Hoarding Books hosts a meme where bloggers/readers copy the first line of a book they are reading to give a “feel” for what the book is about. Can one decide from the first line whether she/he wants to read the book? Read my Friday Firstliner from Kate DiCamillo’s Beverly, Right Here:
“Buddy died, and Beverly buried him, and then she set off toward Lake Clara. She went the back way, through the orange groves…she saw her cousin Joe Travis…[who was] nineteen years old. He had red hair and a tiny little red beard and a red Camaro…Beverly didn’t like him all that much.”
This is not just the story of a runaway. It is an excellent character study set in a complex plot with poignant relationships at stake. YA author DiCamillo is well known by readers everywhere in grades 5- high school, and doesn’t disappoint in this excellent tale.
The instructions for this meme are to copy the first lines of something you are reading or will read soon to give readers a preview of things to come. Here is my Friday Firstliner from Goodnight June by Sarah Jio:
“Everyone has a happy place, the scene that comes into view when you close your eyes and let your mind transport you to the dot on the globe where life is cozy, safe, warm.”
The next sentence tells me June’s (the main character’s) happy place is a bookstore. I’m hooked already!
Why not add your Friday Firstliner in the response/reply section below? Don’t forget to give title and author.
YESTERDAY’S (LOL) Friday First Liner is from A Woman of No Importance (subtitled The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II) by Sonia Purnell (2019).
” France was falling. Burned-out cars, once strapped high with treasured possessions, were nosed crazily into ditches. Their beloved cargoes of dolls, clocks, and mirrors lay smashed around them and along mile upon mile of unfriendly road.”
Who besides me is already intrigued?
The first lines of a book are often the “hook” that entice the reader to either continue reading or decide the book is not their cup ‘a tea. I am nearly finished with No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which chronicles Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s life on the home front during World War II. It contains 636 pages with some anecdotes and detailed narratives which give insights into the times of my mother and father.
Chapter one begins with an illustration of headlines in the New York Times, “Nazis Invade Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg by Land and Air; Dikes Opened; Allies Rush Aid.” Underneath, are the first lines:
“On nights filled with tension and concern, Franklin Roosevelt performed a ritual that helped him to fall asleep. He would close his eyes and imagine himself at Hyde Park as a boy, standing with his sled in the snow atop the steep hill that stretched… far below. As he accelerated down the hill, he maneuvered each familiar curve with perfect skill until he reached the bottom, whereupon pulling the sled behind him, he started slowly back up until he reached the top, where he would once again begin his descent.”
This passage could be a metaphor for Roosevelt’s painstaking negotiations for the US in trying times of war, which he did with aplomb and statesmanship.
Friday Firstliners or First Line Fridays was started by “Hoarding Books” and encourages readers to copy in the first line or first few lines of a book they are currently reading or intended to read soon.
My choice for this meme is Helen Thorpe’s Just Like Us, a non-fiction book which discovers what coming of age in America is like for Mexican girls.
“Three-quarters of the way through her final year of high school, Marisela Benavidez ran into a problem. Her father wanted to attend her senior prom.”
If that doesn’t catch the YA audience of Latinas, nothing will, but actually, judging from some university students’ stories of their fathers’ overprotectiveness, this is not unusual!
I hope to start this book this coming weekend.
This fascinating meme, hosted by “Hoarding Books” asks readers to simply copy the first line or lines of a book, then ask their readers to state whether they would choose/buy that book based on its first line.
Here is my Friday Firstliner from John Ortberg’s YA version of ME, the me I want to be:
After asking the typically-teen question, “Why did God make me?”, Ortberg opens with,
“One week it was all the rage on Facebook to replace your profile picture with the photo of a celebrity who could be your double…I noticed a lot of people chose extremely attractive celebrities for them[selves] and claimed people say they look just like them. I wondered if some of those people might need contact lenses.”
Ortberg’s humor and self-depreciation is a delight to read. Next to Max Lucado, Ortberg is my favorite inspirational author.
My first line today is from M.L. Rio’s If We Were Villains.
“I sit with my wrists cuffed to the table, and I think.”
This is the beginning of our book club selection for June about a band of seven thesbians who dwindle to six when a horrific death occurs at a posh conservatory/college for young people.
I checked out Ann Lamott’s Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith from our local library yesterday and read these first lines this morning:
Quote: “Where is the Life we have lost in living”?–T.S. Eliot
Prelude: “There is not much truth being told in the world. There never was. This has proven to be a major disappointment to some of us. When I was a child, I thought grown-ups and teachers knew the truth, because they told me they did. It took years for me to discover that the first step in finding out the truth is to begin unlearning almost everything adults had taught me, and start doing all the things they’d told me not to do.”
This promises to be a great set of essays from one of my favorite writers.
This fun meme, which I discovered on Carla Loves to Read, an excellent blog, and hosted by Hoarding Books, asks that we copy the first line(s) of what we are reading.
Mine for Friday, August 31st, is from The Broken Earth series, a trilogy which My Better Half and I are taking turns reading aloud to each other. We finished The Fifth Season,the first book as our summer reading project and are beginning the second book, The Obelisk Gate. N.K. Jemisin is the author of the trilogy.
The first lines of The Obelisk Gate:
“Hmm. No, I’m telling this wrong.
After all, a person is herself, and others.”
I can hardly wait for some down time during the Labor Day Holiday this weekend to cover a chapter or two.
If you would like to participate, (it doesn’t have to be on Friday), post First Lines on your blog. No blog? No problem. Enter your first line(s) in the comments box below this post.
First Line Fridays is an interesting meme hosted by Hoarding Books. In it, one takes the next book one intends to read or the one just started and writes the first line (or so). You too can participate just put your first line in the comments section below. Be sure to include the book’s title and author. Here’s my current first line from The Fifth Season, Book One of the Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin:
“Let’s start with the end of the world, why don’t we? Get it over with and move on to more interesting things.”
Even if you get this after Friday, please play along.