Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Reservoir by David Duchovny -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

These summer weeks are just drifting by! Welcome back to Book Beginnings on Fridays, where you can share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week. You can also chose to share from a book that captured your fancy, even if you are not reading it right now. 

MY BOOK BEGINNING
The reservoir is why Ridley took this apartment eleven years ago. A view of water -- so hard to come by in New York City. 
-- The Reservoir by David Duchovny.

Yes, that David Duchovny. We all think of The X-Files when we hear his name. But he writes books. He's also has a band. Not being one to keep up on celebrity news, maybe I'm the last person to know all this, but I about fell out of my chair laughing when I saw Duchovny on The Chair with Sandra Oh. He steals the show with this scene (the clip has a 10 second trailer at the beginning before it starts for real with her knocking on the door -- stick with it).

The Reservoir is Duchovney's new novella, following four novels. He wrote The Reservoir during the pandemic, about a man stuck in his New York apartment during the pandemic. The man believes a woman across Central Park is signaling to him in Morse code and that there is a mystery that can only be solved by discovering what lies at the bottom of the reservoir in the park. It's parts mystery, father/daughter story, dark rom-com, and psychological delusion.

I got my copy of The Reservoir through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. It looks like a quick summer read so I plan to read it this month.


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Leave a link to your Book Beginnings post in the Linky box below. If you share on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag. Have fun!

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THE FRIDAY 56

Another fun Friday event is The Friday 56. Share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your book, or 56% of the way through your e-book or audiobook, on this weekly event hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice.

MY FRIDAY 56

From The Reservoir:
He showered, shampooed, shaved, trimmed his eyebrows and nose hairs, and doused himself with some old cologne. Does cologne get better with age, like wine?


Monday, August 1, 2022

I Meant to Tell You and The Reservoir -- MAILBOX MONDAY


MAILBOX MONDAY

What books came into your house last week? 

Two new books came my way. Both look like fun!

I Meant to Tell You by Fran Hawthorne

Fran Hawthorne's new novel, I Meant to Tell You, starts with the disclosure of a little secret and follows the ripple effects of that disclosure. 

Miranda and Russ are engaged to be married and Russ is ready to start a new job in the U.S. Attorney's office. As part of a routine FBI background check, both must disclose any criminal history. Miranda had never told Russ that years earlier, she had tried to help a friend and her child leave the US for Israel during her friend's nasty divorce. Although Miranda did not know this trip was illegal, is was, and she and her friend were arrested at the airport. Miranda was sentenced for a misdemeanor, which was later expunged. Because the conviction was not on her record, she didn't mention it to Russ or the FBI. Big mistake. 

The story unspools from there. Hawthorne narrates the book through the multiple voices of those affected.

I Meant to Tell You doesn't launch until November, but is available for pre-order. I am excited to get my hands on an early review copy. This is Fran Hawthorne's second novel after her 2018 debut, The Heirs

The Reservoir by David Duchovny

Yes, David Duchovny from The X-Files writes books. He's also a singer/songwriter. Maybe everyone knew this already, but it was news to me when I watched The Chair with Sandra Oh. Duchovny steals the show with this scene (the clip has a 10 second trailer at the beginning before it starts for real with her knocking on the door -- stick with it). 

The Reservoir is Duchovney's new novella, which he wrote during the pandemic, about a man stuck in his New York apartment during the pandemic. The man becomes convinced a woman across Central Park is signaling to him in Morse code and that the key to the mystery lies at the bottom of the reservoir in the park. It's part dark rom-com, part mystery, part psychological delusion.

The Reservoir is out now. I scored a review copy from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. It looks like a perfect summer read so I plan to read it this month.



YOUR MAILBOX MONDAY BOOKS

Join other book lovers on Mailbox Monday to share the books that came into your house last week. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf, and Velvet of vvb32reads graciously host Mailbox Monday.



Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towels -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

It's hot this week here in Oregon. Like most Oregonians, I complain when it rains all spring and then I complain that it is too hot. It's a summer ritual! But I live in a 110 year old house with no air conditioning, so hot gets hot. My cats sure love it. 

