Saturday, April 30, 2022

A Narrow Door by Joanne Harris -- BOOK REVIEW

 

BOOK REVIEW

A Narrow Door by Joanne Harris (2021, Pegasus Books)

When Rebecca Buckfast takes over as head of St. Oswald’s school, you want to root for her success. It’s time this 500-year-old school for boys had a good shaking up. Admitting girls as students and putting a strong female leader in charge is just what this stodgy institution needs. Or is it? Is Bex Buckfast the right woman for the job? Or are the holes in her memory and the blood on her hands enough to disqualify her from the position?

Joanne Harris’s latest novel, A Narrow Door, is a cunning psychological thriller with atmosphere to spare and a tricky puzzle of a plot that comes together quite cleverly in the end. The point of view goes back and forth between Buckfast and a venerable St. Oswald’s classics teacher, Roy Straitley.  Straitley’s narrative appears as diary entries recording the increasingly disturbing story “La Buckfast” discloses to him over tea and biscuits as the novel unfolds. There is a braided timeline, with the story moving back and forth between 1989 when Buckfast is starting her teaching career and her family and the “present” of 2006. However, the mystery at the heart of the story dates back to Buckfast’s childhood and the disappearance of her brother Conrad.

There were a few moments when Buckfast’s repressed memories strain credulity and her emotions (or maybe Harris’s writing) are overwrought. Get on with it! But for the most part, Harris keeps the pacing steady and the pressure mounting right to the satisfying end.


NOTES

Only when I wrote this review did I realize that A Narrow Door is the fourth book by Joanne Harris set in the fictional town of Malbry and the third set at St. Oswald's. The first books in this series are Gentlemen and Players (2006), Blueeyedboy  (2011; Malbry but not St. Oswald’s), and Different Class (2017). Other reviewers are consistent in the opinion that A Narrow Door can stand alone, but several suggest that reading the first two St. Oswald's books offer an introduction to the characters and grounding in the St. Oswald's setting that could make for a richer reading experience. I don't doubt. 




Friday, April 29, 2022

Family Business: A Lydia Chin/Bill Smith Mystery by J. R. Rozan -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Sorry for the late post this week. No excuse. I just walked out of the office yesterday and forgot! Spring fever I guess. 

What are you reading this week? Please share the first sentence (or so) here on Book Beginnings on Fridays. You can also share a book you want to highlight even if you are not reading it right now. 

Which is what I'm doing because I realize that I never posted about Family Business when I read it in March. I loved the book. I am getting ready to write a review and only now remember that I forgot to post my Book Beginning for this lively mystery.

MY BOOK BEGINNING
The news swept back and forth through Chinatown all afternoon: Big Brother Choi was dead.
-- Family Business: A Lydia Chin/Bill Smith Mystery by J. R. Rozan. Family Business is the latest mystery novel in Rozan's long-running series featuring New York private eye Lydia Chin and her fellow P.I. boyfriend Bill Smith. Here, Lydia and Bill get pulled in to solve the mystery of a murdered Tong leader found dead in a Chinatown building at the center of a real estate development battle.

Family Business was really good. I've dipped into the series before with Winter and Night, which won the Edgar Award in 2003. Bill Smith was the narrator and focus of that one, in contrast to Family Business that Lydia Chin narrates. I look forward to reading more of the series.


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please add the link to your Book Beginning post in the Linky box below. Use the #book beginnings hashtag if you share on social media. 

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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 Family Business:

Paying respects at the funeral of an elder, a powerful community leader, crook or not, adversary or not, showed an appreciation of protocol and correctness that might soften some hearts.

The next hour was filled with chanting and gongs, prayers and eulogies, bowing and incense.

Enjoy your weekend! I hope your plans include a good book or two!


Thursday, April 21, 2022

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

How is your week going? If you celebrated Easter, I hope you had a good one. I hosted at my house with my family and a few friends and we had a lovely time. The next day was my husband's birthday, so I took the day off work to celebrate with him, which made for a wonderful long weekend. 

Now that work is finally slowing down, I hope to have more time for blogging, including hopping around to visit more of your Book Beginning posts! I look forward to seeing the opening sentences (or so) of the books you are reading this week. As always, feel free to share a book that caught your fancy instead of a book you are reading right now. 

MY BOOK BEGINNING
In later years, holding forth to an interviewer or to an audience of aging fans at a comic book convention, Sam Clay liked to declare, apropos of his and Joe Kavalier’s greatest creation, that back when he was a boy, sealed and hog-tied inside the airtight vessel known as Brooklyn, New York, he had been haunted by dreams of Harry Houdini.
-- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. AAOK&C has been on my TBR shelf for many years. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 and everyone I know who read it liked it. But I've never gotten around to reading it.  


