HERE’S MY FRIDAY FIRSTLINER FOR JUNE 17TH on Friday night.
“Evie Stone sat alone in her tiny bedsitter at the north end of Castle Street, as far from the colleges as a student could live and still be keeping term at Cambridge. But Evie was no longer a student–she remained at the university on borrowed time. The next forty minutes would decide how much she had left…”
The quote above is from this 2022 novel by an author I have enjoyed before. I checked it out from my local library and can’t wait to start it!
“His wife had died in June and there was to be a memorial service for her in two weeks at the end of the summer…(The actual cover shows Gene, the widower, walking on the beach, seeking inspiration for his eulogy at the service.) He hadn’t been able to find his swim trunks that morning, so he was wearing a pair of pants Dary (his daughter) had chopped off at the knee.”
I am on page 155 of the novel, and so far, the reader has seen Gene grieve, muse over the memories of his wife, and endure the funeral service. Another character has been introduced, Adele, his housekeeper, and things are “moving fast.”
I hope to do a good deal of reading today after I finish grading the last of the Essay # 1’s from Wednesday’s class. I wish it were sunny and warm, so I could sit outside, put my feet up, and goof off. Very few places in the U.S. fit that description today.
This classic is in addition to the Classics Club challenge I gave myself in 2021. I am hoping in 2022 to finish a classic every other month, giving me two months to read what is sometimes a more difficult book.
For January and February, I have begun Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. I have always been interested in this male author with a female name because Evelyn is my middle name. I have read at least two other books by him, Winds of War and another novel which was a satire of he funeral industry (If my beleaguered memory serves me right). After a lengthy introduction and information on the author, the Prologue begins as follows:
“When I reached ‘C’ company lines, which were at the top of the hill, I paused and looked back at the camp, just coming into full view below me through the grey mist of early morning. We were leaving that day.”
An end, indeed to an encampment during wartime, but the beginning of a narrative one is not likely to forget for the reader. I look forward to this novel and suspect it will be a “darned good read.”
First Line Fridays, which I like to refer to as Friday Firstliners, was started by The Purple Booker. The idea is to copy the first line or so of a book you want to read, are reading, or have read recently in hopes those who read your post will add that book to their TBR list.
Here is the quote and the first line from the first thing I read this morning, a devotional book, Simple Abundance:
“Good movies make you care, make you believe in possibilities again. ” PAULINE KAEL
“Instead of meditating today, let’s just watch a movie. Sneak away in the middle of the day, hunker down in the dark with a box or bowl of popcorn to ponder the meaning of life.”
The author goes on to offer practical suggestions for actions one might take today that would direct our thinking towards the more serious parts of life, yet would refresh and replenish our spirit within. This is a very helpful book. It’s time now to get my second cup of coffee.
Friday Firstliners come from the first lines of a book one is reading or is about to read. Mine today comes from Cowgirl Smarts by Ellen Reid Smith.
The first paragraph of the introduction:
“When writing about the Wild West, both historians and Hollywood left out the cowgirl. Many historians would have you believe that pioneering women all stayed home close to their tea sets. (It’s my guess that most sold their tea sets in exchange for a good horse.) Dale Evans was riding to the cafe for sandwiches. You can bet that Dale never asked Roy to fetch some sandwiches. Ha! The truth is, that some women cowboyed on on ranches all over the West during the early 1800s. They took on the same chores as men and when they earned their spurs, they were accepted as cowboy equals.”
This has been an enjoyable read, one I have taken my time with, absorbing the advice and wisdom of strong women.
The two blogs that started First Line Fridays are Hoarding Books and Wandering Words. Both bloggers instruct us to post the first line (or two) from a book we are currently reading or one we are looking forward to reading.
Here is my Friday Firstliner for 9/11/2020:
From Fiona Davis’ The Lyons of Fifth Avenue , “She had to tell Jack. He wouldn’t be pleased.”
First Line Fridays, or Friday Firstliners, as I choose to corrupt the name originated with Hoarding Books and is also hosted by Wandering Words, two blogs worth checking into. “They” ask readers to open a book they are reading, or one they are anticipating reading and copy the first line or so in order to pique readers’ interest in reading the book. My Friday Firstliner is from The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard, a book I have started thinking toward my upcoming “Celebration of Color” challenge (more on that in another post–hint: the cover is red.)
“The day began when the alarm clock (given to Phyllis by her mother when she started service) went off and on and on and on until she quenched it.” Phyllis is a servant in a big house, and the novel seems to be (I’ve only read 22 pages.) a Downton Abbey/Upstairs Downstairs set in the 1930s. It will be a good “getaway read” while I work on my online class.
Friday Firstliners is a take off on First Line Fridays hosted simultaneously by Hoarding Books and Wandering Words. The first line I’m featuring today should sound familiar to many southerners who have read coming of age stories like To Kill a Mockingbird. Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn Dixie is a delightful coming of age story that opens…
“My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes, and I came back with a dog.”
This was a favorite of my 6th through 8th graders, boys and girls alike, and presented some of the most memorable characters in tween and teen books. Themes of “friendship, community and fellowship”are presented as only a book set in a small town in the Deep South can do.
I have been reading up a storm for the past three days; maybe that’s why we’ve had rain, rain and are rain lately on the Texas Gulf Coast. A book I started Thursday evening was Nutshell by Ian McEwan, author of Atonement, one of my all-time favorite books and films. The novel is the story of Hamlet, in modern times, told from the point of view of a fetus still in his mother’s womb. Here is the opening:
“So here I am, upside down in a woman. Arms patiently crossed, waiting, waiting and wondering who I’m in, what I’m in for.”
Yes, it’s a fascinating concept, and the writing style is unique as well. I am really looking forward to reading more as the day progresses. Happy Reading!