Book Beginnings will take my mind off melting. Please share the opening sentence (or so) from the book you are reading this week, or just a book you feel like sharing. 

MY BOOK BEGINNING

June 12, 1954 – The drive from Salina to Morgan was three hours, and for much of it, Emmett hadn’t said a word.
-- The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towels. This is one of the books my Book Club picked for later this fall and I'm getting a jump on it because my library hold came up. 

Have you read it?

I loved A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility. I've heard this one drags in comparison, but I'm willing to read it through. A long slow book doesn't sound too bad for this long slow summer week. 


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please leave a link to your Book Beginning post in the Linky box below. If you share on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag. 

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THE FRIDAY 56

The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

MY FRIDAY 56

From The Lincoln Highway:
I love it when life pulls a rabbit out of a hat. Like when the blue-plate special is turkey and stuffing in the middle of May.
That is an image that stuck with me when I read it. Although the idea of a Thanksgiving-style turkey dinner on this sweltering summer day sounds horrible! 




Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Erica Jong's Top 100 20th Century Novels by Women -- LIST


Erica Jong's Top 100 20th Century Novels by Women

At the turn of the Millennium, there was a flurry of "Top 100" book lists. The Modern Library’s list of Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century, started the craze (and led to this blog). Erica Jong wrote an article for The Nation criticizing the Modern Library’s list for including relatively few books by women.

She titled her article "I've Got a Little List" and included her own list of the Top 100 20th Century Novels by Women. Jong explained that she had compiled the list from votes cast by those “250 or so distinguished women writers and critics” and “about thirty male novelists, critics and poets” whom she solicited directly, as well as participants in “the rather lively writers’ forum” on Jong’s website. The list is in order of the number of votes received. 

Jong's method for creating the list was not scientific. But the results provide excellent reading. 

Here is Jong's list. I've noted if I've read a book, if it's on my TBR shelf, or if it is available as an audiobook from my library. 

See any favorites?

