Thursday, December 31, 2020

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



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.


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?


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

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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.


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.


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



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. 


  1. GERMANY: Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome, the sequel to Three Men in a Boat. FINISHED
  2. UK: Old Filth by Jane Gardam, because I'm going to read the trilogy. FINISHED
  3. HUNGARY: Orchids & Salami by Eva Gabor, my most random selection and perhaps the most random book on my TBR shelf. FINISHED
  4. 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. FINISHED 
  5. SPAIN: A Place in the World by Amy Maroney, the final book in her fabulous Miramonde series. FINISHED
  6. SWITZERLAND: Not Now, But NOW by M. F. K. Fisher FINISHED
  7. SWEDEN: The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö FINISHED
  8. IRELAND: Faithful Place by Tana French FINISHED
  9. GREECE: Skios by Michael Frayn FINISHED
  10. ITALYBrunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King FINISHED
  11. MONACOFork It Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater by Alan Richmond FINISHED

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. 


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.


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