbaby by Chris Mazza
Lieutenant Pierre Delacroix cursed himself for his overconfidence.
The Emperor's Revenge by Clive Cussler
A week passed before I understood the enormity of my situation, a week before I realized I was dead.
-- Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee
"Move!" bawled the drill corporal.
-- All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot
I fled Frankfurt am Main on February 27, 1933, the day the Reichstag went up in flames.
- from the Prologue
The Nazi war against Germany's homosexuals, to be properly understood, must be seen against the backdrop of the terrible tensions and social traumas that ultimately were to cause the collapse of the Weimar Republic.
- from Chapter 1
-- The Pink Triangle: the Nazi War Against Homosexuals by Richard Plant
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I've come to announce my book of poetry, and I've been grateful since reading.
Deep silence invaded the school building in Novolipki Street on Sundays.
-- Madame Curie by Eve Curie
Most shining of drinkers, and you, most be-carbuncled of syphilitics – for my writings are addressed solely to you – Alcibiades, praising in a dialogue of Plato’s called The Banquet his teacher Socrates (beyond dispute the prince of philosophers), says amongst other things that he resembled Sileni.
Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
As the cool luminous dawn of autumn rises over the eastern frontier of Germany, it picks out the stark steel sinews of a radio mast, barely inside the German boundary.
-- Winston Churchill: the Valiant Years by Jack Le Vien and John Lord
I reckon that I is a hundred and three or a hundred and four years old.
-- My Folks Don't Want Me to Talk About Slavery: Twenty-One Oral Histories of Former North Carolina Slaves edited by Belinda Hurmence
We are very familiar with the idea that humans are everywhere; that wherever you go in the world you will probably find people there already.
-- The Incredible Human Journey by Alice Roberts
He should never have taken that short cut.
- - Timeline by Michael Crichton
"I flipped through the CT scan images, the diagnosis obvious; the lungs were matted with innumerable tumors, the spine deformed, a full lobe of the liver obliterated."
When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi
There is, as every schoolboy knows in this scientific age, a very close chemical relation between coal and diamonds.
-- Victory by Joseph Conrad
"I often have to cut into the brain and it is something I hate doing."
Do No Harm: Stories Of Life, Death, And Brain Surgery - Henry Marsh
(skipping the Preface and the
"Has anyone ever considered the philosophy of travel?"
The Birth of Reason & other Essays
by George Santayana
On a soft, winter evening in Manhattan, the fifteenth of December, 1937, it started to snow; big flakes spun lazily in the sky, danced in the lights of the office building, then melted as they hit the pavement.
-- Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst
"There are consequences to excessive hope, just as there are to other forms of intemperance."
Listen, Liberal: - Or - What Ever Happened To The Party Of The People? - Thomas Frank.
In the beginning there were the swamp, the hoe--and Jussi.
-- Under the North Star by Väinö Linna
"When I was a kid, my parents would dress my two sisters and me in traditional Hindu garb and cart us off to the Hindu temple in Richmond Hill, where portly bare-chested Brahmin priests in white loincloths chanted sacred Sanskrit prayers in front of huge granite idols."
Elephants In My Backyard - Rajiv Surendra
"The king is ready for war."
The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog Adam Gidwitz
"Commander William Edgar Hatchett, Royal Navy, rolled up his napkin, threw the morning paper onto a chair and went into the hall".
The Cruiser by Warren Tute
The elegant travelling carriage which bore Miss Wychwood from her birthplace, on the border of Somerset and Wiltshire, to her home in Bath, proceeded on its way at a decorous pace.
Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer
Most people who think at all of the Aborigines
are concerned not so much with understanding
their social, religious, and mental life, as with
gaining information about their human
classification and place of origin.
The Australian Aborigines by A. P. Elkin
"One ordinary day in 2010 I sat in an anonymous Pentagon conference room with a dozen other people, listening as briefers from the military's Special Operations Command went over plans for an impending strike against a terrorist operative."
How Everything Became War And The Military Became Everything: Tales From The Pentagon - Rosa Brooks
Tran, Tran, and Hok broke through the heavy end-of-wet-season clouds.
The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill
I met Phil Needle on Independence Day, two hundred something-something years since America had freed itself from British rule and just a few days after the pirates had returned from the high seas, at a barbecue commemorating that troubled time.
