Thursday, May 6, 2021

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings

 

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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 a book that has long been in my reading pile, Deacon King Kong by James McBride. The excerpts shared are from a copy in my reading collection.

Deacon King Kong


Beginning: Deacon Cuffy Lambkin of Five Ends Baptist Church became a walking dead man on a cloudy September afternoon in 1969.

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Page 56: "Ah, but a fair-play mate he was. He never forgot a friend. A better man I never knew. He looked out for me in prison."

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My thoughts:  I heard so many good things about this book--and it was an Oprah pick. I'm hoping that shining some attention on it now will move the book further to the top of my reading pile.

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From GoodReads:  In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .38 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range.

In
Deacon King Kong, McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood's Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself.

As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters--caught in the tumultuous swirl of 1960s New York--overlap in unexpected ways. When the truth does emerge, McBride shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion.




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This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. 

© 2021 Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post has been stolen and was used without permission.

Monday, May 3, 2021

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

 

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 



. . . First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros . . . now hosted by Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews, where bloggers share excerpts from a book they have read, are currently reading, or are planning to read.
 

Today I'm featuring an upcoming read. Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler. The excerpt shared is from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.




First Chapter:  You have to wonder what goes through the mind of a man like Micah Mortimer. He lives alone; he keeps to himself; his routine is etched in stone. At seven fifteen every morning you see him set out on his run Along about ten or ten thirty he slaps the magnetic TECH HERMIT sign onto the roof of his Kia. The times he leaves on his calls will vary, but not a day seems to go by without several clients requiring his services. Afternoons he can be spotted working around the apartment building; he moonlights as the super. He'll be sweeping the walk or shaking out the mat or conferring with a plumber. Monday nights, before trash day, he hauls the garbage bins to the alley; Wednesday nights, the recycling bins. At ten p.m. or so the three squinty windows behind the foundation plantings go dark. (His apartment is in the basement. It is probably not very cheery.) 

 

What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

The opening paragraph really gives a detailed picture of the main character, who by all appearances is a creature of habit operating on automatic pilot. It will be interesting to find out what Tyler has in store for one Micah Mortimer--more of the same, or something surprisingly different?





 



This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog. © 2021, Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post is being used without permission.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and 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 an upcoming read, The Little French Bridal Shop by Jennifer Dupee. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.

 

The Little French Bridal Shop


Beginning: The house, a stately brick Colonial, stood at the peak of a grassy hill, the slope of its great rolling lawn dotted with graceful elms and sycamores, on the easterly side of the tiny seaside town of Kent Crossing, on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

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Page 56: "Mommy, Mommy," he howled, "some lady's giving me the evil eye!"

Horrified, Larisa had hidden her face in her book before the mother could pick her out of the crowd. My God, when had she become that person?

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My thoughts:  The opening lines and 56 excerpt are a nice introduction to the setting and the main character, who experiences an embarrassing moment during her commute. Given the pandemic's effect on weddings, I think this story will provide a nice escape into some virtual wedding planning.

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From GoodReads:  Jennifer Dupee's debut novel is a delight...a story about discovering your authentic self when things get hard, and the joys you can find when you live from your heart. --Louise Miller

Is a lie of omission still a lie? Larisa Pearl didn't think so and it got her into a heap of trouble.

When Larisa Pearl returns to her small seaside hometown in Massachusetts to manage her beloved great aunt's estate, she's a bit of an emotional mess. She's just lost her job and her boyfriend and she's struggling to cope with her mother's failing health. When she passes by the window of The Little French Bridal Shop, a beautiful ivory satin wedding gown catches her eye...

Now, to the delight of everyone in town, Larisa is planning her wedding. She has her dress, made floral arrangements, and set the date. The only thing missing is the groom. How did this happen? All she did was try on a dress and let her fantasy take flight. But word about her upcoming nuptials has reached the ears of Jack Merrill. As teenagers, they spent time together on her great aunt's estate, building a friendship that could have become something more had they chosen different paths.

Lost in a web of her own lies, Larisa must first face some difficult truths, including her mother's fragile future, before she can embrace her family, straighten out her life, and open her heart to finding love.




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This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. 

© 2021 Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post has been stolen and was used without permission.

Monday, April 26, 2021

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 



. . . First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros . . . now hosted by Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews, where bloggers share excerpts from a book they have read, are currently reading, or are planning to read.
 

Today I'm featuring a current read, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. The excerpt shared is from an eBook version of the novel borrowed from the library.




First Chapter:  The morning one of the lost twins returned to Mallard, Lou LeBon ran to the diner to break the news, and even now, many years later, everyone remembers the shock of sweaty Lou pushing through the glass doors, chest heaving, neckline darkened with his own effort. The barely awake customers clamored around him, ten or so, although more would lie and say that they'd been there too, if only to pretend that this once, they'd witnessed something truly exciting. In that little farm town, nothing surprising ever happened, not since the Vignes twins had disappeared. But that morning in April 1968, on his way to work, Lou spotted Desiree Vignes walking along Partridge Road, carrying a small leather suitcase. She looked exactly the same as when she'd left at sixteen--still light, her skin the color of sand barely wet. Her hipless body reminding him of a branch caught in a strong breeze. She was hurrying, her head bent, and--Lou paused here, a bit of a showman--she was holding the hand of a girl, seven or eight, and black as tar.