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell FINISHED

Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice ON OVERDRIVE

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf FINISHED

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf FINISHED

The Waves by Virginia Woolf TBR SHELF

Orlando by Virginia Woolf FINISHED

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes TBR SHELF

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton FINISHED

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton FINISHED

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton FINISHED

The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall ON OVERDRIVE

Burger's Daughter by Nadine Gordimer TBR SHELF

The Dollmaker by Harriette Simpson Arnow

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood FINISHED

My Ántonia by Willa Cather FINISHED

Fear of Flying by Erica Jong (reviewed hereFINISHED

Fanny by Erica Jong

Obasan by Joy Kogawa FINISHED

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing FINISHED

The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing

The Grass Is Singing by Doris Lessing TBR SHELF

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee FINISHED

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy ON OVERDRIVE

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley FINISHED

Her First American by Lore Segal FINISHED

The Color Purple by Alice Walker FINISHED

The Third Life of Grange Copeland by Alice Walker

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley FINISHED

Memento Mori by Muriel Spark FINISHED

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark FINISHED

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison FINISHED

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (reviewed hereFINISHED

Anya by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer TBR SHELF

Trust by Cynthia Ozick TBR SHELF

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan FINISHED

The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan FINISHED

Chilly Scenes of Winter by Ann Beattie TBR SHELF

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston FINISHED

A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion TBR SHELF

Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion (reviewed hereFINISHED

The Group by Mary McCarthy FINISHED

The Company She Keeps by Mary McCarthy FINISHED

The Little Disturbances of Man by Grace Paley TBR SHELF

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath FINISHED

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers FINISHED
 
The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen FINISHED

Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor FINISHED

Anywhere But Here by Mona Simpson TBR SHELF

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison FINISHED

Beloved by Toni Morrison FINISHED

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (reviewed hereFINISHED

Mr. Fortune's Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner TBR SHELF

Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter FINISHED

Progress of Stories by Laura Riding

Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (Booker winnerFINISHED

The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald FINISHED

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende FINISHED

Possession by A.S. Byatt FINISHED

The Ghost Road by Pat Barker TBR SHELF

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown ON OVERDRIVE

Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner FINISHED

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter TBR SHELF

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (reviewed hereFINISHED

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn ON OVERDRIVE

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (reviewed hereFINISHED

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym FINISHED

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko TBR SHELF
 
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler FINISHED

The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler FINISHED

Things Invisible to See by Nancy Willard (reviewed hereFINISHED

Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson FINISHED

Disturbances in the Field by Lynne Sharon Schwartz TBR SHELF

Civil Wars by Rosellen Brown TBR SHELF

Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr

The Mountain Lion by Jean Stafford TBR SHELF

Novel on Yellow Paper by Stevie Smith

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx FINISHED

The Mind-Body Problem by Rebecca Goldstein

The Children of Men by P.D. James FINISHED

Stones From the River by Ursula Hegi FINISHED

The Life and Loves of a She-Devil by Fay Weldon FINISHED

Collected Stories by Katherine Mansfield TBR SHELF

Life in the Iron Mills by Rebecca Harding Davis TBR SHELF

The Beet Queen by Louise Erdrich TBR SHELF

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin DNF 

The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O'Brien TBR SHELF

Realms of Gold by Margaret Drabble TBR SHELF

The Waterfall by Margaret Drabble FINISHED

The Locusts Have No King by Dawn Powell

The Women's Room by Marilyn French

The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty FINISHED

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields FINISHED

Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid TBR SHELF

Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen TBR SHELF

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein FINISHED

A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch FINISHED

Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai

The Drowning Season by Alice Hoffman FINISHED

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend ON OVERDRIVE

The Pumpkin Eater by Penelope Mortimer TBR SHELF


NOTE

This is a repost of a list I first posted in 2009. So far, I've read 57 of the 100 and gave up on another one, so I have 42 to go. Of those that I read because they were on this list, my favorites are Play It as It LaysThings Invisible to See, and The Children of Men




Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Counterlife by Philip Roth -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

After our cold, rainy spring, summer is finally here in Portland. Of course, by next week, we will all complain it is too hot. That’s a ritual of Oregon life.

But it is beautiful this week. And I am so looking forward to Book Club tonight because it is the perfect evening for dinner outside, drinking pink wine, and chatting about books with my IRL book friends.

Are you in a book club? How do you pick the books you read and how often do you meet? We meet every other month and rotate hosting alphabetically by last name. The hostess picks the book for the next meeting. 

Fortunately, I remembered to post my Book Beginnings on Fridays post before I left for Book Club. Please join me to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week -- of just a book that caught your fancy.

MY BOOK BEGINNING
Ever since the family doctor, during a routine checkup, discovered an abnormality on his EKG and he went in overnight for the coronary catheterization that revealed the dimensions of the disease, Henry’s condition had been successfully treated with drugs, enabling him to work and to carry on his life at home exactly as before.
-- The Counterlife by Philip Roth, winner of the 1987 National Book Critics Circle Award.

I'm reading this one now and love it. It's the fifth of nine Nathan Zuckerman books. It starts with the idea is that Zuckerman's younger brother needs heart surgery. Then there are alternate versions of where the story goes from  there -- Henry dies during surgery; he survives but leaves his family and moves to a kibbutz in Israel's West Bank; it's really Nathan who needs the surgery and he dies; Nathan marries a fourth wife and moves to England. There might be another version, but that's as far as I've gotten so far. It's very clever.


YOUR BOOK BEGINNING

Please leave the link to your Book Beginning post in the Linky box below. If you share on SM, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag.

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THE FRIDAY 56

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

MY FRIDAY 56

From The Counterlife:
Down in the living room, he worked his way through the clan, accepting their sympathies, listening to their memories, answering questions about where he was living and what he was writing, until he had made his way to Cousin Essie, his favorite relative and once upon a time the family powerhouse. She was sitting in a club chair by the fireplace with a cane across her knees.


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