-- We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler
In Madeleine Kamakauʻs long experience
one could learn much about a society from
its angry mobs.
"Twilightʻs Captives" by Christopher Bennett
(novella, pub. in "Analog")
I never heard exactly who it was that found Sara Heinemann's dead body over at the lagoon.
Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen
Though I lived and worked in the Third Reich during the first half of its brief life, watching at first hand Adolf Hitler consolidate his power as dictator of this great but baffling nation and then lead it off to war and conquest, this personal experience would not have led me to attempt to write this book had there not occurred at the end of World War II an event unique in history.
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer
After a bit of groping and fumbling, the new pattern of life at the Koskelas' settled by degrees into a daily routine, although Jussi, if he happened to be absorbed in thought, would walk up to the steps of the old main house before he noticed where he was going.
-- The Uprising by Väinö Linna
Music does not come out of the ether, it has to be conceived and performed by musicians.
-- The Reluctant Art: Five Studies in the Growth of Jazz by Benny Green
(The former English Composition teacher in me cannot resist pointing out that that's two independent clauses improperly connected by a comma.)
(Cool. Let's try to get this going again. I've always thought it was fun, but stopped as it seemed nobody else was taking part. OK, here goes, then . . . )
Squat, what the Germans call diecke and thus heavy of chest and shoulders, Roque Malacara carries his hat in his hand: this last shouldn't fool the reader, however, since R.M.'s step is firm and resolute.
-- The Valley by Rolando Hinojosa
My name is Jacky Faber and l am - by the grace of God, of Neptune, and of all the lesser gods - Owner and Captain of the Lorelei Lee, possibly the most beautiful brigantine bark ever to sail the seven seas.
The Mark of the Golden Dragon by L.A. Meyer
I had just finished breakfast and was filling my pipe when I got Bullivant's telegram.
-- Greenmantle by John Buchan
If Casey Stengel had called it a career in 1948, after winning the Pacific Coast League championship with Oakland, he would have ridden off into the sunset with his beloved wife, Edna, proudly concluding a thirty-nine-year run in pro baseball.
-- from the Introduction
It was time for the mail at the Stengel home.
-- from Chapter 1
Casey Stengel: Baseball's Greatest Character by Mary Appel
I left the car on Amsterdam Avenue and walked around the corner onto West 72nd Street.
They were on day shift then, which meant they had to face all that morning traffic on the Long Island Expressway.
-- Cops and Robbers by Donald E Westlake
"During the Winter of 1927-28 officials of the Federal government made a strange and secret investigation of certain conditions in the ancient Massachusetts seaport of Innsmouth."
-- The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft
There have been any number of faint earthquake shocks since I came here (in 1904) and a few real heavy ones, so I have never felt quite safe and always lived in a state of uncertainty. . . . Earthquake at Dawn Kristiana Gregory
The last time I stood on hot asphalt and breathed diesel fumes and french fry grease, I was wearing torn cutoffs and an extra-large George Thorogood and the Destroyers T-shirt.
-- And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You by Kathi Kamen Goldmark
Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world.
--- Eragon by Christopher Paolini
"So it turns out trying to put a Socialist
in the White House was the easy part."
"A Party for the People" by D. D. Guttenplan
May. Ourtside, the sun brehind clouds, a brutterfly. Inside, the lirving room with no carpet, the borxes, two erggplants in the platter, half a canterloupe. Anxious again. That's why the invasion of the r's into what she was looking at, the sun at dusk, the balcony, the floor, the household objects and what she though of momentarily having had nothing to eat since morning, eggplants and canteloupe.
-- Back to Delphi by Ioanna Karystiani*
* Obviously, that's more than the first sentence, but the second and third are necessary to make it clear that the first full sentence is not simply full of typos.
I sat on my living room sofa at five o'clock in the morning with a copy of the mock-up of the front page of the day's New York Post in my hand, looking at my own obituary.
-- Final Jeopardy by Linda Fairstein
Handing out advice on family matters is not my game.
Family Man by Calvin Trillin
Deep in the jungle-clad hills of northwest Burma, close to the border of the Indian state of Manipur, Billy Williams, delirious with fever, began to regain consciousness.
-- Elephant Company by Vicki Constantine Croke
The first sound in the morning was the clumping of the mill-girls' clogs down the cobbled street.
