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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.

Book talk

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Mar 26, 2015, 11:52am Top

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)

Mar 26, 2015, 2:55pm Top

So...do You guys ever think about...THINGS?

Can't We Talk About something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Mar 27, 2015, 3:43pm Top

"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

Apr 6, 2015, 10:29pm Top

A strange, shadowy room, somewhere deep beneath the streets of London.

V for Vendetta (novelization) by Steve Moore

Apr 6, 2015, 11:27pm Top

There were five of us--Carruthers and the new recruit and myself, and Mr. Spivens and the verger.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Apr 6, 2015, 11:54pm Top

The End of the World began on a Thursday night in October, just after eight in the evening.

Border Princes by Dan Abnett

Apr 8, 2015, 4:09pm Top

The auroch appeared quite suddenly from the trees on the other side of the stream.

Spirit Walker by Michelle Paver

Edited: May 16, 2015, 10:29pm Top

"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):


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

Apr 8, 2015, 11:42pm Top

'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

Apr 13, 2015, 8:38am Top

A fug of tobacco smoke and damp clammy air hit her as she entered the cafe.

Life After Life. Kate atkinson

Apr 20, 2015, 1:29pm Top

"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.

Apr 20, 2015, 1:41pm Top

There was a time in Africa the people could fly.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Edited: Apr 21, 2015, 1:33am Top

"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"

Apr 20, 2015, 9:27pm Top

"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

May 3, 2015, 1:27pm Top

"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

May 3, 2015, 6:49pm Top

I was in great difficulty.

The Country Doctor by Franz Kafka
(translated by Ian Johnston)

May 4, 2015, 9:25am Top

'I scarcely know where to begin, though I sometimes facetiously place the cause of it all to Charley Furuseth's credit."

The Sea Wolf by Jack London


"Nine robed figures dressed all in white."

Stella by Starlight Sharon Draper

May 4, 2015, 9:35am Top

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

May 5, 2015, 8:58pm Top

HELIUM, June 8th, 1925


It was in the Fall of nineteen seventeen at an officers' training camp that I first became acquainted with John Carter, War Lord of Barsoom, through the pages of your novel "A Princess of Mars."

The Master Mind of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

May 16, 2015, 2:31pm Top

Why, I wondered long ago, don't the Iranians smile?

-- In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs by Christoper de Bellaigue

May 16, 2015, 7:52pm Top

"Daniel Mercier went up the stairs at Gare Saint-Lazare as the crowd surged down."

The President's Hat, a political satire about the magical powers of President Mitterand's hat to change peoples' lives. Or does it? By Antoine Laurain.

May 28, 2015, 9:15pm Top

To Jason Gridley of Tarzana, discoverer of the Gridley Wave, belonged the credit of establishing radio communication between Pellucidar and the outer world.

A Fighting Man of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Jun 2, 2015, 4:14pm Top

She points to the chair. "Sit."

Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin

Jun 2, 2015, 6:09pm Top

In the jungle, during one night in each month, the moths did not come to lanterns; through the black reaches of the outer night, so it was said, they flew toward the full moon.

At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen

Edited: Jun 5, 2015, 12:38pm Top

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.

Jun 5, 2015, 5:19pm Top

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

Edited: Jun 13, 2015, 9:34pm Top

"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

Jun 14, 2015, 6:25pm Top

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 Woman
And so it went until the men finally sought refuge in a cave. "Grant us thy mercy," they said. My Father's Notebook

Edited: Jun 18, 2015, 11:43pm Top

"The strangest thing about my wifeʻs
return from the dead was how other
people reacted."

"The Beginnerʻs Goodbye; a novel"
by Anne Tyler

Jun 16, 2015, 9:47pm Top

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

Jun 17, 2015, 11:38am Top

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

Edited: Jun 23, 2015, 9:52pm Top

I want to kill someone.

Detective by Parnell Hall

Jun 18, 2015, 11:43pm Top

"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

Jun 23, 2015, 8:04pm Top

The moon had risen above the rim of the canyon near the headwaters of the Little Colorado.

Swords of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edited: Jun 27, 2015, 2:32am Top

"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

*1,765 lines.

Jun 23, 2015, 9:54pm Top

The Tube had broken down. Again.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

Edited: Jul 11, 2015, 5:17pm Top

"Samuel Goldwyn* was not born on
August 27, 1882. For most of his life
he gave that day as his date of birth,
but both the date and the name were

Goldwyn: a Biography
by A. Scott Berg

*Clicking on this name leads to an
edition of Bronteʻs Wuthering

Jul 18, 2015, 10:30am Top

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

Edited: Jul 18, 2015, 4:15pm Top

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**

*Knew writer.
**Know author.

Jul 18, 2015, 6:31pm Top

"Who is history's first known atheist?"

Imagine There's No Heaven - Mitchell Stephens

Jul 20, 2015, 11:05am Top

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.

Jul 20, 2015, 10:52pm Top

The way spoken of by the Worldʻs great
teachers is not one single path; yet all
paths lead in the same direction.

Jesus, Buddha, Krishna & Lao Tzu:
the Parallel Sayings ed. and with an
introd. by Richard J. Hooper

Jul 30, 2015, 12:35pm Top

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

Aug 16, 2015, 11:55am Top

A couple I started recently:

Lanikai is a district, a beach, a post office, and a grocery store.

Llana of Gathol by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The king of Vendhya was dying.

