Category Archives: Book Beginnings

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Stardust (Feb 17)

stardustI’ve been meaning to read Stardust by Neil Gaiman for ages now, so I’m finally getting round to it. Because of this, I’ve chosen it for this week’s Friday meme combo. I’m not sure why I’ve left it for so long, because I usually enjoy reading Gaiman. Well, at least I’m rectifying this now.

GoodReads has the following description:

Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria Forester—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that stone barrier, Tristran learns, lies Faerie . . . and the most exhilarating adventure of the young man’s life.

A tale of the dark and miraculous—a quest for true love and the utterly impossible.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Stardust:

There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart’s Desire.

And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel (for every tale about every young man there ever was or will be could start in a similar manner) there was much about this young man and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole of it.

I think this is a great beginning and I know I’m going to enjoy this one!

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Stardust:

By the time they walked through the village and arrived at the gap in the wall, Tristran  had imagined every possibility, except the one which occurred.

I’ve no idea what this is about, but hopefully I’ll find out soon. I might get some of this read over the weekend as Monday is a holiday and I don’t think we have much planned for the day. We’ll see what happens.

 

 

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 -The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (Feb 3)

For this week’s meme combo I’m choosing a book I’ve had on my shelf unread for too long – The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. I’m going to read it towards one of my reading challenges and it may inspire me to read the other books from this series that are also on my shelf. The following description comes from the back cover:

ladies detective agency.jpgThis first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency:

Mma Ramotswe had a detective agency in Africa, at the foot of Kgale Hill. These were its assets: a tiny white van, two desks, two chairs, a telephone, and an old typewriter. Then there was a teapot, in which Mma Ramotswe – the only lady detective in Botswana – brewed redbush tea. And three mugs – one for herself, one for her secretary, and one for the client. What else does a detective agency really need?

I like this beginning. I don’t know what else a detective agency would need, but there’s nothing wrong with a good cup of redbush tea.

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency:

She watched him take the trumpet from its case and fit the mouthpiece. She watched as he raised it to his lips and then, so suddenly, from that tiny cup of metal against his flesh, the sound would burst out like a glorious, brilliant knife dividing the air. And the little room would reverberate and the flies, jolted out of their torpor, would buzz round and round as if riding the swirling notes.

I have no idea what this is about, but I really like how descriptive this is. I’ll try and get started on this book this weekend, as I’ll probably be stuck inside anyway recovering from a flu kind of thing that I’ve been struggling all week to shake off.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Hidden Figures (Jan 27)

This is the first of these posts I’ve written in 2017 and the book I have chosen is Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. I just picked up this book a couple of days ago as I would like to read it before seeing the recent movie of the same name which was inspired by this book. The movie looks good, but I usually prefer to read the book first.

Goodreads has the following description:

hidden-figuresBefore John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as “Human Computers,” calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws, these “colored computers,” as they were known, used slide rules, adding machines, and pencil and paper to support America’s fledgling aeronautics industry, and helped write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Drawing on the oral histories of scores of these “computers,” personal recollections, interviews with NASA executives and engineers, archival documents, correspondence, and reporting from the era, Hidden Figures recalls America’s greatest adventure and NASA’s groundbreaking successes through the experiences of five spunky, courageous, intelligent, determined, and patriotic women: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Gloria Champine.

Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women’s rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of scientific achievement and technological innovation with the intimate stories of five women whose work forever changed the world—and whose lives show how out of one of America’s most painful histories came one of its proudest moments.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Hidden Figures:

Melvin Butler, the personnel officer at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, had a problem, the scope and nature of which was made plain in a May 1943 telegram to the civil service’s chief of field operations.

This is kind of a curious beginning more than anything else. I wonder what the problem is. Hopefully I’ll find out soon.

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Hidden Figures:

Of course, while moving the air over the object was similar to flying through the air, it wasn’t identical, so one of the first concepts Dorothy had to master was the Reynolds number, a bit of mathematical jujitsu that measured how closely the performance of a wind tunnel came to mimicking actual flight.

