Thursday, December 31, 2020

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis -- A New Year BOOK BEGINNINGS

 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

For the first Book Beginnings on Fridays of the New Year, I'm featuring my last read of the old year, Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis.

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a chance to share the first sentence or so of the book you are reading this week. Please share the link to your blog post or social media post in the Mr. Linky below. If you share on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag.

MY BOOK BEGINNING

From Lucky Jim, published in 1953. I read this in college and am treating myself to a reread: 

"They made a silly mistake, though," the professor of history said, and his smile, as Dixon Watched, gradually sank beneath the surface of his features at the memory. 

Lucky Jim was an eyeopener to me when I first read it. After years of reading "literature" in high school and college, it was the first book of "literature" I read that was FUNNY. I mean, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Jane Austen, yes, they all said funny things. But Lucky Jim is all about being funny. James Dixon is a young college lecturer slacking off at his job, getting drunk, trying to get laid, and getting into one mess after another. And just like that, Amis was a literary sensation. 

I was hooked. Who knew literature could be fun?



YOUR BOOK BEGINNING

Please post to your Book Beginning post, not your blog home page or social media profile page. 

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THE FRIDAY 56



Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.

MY FRIDAY 56

The little town and the city were in different counties; the local pubs, unlike the city pubs and the hotel he went to with Margaret, stayed open till ten-thirty during the summer, and the summer had now officially begun. His gratitude had been inexpressible in words; and only further calls at the bar could pay that happy debt.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Here's wishing you all a happy and healthy 2021! What is the first book you will read in the new year?



2021 CHALLENGE - My Sign Up Post for the European Reading Challenge

 


MY SIGN UP POST

This is my sign up post for the 2021 European Reading Challenge. To sign up yourself, and I hope you do, go to the MAIN CHALLENGE PAGE, or click the challenge picture below. 

I'm signing up for the "FIVE STAR (DELUXE ENTOURAGE)" level to read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries. You do not have to pick your books ahead of time, but I did because I like to play with my books. 

MY CHALLENGE BOOKS

  1. GERMANY: Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome, the sequel to Three Men in a Boat.
  1. UK: Old Filth by Jane Gardam, because I'm going to read the trilogy.
  1. HUNGARY: Orchids & Salami by Eva Gabor, my most random selection and perhabs the most random book on my TBR shelf.
  1. FRANCE: What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind by Debra Ollivier, because I loved her Entre Nous book. 
  1. SPAIN: A Place in the World by Amy Maroney, the final book in her fabulous Miramonde series.

I hope to read more books than just the five and visit more countries in Scandinavia, the Baltics, and the Balkans. I can't participate in the Jet Setter Prize because it's my own challenge, but I do hope to review more books than I've done the past few years. 


THE 2021 EUROPEAN READING CHALLENGE

JANUARY 1, 2021 TO JANUARY 31, 2022

The European Reading Challenge has been around since 2012. The idea is to tour Europe in books by reading books written by authors from different European countries or set in different European countries. You pick the books, the countries, and how many books you want to read. You can complete the challenge by reading 1 to 5 books, depending on what level of participation you chose. 

If you want to read more, you can compete for the Jet Setter Prize. The prize goes to the person who reads and reviews the greatest number of books from DIFFERENT countries. Only one book from each country counts towards the prize, so the greatest number of books that could be read is 50, because there are 50 official sovereign states in Europe:

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.

PLEASE JOIN US ON THE GRAND TOUR IN BOOKS!







Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Five New Indie Books to Pre-Order for the New Year

 

stack of champagne glasses with bottle of champagne pouring from top

FIVE NEW INDIE BOOKS TO PRE-ORDER FOR THE NEW YEAR

We can all hope that the new year brings many things to celebrate! One thing for sure is the release of new books. These five new indie books are coming soon, ready to pre-order now, and are sure to entertain.

book cover of Grace Mattioli's new novel, The Bird that Sang in Color

Grace Mattioli's new novel, The Bird that Sang in Color, comes out January 17. It's the story of Donna Greco who sought the conventional successes in life, compared to her free spirit of a brother. The story spans decades, from their childhood in the 1970s to the near present. Donna spends years feeling bad about what she sees as her brothers failure to launch, until she finds a sketch-book he made of his life and it prompts her to do some soul searching of her own. This is a heartfelt family story told with grace and humor. 

Pre-order on amazon in paperback or kindle and the kindle is only $0.99. Visit Grace Mattioli's website for more information. 

