Thursday, November 10, 2016

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

16
It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring The Vintner's Daughter by Kristen Harnisch.  The excerpts shared are from the Kindle version I purchased. 
 
 The Vintner's Daughter
 
Beginning:   Chapter 1   Confession
June 30, 1896, NEW YORK CITY
 
The air was thick with the putrid smell of man and horse.  Sara Thibault walked swiftly up Mott Street, taking care to life the hem or her dress and sidestep the heaps of muck without breaking her stride.  Like the squabbling of chickens, the street noises swirled all around her.
 
 
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56% of Ebook:  "The exhilaration Sara felt as she disembarked from the steam train at the Napa depot was only mildly tempered by fear: here she was, arriving in a new city, not knowing a soul and with only fifty-four dollars to her name."
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My thoughts:  This is a debut novel and first in a series.  It came highly recommended by a friend with similar reading taste.  What also sold me on this upcoming read are the settings and vineyard locale.
 
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 From Goodreads:  A captivating historical-fiction debut: ambition, betrayal and love take a spirited young woman from the verdant Loire Valley to turn-of-the-century Manhattan to the wide open spaces of California wine country

Loire Valley, 1895. When seventeen-year-old Sara Thibault's father is killed in a mudslide, her mother sells their vineyard to a rival family, whose eldest son marries Sara's sister, Lydia. But a violent tragedy compels Sara and her sister to flee to New York, forcing Sara to put aside her dream to follow in her father's footsteps as a master winemaker.

Meanwhile, Philippe Lemieux has arrived in California with the ambition of owning the largest vineyard in Napa by 1900. When he receives word of his brother's death in France, he resolves to bring the killer to justice. Sara has traveled to California in hopes of making her own way in the winemaking world. When she encounters Philippe in a Napa vineyard, they are instantly drawn to one another, but Sara knows he is the one man who could return her family's vineyard to her, or send her straight to the guillotine.

A riveting, romantic tale of betrayal, retribution, love and redemption, Kristen Harnisch's debut novel immerses readers in the rich vineyard culture of both the Old and New Worlds, the burgeoning cities of turn-of-the-century America and a spirited heroine's fight to determine her destiny.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph


It's Tuesday . . . time for . . .
                                                      

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, is where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.

Today I'm featuring The Traitor's Wife by Allison Pataki.  It's an upcoming book club read borrowed from the library.

  

Prologue:
"All is Lost"

September 25, 1780
West Point Fort, New York
The tall one, General George Washington, sent word that he would be late to breakfast.  I wonder -- is this the first fraying border of a carefully stitched plan about to unravel?  Or, is it simply a straightforward message: The colonial commander is running behind schedule, have your cook and your lady plan accordingly.  I thank the messenger, a dark-haired favorite of the general, a Mr. Alexander Hamilton, and return to the pantry.  But this change to the schedule seems to portend a larger inevitability.  My insides twist as the suspicion takes root, taunting me -- my mistress is going to fail.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Chapter One:
"Never Anger Miss Peggy"

May, 1778
Philadelphia, PA
Clara knocked on the front door once, twice.  She checked the address scrolled on the worn piece of parchment again.  Her grandmother's familiar handwriting directed Clara to arrive at the Shippen mansion on the corner of Fourth and Walnut Streets, deep n the district that housed the city's wealthiest residents.



What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and I'm especially intrigued when the story is about the person (in this case the wife) behind the famous person (in this case Benedict Arnold).  Of equal interest (in this case) is that the author is the daughter of a former governor of New York state.  My feeling is that this will not only be a good read, but that it will make for an interesting book club discussion.
 
 
This post was originally written and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.



Thursday, November 3, 2016

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

16
It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring Falling Awake by Jayne Ann Krentz.  The excerpts shared are from the hardcover version I purchased this summer from the Surf City Library book sale while vacationing on Long Beach Island, down the Jersey shore.

Falling Awake 

BeginningA funeral always made for a bad day.  Knowing that it was probably his screwup that had put Katherine Ralston into the ground made things a whole lot worse for Ellis Cutler that afternoon.
 
 
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Page 56:  "The instant the words were out of his mouth, he cringed, mentally kicking himself.  That had been a stupid thing to say under the circumstances."
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My thoughts:  This is an older JAK novel (published in 2004), but I couldn't resist it when I saw it on one of the library sale carts.  I've read a fair share of this author's novels and have really enjoyed them, so I'm happy to add this one to my reading queue.
 
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 From GoodreadsThe phenomenally popular bestselling author of Light in Shadow returns with a riveting tale of intrigue and intimacy that questions whether dreams can be trusted . . .

