My Tuesday Teaser for 7/12/22 is from a kid’s book I’m considering for Saturday’s “Saturday Morning for Kids,” here on PWR.
” ‘Just what is it you want to do?’ asked Mr. Sheridan.
‘I want to be a dancer…’
‘Son,’ Mr. Sheridan pushed back his chair, crossed his legs, and lit a cigar. ‘I want to tell you something and I want you to listen. There are many jobs in this world and some good decent jobs, for good decent men to have. Others are jobs that aren’t even to be thought about. Now these people who spend their lives running around a stage are just trash.’ “
Willie, Emma’s brother at seven years old dreams of the day he will dance on the stage. Obviously, his father has different dreams for him. Emma, too, has big dreams; she wants to “show them all.” Will these kids even have the opportunity to fulfill their ambitions? Emma learns that all kids need to have a voice and all kids deserve to have an advocate who will speak for them.
HAPPY READING–How about sharing your teaser in the comments/replies?
Today’s Tuesday Teaser is from a novel I finished last night . Anne Tyler is one of my favorite contemporary authors, and I have read most of what she’s written over the years.
The teaser is from the two main characters, Mercy and Robin recalling their sweet, innocent wedding night. Robin says…
” ‘…And then you came out of the bathroom in your slinky white satin nightie.’
‘And you looked away,’ Mercy said. ‘You looked off toward the bedroom window.’
‘I was trying to get control of myself, ‘ he said.’ “
Tyler is at her best doing what she does best here–describing the lives of ordinary middle-aged people. The book has been described as a “journey into one family’s foibles from the 1950s up to our pandemic present.” It deals with family complexities and the “kindnesses and cruelties of our daily life.” Even in the smallest details, Tyler captures the dailyness of our lives. Take for example when Mercy and Robin’s grown kids would come to visit, the first thing Robin would ask was, “How was the traffic on the beltway?” It reminded me that each time we would go to visit our folks in Virginia after marrying and relocating in Texas, the first thing everyone would ask was, “How long are you here for?”
Mercy and Robin Garret and their children Allie, Lily, and David are the well-developed characters in this 2022 novel. Their development and changes in character are demonstrative of Tyler’s forte, characterization. Of any contemporary author, Tyler does this best. Personally, I choose characterization over plot any day to peak and hold my interest, and perhaps this is the reason I enjoy Anne Tyler’s novels so much.
I highly recommend this “darned good read.”
This meme started by The Purple Booker asks the reader to open a current read at random and copy a couple of sentences that might “tease” other readers to choose the book to read themselves.
My Tuesday Teaser for 5/17/22 is
My attention was already captured by the introduction, and the first chapter, “Fu Manchu’s Goatee,” only solidified my curiosity about this man who was about to interview one of the wisest men on earth. Chapter Two, “The Monks on the Parapet ,” begins like this:
“The Dalai Lama’s meditation room was bathed in soft, early-morning light. Meticulously crafted wooden cabinets lined the walls, within them. I could see numerous bronze statues and myriad religious artifacts… The place was serenely gorgeous, its elegance understated.”
For a man who spends hours in mediation daily, this space seems like the perfect setting in which to receive sage advice and counsel.
I am looking forward to “getting into” this book.
A big thank you to the Purple Booker for creating this fun meme. Here is my Tuesday Teaser for March 1, 2022:
This is how chapter 34 begins, “Bitsi didn’t bother with bonjour. She barged into my bedroom, she Announced, ‘Boris was playing cards!’
‘And then he was shot!”
‘Shot?’ My hand flew to my heart. ‘Is he alive?’ “
These are characters in The Paris Library, a novel about the German occupation of Paris during WWII. The two women talking are Odile, one of the protagonists, and Bits, her sister-in-law. Both work at the Paris Library, which has managed to stay open during the occupation, much to the frustration of some German “higher-ups.” How these valiant women kept the library functioning and tended to its patrons, some outcast jews and others informants to the Germans is a novel of immense excitement and action.
This has been a busy Tuesday which included a lesson with my little five-year-old student, a long trip to Houston to the pain management doctor, a stuffed barbecue baked potato from “Flying’ D’s” for a late lunch, and planning my lesson for my Advanced Writing class tomorrow. One of the students, Zachary, arranged to make spinach dip and encouraged classmates to bring chips, so I guess while we review comma usage, we’ll munch away. I am looking forward to getting Zachary’s recipe. I am grateful for students like him.