Read a thorough and thoughtful review of The Bird that Sang in Color by Yvonne on Fiction Books.


book cover of Blood and Oranges: The Story of Los Angeles

Three generations of Los Angeles history are packed into this fast-paced novel by journalist and nonfiction author James Oliver Goldsborough. From the roaring twenties to the uproarious nineties, the story of LA unfolds with all its glamour, corruption, crime, beauty, sprawl, glitz, and grime. Blood and Oranges: The Story of Los Angeles, a Novel is historical fiction at it's most entertaining. 

Available March 2 from City Point Press and available for pre-order. Visit James Oliver Goldsborough's website for more information. 


book cover of Amphibians is the new short story collection from Lara Tupper

Amphibians is the new short story collection from Lara Tupper, author of the wonderful historical novel Off Island. These linked short stories are set in Maine, Italy, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, but all explore the theme of "feeling not quite right in one's own body" -- on water or land. Tupper's female characters can be quirky, fragile, tough, and wounded, and are all very real. 

This book won the Leapfrog Fiction Contest so will be published by Leapfrog Press in March. It is available now for pre-order. Visit Lara Tupper's website for more information


book cover of Blue Desert, the new novel by Celia Jeffries

Sixty years after Alice George lived in the Sahara desert with the nomadic Tuarig tribe, she received a telegram telling her that Abu was dead. "Who is Abu?" her husband asks. "My lover," she replies. This is the set up for Blue Desert, the new novel by Celia Jeffries. The story braids the two narratives of Alice's time spent in the Sahara during World War I and 1970 in London, during the week she tells her secrets to her husband for the first time. If you like your historical fiction with a feminist bent, Blue Desert is the book for you.

This one comes out April  20 from Rootstock Publishing and is available for pre-order now from many sources. See Celia Jeffries website for more information. 

 
book cover of Nicki Chen's new novel, When in Venuatu













If you are looking for armchair travel to tide you over until your next IRL trip, Nicki Chen's new novel, When in Venuatu is the pick for you. It is the page-turning story of expats Diane and Jay, living in Manila when circumstances result in their move to the South Pacific island of Vanuata (where James Mitchener wrote Tales of the South Pacific). The beautiful tropical island is not the idyllic paradise it first appears. Although part of a captivating international community, the couple faces disappointments that test their marriage and lead to Diane's personal transformation.  

When in Venuatu launches April 27 from She Writes Press and is available for pre-order from many sources. See Nicki Chen's website for more information.  

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
HAPPY NEW BOOKS!






Monday, December 28, 2020

Books from Santa - MAILBOX MONDAY



Books from Santa! Unwrapping book presents Christmas morning is one of my very favorite things about Christmas. I got a nice stack this year. 

Did Santa bring you any of the books on your list?

The Great Man by Kate Christensen. Hubby gave me this because he said I asked for it. Go figure! I don't remember at all! It looks great, so I'm glad I put it on my list.

Scandinavian Noir: In Pursuit of a Mystery by Wendy Lesser. My law partner gave me this one. She knows me well and knew I would love it. It's part memoir, part fiction about a reader who loves Nordic crime writing.

Blackout by Candace Owen, from my mom who is a big Owen fan. 

The American Canon: Literary Genius from Emerson to Pynchon: Five Decades of Writing on American Literature by Harold Bloom. I do remember putting this one on my list and I'm glad Santa remembered.

Always Home by Fanny Singer. This is a new memoir by Alice Waters's daughter. Hubby chose it on his own and it was a good pick!

Truman Capote by George Plimpton. Hubby picked this one because he knew how much I enjoyed The Swans of Fifth Avenue. He didn't realize when he bought it that it is a signed copy, so that's an extra treat.

I got all these wonderful books from Santa but I wasn't so good at giving books this year, embarrassing to admit. I gave my sis a copy of Deborah Reed's new book, Pale Morning Light with Violet Swan.


And I got a book for Hubby because he specifically asked for it, James Madison: A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney. 








But that was it. I was off my book-giving game this year. Another reason to look forward to 2021!



MAILBOX MONDAY 

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.

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!

 

Wishing you a happy and blessed Christmas and a healthy New Year!



Thursday, December 24, 2020

The Complete Father Brown Mysteries by G. K. Chesterton - BOOK BEGINNINGS


Merry Christmas!

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

For those of you blogging on Christmas, we are her to chare the first sentence or so of the book we are reading, for Book Beginnings on Fridays, even though this Friday falls on Christmas Day. 