People of the Black Circle by Robert E. Howard

Aug 16, 2015, 12:00pm Top

We run.

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Aug 17, 2015, 7:35pm Top

"Not all scientific discoveries come
about as a result of a long and arduous
transcendental journey. However this one did."

Beyond the Big Bang
by Paul Laviolette

Edited: Aug 25, 2015, 3:22pm Top

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

Aug 22, 2015, 1:26pm Top

I climb the stairs but the door is closed.

Second Life S. J. Watson

Aug 22, 2015, 8:38pm Top

My sister, Greta, and I were having our portrait painted by our uncle Finn that afternoon because he knew he was dying.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Aug 25, 2015, 8:39am Top

Hercule Poirot looked with interest and appreciation at the young woman who was being ushered into the room.

Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie

Aug 25, 2015, 3:07pm Top

"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

Edited: Aug 25, 2015, 4:58pm Top

(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!
**muttered disparagement**


Outer space
Enter chorus

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

Aug 29, 2015, 11:24pm Top

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.)

Aug 31, 2015, 1:20pm Top

Pop quizzes were killers.

Innocent in Death by J.D. Robb

Aug 31, 2015, 1:23pm Top

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

Sep 5, 2015, 12:56pm Top

"There are many thoughts in a man's heart."

-- Tevye's Daughters by Sholom Aleichem (translation from the Yiddish by Frances Butwin)

Edited: Sep 5, 2015, 1:00pm Top

Twenty past one in the morning on New Year's Day.

Raven Black Ann Cleeves

Oct 8, 2015, 1:33pm Top

Denver was not Hawaii.

The Cleaner by Brett Battles

Oct 11, 2015, 8:02pm Top

"History has been described as one damn thing after another."

The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage To The Dawn Of Evolution - Richard Dawkins

Oct 22, 2015, 3:04pm Top

Maybe if he had one more drink they'd leave him alone.

The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville

Oct 28, 2015, 1:19pm Top

This was the day that Daniel vaulted the wall.

The Dust that Falls From Dreams Louis De Bernieres

Edited: Nov 14, 2015, 2:49pm Top

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

Nov 14, 2015, 3:26pm Top

FOREWORD: Amused and amusing, Henry
James confounds expectations, for like Gabriel
Nash, the jester in his novel The Tragic Muse, he
delights in the vulgarities he is falsely rumored to
deplore. . . . Eleanor M. Tilton

The Marriages and other Stories; with a foreword
by Eleanor M. Tilton
by Henry James.

Nov 14, 2015, 3:47pm Top

By midnight he knows his discontent will not let him sleep.

Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams

Nov 14, 2015, 4:03pm Top

"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

Nov 16, 2015, 3:53pm Top

"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

Edited: Nov 16, 2015, 5:42pm Top

Is Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma a
religion, as such? Religion generally denotes
a system of morality based on the concept
of God. Sanatana Dharma is not something
exclusively like that."

The Science of the Rishis
by Vanamali

Dec 21, 2015, 2:09am Top

Some of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence

Dec 21, 2015, 10:03pm Top

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

Jan 11, 2016, 6:30pm Top

There could have been prophecy in the storm that blew up at the time of Julia's birth.

Demelza by Winston Graham

Jan 11, 2016, 6:55pm Top

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

Jan 11, 2016, 10:31pm Top

"I have made a slow, sad discovery over
the last five months. Brace yourself; you
might not want to hear this: Office work is boring."

Mr. Monk and the new Lieutenant
by Hy Conrad

Jan 25, 2016, 7:44pm Top

The news had already been on the radio, and all hell had broken loose.

Still Talking by Joan Rivers

Edited: Jan 25, 2016, 8:06pm Top

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

Jan 25, 2016, 8:08pm Top

I am an artist first, a censor second.

The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories by Anthony Marra

Jan 25, 2016, 10:27pm Top

"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

Jan 26, 2016, 3:56pm Top

I grew up watching a lot of plays because my mom worked for Buffalo's annual Shakespeare in the Park, so I can appreciate the Bard's work for the sword fights and the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups I'd get at intermission.

If at Birth You Don't Succeed by Zach Anner

Jan 31, 2016, 6:39pm Top

"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

Jan 31, 2016, 7:12pm Top

"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

Jan 31, 2016, 10:11pm Top

Sth, I know that woman.

Jazz by Toni Morrison

Feb 3, 2016, 1:23pm Top

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

Feb 4, 2016, 7:13pm Top

I'm almost done with this, so I figured I'd better post before it's no longer my current book. :)


In the beginning, even the French had their doubts about Louis Malle's Murmur of the Heart.

Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark by Brian Kellow

Feb 4, 2016, 7:57pm Top

The idea that love is not enough is a particularly painful one.

The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan

Feb 4, 2016, 8:00pm Top

I have been, as the physicist Victor Weisskopf once said of himself, a happy man in a terrible century.

Naturalist by Edward O. Wilson

Feb 4, 2016, 11:23pm Top

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

Feb 6, 2016, 2:11pm Top

"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?

Edited: Feb 6, 2016, 3:17pm Top

Ellis and Long were four car lengths behind the motorcycle on Ventura Boulevard.

The Crossing: A Novel by Michael Connelly

Feb 18, 2016, 2:32am Top

"You won't be late?"

Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley

Feb 18, 2016, 10:24am Top

With a great groaning of tired metal and a hiss of escaping steam, the roadsteamer from Gormond came to halt in the grimy yard of the Pormi depot, a mere three hours late; quite a respectable performance by Borgravian standards.

The Iron Dream by Norman Spinrad

Feb 18, 2016, 8:17pm Top

It was her fortieth birthday.

Pavillion of Women Pearl S Buck

Edited: Feb 24, 2016, 7:28pm Top

In middle age, there is mystery, there
is mystification.

The Journals of John Cheever (Ed. by
Robert Gottlieb; with an introd. by
Benjamin Cheever

Feb 25, 2016, 11:29am Top

He loved to watch fat women dance.

Goodnight, Irene by Jan Burke

Feb 25, 2016, 3:03pm Top

"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.

Feb 25, 2016, 3:21pm Top

Weird touchstone. Your Joyce Appleby goes to Common Sense by Thomas Paine.

Feb 25, 2016, 3:49pm Top

" 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.

Feb 29, 2016, 12:33am Top

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

Feb 29, 2016, 9:19am Top

>96 rocketjk:

Looks like we're tackling similar subject matter these days.

Feb 29, 2016, 1:25pm Top

The day I met George was one of the worst in my life.

Night Fall by Joan Aiken

Edited: Mar 1, 2016, 1:27am Top

"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

Mar 11, 2016, 8:46pm Top

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

Edited: Mar 13, 2016, 2:50pm Top

"How does the human brain create
mental experiences?"

Images of Mind by Michael Posner

Mar 14, 2016, 9:23am Top

When I found my husband at the bottom of the stairs, I tried to resuscitate him before I ever considered disposing of the body.

From the very enjoyable The Passenger by Lisa Lutz.

Mar 20, 2016, 11:29am Top

"I've got to get out," Hal Yarrow could hear someone muttering from a great distance.

The Lovers by Philip Jose Farmer

Mar 21, 2016, 8:10pm Top

"Out of the ancient, immemorial wisdom
of the East. the Hebrew prophets developed the
of one God, a national deity but one supreme
over all creation. the source and being of moral
perfection and of absolute justice."

Books that Changed the World
by Robert Downs --1st sentence of
ch. 1:"The Book of Books

Mar 23, 2016, 5:33pm Top

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

Edited: Mar 23, 2016, 11:14pm Top

"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

Mar 25, 2016, 9:58am Top

The single greatest rock & roll record of all time, okay?

The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St. by Bill Janovitz

Edited: Mar 26, 2016, 12:24am Top

"A crucial question begs to be addressed: why
do the systems of exploitation and oppression
persist and why do they remain so firmly grounded
and tenacious?"

Second Wave Spirituality by Chris Saade

Edited: Mar 28, 2016, 7:31pm Top

>107 artturnerjr: My vote would be for Who's Next, but that would be quibbling. Let me know how you like the book.

Mar 28, 2016, 11:51pm Top

>109 nemoman:

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. ;)

Mar 29, 2016, 11:51am Top

#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.

Edited: Mar 29, 2016, 10:39pm Top

Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I'm really enjoying this YA fantasy adventure!

Mar 29, 2016, 4:25pm Top

>111 rocketjk:

It's a toss-up for me between Exile and Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!. That whole run that they did from Beggars Banquet to Exile is just superb though, of course - I don't think there's a non-five-star album in the bunch.

Mar 30, 2016, 11:18am Top

This user has been removed as spam.

Mar 30, 2016, 8:17pm Top

The day was bright, the air crisp, with sunshine giving an impression of imminent spring, though as soon as a person ventured out from a warm, cocooned indoors, a nip in the chill outdoors soon found its way to fingertips and toes.

Journey to Munich: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear

Edited: Apr 3, 2016, 6:15pm Top

"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

Apr 3, 2016, 9:26pm Top

Brother, you ask me if I have ever loved.

Clarimonde (aka La Morte Amoureuse) by Théophile Gautier
(translated by Lafcadio Hearn)

online here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22661

Edited: Apr 4, 2016, 12:12am Top

"The day they drowned Dendale I were (sic)
seven years old."

On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill

Apr 6, 2016, 5:07pm Top

The crowd in front of the White House talked, shouted, and laughed.

Flesh by Philip Jose Farmer

Edited: Apr 6, 2016, 6:04pm Top

"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
other paths?"

Horace Satires I,1: 1-3

Apr 7, 2016, 4:51pm Top

The Malavoglia had once been as numerous as the stones on the old Trezza road.

The House by the Medlar Tree by Giovanni Verga

Apr 10, 2016, 11:28am Top

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

Apr 12, 2016, 3:42pm Top

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

Apr 26, 2016, 10:06pm Top

"Look, mother. The clock is running backwards."

Strange Relations by Philip Jose Farmer
(beginning of the short story "Mother")

Apr 27, 2016, 12:38am Top

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

Apr 27, 2016, 3:20pm Top

Dear Husband, I lost our children today.

A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam

Edited: May 4, 2016, 3:02pm Top

(current POEM in this case, rather than
"current book"):

"The Dead man has been judged by a team of cherubim.
. . ."

"The Book of the dead Man (the Cherubs)"
by Marvin Bell

It is included in "Kaimana" 2011, and
preceded by a Zen quotation:
"Live as if you were already dead."

