Monday, October 19, 2020

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.

Happy Book Birthday to a recent read, The Silence by Don DeLillo, which is being released today!  I was fortunate to receive an advance reader copy of this suspenseful novel from the publisher.


Beginning:  Part One
-1-
Words, sentences, numbers, distance to destination.

_________________

The man touched the button and his seat moved from its upright position.  He found himself staring up at the nearest of the small screens located just below the overhead bin, words and numbers changing with the progress of the flight.  Altitude, air temperature, speed, time of arrival.  He wanted to sleep but kept on looking.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
First, let me just say how much I miss air travel . . .

Now, on to my thoughts about the book . . .

In this concise novel, DeLillo presents the type of plausible scenario that modern society seems on the brink of at any given time these days, and begs the question: Without technology to support us, how do we communicate to the outer world and with each other?  Five characters are faced with such a dilemma and its consequences . . .

DeLillo's characters grapple to make sense of uncertainty brought about by circumstances beyond their control which have potentially catastrophic results.  The inner thoughts and outer demeanor of the group offer an interesting perspective of life and survival in the 21st century.

 

 

 

 

This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

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 a recent read, Behind the Red Door by Megan Collins. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library. 
 
 Behind the Red Door 

Beginning:  one
Now that it's summer, it's not my job to protect the children. 
 
********************
Page 56:  I'd only been thinking of her.  But I didn't tell her these things.  And for her part, she didn't divulge her feelings either.  But we knew.
********************

My thoughts:  Fern is called back to New Hampshire to help her dad Ted, a recently retired psychology professor, pack up her childhood home in advance of his move to Florida. Fern's relationship with her father and artist mother Mara has never been particularly warm and loving, so she is ambivalent about returning. As she faces memories of her neglectful childhood, a kidnapping from twenty years ago resurfaces and captures her attention. Fern feels an exceptional and seemingly inexplicable connection to the case, and begins to have frequent dreams related to the crime. She comes to believe she may have key information buried deep in her subconscious not only related to Astrid's long-ago kidnapping, but to Astrid's very recent disappearance without a trace.


Behind the Red Door is a taut psychological thriller in which the protagonist must confront a lifetime of lies, fear, and dark secrets to make sense of the past and move toward a more secure and promising future. Plentiful twists, turns, and dilemmas make this an unputdownable novel.

 
 
********************
From Goodreads:  The author of the “suspenseful, atmospheric, and completely riveting” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author) debut The Winter Sister returns with a darkly thrilling novel about a woman who comes to believe that she has a connection to a decades old kidnapping and now that the victim has gone missing again, begins a frantic search to learn what happened in the past.

When Fern Douglas sees the news about Astrid Sullivan, a thirty-four-year-old missing woman from Maine, she is positive that she knows her. Fern’s husband is sure it’s because of Astrid’s famous kidnapping—and equally famous return—twenty years ago, but Fern has no memory of that, even though it happened an hour outside her New Hampshire hometown. And when Astrid appears in Fern’s recurring nightmare, one in which a girl reaches out to her, pleading, Fern fears that it’s not a dream at all, but a memory.

Back home in New Hampshire, Fern purchases a copy of Astrid’s recently published memoir—which may have provoked her original kidnapper to abduct her again—and as she reads through its chapters and visits the people and places within it, she discovers more evidence that she has an unsettling connection to the missing woman. As Fern’s search becomes increasingly desperate, she hopes to remember her past so she can save Astrid in the present…before it’s too late.

Featuring Megan Collins’s signature “dark, tense, and completely absorbing” (
Booklist) prose and plenty of shocking twists and turns, Behind the Red Door is an arresting thriller that will haunt you long after you turn the last page.
******************** 
 
 
 

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. 

 


 

Monday, October 12, 2020

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 my current "listen," The Library Book by Susan Orlean.  The excerpt shared is from my Audible library.



Beginning:  Even in Los Angeles, where there is no shortage of remarkable hairdos, Harry Peak attracted attention.  "He was very blond. Very, very blond," his lawyer said to me, and then he fluttered his hand across his forehead, performing a pantomime of Peak's heavy swoop of bangs.  Another lawyer, who questioned Peak in a deposition, remembered his hair very well.  "He had a lot of it," she said.  "And he was very definitely blond."  An arson investigator I met described Peak entering the courtroom "with all that hair," as if his hair existed independently.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
In recognition of the anniversary of my eighth year of blogging this past Sunday (10.11.12), I wanted to feature a book related to libraries.  I have been enjoying The Library Book, which is read by the author, on my walks.  The main focus of this true story is the deliberately set fire at Los Angeles Central Library in 1986 that destroyed or damaged over one million books.  While this incident is interesting on its own, Orlean enriches the book with interviews with librarians across the country, and highlights the importance of libraries through the ages as the guardians of history, culture, and community.











 

 

 

This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

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 my current read, Melania and Me by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library. 

 

Beginning:  Prologue
Just Another Lunch

"Grab 'em by the p***y."

The sentence that reverberated around the world on October 7, 2016

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Chapter 1
How to Marry a Billionaire

When I met Melania Knauss in 2003, we were both thirty-two years old and walking the hallways of Vogue.  I was working; she was visiting.


********************
Page 56:  Someone in Trump World didn't want Melania to shine.  We talked about who that might be.  Who stood to gain by making Melania look bad?
********************

My thoughts:  The sub-title of this book is The Rise and Fall of my Friendship with the First Lady. In this memoir, the author details the course of her relationship with Melania Trump. 