Like many of you probably did, I scheduled my post to post automatically, so I suspect there will be fewer links this week. But I will try to get around to visit all of you this weekend. Feel free to post your link whenever you get around to it. If you share on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag.

MY BOOK BEGINNING

I wanted to read something cozy this Christmas week, so I dove into my Father Brown omnibus, The Complete Father Brown Mysteries by G. K. Chesterton. I love them! I've seen a few television adaptations over the years, not many, but I have never read the books. 

Between the silver ribbon of morning and the green glittering ribbon of sea, the boat touched Harwich: and let loose a swarm of folk like flies, among whom the man we must follow was by no means conspicuous; nor wished to be. 
-- from the first story, "The Blue Cross," in the first book in the omnibus, The Innocence of Father Brown



YOUR BOOK BEGINNING

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THE FRIDAY 56

Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.

MY FRIDAY 56
Why should the gentlemen look at a chance waiter? Why should the waiters suspect a first-rate walking gentleman?
-- from "The Queer Fleet," which despite its title is not an LGBQT story since it was first published in 1910. 

Enjoy these holiday weeks! I'll see you next week for the first Book Beginnings on Fridays of 2021!


1 Day to Christmas!

 




Wednesday, December 23, 2020

2020 CHALLENGE: My Wrap-Up Post for the 2020 European Reading Challenge

 

WRAP-UP: COMPLETED

This is my wrap-up post for the 2020 European Reading Challenge. To link your wrap-up post, please go to THIS PAGE and add your link. 

To sign up for the 2021 European Reading Challenge, and I hope you do, please go to the main challenge page HERE

Unlike most reading challenges, the European Reading Challenge ends on January 31 of the following year. I just think there's so much going on at the end of the year with holidays and many people busy with work that it's nice to have the extra time to finish. You do not have to take the extra time. Personally, I finish reading all the books I'm going to read for the challenge by December and usually give myself January to do my wrap-up post and any reviews I still have to write (if I write them).

But I have the luxury of a few days off this year for the first time in forever so I'm doing my wrap-up post now. 

BOOKS I READ/COUNTRIES VISITED

I visited 10 countries for the 2020 European Reading challenge, which is pretty good, since I signed up for the 5-Star, Deluxe Entourage level to read five books. I don't get to compete for the Jet Setter prize because it's my challenge, but even if I did I wouldn't qualify because I didn't review any of the books! I read a lot in 2020, but I couldn't concentrate enough to review anything. 

I'm listing the countries in the order I visited them. Only one book from each country counts for the challenge, but I'm listing all the books from each country just because. It makes it easier to track from year to year, especially to see if I'm making progress on reading more books in translation.

Of course, most of the books are still from the UK. That always happens. 

GREECE: Circe by Madeline Miller. Ok, it was ancient Greece, but it counts. 
Home Fires by Kamila Shamsie
The Egyptologists by Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest
Party Going by Henry Green
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers
Warlight by Michaele Ondaatje
Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers
Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers
Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn
Death in Holy Orders by P. D. James
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym
The Adventures of Sally by P. G. Wodehouse
The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Murder Room by P. D. James
For the Sake of Elena by Elizabeth George
Room at the Top by John Braine
Just Like You by Nick Hornby
They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie
The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton
The Stars Look Down by A. J. Cronin

NORWAY: The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo

IRELAND: Days Without End by Barry Sebastian
The Likeness by Tana French
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Country Girl: A Memoir by Edna O'Brien

FRANCE: Cheri by Colette
Gigi by Colette
The Vagabond by Colette
The Shackle by Colette
The Stranger by Albert Camus 

GERMANY:
Less by Andrew Sean Greer

PORTUGAL: Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry

SWEDEN: Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

RUSSIA: Make Russia Great Again by Christopher Buckley, a very 2020 choice
Letters to Yesenin by Jim Harrison
Bend Sinister by Vladimir Nabokov 

ITALY: The Invitation by Lucy Foley
A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi
The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante
A Venetian Reckoning (aka Death and Judgment) by Donna Leon

All in all, I read 62 books in European countries or by European authors. I made some progress in venturing outside the UK, but still spent most of that time in France, Italy, and Ireland. 10 of the books were translated to English and the Nabokov book almost counts since Russian was his first language and Bend Sinister was only his second book written in English. 

My goal for 2021 will be to spend more time in Scandinavia and venture further into Eastern Europe. I hope to visit some countries I haven't been to before on the European Reading Challenge and read more books in translation. 





2 Days to Christmas!

 




Monday, December 21, 2020

The 2021 European Reading Challenge is ready to go - sign up now!