May 4, 2016, 3:01pm Top

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

Edited: May 4, 2016, 3:25pm Top

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

May 5, 2016, 2:41am Top

>129 rolandperkins:

Isn't that what pretty much what I just said in post 128? :)

May 6, 2016, 1:24am Top

". . .pretty much what I said
in post 128?"

!!!?? (I donʻt see any affinity between
128 and 129).

May 6, 2016, 2:11pm Top

>131 rolandperkins: It was a joke. I was making note of the comparison between Heaven and Disneyland. Irony and such.

May 6, 2016, 2:15pm Top

Thanks; having never been there,
I didnʻt get it.

Edited: May 6, 2016, 8:27pm Top

"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

May 7, 2016, 7:52am Top

>134 tropics: Oh I love The Things They Carried. I use the 2 of the stories in my HS history course (of course I have to "edit" the F word!).

He thought, where's my home" It isn't here."
Homeland (The Crown Family Saga Book 1) by John Jakes

May 13, 2016, 9:40am Top

>128 rocketjk:

Reading that same book right now. Recognized the line.

Also reading The Murder of Mary Russell with this first line:

Irony comes in many flavours, sweet to bitter.

May 14, 2016, 9:53pm Top

I remember very well the day it happened.

Autobiography of a Schizophrenic Girl

Edited: May 18, 2016, 2:46pm Top

"When Present Obama took office in (January 2009),
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

May 18, 2016, 4:01pm Top

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)

May 18, 2016, 5:08pm Top

Now we make you ugly, my mother said.

Prayers for the Stolen Jennifer Clement

May 22, 2016, 12:39pm Top

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

May 24, 2016, 11:02am Top

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

May 24, 2016, 11:41am Top

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

Edited: May 24, 2016, 6:22pm Top

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
I make.

Thich Naht Hahn ʻEssential Writingsʻ
Ed. by Robert Ellsberg;
Introd. by Sister Anabel Laity

Jun 9, 2016, 5:59pm Top

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

Jun 9, 2016, 9:39pm Top

Whatever they thought when they found her was bound to be wrong.

Hearts and Bones. Margaret Lawrence

Jun 10, 2016, 7:13pm Top

Early in my childhood, when I was about six or seven, I began to get the feeling that there was something different about me.

Clapton: The Autobiography by Eric Clapton

Edited: Jun 10, 2016, 8:22pm Top

"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

Jun 19, 2016, 1:45pm Top

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.

Jun 19, 2016, 5:25pm Top

"Coffee tastes like your dog took a leak in it."

Planetary: All Over the World and Other Stories by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday

Jun 19, 2016, 6:36pm Top

The grease-sllicked hair is a dead giveaway - no pun intended.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Edited: Jun 27, 2016, 11:56pm Top

It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Jul 8, 2016, 5:43pm Top

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)

Jul 8, 2016, 6:04pm Top

They rose up like men.

Home by Toni Morrison

Jul 10, 2016, 9:34am Top

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.

Edited: Nov 10, 2016, 1:13pm Top

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.

Jul 14, 2016, 10:25pm Top

"Northwest of Montreal, through a valley
always in sight of the low mountains of the
Laurentian Shield, the Ottawa River flows out
of Protestant Ontario into Catholic Quebec."

Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan

Jul 20, 2016, 1:04am Top

We came 10,000 miles, almost 3 million of us, to fight America's longest war.

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam

Jul 20, 2016, 6:50am Top

"A girl always remembers the first corpse she shaves."

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Jul 20, 2016, 12:17pm Top

Her rucksack contains her life reduced to small pieces.

The Garden of Letters Alyson Richman

Jul 21, 2016, 3:45pm Top

" 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

Jul 22, 2016, 2:41pm Top

Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides

December 14, 1944
Puerto Princesa Prison Camp, Palawan, Philippines

All about then, their work lay in ruins.

Jul 23, 2016, 12:46pm Top

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

Jul 27, 2016, 12:20am Top

Jul 27, 2016, 3:49pm Top

Well, I have broken the toilet.

-- Durable Goods by Elizabeth Berg

Jul 27, 2016, 5:24pm Top

Sonny awakened to the sound of a chain saw and felt it slicing through his leg.

... Zia Summer by Rudolfo Anaya

Jul 27, 2016, 5:25pm Top

>165 rocketjk:
Love this book (and the other two in this trilogy)

Edited: Aug 2, 2016, 1:32pm Top

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

Aug 2, 2016, 4:26pm Top

Which man is so sharp and so quick-witted
as to guess who goads me on my journey
when I get up, angry, at times awesome;
when I roar loudly and rampage over the land,
sometimes causing havoc; when I burn houses
and ransack palaces?

The Exeter Riddle Book by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Aug 2, 2016, 11:55pm Top

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)

Aug 5, 2016, 6:23pm Top

"A thud from the hallway outside her
hotel room wrenched Lauren Bradley out
of a light sleep."

Dangerous Impostor by Virginia Smith

Aug 9, 2016, 5:11pm Top

Two men, who were brothers, went to Suffolk
-- La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith

Aug 9, 2016, 9:00pm Top

"The future is by definition the unsayable, and
the uncontrollable, filled with paradoxes, mysteries
and confusions."

Part 1, Ch.1: ("The Gift is already given")
of The Naked Now by Richard Rohr

Aug 17, 2016, 9:03pm Top

The fire in our habitual public-house spurted and fell.

