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First Line Friday: The Song is You

18 Dec

I have to admit, reading Arthur Phillips’ The Song is You took some serious brain adjustment after plowing through Catching Fire. It’s got a much slower, in-depth pace that I had to put the book down after the first 50 pages and take a breather because I read that first section and thought that I didn’t like the book. I was like, I don’t get this, I don’t think it’s interesting or moving or anything. But then, as I continued reading, it was like a switch flipped and I was back in standard, use-your-brain-to-enjoy-literature mode, not holy-amazing-plot-Batman-what-happens-next mode. It’s an adjustment for sure, but I’m so looking forward to consuming the second half of The Song is You during the DC Snowmaggedon that’s supposed to hit tomorrow. (Peachy timing since I still need to do copious amounts of Christmas shopping).

My first line Friday this week is a great tone setter for the whole book:

Julian Donahue’s father was on a Billie Holiday record.

I really feel like I should be listening to fantastic music (obviously) when I’m reading this, blues or jazz or raw chick music (think Ani or Beth Orton). There’s such a great feeling to Phillips’ story that you start to breathe a bit differently while you read it, more evenly, more slowly in pace to the writing, depending on which character’s POV you’re getting.

In other news, I apparently like to take on way more than I can handle, so I’ve signed up for the 2010 Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge. But the good news is that I’ll be able to cross-read with my own attempt at reading more Classics. (It also gave me a few books to add to my list). I’ve got all of 2010 to attempt be be a Rory, a Lorelei, or an Emily. But considering I’m going to be in school non-stop in ’10, it’s still asking a lot. I’m going to create a sub-page under Challenges (similar to the Classics page) for the books I’ll read for the GGRC. Look for that post either later today or on Monday.

If you’re in the DC area, don’t forget to stock up on the essentials for this snowstorm — like Oreos and hot cocoa.

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First-Line Friday: YA edition

30 Oct

I’m all recovered from the 24 Hour Read-a-thon. Thanks to everyone for stopping by and showing some love. I didn’t make it the whole way, but I figure now I just have a goal for the next time (and the time after that…and the time after that).

I’ve been sadly absent from my own weekly meme, First-Line Friday, mostly because I’ve been doing very little non-school reading. I will however make it up to you in full right here, right now. Because, big shocker, I went book shopping yesterday. My children’s lit classes have gotten me to broaden my mind in terms of the YA genres I’m willing to try out. So I went in for quite a few books that are not really in the realm of what I normally pick up.

 

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater — I did read the Twilight series, and yes, I loved them, but I’m getting a little irritated by the mass of vampire books and TV shows that are being released as a result. I’m Team Jacob, so this book that’s focused around wolves clearly appealed to me.

I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves.

 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins — This is one of those books that I never, never would have picked up before taking this Fantasy class, even with all the positive, glowing reviews out there. But I decided to give it a try. It features a strong female protagonist and that, to me, is worth buying the book for.

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.

 

Going Bovine by Libba Bray — I own one of Bray’s previous novels, Rebel Angels (which of course I haven’t read yet), but I’m really intrigued by both the premise of this story and by the cover. I absolutely judge books by their covers. And by the cover fonts. Sue me :).

The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World.

 

Hope everyone has an excellent Halloween and a good fall weekend!

First Line Friday: The Giver

18 Sep

The Giver by Lois Lowry: Book CoverMy apologies for being more than a little absent this week (No Teaser Tuesday! My bad!). I’m trying to get in the groove of being back in school, and balancing my school work with my marathon training and finding time for my little corner of the bloggosphere has been a challenge. Also, I’m still reading Little Women. Not to say that Little Women isn’t fantastic, but I’m reading so much slower since I also read The Giver by Lois Lowry for one of my classes. How did I manage to get through school without reading this amazing book the first time? It’s very strongly in the fantasy realm (not fairies and magic fantasy, but certainly not realistic either) which possibly explains it. I was never much for the really out there books as a kid, but I’m so glad I got a chance to read this.

Today’s First Line Friday comes from that Newberry winner:

 It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.

 
 

First Line Fridays: Little Women

11 Sep

Little Women (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Louisa May Alcott: Book CoverToday’s First Line Friday comes from one of the most popular books to ever be published. The introduction of my edition of Little Women states that the New York Times conducted a poll in 1927 of high school students, asking them which book had most influenced them. Little Women came out on top, beating the Bible which was second on the list. Pilgrim’s Progress, the book the March sisters use as their moral and social compass, came in third. If that same poll were taken today, I’d be incredibly interested to know where Alcott’s “novel for girls” comes in and what tops the list now. (My gut tells me it would be Twilight — which horrifies me — or Harry Potter — which I would be okay with.)

The first line from Little Women is this:

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.”

Okay now grab the book you’re reading at the moment. What’s the first line? Leave it in the comments!

First Line Friday: Less Than Zero

4 Sep

Less Than ZeroI’ll admit it. I’m slightly burned out on the reading front. I’ve been carrying around Less Than Zero in my purse for a week now, with nary a page turned or a spine cracked. I’ll admit it’s been kind of nice taking a breather from the madness that was the summer reading binge I went on.

A good way to rectify the book melancholy I’m suffering is a holiday weekend. Oh look, that’s one right over there on my calendar. I’ll be honest, I thought I was supposed to work on Monday. So when I was informed two days ago that I did in fact get the full glory of a long weekend, I was thrilled. I promise to start Less Than Zero today-ish (might be tomorrow, I don’t know, I can’t commit).

And it will begin with this line:

People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angles.

Pick up your current read. What’s the first line?

first line friday

17 Jul

It’s a classic but oh so appropriate for setting the tone of a great novel. It’s also one of my favorite books 🙂

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

How do you get any better than that? Okay, the book I’m currently reading might give P&P a run for it’s money. The first line of Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta is this:

My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.

What’s the first line of the book you’re reading? Or one of your favorite first lines?

prologue

10 Jul

I guess the best place to start is at the beginning. Which makes starting this blog right now so satisfying. I’m just starting a new book, Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell, and I always like the idea of starting something new on a Friday when the best part of the week is just ahead.

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If you’ve made your way here through some other means than me shyly telling you I’ve started a new blog, welcome! (Okay fine, welcome to everyone :)) You should probably start with my About section if you’re brand new here — hey! just like me!

I’m still feeling my way around WordPress, so the design here might change. Don’t be alarmed, don’t change the channel, I’m just fiddling with the antenna a bit (though with the digital TV switchover, that reference is a bit outdated isn’t it?). Some of the things I’ll feature here will be theme days, some my own ideas and some I’ve shamelessly stolen from others.

My new book, Beat the Reaper, was the inspiration for today’s theme (and all future Friday themes): First Line Fridays.

I’ve always been intrigued and in awe of the writer that can capture my attention with the very first sentence. Often its a great way to hook a reader, to give them a taste of what’s to come. Today’s First Line from Bazell’s debut is a perfect example:

So I’m on my way to work and I stop to watch a pigeon fight a rat in the snow, and some fuckhead tries to mug me!

That’s all it takes, and I can instantly get a sense of what I’m in for and who’s going to narrate.

So here’s the task: open your current read and post the first sentence in the comments. Does it do what a first line is supposed to do?

Feel free to use this on your blogs too! Just be sure to link back 🙂

And welcome!!