THE 2021 EUROPEAN READING CHALLENGE IS HERE!

December is book challenge time, which means it's time to sign up for the 2021 European Reading Challenge! The sign up page is here, or click the button above. 

2021 is the ninth year of the European Reading Challenge, where readers make the Grand Tour of Europe in books. The idea is to read books by different European authors or set in different European countries. It makes a nice crossover with other "read the globe" or "books in translation" book challenges. Any suggestions?

You can sign up for the challenge at your chosen level, deciding to read 1 - 5 books. Want more of a challenge? Go for the Jet Setter Prize! The person who reads and reviews the most books -- each from a different country -- wins a prize. 

The most books you could read for the challenge would be 50 because there are 50 commonly recognized sovereign states of Europe:

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.

The European Reading Challenge has been around since 2012. So far, no one has managed to read 50 books in one year. Will 2021 be the year? 

LET'S BE SOCIAL!

I'm making a big push in 2021 for readers to participate in the European Reading Challenge through social media, like Instagram, goodreads, Facebook, whatever works. Posts on those three platforms generate URLs that work fine with Mr. Linky. Probably other social media generates workable links too. 

Great! The more the merrier. Please use hashtags #ERC2021 and #europeanreadingchallenge to find each other. 

Please sign up on the main challenge page here, or click the button above. Please also encourage other people to sign up, through their blogs or social media. And if they don't blog or socialize, they can join in with comments on the challenge pages. 

Bon voyage!




4 Days to Christmas!

 




Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Canyon Cuts Both Ways: Hidden Stories by Dan T. Cox - BOOK BEGINNINGS

 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Only a week to go until Christmas! In some ways, this has been my favorite Christmas in a long time, because I worked from home so was here, being cozy. I even have the luxury of two weeks of staycation over Christmas and New Years, which I usually never have because it seems I'm always getting ready for an early January trial so usually working like a mad thing all December. 

But it's a sad Christmas because it's the first without my dad, who passed away in March, fortunately right before corona started. So really, staying home without the usually holiday parties suites my mood this year.

But I am always in the mood for Book Beginnings on Fridays, where we share the first sentence or so of the books we are reading this week. Share your link below. And if you post on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag so we find each other. 

MY BOOK BEGINNING

My Book Beginning is from The Canyon Cuts Both Ways: Hidden Stories by Dan Cox:

An east wind sometimes blows down this forested canyon: morning air escaping over the Cascade Mountains, rushing from the high pressure over Central Oregon to the lower pressure due west, descending unremembered slopes, gaining velocity as it fingers along the bottoms of lonely ravines and forgotten draws, slipping over the flatness of reservoirs and then cascading over the spillways to the churn at the bottom, and then farther on in flow with the North Santiam River, crowded at every bend and set of rapids by legions of looming, breathing evergreens.

-- from the Prologue. I love long, shaggy opening sentences like this one so can tell I will enjoy this book.

The Canyon Cuts Both Ways is Dan Cox's new book, a second short story collection set in the Pacific Northwest. Like with his first book, A Bigger Piece of Blue, the stories connect and have a powerful sense of place. In this book, the North Santiam Canyon is the anchor of all the stories. This would make a great last-minute pick for outdoorsy book lovers on your list!

Read my earlier interview of Dan here.


YOUR BOOK BEGINNING

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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

"I know everything worth knowing about you, 'cause your old man told me," said Ruthie. “He told me you are as crazy as he was homely, and twice as wicked as your mother."

-- from "The Plight of Shiner Black," one of the 16 excellent short stories in The Canyon Cuts Both Ways by Dan T. Cox.

 



8 Days to Christmas!

 




Saturday, December 12, 2020

A Round-up of Reviews: Six Gift-Worthy Books Sure to Surprise

 

Who doesn't like getting books for gifts? It's my favorite part of holiday gift giving! I haven't gotten as clever as Christie at Raising Whasians with her adorable Christmas Book Advent Tree, pictured above, but lots of books get unwrapped at my house Christmas morning. 

One snaggle with choosing books for gifts is worrying if the person has already read the book! Here are some ideas for recently published books that have flown under the radar. There's probably someone on your list who would enjoy one of these:


The Green Years by Karen Wolff is the story of Harry Spencer, a boy growing up in South Dakota in the 1920s, who has to find his own path after his father returned from WWI a broken man. There's some interesting history about the Klan in South Dakota during Prohibition days, as well as romance and a charming coming-of-age story.