-- George Passant by C.P. Snow

Aug 21, 2016, 3:35pm Top

I returned from the city about three o'clock on that May afternoon pretty well disgusted with life.

-- The 39 Steps by John Buchan

Edited: Aug 25, 2016, 4:58pm Top

"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.

(first sentence)

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."

Aug 25, 2016, 5:57pm Top

"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

Sep 14, 2016, 10:30pm Top

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

Sep 18, 2016, 9:19pm Top

June 12, 1942

I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.

The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition by Anne Frank

Edited: Sep 23, 2016, 8:50pm Top

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

Sep 23, 2016, 5:19pm Top

Laura was washing the dishes one morning when old Jack, lying in the sunshine on the doorstep, growled to tell her that someone was coming.

-- By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sep 27, 2016, 1:33am Top

Above, in the dried aromatic scrub, an early cicada churred.

-- The Wooden Shepherdess by Richard Hughes

Oct 3, 2016, 3:58pm Top

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

Oct 9, 2016, 1:14pm Top

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

Oct 10, 2016, 3:53pm Top

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

Oct 16, 2016, 2:37pm Top

" I used to love listening to stories about
faraway places. It was almost pathological."

Pinball 1973 by Haruki Murakami

Oct 21, 2016, 5:23pm Top

We were going out to dinner.
-- The Dinner by Herman Koch

Oct 29, 2016, 1:12pm Top

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

Nov 3, 2016, 12:58pm Top

Once upon a time the diary had a tiny key.
-- The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel

Nov 6, 2016, 11:43pm Top

Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick.

The Shining by Stephen King

Nov 7, 2016, 4:57pm Top

Amoeba leave no fossils.

-- Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins

Nov 7, 2016, 5:25pm Top


"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

Edited: Nov 10, 2016, 1:46pm Top

Scipio Le Moyne lay in bed, held together with bandages.

short story titled 'Happy-Teeth,' in Members of the Family by Owen Wister

Nov 9, 2016, 12:40pm Top

She'd been feeling a seizure coming on for weeks, and for the first time in twenty-five years.

-- Waterbaby by Chris Mazza

Nov 10, 2016, 1:06pm Top

Lieutenant Pierre Delacroix cursed himself for his overconfidence.

The Emperor's Revenge by Clive Cussler

Nov 11, 2016, 4:28pm Top

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

Edited: Nov 12, 2016, 12:04am Top

"Amos Morgan was the son of Ianto, the son of Shaki,
the son of Bensha Wedding Bidder"

Nothing to Pay (a novel) by Caradoc Evans

Nov 25, 2016, 10:55pm Top

"Move!" bawled the drill corporal.

-- All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot

Edited: Nov 26, 2016, 6:02pm Top


The leaders of two schools of mythology (Mueller
and Lang) based mainly in the one case on Aryan
linguistics and in the other on anthropology, have
recently published their revised and probably
final conclusions.

Semitic Influence in Hellenic Mythology
by Robert Brown, Jun.

Nov 30, 2016, 4:49pm Top

A girl came out of lawyer Royall's house, at the end of the one street of North Dormer, and stood on the doorstep.

-- Summer by Edith Wharton

Dec 1, 2016, 6:08am Top

Simon Bruce came out of a test tube, figuratively speaking, to learn he had inherited a fortune.

- Reluctant Millionaire by Maysie Grieg

Dec 4, 2016, 3:32pm Top

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

Dec 4, 2016, 9:04pm Top

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I've come to announce my book of poetry, and I've been grateful since reading.


Instagram: escritor_cabral

Dec 12, 2016, 4:11pm Top

Deep silence invaded the school building in Novolipki Street on Sundays.

-- Madame Curie by Eve Curie

Dec 16, 2016, 4:58am Top

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

Dec 20, 2016, 1:22am Top

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

Dec 29, 2016, 2:11pm Top

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

Dec 31, 2016, 1:18pm Top

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

Edited: Jan 11, 2017, 2:03pm Top

He should never have taken that short cut.

- - Timeline by Michael Crichton

Jan 2, 2017, 9:10pm Top

"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

Jan 6, 2017, 10:50am Top

"Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did."

Half Broke Horses - Jeannette Walls

Jan 10, 2017, 7:00pm Top

There is, as every schoolboy knows in this scientific age, a very close chemical relation between coal and diamonds.

-- Victory by Joseph Conrad

Edited: Jan 11, 2017, 8:39pm Top

"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

Edited: Jan 11, 2017, 8:44pm Top

(skipping the Preface and the
intorductory sonnet
"Has anyone ever considered the philosophy of travel?"

The Birth of Reason & other Essays
by George Santayana

Jan 15, 2017, 1:34pm Top

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

Jan 15, 2017, 3:54pm Top

The rue du Coq d'Or, Paris, seven in the morning.

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

>192 rolandperkins:

I really want to read that. The film version is amazing. 8)

Jan 17, 2017, 5:25pm Top

"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.

Jan 23, 2017, 5:10pm Top

"The ascent of an outspoken atheism, borne aloft by superstars like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett, has reenergized the long-running culture war between religion and secularism."

Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?.

Jan 23, 2017, 5:35pm Top

In the beginning there were the swamp, the hoe--and Jussi.

-- Under the North Star by Väinö Linna

Jan 24, 2017, 9:23pm Top

"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

Jan 25, 2017, 12:22pm Top

Jan 26, 2017, 3:08pm Top

Ove is fifty-nine.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Edited: Jan 28, 2017, 11:40am Top

"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

Jan 28, 2017, 5:04pm Top

The client, like most clients, said he
was innocent.