A red scarf. A roller coaster. A tidal wave of blood . . .Isabel Wright spends her days at the Belvedere Center for Sleep Research analyzing the dreams of others. Dr. Martin Belvedere, a pioneer in the field, recognized her unique talent for what he calls Level Five lucid dreaming. It's satisfying, lucrative work, but it can be emotionally draining. Especially when one of her anonymous subjects, known only as Client Number Two, captures her imagination through his compelling dream narratives. Secretly, she thinks of him as "Dream Man."

His real name is Ellis Cutler. A loner who's learned not to let anyone get too close, he works for a highly classified government agency with an interest in the potential value of lucid dreaming. And he's just been ordered by his boss to make contact with Isabel, who's been fired after the sudden death of Dr. Belvedere. Heading to California, he pushes his fantasies out of his mind, determined to maintain a professional relationship with the woman who reads his dreams, the mysterious figure he has come to think of as "Tango Dancer."

But when they meet in the flesh, the dream becomes real enough to touch. And a waking nightmare begins-when a suspicious hit-and-run leads them into a perilous web of passion, betrayal, and murder, and forces them to walk the razor-thin line between dreams and reality.
 
 
Which book are you reading now or about to start? 


Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com. This post cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.
 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . .
                                                      

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, is where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.

Today I'm featuring You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott.  It's an upcoming read, which I borrowed from the library.

You Will Know Me 

The Party
 
GO DEVON!  KNOX ROX!  NEXT STOP: ELITE QUALIFIERS!
BelStars 4-EVER!  REGIONAL CHAMPS! 
 
The vinyl banners rippled from the air vent, the restaurant roiling with parents, the bobbing of gymnast heads, music gushing from the weighty speakers keeled on the window ledges.  
 
Slung around Devon's neck were three medals, two silver and one gold, her first regional-champion title on the vault.

"I'm so proud of you, sweetie," Katie whispered in her daughter's ear. "You can do anything."

Later, Katie would come to think of that night as the key to everything that came after, the secret code.



What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I've been curious about this mystery novel since I saw it pop up around the blogosphere. The opening doesn't offer much of a glimpse into the story, but there is a strong endorsement on the cover from Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins.  Hawkins's quote is:  "Almost unbearably tense, chilling, and addictive."

 
 
This post was originally written and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.
 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings


16
It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman.  The excerpts shared are from the hardcover version I received from the publisher, Simon and Schuster.


And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer 

BeginningThere's a hospital room at the end of a life where someone, right in the middle of the floor, has pitched a green tent.  A person wakes up inside it, breathless and afraid, not knowing where he is.  A young man sitting next to him whispers:

"Don't be scared."

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Page 56 (actually, page 55 because there is no text on page 56):  "She laughs.  Old eyes, new sunlight, and he still remembers how it felt to fall in love."
********************
 
My thoughts:  Today I'm sharing my next read.  My first introduction to the author was through A Man Called Ove, which I read with two of my book clubs.  In fact, one club like Ove so much that we are now reading another of Backman's books, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry.  Backman has quickly become one of my favorite authors for his wit, insight, strong interpersonal relationships, and unusual characters who find their way into your heart and mind.  His books are a good fit for book clubs and individual readers alike.
 
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 From GoodreadsFrom the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here comes an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family’s efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.

“Isn’t that the best of all life’s ages, an old man thinks as he looks at his grandchild, when a boy is just big enough to know how the world works but still young enough to refuse to accept it.”

Grandpa and Noah are sitting on a bench in a square that keeps getting smaller every day. The square is strange but also familiar, full of the odds and ends that have made up their lives: Grandpa’s work desk, the stuffed dragon that Grandpa once gave to Noah, the sweet-smelling hyacinths that Grandma loved to grow in her garden.

As they wait together on the bench, they tell jokes and discuss their shared love of mathematics. Grandpa recalls what it was like to fall in love with his wife, what it was like to lose her. She’s as real to him now as the first day he met her, but he dreads the day when he won’t remember her.

Sometimes Grandpa sits on the bench next to Ted, Noah’s father—Ted who never liked math, prefers writing and playing guitar, and has waited his entire life for his father to have time for him, to accept him. But in their love of Noah, they have found a common bond.

Grandpa, Grandma, Ted, and Noah all meet here, in this peculiar space that is growing dimmer and more confusing all the time. And here is where they will learn to say goodbye, the scent of hyacinths in the air, nothing to fear. This little book with a big message is certain to be treasured for generations to come.



Which book are you reading now or about to start? 


Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com. This post cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.