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

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

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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 Amazing Adventures:
Two weeks after Josef’s disaster, with Thomas recovered, Kornblum called at the flat off the Graben to escort the Kavalier brothers to dinner at the Hofzinser Club. It proved to be a quite ordinary place, with a cramped, dimly lit dining room that smelled of liver and onions.
I like this book a lot so far. I'm about a quarter of the way through. It's a sprawling story about two cousins in New York during WWII who team up to create a comic book series. I've only gotten through the part of how the one cousin, Josef Kavalier, escapes Nazi-occupied Prague to get to America where he is now living with his younger cousin, Sam Clayman. 



My sister, me, and my mom on Easter. Because what better way to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord than with matching bunny sweaters? 


Saturday, April 16, 2022

Easton Press List of the list of The 100 Greatest Books Ever -- BOOK LIST


THE EASTON PRESS LIST OF 100 GREATEST BOOKS EVER

A while back, Easton Pres put together its list of the 100 Greatest Books Ever and described the collection as the "most renowned works of literature by history’s greatest authors." It was an interesting mix that includes books going back to ancient times, from around the world, and includes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. 

Easton Press used to sell the whole set in its fancy, leather-bound editions. The list is no longer on the Easton Press website and it no longer sells the books as a set, although they are available individually. They are also all available elsewhere in other formats and editions.

Here is the list, with notes about whether I've read a book, it is on my TBR shelf, or it is available as an audiobook from my library. So far, I've read of the 68 of the 100, but don't know if I will ever read them all. How about you?

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne ON OVERDRIVE

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne FINISHED

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson FINISHED

Walden by Henry David Thoreau FINISHED

Gulliver's Travels by Johnathan Swift FINISHED

Moby Dick by Herman Melville (reviewed here)* FINISHED

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway FINISHED

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane FINISHED

The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling* TBR SHELF

The Odyssey by Homer FINISHED

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan FINISHED

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (reviewed here) FINISHED

Paradise Lost by John Milton FINISHED

Tales From The Arabian Nights by Richard Burton ON OVERDRIVE

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (reviewed here) FINISHED

Candide by Voltaire FINISHED

Oedipus the King by Sophocles FINISHED

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo ON OVERDRIVE

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper* TBR SHELF

The Sea Wolf by Jack London TBR SHELF

Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmund Rostand

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer FINISHED

Collected Poems by Robert Browning

Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson TBR SHELF

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James FINISHED

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (reviewed here) FINISHED

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson FINISHED

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle FINISHED

Collected Poems by John Keats

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin ON OVERDRIVE

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra TBR SHELF

Collected Poems by Robert Frost TBR SHELF

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving FINISHED

Animal Farm by George Orwell FINISHED

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë FINISHED

She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith FINISHED

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck FINISHED

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen FINISHED

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky FINISHED

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo ON OVERDRIVE

The Iliad by Homer FINISHED

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence FINISHED

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas* FINISHED

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley FINISHED

Aesop's Fables by Aesop FINISHED

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad FINISHED

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin ON OVERDRIVE

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas* FINISHED

Politics and Poetics by Aristotle TBR SHELF

The Aeneid by Virgil FINISHED

Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert FINISHED

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli FINISHED

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë FINISHED

Hamlet by William Shakespeare FINISHED

Pygmalion and Candida by George Bernard Shaw TBR SHELF and FINISHED

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe* FINISHED

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare FINISHED

The Cherry Orchard and The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov TBR SHELF

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri FINISHED

The Analects of Confucius by Confucius

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare FINISHED

Collected Poems by William Butler Yeats (reading now)

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde FINISHED

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray TBR SHELF

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio FINISHED

Beowulf FINISHED

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy TBR SHELF

The Necklace and Other Tales by Guy de Maupassant TBR SHELF

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells FINISHED

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev FINISHED

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad FINISHED

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy TBR SHELF

The History of Early Rome by Livy

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott FINISHED

The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott TBR SHELF

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy FINISHED

Alice's Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll FINISHED

Dracula by Bram Stoker (reviewed here) FINISHED

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám by Omar Khayyám  FINISHED

The Red and the Black by Stendhal FINISHED

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens FINISHED

The Republic by Plato TBR SHELF

Collected Poems by Emily Dickinson TBR SHELF

Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe FINISHED

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding* TBR SHELF

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay FINISHED

Silas Marner by George Eliot FINISHED

The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine ON OVERDRIVE

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (reading now)

Billy Budd by Herman Melville TBR SHELF

The Confessions by St. Augustine FINISHED

Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe FINISHED

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott TBR SHELF

The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler* FINISHED

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (reviewed here)* FINISHED

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky FINISHED

Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm FINISHED

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain* FINISHED

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley FINISHED

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens FINISHED


NOTES

This is a repost of the list I first posted in 2009. The links needed refreshing. 