Reversible Errors by Scott Turow

Edited: Jan 28, 2017, 11:25pm Top

The client, like most clients, said he
was innocent.

Reversible Errors by Scott Turow

Jan 28, 2017, 5:57pm Top

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

Edited: Jan 29, 2017, 6:25pm Top

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

Feb 7, 2017, 5:52pm Top

"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

Feb 7, 2017, 9:57pm Top

Tran, Tran, and Hok broke through the heavy end-of-wet-season clouds.

The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill

Edited: Feb 13, 2017, 10:49am Top

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

Feb 15, 2017, 8:09pm Top

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")

Feb 18, 2017, 9:39pm Top

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

Feb 19, 2017, 4:28pm Top

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

Edited: Feb 19, 2017, 7:50pm Top

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

Mar 10, 2017, 1:12am Top

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.)

Edited: May 28, 2017, 2:52pm Top

" ʻThe banker Cezanne does not see without fear
Behind his desk an artist appear.ʻ "*

Cezanne the first Modern Painter
by Michel Hoog

*banker: Paul Cezanneʻs father is
referred to in a translated poem by the
aspiring artist. Hoog says that Paul Cezanne
could write poetry in both French and Latin.

Edited: May 28, 2017, 12:36am Top

(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

May 29, 2017, 8:27pm Top

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

May 29, 2017, 11:36pm Top

"Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice
which has profound relevance for our
present-day lives."

Wherever you Go there you Are
by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jun 6, 2017, 12:34am Top

I had just finished breakfast and was filling my pipe when I got Bullivant's telegram.

-- Greenmantle by John Buchan

Edited: Jun 9, 2017, 1:34pm Top

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

Jun 10, 2017, 8:39am Top

I left the car on Amsterdam Avenue and walked around the corner onto West 72nd Street.

Chapter 1
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

Edited: Jun 12, 2017, 11:33am Top

"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

Jun 13, 2017, 4:04pm Top

Of all my many murders, committed for love and for better reasons, the first was the most important.

-- Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Edited: Jun 14, 2017, 1:34pm Top

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

Edited: Jun 17, 2017, 4:58pm Top

Last Sunday the host of a popular news
show asked me what it meant to lose my body."

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

(This is preceded by short quotations by Richard Wright
--from whom comes the book's title -- and Sonia Sanchez.

Jun 22, 2017, 2:00pm Top

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

Edited: Jun 22, 2017, 11:25pm Top

Harriet, as she lay there, heard a voice.

"A Detective at Death's Door" by H.R. F. Keating

Jun 23, 2017, 10:52am Top

Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world.

--- Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Jul 9, 2017, 2:29pm Top

"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

Jul 9, 2017, 10:25pm Top

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.

Jul 10, 2017, 5:41pm Top

"Nothing gets as vicious as
fighting for a lost cause." first line of
chapter 1, by Deepak Chopra

The New Science and Spirituality Reader
ed. by Ervin Laszlo and Dennis Kingsley

Jul 12, 2017, 9:00am Top

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

Jul 15, 2017, 5:24pm Top

Handing out advice on family matters is not my game.

Family Man by Calvin Trillin

Jul 19, 2017, 7:38pm Top

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

Jul 20, 2017, 9:06pm Top

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

Jul 27, 2017, 6:04pm Top

Rocketjk: I'll never forget the descriptions of the coal miners.

Edited: Aug 2, 2017, 10:40pm Top

" '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

Aug 2, 2017, 11:20am Top

Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.
- Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls

Edited: Aug 2, 2017, 2:44pm Top

"The need to feel safe, valuable, and
loved is at the core of human experience."

The Heart of the Soul; emotional awareness
by Gary Zukav

Aug 3, 2017, 12:45am Top

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

Edited: Aug 7, 2017, 12:02am Top

"I am forever walking upon these shores
betwixt the sand and the foam."

Sand and Foam* by Kahlil Gibran

*Kahlil Gibran titles used to be fairly common in
used book stores (back when there were such),
but not this one; I haven't seen it for years,
decades. i obtained it in a thrift shop.

Aug 6, 2017, 2:55am Top

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

Aug 7, 2017, 9:16pm Top

My chin was perched in the palm of my hand.

The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

Aug 14, 2017, 12:37pm Top

She took the corner too fast, and it was definitely not much of a road.

-- A Purple Place for Dying by John D. MacDonald

Aug 22, 2017, 9:59pm Top

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

Aug 23, 2017, 2:41pm Top

In twilight they passed bloody Tadoussac, Kebec and Trois-Rivieres and near dawn moored at a remote riverbank settlement.

Barkskins: A Novel by Annie Proulx

Aug 31, 2017, 11:50am Top

The postwoman Eva Kluge slowly climbs the steps of 55 Jablonski Strasse.

-- Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada

Sep 6, 2017, 6:13pm Top

I see grief every day here on Queen Street.

-- Saint Monkey by Jacinda Townsend

Sep 6, 2017, 7:04pm Top

"I stand at the window of this great house in
the south of France as night falls, the night
which is leading me to the most terrible
morning of my life"

"Giovanni's Room" by James Baldwin

Sep 10, 2017, 2:23pm Top

"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

Sep 11, 2017, 7:26am Top

>273 2wonderY: Caught me!