-- The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell
" 'I am different;' he wrote, 'let this
not upset you.' "
The Devil's Doctor:Paracelsus and the World of
Renaissance Magic and Science
by Philip Ball
Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.
- Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
The electrical transformers that would one day kill George Haskin sat high on a pole about ten yards off the northeast corner of the farm where Roscoe T Martin lived with his family.
-- Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves
Late one July evening in 1994, Red and Abby Whitshank had a phone call from their son Denny.
A Spool Of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler..
Short listed for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015 also Shortlisted The Man Booker Prize 2015
She took the corner too fast, and it was definitely not much of a road.
-- A Purple Place for Dying by John D. MacDonald
The man from Bus 203 was late.
(from the Prologue)
Outside Mauthausen, a concentration camp built beside a granite quarry on the northern edge of the Danube River in upper Austria, Obersturmbannfuhrer Adolf Eichmann stood at the head of a long column of 140 command cars and trucks.
(from Chapter 1)
-- Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb
The postwoman Eva Kluge slowly climbs the steps of 55 Jablonski Strasse.
-- Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada
I see grief every day here on Queen Street.
-- Saint Monkey by Jacinda Townsend
"Nothing is left of what was once the busiest and richest port on the Red Sea - just sand and a few crumbling facades, the abandoned homes and 'factories' (trading posts) that used to 'display a very handsome appearance toward the sea'.
Yemen: Dancing On The Heads Of Snakes - Victoria Clark
"Calvinism is apparently newsworthy these days."
Calvinism: a Very Short Intorduction by Jon Balserak
"At dawn in an outlying district of Warsaw, sunlight swarmed around the trunks of blooming linden trees and crept up the white walls of a 1930s stucco and glass villa where the zoo director and his wife slept in a bed crafted from white birch, a pale wood used in canoes, tongue depressors, and Windsor chairs."
-- The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
Nancy Underhill's death had been unexpected, abrupt -- a death like a slap in the face.
-- lost boy lost girl by Peter Straub
"Jonathan Harker's Journal (kept in shorthand)
3 May, Bistriz - Left Munich at 8.35 p.m. on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late.
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
"For a long time, I went to bed early."
- The Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
"Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in smal-town 1950s."
-- In the Woods by Tana French
From the air the works of the Vietnamese are extraordinarily beautiful.
-- Land of Frozen Laughter: a Community Development Volunteer in the Vietnam War, 1967-1969 by John Lewallen.
It was terribly hot that summer Mr Robertson left town, and and for a long while the river seemed dead.
From Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout her debut novel.
"Everyone is a birdwatcher, but there are two kinds of birdwatchers: those who know what they are and those who haven't yet realized it."
The Life Of The Skies: Birding At The End Of Nature - Jonathan Rosen
"Today our minds, our emotions, our relationships and
your bodies are out of kilter."
One Spirit Medicine
by Alberto Vllloldo
Everyone thought he was dead.
-- The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster
(From the introduction)
Owing to the fact that larger Jewish colonies existed in Italy from the twelfth century, there is reason to assume that Jewish merchants may have had contacts with Dubrovnik from these early days.
(From Chapter 1 - The Ghetto--Struggle for Living Space)
The size of Dubrovnik's ghetto varied over the years.
-- The Jews of Dubrovnik: a Walk Through Space and Time from the Early Days to the Present by Vesna Miovic
A room on the first floor of a Victorian-built university in the north of England.
first line of dialogue
Where the hell ...?
- Educating Rita by Willy Russell
"It's a monstrosity, a bastard combination of antique piping, worn valves--and modern electronic technology."
-- Homeworld by Harry Harrison
"Take a look at those clouds!" someone behind me said.
Law Man My Story of Robbing Banks, Winning Supreme Court Cases, and Finding Redemption by Shon Hopwood
(from the Introductory Note)
Baron von Freytag-Loringhoven, the author of this book, is the most distinguished soldier-writer of Prussia.
(from the Author's Foreword)
It may seem presumptuous to draw conclusions from the World War while it is still in progress.
(from Chapter 1 - "The Political and Economic Situation of the Central Powers"
The grouping of the Powers at the beginning and still more during the course of the World War has been extremely unfavourable to the Central Powers.
-- Deductions from the World War by Baron von Freytag-Loringhoven
"We all face times in our lives when the
path of existence seems too much to bear."
