Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Beginning: Children & Other Wild Animals



THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

SORRY I'M A LITTLE LATER THIS WEEK. CRAZY DAY! 

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING



MY BOOK BEGINNING



One time, years ago, I was shuffling with my children through the vast wet moist dripping enormous thicketed webbed muddy epic forest on the Oregon coast, which is a forest from a million years ago, the forest that hatched the biggest creatures that ever lived on this bruised blessed earth, all due respect to California and its redwood trees but our cedars and firs made them redwoods look like toothpicks, and my kids and I were in a biggest-creature mood, because we had found it slugs way longer than bananas, and footprints of elk that must have been gobbling steroids, and a friend had just told us of finding a bear print the size of a dinner plate, and all of us had seen whales in the sea that very morning, and all of us had seen pelicans too which look like flying pup tents, and how do they know to all hit cruise control at the same time, does the leader give a hand signal? as my son said, and one of us had seen the two ginormous young eagles who lived somewhere in this forest, so when we found the biggest stump in the history of the world, as my daughter called it, we were not exactly surprised, it was basically totally understandable that suddenly there would be a stop so enormous that it was like someone had dropped the dance floor into the forest, that's the sort of thing and that happens in this forest, and my kids of course immediately leapt up on it and started shaking their groove thangs, and dancing themselves silly, and I was snorting with laughter until one kid, the goofiest, why we did not name this kid Goofy when we had the chance in those first few dewy minutes of life I will never know, well, this kid of course shimmied over to the edge and fell off head over teakettle, vanishing into a mat of fern nearly as tall as me, but the reason I tell you this story is that while we were all down in the moist velvet dark of the roots of the ferns, trying to be solicitous about Goofy and see if he was busted anywhere serious but also trying not to laugh and whisper the word doofus, one of us found a newt! o my god! Dad! check it out!

-- From “A Newt Note” the first essay in Children & Other While Animals by Brian Doyle, published by OSU Press.

Brian Doyle is a Portland treasure and he writes some great books, fiction and non-fiction. I loved his book, The Grail, about making Oregon pinot noir wine (see my review, here).

I'm afraid that this first sentence -- yes! one sentence -- demonstrates what I find charming and annoying about some of his writing.  The exuberant run-on sentence is fun the first time, but gets exhausting fast.





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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Goodbye Crocodile



When the Northwestern Circus train derailed in the woods outside of Leonard, Alabama, and a train car carrying three Bengal tigers overturned, it took five hours for the first one to find its way into town. It appeared in the hardware aisle at Jonathan's General Goods when it crashed through the ceiling onto a display of discounted screwdrivers and ratchets.

-- from "Three Tigers," in Goodbye Crocodile: Short Stories by Conor Patrick.  That is the best beginning to a story I have read in forever!

Goodbye Crocodile, published by The London Magazine, is a collection of 12 short stories by an American author living in England.  The book is available in America in a Kindle edition or from the published in a paperback edition.

The London Magazine was first published in 1732, making it the UK's oldest cultural journal.  Every issue features original poetry, short fiction, reviews, and literary essays. Learn more about The London Magazine, including how to subscribe, at the magazine's website, facebook page, and twitter.


Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.



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Monday, November 17, 2014

Mailbox Monday: Montana Treasures



Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday! MM was created by Marcia, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring event. Mailbox Monday has now returned to its permanent home where you can link to your MM post.

I was in polar-cold Montana last week for work and found several books at the Friends of the Library shop in the Missoula Library. It is one of my favorites and I always stop there when I am in town.



The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall. This was very popular, but I have not read it yet.



Apple of My Eye by Helene Hanff. A memoir about Manhattan by the author of 84, Charring Cross Road, one of my favorites.



Flush: A Biography by Virginia Woolf. This is the novel-like biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's cocker spaniel.



Eleanor Roosevelt's Book of Common Sense Etiquette. How fabulous is this vintage treasure!


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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book Beginning: Goodbye Crocodile



THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING



MY BOOK BEGINNING



On my 12th birthday, my father came to my bed in the quiet of night.

-- from "The Late Train to Santa Fe," the first story in Goodbye Crocodile: Short Stories by Conor Patrick. Don't worry, it is not as creepy as the first sentence suggests!

The London Magazine published this collection of 12 short stories by an American author living in England.  The book is available in America in a Kindle edition or from the published in a paperback edition.

The London Magazine is the UK's oldest cultural journal -- first published in 1732! It features original poetry, short fiction, cultural reviews, and literary essays. Learn more about The London Magazine, including how to subscribe, at the magazine's website, facebook page, and twitter.





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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Challenge Wrap Up: 2014 European Reading Challenge -- COMPLETED!

The European Reading Challenge
January 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015


COMPLETED!

This is my wrap-up post.

TO ADD YOUR OWN WRAP UP POST, GO TO THIS PAGE 
TO POST A REVIEW, GO TO THIS PAGE


The gist: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour.

I host this challenge, so I signed up at the highest level, the Five Star (Deluxe Entourage) level, to read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries. I read a total of eight books, but I didn't review many of them. I was pretty busy starting my own law firm this year, so didn't have the time or attention to review many of the books I read. I barely had time to read them!

MY BOOKS

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (Norway)

Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy (Greece; reviewed here)


Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes (United Kingdom; discussed here)

Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell (Italy; Ancient Rome, really, but . . .)

Prague by Arthur Phillips (Hungary, despite its title)

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera (Czechoslovakia)



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