Sep 12, 2017, 7:04pm Top

"Calvinism is apparently newsworthy these days."

Calvinism: a Very Short Intorduction by Jon Balserak

Sep 12, 2017, 7:42pm Top

John Moses couldn't have chosen a worse day, or a worse way to die, if he'd planned it for a lifetime.

The Homecoming Of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

Edited: Sep 25, 2017, 2:43pm Top

"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

Sep 21, 2017, 1:59pm Top

Nancy Underhill's death had been unexpected, abrupt -- a death like a slap in the face.

-- lost boy lost girl by Peter Straub

Sep 23, 2017, 9:30am Top

"Emily Byrd Starr was alone in her room, in the old New Moon farmhouse at Blair Water, one stormy night in a February of the olden years before the world turned upside down."

Emily climbs by L.M. Montgomery. 2nd in the Emily of New Moon series.

Sep 25, 2017, 8:39am Top

>279 2wonderY: Huh! That sounds like a science fiction starter.

Sep 25, 2017, 2:46pm Top

"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

Edited: Sep 25, 2017, 9:46pm Top

"Because archetypal modes of thought transcend time
and place. the insights of Heraclitus are strikingly
postmodern." - - first line of the Foriword by James Hillman

Heraclitus: Fragments ed. and tr. by Brooks Haxton

Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 9:14pm Top

His real name was William Henry Virgin, but the army, when he first joined it, called him "Baby Face."

-- From the short story, "Blood Lust" by Hervey Allen as it appears in New Stories for Men, edited by Charles Grayson, published in 1943.

Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 12:02am Top

If she had known she would be dead in another five
minutes, maybe she wouldn't have swatted her son
so hard

Speak of the Devil; a novel by Richard Hawke

Oct 1, 2017, 12:20am Top

"For a long time, I went to bed early."

- The Swann's Way by Marcel Proust

Oct 1, 2017, 12:19pm Top

"Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in smal-town 1950s."

-- In the Woods by Tana French

Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 3:43pm Top

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.

Edited: Oct 3, 2017, 2:44am Top

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.

Oct 17, 2017, 11:27am Top

"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

Edited: Oct 17, 2017, 2:38pm Top

July 3rd, 1610

It begins with the players.

Holy Fools by Joanne Harris

Oct 17, 2017, 6:15pm Top

" A splash of light from the late-afternoon sun lingered at the foot of Nariman's bed as he ended his nap and looked toward the clock. " Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry.

Oct 17, 2017, 7:16pm Top

"Today our minds, our emotions, our relationships and
your bodies are out of kilter."

One Spirit Medicine
by Alberto Vllloldo

Oct 28, 2017, 12:20pm Top

A raven screamed.

-- Fire in the Sky by J.A. Shears

Oct 28, 2017, 2:28pm Top

"Matthew Lindstrom?"


"This is Sheriff Cliff Branch of Sweetwater County, Wyoming. Are you married to a Gwen Llindstrom?"

Cyanide Wells by Marcia Muller

Oct 28, 2017, 5:41pm Top

" Like most children , I learned my home address so that if I got lost, I could tell a grown-up where to take me."

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Oct 29, 2017, 12:25pm Top

Everyone thought he was dead.

-- The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster

Edited: Oct 29, 2017, 2:02pm Top

This book tells the story of crime fiction
published during the first half of
the twentieth century.

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books
by Martin Edwards

Oct 29, 2017, 1:53pm Top

(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

Oct 31, 2017, 3:53pm Top

Stage directions
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

Nov 5, 2017, 2:08am Top

"It's a monstrosity, a bastard combination of antique piping, worn valves--and modern electronic technology."

-- Homeworld by Harry Harrison

Nov 5, 2017, 1:23pm Top

Lies are my Business. They keep
me employed.

Guilty Minds by Joseph Finder

Nov 12, 2017, 11:06am Top

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 11:59am Top

(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

Nov 12, 2017, 4:18pm Top

He was spectacularly clean. Old Filth by Jane Gardam

Edited: Nov 13, 2017, 8:25am Top

On our wedding day I was forty-six, she was eighteen.

Lincoln in the Bardo A Novel by George Saunders

Nov 13, 2017, 2:14pm Top


"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

May 2, 2018, 12:19pm Top

Enemy of God (The Arthur Books #2)
by Bernard Cornwell

"Today I have been thinking about the dead."

Edited: May 2, 2018, 8:57pm Top

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.

May 3, 2018, 1:50pm Top

>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.

May 3, 2018, 1:53pm Top

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

May 3, 2018, 2:09pm Top

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

May 4, 2018, 6:55pm Top

>309 rocketjk: I agree, for me a special thread!! I am a first line reader in any book that takes my interest.

In the town there were two mutes, and they were always together.

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Edited: May 14, 2018, 10:28am Top

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

May 6, 2018, 3:09pm Top

"Charlie considered himself lucky."
- The Good Nurse by Charles Graeber

Edited: May 6, 2018, 9:54pm Top

"Cultural groups are often identified and understood by expressions."

In the Name of Hawaiians: Native Identities and Cultural Politics
by Rona Tamiko Halualani

May 9, 2018, 11:02pm Top

"The peculiar events that are the subject of this history occurred in 194-, in Oran."