The original list is no longer available on the Easton Press website, so I don't know why the books are listed in this order. The aren't listed in alphabetical order by title or author, nor are they listed by publication date. They must be listed by Easton Press catalog number or publication date, but I don't remember. 

* Marks those that I have in the fancy Easton Press edition, thanks to a lovely Christmas gift from Hubby.




Thursday, April 14, 2022

Little Big Man by Thomas Berger -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

I feel like I have my life back! After five weeks of zoom trial in the Boy Scouts bankruptcy case, I finally gave my closing argument on Tuesday and the judge heard the last of all the closing arguments yesterday. It's done! Now we all wait for the judge to mull over all the evidence and arguments and issue her ruling, which might take a few more weeks. Whew!

A long, entertaining book is exactly what I need right now and Little Big Man fits the bill perfectly! It's been on my TBR shelf forever. 

Please share the opening sentence or so of the book that caught your fancy this week. Leave the link to your Book Beginning post in the Linky box below.

MY BOOK BEGINNNG

I am a white man and never forgot it, but I was brought up by the Cheyenne Indians from the age of ten.

-- Little Big Man by Thomas Berger. 

Little Big Man was a best seller when it came out in 1964 and has never gone out of print. It is a sprawling Western saga narrated by the 111-year-old Jack Crabb. Crabb lived as a Cheyenne, then turned Indian scout, so he saw first hand much of the history of the American West. There is a 1970 movie version with Dustin Hoffman.

I just started it but it promises to be the kind of shaggy, absorbing story I love. I can understand why it remains popular. It has been on my radar because I'm working my way through the BOMC's Well-Stocked Bookcase list



YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please leave the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below. If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnigns. 

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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 Little Big Man:
Several snows had fell and melted since I joined the Cheyenne, and I must have been going on thirteen years of age. We boys was playing war one day and Younger Bear, growing taller by the month, shot a blunt-head arrow with such force that when it struck a lad called Red Dog in the forehead he was knocked cold. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The College Board's List of 101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers -- BOOK LIST

THE COLLEGE BOARD'S LIST OF 101 GREAT BOOKS RECOMMENDED FOR COLLEGE-BOUND READERS

Back around the turn of the Millennium, when Top 100 book lists were all the rage, thanks in large part to the popularity of the Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century List, the College Board came up with a list of "101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers." 

Leave it to the creator of the PSAT, the SAT, etc. to come up with a list of books guaranteed to make  every reader feel humble. I'm a fan of classics and do not have a problem with the idea of a "canon" to provide a solid grounding in Western literature. But to suggest that students should read all "101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers" while they are still in high school is setting some pretty high standards! Maybe that's why the list has completely disappeared from the College Board's website. 

I can now, in my 50s, look at this list and say that I've read most of them, 82 of the 101. But I read 62 of those when I was in college -- as an English Lit major -- or after college. I only read 20 of these when I was in high school, and I was a complete nerd. The idea that I would have read all of them in high school is enough to trigger that nightmare where I am back in school as an adult, trying to take an exam for a class I never attended!

Here is the list, with notes about whether I have read the book and when, if it is still on my TBR shelf, or if it is available as an audiobook from my library. 

Beowulf  FINISHED (college and adult)

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe FINISHED (adult)

A Death in the Family by James Agee FINISHED (adult)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen FINISHED (college)

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin FINISHED (adult)

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett FINISHED (college)

The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow FINISHED (adult) (reviewed here)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte FINISHED (high school)

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte FINISHED (high school)

The Stranger by Albert Camus FINISHED (adult)

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather FINISHED (adult)

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes TBR SHELF

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer FINISHED (college)

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov TBR SHELF

The Awakening by Kate Chopin FINISHED (college)

Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad FINISHED (high school)

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper ON OVERDRIVE

The Red Badge of Courage
by Stephen Crane FINISHED (adult)

Inferno by Dante FINISHED (college)

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe FINISHED (adult)

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens FINISHED (high school and adult)

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky FINISHED (adult)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass FINISHED (college)

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser FINISHED (adult)

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas FINISHED (adult)

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot FINISHED (adult)

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison FINISHED (adult)

Selected Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson FINISHED (high school)

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner FINISHED (college)

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner FINISHED (adult) (reviewed here)

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding TBR SHELF

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald FINISHED (high school and adult)

Madame Bovary
by Gustave Flaubert FINISHED (adult)

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford FINISHED (adult)

Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe FINISHED (college)

Lord of the Flies by William Golding FINISHED (adult)

Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy FINISHED (college)

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne FINISHED (high school)

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller FINISHED (adult)