I’ve never had to do any mathematical jujitsu before, but hopefully it worked our for Dorothy. I’m hoping to start this book soon and may get the opportunity next week as I’ll be away for a few days. I’ll need to remember to take it with me anyway.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Daddy Lenin and Other Stories (Nov 25)

daddy-leninI compiled my annual Christmas Book Wishlist last weekend so that my family could make a start on their Christmas shopping with a few ideas of where to start. As I was putting the list together I was going through my books looking for the ones I received last year for Christmas and came across one I still haven’t read yet – Daddy Lenin and Other Stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe. I decided that with Christmas only a month away now I should try and get this one read before I see which ones I get this year. I also decided I should use it as my way back into participating in these Friday memes that I haven’t done for quite a few months now.

The following description comes from inside the front cover:

Bestselling author Guy Vanderhaeghe’s new book of fiction is both timely and timeless and showcases his supreme talent as a storyteller and poignant observer of the human condition.

Among these nine addictive and resonant stories: A teenage boy breaks out of the strict confines of his family, his bid for independence leads him in over his head. He learns about life in short order and there is no turning back. An actor’s penchant for hiding behind a role, on and off stage, is tested to the limits and what he comes to discover finally places him face to face with the truth. With his mother hospitalized for a nervous condition and his father away on long work stints, a boy is sent to another family for his meals. His gradually building relationship with a teenage daughter who has been left handicapped from Polio opens unexpected doors to the world. In the powerful title story, a middle-aged man remeets his former adviser at university, a charismatic and domineering professor dubbed Daddy Lenin. As their tense reunion progresses, secrets from the past painfully revise remembered events and threaten to topple the scaffolding of a marriage.

With Daddy Lenin and Other Stories, award-winning author Guy Vanderhaeghe returns once again to the form that launched his stellar literary career. Here is a grand master writing at the height of his powers.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Daddy Lenin (from the story The Jimi Hendrix Experience):

It’s the summer of 1970 and I’ve only got one lovely ambition. I want to have been born in Seattle, to be black, to be Jimi Hendrix. I want a blast of Afro ablaze in a bank of stage lights, to own a corona of genius.

I like this beginning, but it’s quite the ambition!

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Daddy Lenin (from the story Koenig & Company):

As soon as the food hit their dishes all the Koenigs, Mr. Koenig included, scattered for the living room at top speed. I was the last to be served, and once I had been doled out my share of charcoal and grease, the enormous Delphine immediately fell to it, forking up her supper straight from the pans.

I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it doesn’t seem like all that pleasant an experience.

I’m looking forward to reading this book soon. I’ve read most of Vanderhaeghe’so the collections of short stories and really enjoyed them. I’m hoping this one will be just as good as the others.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Brooklyn (August 5)

For this week’s Friday meme combo I have chosen Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn. I have seen the movie a couple of times and enjoyed it, but I really wanted to read the book as well. I bought it a couple of months ago, so it’s time to get it read. GoodReads has the following description:

brooklyn.jpgEilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Brooklyn:

Eilis Lacey, sitting at the window of the upstairs living room in the house on Friary Street noticed her sister walking briskly from work. She watched Rose crossing the street from sunlight into shade, carrying the new leather handbag that she had bought in Clerys in Dublin in the sale.

There’s not much happening here yet, but I guess it’s just setting the scene for what will follow.

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Brooklyn:

On Sundays, Mrs. Kehoe had a rule that she did not appear and it was up to the girls to cook, making sure to leave no mess behind them. Mrs. Kehoe went to early mass on Sundays, she told Eilis, and then had friends around in the evening for an old-fashioned and serious poker game. She made the poker game, Eilis noted in a letter home, sound as though it was another form of Sunday duty that she performed only because it was in the rules.

I’d like to think that I can get into this book over the weekend, but time will tell. I am looking forward to reading it, though, because I want to see how the movie measured up to it.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – The Reason I Jump (April 22)

