Thursday, October 1, 2020

Storm Beat by Lori Tobias and Never Leaving Laramie by John Haines - BOOK BEGINNINGS



Do you get in a nonfiction mood in the fall? I do! It must be a vestige of some back-to-school impulse. I feel like learning new things and stretching my brain. 

Fortunately for me, several new nonfiction books have come my way recently and they look terrific. They aren't novels, but they will introduce me to worlds much unlike my own. I have two to share on Book Beginnings. 

Please join in to share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week or the book you want to highlight. Share the link to your blog post below. If you don't have a blog but want to play along, please do! Share the opening sentence in a comment, along with the title and author of the book. 

If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings.


cover of  Storm Beat: A Journalist Reports from the Oregon Coast by Lori Tobias

I had been writing for the Oregonian for about three months when the entire volunteer fire department walked off the job in Wheeler, a little town set on the hillside above Nehalem Bay on the north coast.

-- Storm Beat: A Journalist Reports from the Oregon Coast by Lori Tobias. This new book from OSU Press is a collection of stories, part memoir, part journalism, from a woman who has written the news from Oregon's 300-mile coast for the last 20 years. 

Storm Beat is brimming over with stories of small town life, crime, loss, bad weather, heroes, love, gossip -- everything that makes living off the beaten track wonderful and horrible. It doesn't matter if you know nothing about Oregon, it's a terrific read. 

cover of Never Leaving Laramie: Travels in a Restless World by John W. Haines

I didn't know what independence meant, but I had it in Laramie as a boy.

-- Never Leaving Laramie: Travels in a Restless World by John W. Haines.  Haines was a first-rate traveler from a young age. Some of his adventures included biking through Tibet, kayaking the Niger River, and riding the Trans-Siberian Express from Bejing to East Berlin. In 1999, he he broke his neck when he fell from a train in the Czech Republic, leaving him partially paralyzed and radically changing his life. 

Haines's new memoir is about his pre-accident travels, with all their excitement. It is also book about the philosophy of travel as Haines writes about how his childhood in Laramie, Wyoming created his worldview and what he learned from his adventures. He ends with a chapter on his life since his accident and the different ways people can travel through the world.


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Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Play along by sharing a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book you 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.


From Storm Beat:

It was the first time I listened to a scanner during a storm, and hearing Chan and his fellow lineman at work as power lines fell igniting brush fires, and the winds gusted, taking down trees and blowing cars off the road, utterly unnerved me. The house shook and creaked in the wind; rain cracked against the windows.

From Never Leaving Laramie:

The likely prospect of having our travel intentions scrutinized and our mountain bikes confiscated weighed on us. We were taking our chances and we knew it: six Americans without permission to bicycle in Tibet, but carrying new mountain bikes donated by an American company that manufactured them in Taiwan, a detail we had belatedly realized needed to be scraped off our bike boxes before Chinese security inspections at the airport.

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