 

What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

The descriptive first paragraph very nicely sets the scene of the story to unfold. I'm only a few chapters in, but can already tell that this novel will provide lots to discuss in an upcoming book club meeting. 





 



This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog. © 2021, Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post is being used without permission.

 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and 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 an upcoming read, Mother May I, Joshilyn Jackson's latest tale of domestic suspense. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.

 

Mother May I


Beginning:  I woke up to see a witch peering in my bedroom window.

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Page 56: I was VP of the drama club; she knew this would work. She'd given me her own name, Elizabeth, and she was the boldest girl I knew.

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My thoughts:  When I read the opening sentence, I immediately wonder if there is really a witch, or is this part of a dream? I'm also curious about the book titledoes it relates to the childhood game of the same name? On both counts, I'm intrigued enough to read on. 

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From GoodReads:  Revenge doesn’t wait for permission.

Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned by her single mother that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected her mother’s fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of: a loving lawyer husband, two talented teenage daughters, a new baby boy, a gorgeous home, and every opportunity in the world.

Until the day she awakens and sees a witch peering into her bedroom window—an old gray-haired woman dressed all in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears. It must be a play of the early morning light or the remnant of a waking dream, Bree tells herself, shaking off the bad feeling that overcomes her.

Later that day though, she spies the old woman again, in the parking lot of her daugh­ters’ private school . . . just minutes before Bree’s infant son, asleep in his car seat only a few feet away, vanishes. It happened so quickly—Bree looked away only for a second. There is a note left in his place, warning her that she is being watched; if she wants her baby back, she must not call the police or deviate in any way from the instructions that will follow.

The mysterious woman makes contact, and Bree learns she, too, is a mother. Why would another mother do this? What does she want? And why has she targeted Bree? Of course Bree will pay anything, do anything. It’s her child.

To get her baby back, Bree must complete one small—but critical—task. It seems harmless enough, but her action comes with a devastating price, making her complicit in a tangled web of tragedy and shocking secrets that could destroy everything she loves. It is the beginning of an odyssey that will lead Bree to dangerous places, explosive confrontations, and chilling truths.

Bree will do whatever it takes to protect her family—but what if the cost tears their world apart?




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This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. 

© 2021 Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post has been stolen and was used without permission.

 

Monday, April 19, 2021

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

 

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 



. . . First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros . . . now hosted by Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews, where bloggers share excerpts from a book they have read, are currently reading, or are planning to read.
 

Today I'm featuring a current read, Falling by T.J. Newman. The excerpt is from an eARC, which the publisher granted me access to. The expected publication date is July 6, 2021.



First Chapter:  Giving the duvet a shake, Carrie smoothed the creases with her hand. A whiff of fresh-cut grass drew her glance to the open window. The neighbor across the street mopped his face with the bottom of his shirt before closing the trash can full of lawn clippings with a clunk. Dragging it into the backyard, he gave a wave to a passing car, the loud music fading as it drove on. Behind her, in the bathroom, the shower shut off.

 

What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

The chapter opening is ho-hum, giving no indication of the gripping thriller about to unfold. It's merely the calm before the storm. Think HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, based on the book of the same name by Chris Bohjalian, only on steroids. It's a compulsive page turner.




 



This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog. © 2021, Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post is being used without permission.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and 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 an upcoming read. A Lady's Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett. It's the first book in The Secret Scientists of London series. The excerpts shared are from a trade paperback version borrowed from the library.


A Lady's Formula for Love (The Secret Scientists of London, #1)


Beginning:  London, 1842

Only after the second explosion did Violet start to worry.

Having retired for the night, rung for her maid, and poured herself a glass of brandy, Violet Hughes, or Lady Greycliff, decided to ignore the first blast. She tried to ignore the second one as well until she considered her housekeeper's reaction.

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Page 56:  "A dish of tea? How am I to think of tea when I've made a connection between this work and my original research into Avogadro's law?"

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My thoughts:  I'm drawn to the time period and the strong female protagonist. I'm looking forward to immersing myself in the world of Victorian England.

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From GoodReads:  What is a Victorian lady's formula for love? Mix one brilliant noblewoman and her enigmatic protection officer. Add in a measure of danger and attraction. Heat over the warmth of humor and friendship, and the result is more than simple chemistry—it's elemental.

Lady Violet Hughes is keeping secrets. First, she founded a clandestine sanctuary for England's most brilliant female scientists. Second, she is using her genius on a confidential mission for the Crown. But the biggest secret of all? Her feelings for protection officer Arthur Kneland.

Solitary and reserved, Arthur learned the hard way to put duty first. But the more time he spends in the company of Violet and the eccentric club members, the more his best intentions go up in flames. Literally.

When a shadowy threat infiltrates Violet's laboratories, endangering her life and her work, scientist and bodyguard will find all their theories put to the test—and learn that the most important discoveries are those of the heart.
 




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This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. 

© 2021 Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post has been stolen and was used without permission.