I haven’t done one of these Friday posts for a long time, so I thought it was time to get started again. The book I have chosen is one I’ve been looking forward to read for quite a while now – The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. I just got the book this week, but I’m hoping to get into it over the weekend. The subject is one that is quite close to my heart, so for this reason, as well as others, I want to get it read soon. GoodReads has the following description:

reason i jumpA story never before told and a memoir to help change our understanding of the world around us, 13-year-old Naoki Higashida’s astonishing, empathetic book takes us into the mind of a boy with severe autism. With an introduction by David Mitchell, author of the global phenomenon, Cloud Atlas, and translated by his wife, KA Yoshida.
     Naoki Higashida was only a middle-schooler when he began to write The Reason I Jump. Autistic and with very low verbal fluency, Naoki used an alphabet grid to painstakingly spell out his answers to the questions he imagines others most often wonder about him: why do you talk so loud? Is it true you hate being touched? Would you like to be normal? The result is an inspiring, attitude-transforming book that will be embraced by anyone interested in understanding their fellow human beings, and by parents, caregivers, teachers, and friends of autistic children. Naoki examines issues as diverse and complex as self-harm, perceptions of time and beauty, and the challenges of communication, and in doing so, discredits the popular belief that autistic people are anti-social loners who lack empathy.
This book is mesmerizing proof that inside an autistic body is a mind as subtle, curious, and caring as anyone else’s.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

BB.ButtonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of The Reason I Jump:

When I was small, I didn’t even know that I was a kid with special needs. How did I find out? By other people telling me that I was different from everyone else, and that this was a problem.

Unfortunately, different is often seen as a problem, when the reality is that it is not necessarily so. Sometimes the lack of acceptance by others, because of perceived differences, is more of a problem. I think I’ll probably enjoy reading this one.

Friday 56The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of The Reason I Jump:

As for people who don’t show any signs of pain, my guess is that they’re unable to keep those signs on display. I think it’s very difficult for you to properly get your head around just how hard it is for us to express what we’re feeling. For us, dealing with the pain by treating it as if it’s already gone is actually easier than letting other people know we are in pain.

Normal people think we’re highly dependent and can’t live without ongoing support, but in fact there are times when we are stoic heroes.

There is so much that we don’t understand about autism, so it’ll be good to get this one started this weekend. I’m on holiday, so I should have some time for this.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Legend (Feb 12)

The book I have chosen for my Friday meme combo this week is Legend by Marie Lu. It’s the first book in a trilogy that my son just read. He suggested I might like to try it, so it’s sitting on my TBR pile with the hope of getting to it soon!

The following description is from the inside of the cover:

legendFrom different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths…

Until June’s brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect.

In a shocking turn of events, the two uncover what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

BB.ButtonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Legend:

My mother thinks I’m dead.

Obviously I’m not dead, but it’s safer for her to think so.

This sounds like a rather ominous beginning. I’m curious to find out why she thinks her child is dead and why it is safer for her to do so.

Friday 56The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Legend:

Our caretaker hurries into the room, a tattered robe draped over his pajamas. “You should leave now,” he whispers. Sweat beads on his forehead. “I just heard about a man who’s been looking for you.”

It sounds as if someone may be on the run or/and in trouble. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to find out soon, if I can make a start to the book soon.If I like it enough, I’ll try and read the other two books in the series, Prodigy and Champion, as well.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto (Jan 22)

This week for my Friday meme combo I have chosen another of the books I received for Christmas – The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom. I haven’t started reading it yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so soon. The following description is found at GoodReads:

magic stringsof frankie prestoMitch Albom creates a magical world through his love of music in this remarkable new novel about the power of talent to change our lives

This is the epic story of Frankie Presto—the greatest guitar player who ever lived—and the six lives he changed with his six magical blue strings

Frankie, born in a burning church, abandoned as an infant, and raised by a music teacher in a small Spanish town, until war rips his life apart. At nine years old, he is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six precious strings. His amazing journey weaves him through the musical landscape of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, with his stunning playing and singing talent affecting numerous stars (Duke Ellington, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley) until, as if predestined, he becomes a pop star himself.

He makes records. He is adored. But Frankie Presto’s gift is also his burden, as he realizes the power of the strings his teacher gave him, and how, through his music, he can actually affect people’s lives. At the height of his popularity, tortured by his biggest mistake, he vanishes. His legend grows. Only decades later, having finally healed his heart, does Frankie reappearjust before his spectacular death—to change one last life. With the Spirit of Music as our guide, we glimpse into the lives that were changed by one man whose strings could touch the music—and the magic—in each of us.

A lifelong musician, Mitch Albom’s passion shines through on every page. Written with an ear for rhythm and cadence, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a classic in the making. Heartrending and inventive, Albom’s latest is infused with the message that “everyone joins a band in this life”—and that music, like love, has the power to affect us all.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

BB.ButtonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto:

I have come to claim my prize.

