Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book Beginning: Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes



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 now has a Facebook page. I plan to 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, or click the button over there in the right hand column. 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 am trying 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.



In the end, I listen to my fear. It keeps me awake, resounding through the frantic beating in my breast. It is there in the dry terror in my throat, in the pricking of the rats' nervous feet in the darkness.

-- Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes,  due out in January, but available for pre-order.  You can read the first chapter on kindle now.

Based on a true story, Sinful Folk is a mystery and adventure tale set in England in 1377.  A group of villagers, including the narrator Mear (a former nun disguised as a mute man), set out on a desperate mid-winter journey to London to seek justice for the death of five children in a suspicious house fire.

It sounds like a cross between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Game of Thrones. Watch the trailer for Sinful Folk.

2013 Challenge: Mt. TBR Final Checkpoint


I completed my Mt. TBR Challenge! 

For the final checkpoint, the challenge host, Bev from My Reader's Block, asks participants to provide the following information: 

1. Tell us how many miles you made it up your mountain (# of books read). If you've planted your flag on the peak, then tell us and celebrate (and wave!). Even if you were especially athletic and have been sitting atop your mountain for months, please check back in and remind us quickly you sprinted up that trail. And feel free to tell us about any particularly exciting adventures you've had along the way.

I signed up at the Mt. Vancouver level to read at least 36 books.  I waived from the top of that peak sometime in early September or so.  For the year, I read a total of 53 books from my TBR shelf, which means I made it to the top of Mt. Ararat.

My most challenging adventures were Independent People by Halldor Laxness (Nobel winner; reviewed here) and The Tin Drum by Günter Grass (reviewed here).  My most enjoyable adventure was The Groves of Academe by Mary McCarthy (reviewed here).

2. My Life According to Mount TBR: Using the titles of the books you read this year, please associate each statement with a book read on your journey up the Mountain.

Are you male or female?: Bootlegger's Daughter
Describe yourself: She's Come Undone
Describe where you currently live: On the Edge
If you could go anywhere where would you go?: The Groves of Academe
Your favorite form of transportation: Parachutes & Kisses
What's the weather like?: A Taste for Death
Favorite time of day?: The Hour
Your relationships: Independent People
You fear: Mortal Causes
What is the best advice you have to give?: Care of the Soul
If you could change your name, you would change it to: The Vicar of Nibbleswicke
My soul's present condition: A Glass of Blessings 

2014 Challenge: Sign Up Post for the European Reading Challenge

This is my sign up page for the 2014 European Reading Challenge!

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.

It's my challenge, so I am signing 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.


So far, I have read the following:

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (Norway)

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

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World's Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn (France; 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)

Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Holland)

Some other possibilities for 2014 from my TBR shelves include:

The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean (American; Russia)

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie (American; Russia)

The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker (Dutch; Holland)

Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz (Polish; Nobel)

How German Is It = Wie Deutsch Ist Es by Walter Abish (Germany; PEN/Faulkner)

I, the King by Frances Parkinson Keyes (American; Spain)

UPDATED: November 1, 2014

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