The Plague by Albert Camus

Edited: May 22, 2018, 4:57pm Top

" 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

Sep 22, 2018, 12:40pm Top

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

Sep 22, 2018, 2:25pm Top

If the young Talib bodyguard had known that making the cell phone call would kill him, he would not have done it.

The Afghan by Frederick Forsyth

Sep 23, 2018, 9:36am Top

The first time my husband hit me I was nineteen years old.
Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen

Edited: Sep 23, 2018, 1:59pm Top

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.

Edited: Sep 25, 2018, 3:08pm Top

"No one has ever written a definitive history of inner Christianity; perhaps no one can."

Inner Christianity by Richard Smoley

Sep 28, 2018, 12:24am Top

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

Sep 30, 2018, 11:42am Top

"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)

Edited: Nov 11, 2018, 7:50pm Top

Iʻve been enjoying work lately. Iʻd have to check my diary, but I think the last time I said that was never. Of course the last time I wrote in a diary was also never, but thatʻs another story.

Outfoxed by David Rosenfelt

Nov 6, 2018, 5:58pm Top

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

Nov 7, 2018, 11:46am Top

It's deader than a ruddy rat's arse tonight, ducks.
Mrs Jeffries On the Trail by Emily Brightwell

Edited: Nov 11, 2018, 11:28pm Top

"For some reason, when I think of Modigliani, I
always associate him with poetry. Is it because it was the poet Max Jacob who introduced
me to him?"

Amedeo Modigliani by Jacques Lipchitz

Nov 11, 2018, 11:27pm Top

Anna hadn't seen so much dashing about and popping in and out of doors since the French farce went out of fashion.
Blind Descent by Nevada Barr

Edited: Nov 12, 2018, 12:49am Top

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

Nov 12, 2018, 12:10pm Top

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

Edited: Nov 13, 2018, 11:03am Top

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

Edited: Nov 13, 2018, 2:44pm Top

"A land of leaning ice
Hugged by plaster-grey
Arches of sky, flings itself silently
Into eternity."

"North Labrador" by Hart Crane

Nov 13, 2018, 4:37pm Top

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

Nov 19, 2018, 2:59am Top

"This isn't safe," said Howland.

-- The Hangman's Whip by Mignon G. Eberhart

Nov 20, 2018, 6:22pm Top

The Last time his wife saw Ron Galloway was on a Saturday evening in the middle of April.

The Soft Talkers by Margaret Millar

Edited: Nov 20, 2018, 9:32pm Top

"21 June 1922


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?"

Nov 20, 2018, 9:27pm Top

>336 rolandperkins: What makes me think that things are not going to go well for the Count?

Edited: Nov 21, 2018, 5:57am Top

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.

Nov 24, 2018, 2:58am Top

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

Nov 24, 2018, 6:31pm Top

Harry Mason can picture his grandfather, Edward, on the sundeck of the Normandie, early morning, August, a pebbly North Atlantic mist.

Mason's Retreat by Christopher Tilghman

Edited: Nov 30, 2018, 1:43am Top

"And the word was "Hoosier". But neither
it nor the distinctiveness of Indiana is easy
to define." 1st two lines: ch. 1, titled "In the beginning was the word"

Indiana; a history by Howard Peckham

Nov 29, 2018, 2:43pm Top

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

Dec 2, 2018, 12:43am Top

The big magician had only three assets: energy, audacity, and speed.

-- Groucho: the Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx by Stefan Kanfer

Edited: Dec 3, 2018, 10:57am Top

"How did you begin yor search for peace? I began mine with political activities in the sixties."

The Tao of Inner Peace by Diane Dreher

Dec 6, 2018, 10:18pm Top

Lovely as it was, with the blood and all, Render could sense that it was about to end.

-- The Dream Master by Roger Zelazny

Dec 10, 2018, 12:02pm Top

"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

Edited: Dec 11, 2018, 7:28pm Top

"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

Dec 24, 2018, 2:42pm Top

I've been summoned.

-- The Appointment by Herta Müller

Edited: Dec 24, 2018, 3:01pm Top

(skipping Elaine Feinsteinʻs "Introduction")

"I know the truth. Give up all other truths!
No need for people anywhere on earth to struggle . . ."

Selected Poems. Tr. and intro. by Elaine Feinstein
By Marina Tsetaeva

Jan 14, 2:18pm Top

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

Jan 15, 8:15am Top

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

Jan 15, 8:56am Top

>351 BookConcierge: Love that book.

Jan 16, 11:52pm Top

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

Edited: Jan 18, 4:17pm Top

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.

Jan 19, 4:35pm Top

Out of the swift scores of pictures I have of her that pass through my memory I choose one that is most herself.

The Exile by Pearl S. Buck

Jan 22, 4:17pm Top

Henry Cimoli didn't mince words:
"DId I ever ask you for a favor."

Robert B. Parker's WONDERLAND
by Ace Atkins

"Bill say that?"

Jan 24, 4:50am Top

The world begins anew with every birth, my father used to say.

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

Jan 24, 3:37pm Top

Question to complete 357?

Jan 26, 11:35pm Top

In high places, a single storm takes many forms.

The White Mirror by Elsa Hart

Edited: Jan 28, 3:32pm Top

Kim and Nova had never seen a Mesarthim. But
they knew all about them.

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Jan 29, 11:19am Top

Could someone start a part 3? This one is rather long when I check it on my phone.

This topic was continued by First Sentence Of Current Book - Part Three.

Group: Book talk

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