He is there, inside the coffin.

This sounds a little ominous, so I’ll need to get to this one soon in order to find out what is going on!

Friday 56The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto:

“Get off me now.”

The child pushed back and touched the man’s face below his dark glasses. It was wet with tears. He returned to his chair as the man wiped his cheek with his palm, then fumbled again for the bottle.

“You will call me El Maestro,” he said.

I have no idea what is going on here, but that’s okay as I’m sure I’ll find out soon. Hopefully I’ll get into this book after the weekend. I usually enjoy reading Mith Albom’s books, so hopefully this won’t be the exception.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – The Buried Giant (Jan 8)

The book I have chosen for this week Friday meme combo is The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s one of the books I received at Christmas and I’m just starting to read it. The following is from the slipcover:

buried giantThe Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.

The Buried Giant
begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards—some strange and other-worldly—but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

BB.ButtonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of The Buried Giant:

You would have searched a long time for the sort of winding lane or tranquil meadow for which England later became celebrated. There were instead miles of desolate, uncultivated land; here and there rough-hewn paths over craggy hills or bleak moorland. Most of the roads left by the Romans would by then have become broken or overgrown, often faded into wilderness.

This seems like a good set-up for what is to follow, although I don’t know that much about this book, other than it is Ishiguro’s first novel in about ten years, which is why I was keen to read it and put it on my Christmas wishlist.

The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.Friday 56
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of The Buried Giant:

‘Let me speak with her alone, Axl. Help me take off this bundle and wait out here for me.’

‘Can’t I be with you, princess, even if I hardly understand this Saxon tongue?’

‘These are women’s matters, husband. Let me talk with her alone, and she’s saying she’ll examine my old body carefully.’

‘I’m sorry, princess, I wasn’t thinking clearly. Let me take your bundle from you and I’ll be waiting here as long as you wish.’

I’m not that sure what is happening here, but I like that the book seems to have strong characters. I’ll hopefully get into the book more this weekend, although I might not have the time for reading too much. We’re planning to finally see the new Star Wars movie tomorrow. Also, the final round of renovations starts on Monday and we have to clear out a couple of rooms for this, so we have a fair bit of furniture and stuff to move around. This work should only take about a couple of weeks to complete and then we can finally unpack our boxes.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Undermajordomo Minor (Jan 1)

It has been a few months since I posted one of these Friday meme combos, but it’s a new year and it’s time to get started with this again. My choice of book this week is one that I received for Christmas last week – Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt. I’m more than two thirds of the way through the book and am thoroughly enjoying it so far. It’s a very funny book and has been hard to put down at times. If you read and enjoyed deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers then you’ll love this one as well.

GoodReads has the following description:

undermajordomo minorLucy Minor is the resident odd duck in the hamlet of Bury. He is a compulsive liar, a sickly weakling in a town famous for begetting brutish giants. Then Lucy accepts employment assisting the majordomo of the remote, foreboding Castle Von Aux. While tending to his new post as undermajordomo, he soon discovers the place harbours many dark secrets, not least of which is the whereabouts of the castle’s master, Baron Von Aux. Thus begins a tale of polite theft, bitter heartbreak, domestic mystery, and cold-blooded murder.

Undermajordomo Minor is an ink-black comedy of manners, an adventure, and a mystery, and a searing portrayal of rural Alpine bad behaviour, but above all it is a love story. And Lucy must be careful, for love is a violent thing.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

BB.ButtonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Undermajordomo Minor:

Lucien Minor’s mother had not wept, had not come close to weeping at their parting. All that day he’d felt a catch in his throat and his every movement was achieved in chary degrees, as though swift activity would cause a breach of emotion.

This might not seem like an exciting beginning, but it sets the scene well for what follows.

The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.Friday 56
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Undermajordomo Minor:

Mr Olderglough stared at his hand with what Lucy took for regret. “No, not an accident,” he answered, and now he lay his left hand atop his injured right and began to stroke it consolingly, which summoned in Lucy a revulsion he couldn’t put words to.

This book is filled with a number of interesting and unusual characters, one of whom is Olderglough. I’m hoping to get the book finished either tonight or tomorrow, as I’m keen to see how it all pans out.

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