A Farewell to Arms
by Ernest Hemingway FINISHED (adult)

The Iliad by Homer FINISHED (college)

The Odyssey by Homer FINISHED (college)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston FINISHED (college and adult)

Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley FINISHED (high school)

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen TBR SHELF

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James FINISHED (adult)

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James FINISHED (adult)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce FINISHED (adult) (reviewed here)

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka FINISHED (high school)

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee FINISHED (adult)

Babbitt
by Sinclair Lewis FINISHED (adult)

The Call of the Wild by Jack London FINISHED (adult)

The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann TBR SHELF

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez FINISHED (adult)

Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville FINISHED (high school)

Moby Dick by Herman Melville FINISHED (adult) (reviewed here)

The Crucible by Arthur Miller FINISHED (high school)

Beloved by Toni Morrison FINISHED (college)

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor FINISHED (adult)

Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O'Neill TBR SHELF

Animal Farm by George Orwell FINISHED (adult)

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak FINISHED (adult) (reviewed here)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath FINISHED (adult)

Selected Tales by Edgar Allen Poe FINISHED (high school)

Swann's Way by Marcel Proust TBR SHELF

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon FINISHED (college)

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque FINISHED (adult)

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

Call it Sleep by Henry Roth TBR SHELF

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger FINISHED (high school)

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw TBR SHELF

Hamlet by William Shakespeare FINISHED (high school)

Macbeth by William Shakespeare FINISHED (college)

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare FINISHED (college)

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare FINISHED (high school)

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley FINISHED (college)

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko TBR SHELF

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn TBR SHELF

Antigone by Sophocles FINISHED (high school)

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles FINISHED (high school)

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck FINISHED (high school)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson FINISHED (adult)

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe FINISHED (adult) (reviewed here)

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift FINISHED (college)

Vanity Fair by William Thackeray TBR SHELF

Walden by Henry David Thoreau FINISHED (adult)

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy TBR SHELF

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev FINISHED (high school)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain FINISHED (high school)

Candide by Voltaire FINISHED (adult)

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut FINISHED (adult) (reviewed here)

The Color Purple by Alice Walker FINISHED (college)

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton FINISHED (adult)

Collected Stories by Eudora Welty TBR SHELF

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman TBR SHELF

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde FINISHED (high school)

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams FINISHED (high school)

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf FINISHED (college)

Native Son by Richard Wright FINISHED (adult)


NOTES

This is a reposting of a list I first posted in 2009. The links needed refreshing, particularly the link to the College Board because the book list itself is no longer available on the College Board's website. 

The wonderful book blogger and book reviewer, Rebecca Reid at Rebecca Reads, is also working on this list. 

If anyone else adopts this list, please let me know in a comment and I will add your link.





Thursday, April 7, 2022

Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary by Laura Stanfill -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Laura Stanfill's new novel, Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary, launches on April 19 and I am so excited to get my hands on an early copy. What a delightful book of historical fiction! 

What book has you excited this week? Please share the opening sentence (or so) here on Book Beginnings on Fridays. 

MY BOOK BEGINNING
Our story begins with the grandparents of our hero, who believed their village to be as normal as any other, despite its pervasive gloom. 
-- from Chapter One, "An extraordinary occurrence," in Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary by Laura Stanfill. 

Singing Lessons starts in the French village of Mireville in the 1800s. Henri Blanchard's father George is revered as a master sirinette maker. But Henri wants to make lace, not sirinettes. Henri discovers a stash of letters and learns  that his father had son with one of his American customers. When circumstances drive Henri to flee to America, he meets his half-brother and discovers a world beyond Mireville.

Laura Stanfill is the prize-winning editor and publisher at Forest Avenue Press, a independent publisher of literary fiction and memoir here in Portland. Singing Lessons is her first novel. It launches on April 19 from Lanternfish Press and is available now for pre-order. For those in Portland, Laura will be reading at Powell's City of Books on Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 7:00 pm. Signed copies are available for pre-order from Powell's or available at the event.

Read a glowing review of Singing Lessons on Publishers' Weekly. Read Beth Kephart's review of this "utterly beguiling" novel on Cleaver.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING

Please link to your Book Beginning post and use the #bookbeginnings hashtag if you share on social media. 

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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 Singing Lessons:
The next morning, Delia found an apologetic note from George on the formal dining table. He was quite sorry that he had overstayed his welcome; he needed to return home immediately. 
I had hoped to read Singing Lessons this weekend to celebrate finally finishing the Boy Scout bankruptcy trial that has been taking all my time and attention since March 14. Unfortunately, the trial didn't finish today like I hoped it would and I still have to make my closing arguments next week. Ugh! As soon as the trial wraps up, I will dive in to what promises to be thoroughly charming story!


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