Today’s teaser comes from a book I have almost finished. The passage is on page 352. Tess (Miller the love-interest’s autistic daughter) has just forced the babysitter to break off Miller and Emma’s first date , asking Miller to come home; Tess has created a disaster (again!) When the couple arrive at Miller’s house the scene is described by Emma (protagonist):
“[Tess] was currently sliding around like a cheerful otter, completely soaked in corn oil…Miller paid [the babysitter] who was more than ready to leave and stink-eyeing Tess…” The sitter had been trying to make brownies
“…even without the spilled corn oil, the kitchen was a disaster…batter and beaters were dripping outside the sink…Flour and sugar had spilled on the counter, and every ingredient was unwrapped and spilled, including a stick of butter that looked like Tess had taken a bite out of. But the real mess was, of course, the floor. An entire half gallon of corn oil. According to [the babysitter] Tess had poured it on the cat to make him ‘pretty.’ There were smears of corn oil on the walls, on the floor.” When Miller handed paper towels to Tess, she said,
” ‘Thank you, Daddy.’ She smeared them in the puddles of oil and put them on her head. Miller sighed.”
Talk about a disastrous first date! Well, it gets worse, and ends up with Tess cutting herself, attacking Emma with a hand-held mixer whose beaters get entangled in her long hair, and a trip to the emergency room for stitches for Tess and a shaved haircut for Emma because the beaters are pulling her hair out by the roots, and the pain is unbearable. This book has it all: romance, women’s friendships, family secrets, conflict between generations, and more.
This book is turning out to be a DARNED GOOD READ!
Today’s Teaser comes from N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became, a sci-fi thriller set in New York City.
Bronca has just caught sight of one of the mysterious white tendrils people who have been “taken over” have emanating from them,
“Bronca blinks, her attention caught…[Is that] “a loose shoelace? He’s wearing thong sandals, so that can’t be it…It looks like an especially long and wispy hair…at least six inches long…although as Bronca watches, it stretches upward as if trying to touch the crate [the man] is carrying. Nine inches. A foot, just shy of the crate’s wooden wall–and then it stops and contracts.”
This vivid description its a characteristic of Jemisin’s beautifully worded, horrifying novel.
Today’s Tuesday Teaser comes from a book I am reading for the What’s in a Name 2022 challenge, Summer, by Edith Wharton.
“Directly in her line of vision, a blackberry branch laid its frail white flowers, and blue-green leaves against the sky. Just beyond, a tuft of sweet-fern uncurled between the beaded shoots of the grass, and a small yellow butterfly vibrated over them like a flash of sunshine.” (p. 53)
This lovely description is one of many the author provides to set the tone, to enhance our feelings toward the main character, and to establish the mountainside setting. So far, I am really enjoying this book.
“Church bells no longer keep the hours. She drifts through the scullery, the hunger in her gut a snake uncoiling, then stands in the open doorway looking at the sky above the courtyard. Himerius used to say that as long as the moon was getting larger, the world could never come to an end. But now it wanes.”
The “she” is Anna, a kitchen maid in a monastery; the setting is Italy in the 1400s as her city is under siege by the Ottomans. Her story and that of Omier’s, a hare-lipped boy in the Sultan’s army, are about to become intwined.
The book has many characters and many plots, which is challenging, but connecting them all is done masterfully by Doerr by the end of this large novel.
Today’s Tuesday Teaser comes from our November selection, Gracelin O’Malley, first book in a trilogy, by Ann Moore. The story takes place in the great potato famine in Ireland. Our character, Abban is taking a cart loaded with starving, dying men from Gracelin’s home on the orders of her cruel husband. .Gracelin had offered the manor’s tenants food and medical care during her husband’s absence. Now Abban must find another place of refuge for the dying men.
“The hour of midnight had come and gone, the wind had blown itself out, and the snow fell lightly again. He felt alone in the world, and was heartened to see , out in the bog, the flickering light of camp-fires shielded by the low, rough huts people had dug to make temporary shelter. So many had died, but there were others staying alive just as he was–day by day, night by night.”
I remember as a young girl my father telling me his people had come to America from Ireland during the great potato famine because there were no jobs to be had and very little food to eat. This book brings the conditions they must have lived through to life and so far is a darned good read.