Tears to Triumph: Spiritual Heaing for
the Modern Plagues of Anxiety and
Depression by Marianne Williamson
Enemy of God (The Arthur Books #2)
by Bernard Cornwell
"Today I have been thinking about the dead."
Here I was, mayor of a major American city in the midst of a building boom like no other, filled with million dollar construction jobs, and I couldnʻt find anyone in town who would rent me a crane. Are you kidding me?
In the Shadow of Statues; A White Southerner Confronts History
by Mitch Landrieu (mayor of New Orleans)
This reminds me of a quote by my old friend the late John Holman, eventually a Unitarian minister in Billerica, MA:
"What I like about the culture of New Orleans is that itʻs not really an American city. Itʻs still a French* city."
(not an exact quote; just from memory, but thatʻs the gist of it.)
*The Louisiana Landrieu political family course are of French ancestry; but presumably not as
against U. S. culture as John Holman was.
>307 rolandperkins: I know you were only paraphrasing, but having lived in New Orleans for about seven years, I would not say that New Orleans is a French city. I would say it is a unique American city with strong French influence in some parts of its society and culture. In terms of its history, its cuisine and its relationship with music and the arts, yes, a strong European influence, particularly French. But in terms of its racism, violent crime and gun use, it is an American city through and through. Also, according to friends who still live there and are, in fact, New Orleans natives, a significant degree of the city's unique quality is getting drained away as a result of the gentrification that has occurred post-Kartina.
All that said, Landrieu seems like an interesting figure. His stance on the removal of the statues of Confederate figures was courageous, I thought (regardless of what one thinks of the stances). I'll be interested to know what you think of him. Among other things (and as his book probably points out), he is the son of Moon Landrieu, former NOLA mayor and Secretary of HUD (in Carter's administration, I think). He is responsible for the lovely boardwalk area long the banks of the Mississippi that is still known (I hope) as the Moonwalk.
More generally . . . . OK, then. Let's try to get this thread revived! I've always enjoyed it. Here's my current contribution:
There was only one person in the food-stall who knew exactly what that sound was that was rolling in across the plain, along the silver curve of the Irrawaddy, to the western wall of Mandalay's fort.
-- The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
I have seldom paid my annual visit to Basil without reflecting on the irrational nature of our feelings on birth and pedigree.
There Came Both Mist and Snow by Michael Innes
From the Prologue:
Even the most bitter accusers of Roger Williams recognized in him that combination of charm, confidence, and intensity which a later age would call charisma.
From Chapter 1:
This is a story about power.
-- Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty by John M. Barry
"Charlie considered himself lucky."
- The Good Nurse by Charles Graeber
"Cultural groups are often identified and understood by expressions."
In the Name of Hawaiians: Native Identities and Cultural Politics
by Rona Tamiko Halualani
"The peculiar events that are the subject of this history occurred in 194-, in Oran."
The Plague by Albert Camus
" ʻWe are all mentally ill,ʻ " said the smiling monk in the wide-brimmed hat,
as if this explained something.ʻ "
"Siddhartaʻs Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment" by James Kingsland
From this weekend's reading:
"Excuse, my lord, the liberty i take
In thus addressing you. I know that you
Will py the price of authorship and make
The allowances an author has to do.
A poet's fan-mail will be nothing new.
And then a lord--Good Lord, you must be peppered,
Like Gary Cooper, Coughlin, or Dick Sheppard,"
(sic for the comma at the end of the last line).--the first stanza of Letters from Iceland, one of the world's most unusual travel books
"This time there would be no witnesses."--Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
From the Preface:
Most high-ranking military officers practice in retirement the same reticence they necessarily practiced while on active duty about the details of what they saw and did in the course of official business: the controversies they participated in, the political maneuvering they witnessed, the personal eccentricities they encountered, the frustrations they suffered, the mistakes they and others made.
From Chapter 1:
Herewith most of a letter I wrote my father thirty years ago on the way home from war.
-- On Watch by Elmo Zumwalt, Zumwalt's memoir mostly of his time as Chief Naval Officer during the Nixon administration.
Brigadier General Marion Slate, West Point '29, commandant of Fort Murray, was just about to sit down to dinner on that July evening when the telephone rang.
-- Deadly to Bed by Don Tracy
"The town of Newport is situated to the north-east of Clew Bay, at the mouth of the Black Oak River."