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who comes across as a caring, competent, can-do woman, entered first into a friendship and then into a professional relationship with Melania Knauss Trump.  Generous with her time and attention, Stephanie was very supportive of her friend.  But she came to understand that this particular relationship was less than reciprocal.  While Stephanie was a giver, Melania was a taker.  At great personal expense, Stephanie acted to protect Melania in her public role as First Lady. But when the Trumps needed someone to take the blame for the fallout from the Inauguration Committee's finance scandal, Stephanie suffered a very public betrayal.

This fascinating account by someone with rare, close personal access offers insight into the behind-the-scenes inner workings of the early days of the Trump White House and the author's encounters with members of the Trump family and various political operatives vying for power, prestige, and attention.


********************
From Goodreads:  What Melania wants, Melania gets.


The former director of special events at Vogue and producer of nine legendary Met Galas, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff met Melania Knauss in 2003 and had a front row seat to the transformation of Donald Trump’s then girlfriend from a rough-cut gem to a precious diamond. As their friendship deepened over lunches at Manhattan hot spots, black-tie parties, and giggle sessions in the penthouse at Trump Tower, Wolkoff watched the newest Mrs. Trump raise her son, Barron, and manage her highly scrutinized marriage.

After Trump won the 2016 election, Wolkoff was recruited to help produce the 58th Presidential Inaugu­ration and to become the First Lady’s trusted advisor. Melania put Wolkoff in charge of hiring her staff, organizing her events, helping her write speeches, and creating her debut initiatives. Then it all fell apart when she was made the scapegoat for inauguration finance irregularities. Melania could have defended her innocent friend and confidant, but she stood by her man, knowing full well who was really to blame. The betrayal nearly destroyed Wolkoff.

In this candid and emotional memoir, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff takes you into Trump Tower and the White House to tell the funny, thrilling, and heartbreaking story of her intimate friendship with one of the most famous women in the world, a woman few people truly understand.

How did Melania react to the Access Hollywood tape and her husband’s affair with Stormy Daniels? Does she get along well with Ivanka? Why did she wear that jacket with “I really don’t care, do u?” printed on the back? Is Melania happy being First Lady? And what really happened with the inauguration’s funding of $107 million? Wolkoff has some ideas...





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

 

 

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.  




 

 

Monday, October 5, 2020

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.

Happy Book Birthday to a recent read, Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, which is being released today!  I was fortunate to receive an advance reader copy of this suspenseful novel from the publisher.



Beginning:  Well, the sun was shining.  They felt that boded well--people turn any old thing into an omen.  It was all just to say no clouds were to be seen. The sun where the sun always was. The sun persistent and indifferent.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
The opening lines hint at both what we take for granted and the excitement of starting out on an adventure . . .

Here are my thoughts about Rumaan Alam's latest novel . . .
Leave the World Behind is an eerie novel with an apocalyptic feel that explores issues of truth, trust, and uncertainty, heightened by a remote location and lack of basic services.  Two families--from different ethnicities, generations, and social strata--are left to grapple with the unease of being in each other's company as they are forced together because of a major power outage and lack of information from the outside world.  These relative strangers must find a way to overcome their individual and shared fears amid signs from nature of intense foreboding and ominous change.

 

As they make overtures to establish mutual trust, one thing is certain: life as they know it is no longer a given, and the world will be forever changed.  These six strangers must unite in a singular mission of survival as they come to terms with what the future may hold.

 

This haunting, addictive read is spellbinding in its own right--and also conjures parallel feelings about our current uncertain times, and the collective unknown future we face in the midst of a global pandemic.





This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

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 Girls Weekend by Jody Gehrman.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library. 

 


 

Beginning:  1

Like most clusterf***s these days, it starts with a group text.

 

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

Page 56: "It's all about appearances with Sadie."  The bitterness in Ethan's voice is unmistakable.  "The important thing is keeping up the illusion."


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

My thoughts:  The title, opening, setting, and plot summary make this story sound like my perfect weekend read.

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

From Goodreads:  Their reunion just became a crime scene . . .


June Moody, a thirty-something English professor, just wants to get away from her recent breakup and reunite with girlfriends over summer break. Her old friend and longtime nemesis, Sadie MacTavish, a mega-successful author, invites June and her college friends to a baby shower at her sprawling estate in the San Juan Islands. June is less than thrilled to spend time with Sadie--and her husband, June's former crush--but agrees to go.

The party gets off to a shaky start when old grudges resurface, but when they wake the next morning, they find something worse: Sadie is missing, the house is in shambles, and bloodstains mar the staircase. None of them has any memory of the night before; they wonder if they were drugged. Everyone's a suspect. Since June had a secret rendezvous with Sadie's husband, she has plenty of reason to suspect herself. Apparently, so do the cops.

A Celtic knot of suspense and surprise, this brooding, atmospheric novel will keep you guessing as each twist reveals a new possibility. It will remind you of friendships hidden in the depths of your own past, and make you wonder how well you really know the people you've loved the longest. 

 
  

 

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

 

 

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. 


Monday, September 28, 2020

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, Anxious People by Fredrik Backman.  The excerpt shared is from a copy I purchased.



Beginning:  1
A bank robbery.  A hostage drama.  A stairwell full of police officers on their way to storm an apartment.  It was easy to get to this point, much easier than you might think. All it took was one single really bad idea.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
The short sentence structure and information shared is an immediate hook.  Of additional interest is the author, who has become a favorite of mine for his story and character development.





This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution.