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Book beginnings on Friday

Boog beginnings on Friday

fortunes_favourites

My beginning today is from “Fortune’s Favourites” by Colleen McCullough. It’s the third book in the Masters of Rome series.

Though the steward held his five-flamed lamp high enough to illuminate the two recumbent figures in the bed, he knew its light had not the power to waken Pompey.

I am surprised that Pompey is the first person we read about at the beginning, but we will see where this goes.

What is YOUR book beginning today? To see more book beginnings go to Rose City Reader!

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Book beginnings on Friday

Boog beginnings on Friday

Cover Our tragic universe by Scarlett Thomas

My book beginning today is from the novel “Our tragic universe” by Scarlett Thomas.

I was reading about how to survive the end of the universe when I got a text message from my friend Libby, Her text said “Can you be at the Embankment in fifteen minutes? Big disaster.” It was a cold Sunday in early February, and I’d spent most of it curled up in bed in the damp and disintegrating terraced cottage in Dartmouth.

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Book beginnings on Friday

Boog beginnings on Friday

Cover Let the right one in by John Ajvide Lindqvist

I started “Let the right one in” by John Ajvide Lindqvist a few days ago and really like it. If you think this is a vampire story like Twilight, you couldn’t be more wrong. Here is its beginning.

“And what do you think this might be?”

Gunnar Holmberg, police commissioner from Vällingby, held up a little plastic bag of white powder.

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Book beginnings on Friday

Boog beginnings on Friday

Cover Started early, took my dog by Kate Atkinson

 

I haven’t done a book beginning post in a long time. But I started reading an interesting book by an author that is new to me and in a genre that I am not very accustomed to. So good reasons to share its beginning.

The book is “Started early, took my dog” by Kate Atkinson, a writer who was recommended to me by Elena from Books and Reviews. I am not 100% certain I like the style which is evident already in the first few lines.

1975: 9 April

Leeds: “Motorway City of the Seventies”. A proud slogan. No irony intended. Gaslight still flickering on some streets. Life in a northern town.

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Book beginnings on Friday

Boog beginnings on FridayCover Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs

After finishing the four books in the coffeehouse mystery series by Cleo Coyle I have moved on to the Tea Shop Mystery series by Laura Childs.

Death by Darjeeling is the first book in the series. The beginning sounds cosy enough:

Theodosia Browning leaned back from the clutter of her antique wooden desk, balanced a bone china cup and saucer on one knee, and took a much-needed sip of Lung Ching tea.

 

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Book beginnings on Friday

Boog beginnings on FridayCover The Grass Crown by Colleen McCullough

My book beginning today is from “The Grass Crown”, a book I am eager to start after reading its prequel, “The first man in Rome”. That book’s beginning, by the way, you can find here.

“The most exciting thing that’s happened during the last fifteen months,” said Gaius Marius, “is the elephant Gaius Claudius showed at the ludi Romani.”

That was to be expected. At the end of the last book it was obvious that the following few months would be calm, so this beginning comes as no surprise.

 

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Book beginnings on Friday

Boog beginnings on FridayCover Girl Reading by Katie Ward

It’s been a while since I did a book beginning. I have only recently started a new book that I could use for this kind of post, so here it is. Girl Reading by Katie Ward is called a novel, but it doesn’t seem to be one. It is a collection of short stories; you can read about the first two in my post here.

This is the beginning of the first story “Simone Martini, Annunciation, 1333”:

She arrives glowing from the effort of running, strands of red hair coming loose from her kerchief (she tucks them in), marks on her neck like bruises on fruit.

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Book beginnings on Friday

Boog beginnings on FridayCover The Accusers by Lindsey Davis

My book beginning today is from another detective novel set in ancient Rome, about 40 years later than Bodies Politic, in 75AD. The Accusers is the 15th book in the very popular Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis.

I had been an informer for over a decade when I finally learned what the job entailed.

About time, I would say….

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Book beginnings on Friday

firstman

Today my book beginning is from a book by Colleen McCullough published in 1990, “The first man in Rome”. The story starts in 110B.C.

Having no personal commitment to either of the new consuls, Gaius Julius Caesar and his sons simply tacked themselves onto the procession of the senior consul, Marcus Minucius Rufus.

The story starts with the Caesarian family, even though none of the two main characters is a Julian. Maybe this is because everybody has heard of the Julians, even though this particular Gaius Julius, of course, is not the one everybody is immediately thinking of. Also, Gaius Marius, one of the two protagonists, is/will be Gaius Julius Caesar’s son in law (not sure whether he and Julia are married already at this point).

Anyway, the beginning of a new consular year is always a good time to start a story. Only about 800 pages to go…

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Book beginnings on Friday

verbs

Today’s beginning is from a very fun read by Alexander McCall Smith, “Portuguese Irregular Verbs”.

Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld often reflected on how fortunate he was to be exactly who he was, and nobody else. When one paused to think of who one might have been had the accident of birth not happened precisely as it did, then, well, one could be quite franky appalled.

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Book beginnings on Friday

A supposedly fun thing I'll never do again

This is a collection of essays and my first encounter with David Foster Wallace. The first essay is about “Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley” and it starts like this:

When I left my boxed township of Illinois farmland to attend my dad’s alma mater in the lurid jutting Berkshires of western Massachusetts, I all of a sudden developed a jones for mathematics.

I am only a few pages into this and I find it quite different.

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Book beginnings on Friday

 changeless

For the Mount TBR challenge 2012 as well as to continue last year’s Steampunk challenge I am reading “Changeless” by Gail Carriger right now. I am sure quite a few of you know it already.

This is the first paragraph:

“They are what?”

Lord Conall Maccon, Earl of Woolsey, was yelling. Loudly. This was to be expected from Lord Maccon, who was generally a loud sort of gentleman – the ear-bleeding combination of lung capacity and a large barrel chest.

I would say this is the typical style of the Parasol Protectorate books. Have you read any of them? Did you like them?

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Book beginnings on Friday

gargoyle

I blogged about The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson more than a year ago but never thought of using it for a book beginnings post. I loved it, so here is its beginning:

Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love.

It was Good Friday and the stars were just starting to dissolve into dawn. As I drove, I stroked the scar on my chest, by habit. My eyes were heavy and my vision unfocused, not surprising given that I’d spent the night hunched over a mirror snorting away the bars of white powder that kept my face trapped in the glass. I believed I was keening my reflexes. I was wrong.

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Book beginnings on Friday

 

foreveramber

Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor is THE bodice ripper. It is a bit of a chunk of book at almost 1.000 pages but well worth the read. I think the ending is one of the best endings ever in that genre, unexpected and funny. But I am talking about its beginning today. This is the first paragraph of the prologue.

The small room was warm and moist. Furious blasts of thunder made the window-panes rattle and lightning seemed to streak through the room itself. No one had dared to say what each was thinking – that this storm, violent even for mid-March, must be an evil omen.

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Book beginnings on Friday

perils

Today’s book beginning is from a short story by Alexander McCall Smith called “The perils of morning coffee”.

Isabel Dalhousie saw Brother Fox that morning at eleven minutes past four. She was not one to take much notice of such details – she felt it was usually a matter of little importance to know exactly what time it was, unless, of course, one was a railway company, or an airline, for whom concern about punctuality was entirely understandable and, on the whole, to be encouraged.

I really like this beginning. I don’t wear a watch and felt connected to Isabel from the start. A good sign!

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Book beginnings on Friday

Where the god of love hangs out

Today’s book beginning is from Amy Bloom’s “Where the God of Love Hangs Out”.

At two o’clock in the morning, no one is to blame.

We’d been watching CNN, one scene of disaster leading to the next, the reporter in front of what might have been a new anthrax outbreak giving way to the military analyst in the studio with new developments in Kabul, when William put his hand on my breast.

The beginning pulled me right in and I absolutely love the book. Almost done with it.

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Book beginnings on Friday

mww

Today’s book beginning is from a book by Ernest Hemingway that is on my reading list for the very near future, “Men without women”. The beginning  is from the first story called “The Undefeated”.

Manuel Garcia climbed the stairs to Don Miguel Retana’s office. He set down his suitcase and knocked on the door. There was no answer. Manuel, standing in the hallway felt there was someone in the room. He felt it through the door.

I haven’t read on and I don’t know what the story is about. I like the beginning.

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Book beginnings on Friday

The mysteries of Pittsburgh 

Today’s book beginning is from a novel that I read a long, long time ago. I looked around for a book (I am still reading “Visitation” from last week, so nothing new to choose) and my eye fell on “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh” by Michael Chabon. I remembered that it had a really great first sentence. Most of you probably know it anyway. So, here we go:

At the beginning of the summer I had lunch with my father, the gangster, who was in town for the weekend to transact some of his vague business.

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Book beginnings on Friday

visitation1

Today’s book beginning is from a book I started some time ago. It is called “Visitation” in English, the original German title is “Heimsuchung” by Jenny Erpenbeck.

It is the story of a house and its various owners over the course of roughly hundred years.

No one in the village knows where he comes from.  Perhaps he was always here.

The German beginning goes like this:

Woher er gekommen ist, weiß im Dorf niemand. Vielleicht war er immer schon da.

“He” is the gardener who is taking care of the garden of the house throughout the book.

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