This is a good pick for anyone who enjoys a novel with old-fashioned themes. It could be a good one for seniors on your list who might like a story that brings to mind the time of their parents or grandparents. 




One Last Lunch: A Final Meal with Those Who Meant So Much to Us by Erica Heller is a collection of essays from 49 people all imagining a final meal with a loved one who has passed away. Contributors include children, friends, acquaintances, and professional colleagues of writers, actors, and other well known personalities, such as Julia Child, Paul Newman, Prince, and Nora Ephron. Heller is the daughter of Joseph Heller, the author of Catch-22, and the book begins and ends with her own essays about lunches with her father.

I love this book. I recommend it for anyone who has lost a loved one. Read my interview with Erica Heller to learn more about the book and what inspired her.


Impersonation by Heidi Pitlor is a quick, clever novel about a Allie Lang, single mom and professional ghostwriter hired to write the memoir of a high-powered lawyer thinking of running for office. The lawyer wants to soften her image with a memoir about what a great mother she is, but has little time for mothering or memoir-writing. The book hits on timely subjects like the 2016 election, the Me Too movement, class issues, and motherhood.

This one is a good pick for the Millennial moms on your lists who enjoy smart chick lit with a feminist bent. 



Storm Beat: A Journalist Reports from the Oregon Coast (OSU Press) is a new memoir by Lori Tobias. As a journalist, Tobias has covered the Oregon coast for the last 20 years, writing about small towns, fishing, tourism, crimes, good times, tragedies, and storms -- lots of storms. Her new memoir tells her own story, the story of life along Oregon's 300 miles of rugged coastline, and what's its like to be a working reporter as newspaper industry declines.

I recommend this one for anyone who enjoys good creative non-fiction, the Pacific Northwest, armchair travel, the newspaper industry, or a good memoir.



A Small Earnest Question by J. F. Riordan. This is the fourth book in Riordan's North of the Tension Line series set on Washington Island, a remote island in the Great Lakes. Fiona Campbell is the main character at the center or an eclectic mix of locals, visitors, pets, and even goats for the goat yoga classes. This fourth book involves the grand opening of a remodeled hotel and the island's first literary festival, but the point of the series is to wallow in the charm.

This one is perfect for all the pumpkin spice latte lovers on your list. Riordan brings readers up to speed enough to enjoy this as a stand alone, or splurge on the set of four.



Creole Son: An Adoptive Mother Untangles Nature & Nurture by E. Kay Trimberger, a new memoir about how Trimberger became the single white mother of an adopted biracial son she raised in Berkeley, California. After watching him grow into a troubled youth struggling with addiction, Trimberger helped Marc reconnect with his biological Cajun and Creole biological relatives. Her book explores how biological heritage and the environment adopted children are raised in interact to shape adult outcomes. She also suggests a new model for adoption that creates an extended, integrated family of both biological and adoptive relatives.

This is a good pick for the curious, nonfiction readers on your list who like to learn about something new. And, of course, parents of adopted children. 








13 Days to Christmas!

 




Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker - BOOK BEGINNING


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

It is Friday, so time to share the first sentence or so of the book you are reading or want to highlight this week. Please share the link to your post in the linky below. If you share on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag. 

MY BOOK BEGINNING

In early 2008, about a year and a half after my first novel had made me the new darling of American letters, I was seized by a terrible case of writer's block -- a common affliction, I am told, for writers who have enjoyed sudden, meteoric success. 

-- from Chapter One of The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker.

Over in Instagram, I found the Cloak & Dagger Christmas challenge, where people read mystery books in December. BookTuber Kate Howe hosts the even on Instagram on her IG account, No Compliments to Your Mother. You can participate simply by reading one mystery in December, or at higher levels.

I'm going for the Amateur Sleuth level to read three books. You can see (although the picture is a bit fuzzy) that the prompts are inspired by the game of Clue, or Cluedo, depending on where you live. 

I already started They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie. That counts for the “Conservatory” room of the Clue game, which theme is described as a book related to “nature, travel, or warm climate.”

My second book is The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker. This one counts at the "Library" book because it references a book. It is a book within a book -- a thriller about a writer who writes a true crime book. It may also count as my "France" book for my 2020 European Reader Challenge because, although it is set in New Hampshire, it was written by a French author and published in French before being translated into English.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING

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THE FRIDAY 56



Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.

MY FRIDAY 56

To avoid having to reply, I stirred my spoon around inside my cup until I had created a kind of whirlpool. All I said was, "It's a big mess, Ernie."


15 Days to Christmas!





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