-- Newport - Our Own Place
(This is a nicely produced booklet with historical and tourist information describing the town of Westport, County Mayo, Ireland)
My name is David Burkett. I'm actually the fourth in a line of David Burketts beginning in the 1860s when my great-grandfather emigrated from Cornwall, England, to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which forms the southern border of Lake Superior, that vast inland sea of freshwater.
-- True North by Jim Harrison
It's deader than a ruddy rat's arse tonight, ducks.
Mrs Jeffries On the Trail by Emily Brightwell
From the introduction by Theodore Dreiser:
When I think of philosophy and philosophers as they range through the centuries from earliest Greece to this hour, I am impressed with the fact that all are men of genius, temperamentally and deeply moved, like poets, by the phenomena of life by which they find themselves surrounded.
From Section One - The Universe:
Not till we are lost, in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.
-- Theodore Dreiser Presents the Living Thoughts of Thoreau
The World War which began in Manchuria in 1931 - two years before the fateful date when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany to stamp his name upon a new and dreadful epoch - has rolled full circle.
-- The Secret History of the War, Volume 1 by Waverly Root
It is official. The incredible New York Yankee Dynasty has crumbled and, like Humpty Dumpty, it appears doubtful it can ever be put together again.
-- When the Yankees Were on the Fritz: Revisiting the Horace Clarke Years by Fritz Peterson
"A land of leaning ice
Hugged by plaster-grey
Arches of sky, flings itself silently
"North Labrador" by Hart Crane
You might think he could have made up his mind earlier, and been man enough to inform his surroundings of his decision.
The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
"This isn't safe," said Howland.
-- The Hangman's Whip by Mignon G. Eberhart
"21 June 1922
APPEARANCE8* OF COUNT ALEXANDER ILYICH ROSTOV BEFORE THE EMERGENCY COMMITTEE OF THE PEOPLEʻʻS COMMISSARIAT FOR INTERNAL AFFAIRS
Presiding; Comrades V. A. Ignatov, M. S. Zakovsky, A. N. Kosarov
Prosecuting: A. Y. Vishinsky
*Appearances -- Affairs" Caps in original
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
"What shall it be, my friend? Champagne?"
>336 rolandperkins: What makes me think that things are not going to go well for the Count?
We shall see.
Just obtained Towlesʻs "Moscow..." yesterday, after an unusual 4-or-5month wait: it was the 06/18 or 07/18 selection for the local pubic libraryʻs Book Club.
"What make me think. . .?" L O L! For somebody my age (87) the presence of Andrei Vyshinksyʻs name alone would be enough.
When I was a kid the neighbors used to say, "Mrs. Greenberg has such nice children. Too bad one of them has to be a bum."
-- Hank Greenberg: The Story of My Life by Hank Greenberg with Ira Berkow
The first time I met Ted Williams he was screaming at me.
-- Joe Falls: 50 Years of Sports Writing (and I Still Can't Tell the Difference Between a Slider and a Curve) by Joe Falls
The big magician had only three assets: energy, audacity, and speed.
-- Groucho: the Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx by Stefan Kanfer
Lovely as it was, with the blood and all, Render could sense that it was about to end.
-- The Dream Master by Roger Zelazny
"The Englishman with Ernestina," she said, looking down at the luxuriously appointed public room. "He reminds me of you, Senor Hausner."
-- Field Gray by Philip Kerr
"An epic, 18-inning loss in Game 3 could have spelled the end
to baseball's winningest team. Instead it revealed THE TRUE
GREATNESS OF the Red Sox, who resolutely pulled together and
claimed their fourth World Series title in 15 years."
The Red Sox . . .
by Tom Verducci (feature article in Sports Illustrated, Nov. 5, 2018
Miss Elizabeth Mapp might have been forty, and she had taken advantage of this opportunity by being just a year or two older.
-- Miss Mapp by E. F. Benson
Before Elfrida Phipps left London for good and moved to the country, she made a trip to the Battersea Dogs' Home, and returned with a canine companion.
~ Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
A little Buddhist monk was anxious to emigrate from his native land, which was none other than Korea.
-- The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof by César Aira
The allure of a graceful name had something to do with the fact that nineteen families made up their minds to sail with the Andrew Jacksons from Larne, in Ireland, for the "Garden of the Waxhaws."
-- The Life of Andrew Jackson by Marquis James
(A note that the Andrew Jackson of the sentence was the father of the subject of the biography.
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