First Lines Friday: 23/09/2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has had a good week so far. I thought it was high time I took part in First Lines Friday again. As usual the answer is below the cat pictures.

I went to the dance with Thomas Toofat. It’s Toogood really, but he is too fat, with frizzy hair and flat feet. We never meant to let him know we call him that, but the week before, at the Turners’ picnic, Sally said without thinking, ‘And this is Thomas Toofat…’ Oh, it was utterly withering.

Get guessing

Midsummer Night in the Workhouse by Diana Athill

“I can remember in detail being hit by my first story one January morning in 1958.” So begins literary legend Diana Athill in the preface to Midsummer Night in the Workhouse, a long-overdue collection of her short fiction, originally published in the 1950s to the 1970s.

In unsentimental though often touching prose, Athill’s young women anticipate, enjoy, or just miss out on brief sexual encounters with men met on trains, at parties — just about anywhere they can. A cheating wife, back with her boring husband, is wracked with agonizing love for the unavailable partner of her brief fling; a writer seeks inspiration at a writers’ retreat whilst avoiding the group seducer’s invitation; a wife’s party flirtations propel her possessive husband into another woman’s bed; two fun-loving women face a sinister sexual assault during a Greek holiday; a teenager experiences enraptured detachment during her first kiss.

Beautifully written, perceptive, touching, and funny, Midsummer Night in the Workhouse is Diana Athill at her best.

Did anybody guess correctly?

Please drop me a comment with your First Line Friday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Friday Poetry: William Wordsworth

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good start to September so far.

My chosen poem this week is by William Wordsworth.

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air,
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will;
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still! 

William Worsdworth

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

First Lines Friday: 29/07/2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Hello!

Apologies for the break from blogging. I just decided I needed a little break but hopefully I am back to normal blogging routine now. I started a new book today so I thought I would use it for my First Lines Friday post. Answer will be below the cat pictures.

Shipperton Church was a very different-looking building five-and-twenty years ago. To be sure, its substantial stone tower looks at you through its intelligent eye, the clock, with the friendly expression of former days; but in everything else what changes!

and the answer is…

When Scenes of Clerical Life, Eliot’s first work of fiction, first appeared in print anonymously in 1857, critics immediately hailed it for its humorous irony, the truthfulness of its presentation of the lives of ordinary men and women, and its compassionate acceptance of human weakness. The three stories that comprise the volume foreshadow Eliot’s greatest work, and an acquaintance with them is essential to a full understanding of one of the greatest English novelists.

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

Please drop me a comment with your First Lines Friday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

First Lines Friday: 15/04/2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Happy Friday!

I started a new book today so I thought I would feature it on today’s First Lines Friday post.

As usual the answer is below the cat pictures.

It was dark under the trees, only a little moonlight penetrating the half-bare branches. The ground was thick with fallen leaves; the horses’ hooves made little sound and it was hard to tell whether we were still on the road. A wretched track, Barak had called it earlier, grumbling yet again about the wildness of this barbarian land I had brought him to.

And the answer is…

Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission by his rebellious subjects in York.

Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a secret mission for Archbishop Cranmer – to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator who is to be returned to London for interrogation.

But the murder of a York glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. And when Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret documents which could threaten the Tudor throne, a chain of events unfolds that will lead to Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age . . .

So how did everyone do?

Please drop me a comment with your First Lines Friday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

First Lines Friday: 8/04/2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Hello and Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some good reading plans for the weekend.

As usual the answer is below the cat pictures.

When Detective Chief Inspector M… arrived in Delfzijl, one afternoon in May, he had only the sketchiest notions about the case taking him to this small town located in the northernmost corner of Holland.

and the answer is…

‘Just take a look,’ Duclos said in an undertone, pointing to the scene all round them, the picture-book town, with everything in its place, like ornaments on the mantlepiece of a careful housewife . . . ‘Everyone here earns his living. Everyone’s more or less content. And above all, everyone keeps his instincts under control, because that’s the rule here, and a necessity if people want to live in society’

When a French professor visiting the quiet, Dutch coastal town of Delfzijl is accused of murder, Maigret is sent to investigate. The community seem happy to blame an unknown outsider, but there are people much closer to home who seem to know much more than they’re letting on: Beetje, the dissatisfied daughter of a local farmer, Any van Elst, sister-in-law of the deceased, and, of course, a notorious local crook.

So how did everyone do?

Please drop me a comment with your First Lines Friday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

First Lines Friday: 11/03/2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has had a good week so far. I haven’t taken part in a First Line Friday this year so I thought it was high time I joined in again.

The answer is below the cat pictures!

The twin shipyards of Callisto stood side by side on the hemisphere of the moon that faced permanently away from Jupiter. The sun was only the brightest star in the endless night, the wide smear of the Milky Way brighter by far. All along the ridges of the craters, harsh white work lights glared down onto buildings, loaders, scaffolds.

and the answer is…

Nemesis Games by James S. A. Corey

The fifth novel in Corey’s New York Times bestselling Expanse series–now being produced for television by the SyFy Channel!

A thousand worlds have opened, and the greatest land rush in human history has begun. As wave after wave of colonists leave, the power structures of the old solar system begin to buckle.

Ships are disappearing without a trace. Private armies are being secretly formed. The sole remaining protomolecule sample is stolen. Terrorist attacks previously considered impossible bring the inner planets to their knees. The sins of the past are returning to exact a terrible price.

And as a new human order is struggling to be born in blood and fire, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante must struggle to survive and get back to the only home they have left.

Did anybody guess correctly?

Please drop me a comment with your First Line Friday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

First Lines Friday: 28/05/2021

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Hello!

I haven’t done one of these for ages so I thought it was high time I took part again.

So here are the opening lines of the book. Remember the answer is below the cats.

No mortal alive had ever seen a Spindle.

Echoes of them lingered, in places remembered or forgotten, in people touched by magic, in creatures descendant of other realms. But no Spindle had burned in an age. The last of them was a thousand years gone. The passages closed, the gates locked. The age of crossing ended.

Get guessing!

Have you guessed the answer?

And the answer is???

A strange darkness grows in Allward.

Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions:

A squire, forced to choose between home and honor.
An immortal, avenging a broken promise.
An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty.
An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight.
A forger with a secret past.
A bounty hunter with a score to settle.

Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.

Please drop me a comment with your First Lines Friday and will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

First Line Friday: 23/04/2021

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has had a good week so far. I thought I would join in with First Line Friday this week as I do enjoy guessing other people’s First Line Fridays. As usual the answer is below the cats!

I believe that a well-known anecdote exists to the effect that a young writer, determined to make the commencement of his story forcible and original enough to catch and rivet the attention of the most blase of editors, penned the following sentence:

‘”Hell!” said the Duchess.’

Strangely enough, this tale of mine opens in much the same fashion. Only the lady who gave utterance to the exclamation was not a duchess.

Get Guessing!

Any idea?

and the answer is…

The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is summoned to France after receiving a distressing letter with an urgent cry for help. Upon his arrival in Merlinville-sur-Mer, the investigator finds the man who penned the letter, the South American millionaire Monsieur Renauld, stabbed to death and his body flung into a freshly-dug, open grave on the golf course adjoining the property. Meanwhile the millionaire’s wife is found bound and gagged in her room. Apparently, it seems that Renauld and his wife were victims of a failed break-in, resulting in Renauld’s kidnapping and death.

There’s no lack of suspects: his wife, whose dagger served as the weapon, his embittered son, who would have killed for independence, and his mistress who refused to be ignored. Each felt deserving of the dead man’s fortune. The police think they’ve found the culprit. But Poirot has his doubts. Why is the dead man wearing an overcoat that is too big for him? And who was the impassioned love-letter in the coat pocket for? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically-murdered corpse.

Did anybody guess correctly?

Please drop me a comment with your First Line Friday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

First Line Friday: 19/02/2021

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Happy Friday!

I thought it was time to do a First Line Friday as I haven’t done one for a while. As usual the answer is below the cats. Good Luck!

As pale as a grave grub she’s an eyeful.

She looks up at him, startled, from the bed. Her pale eyes flitting fishy: intruder – lantern – door – intruder. As if she’s trying to work out how they all connect, with her eyes cauled and clouded.

get guessing!

Answer

Bridie Devine, female detective extraordinaire, is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jars is a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

Did you guess successfully?

Please drop me a comment with your First Line Friday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

First Lines Friday: 27/11/2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Well it is Friday and I am about to start a new book so I thought I would take part in First Lines Friday.

So you know the rules and as usual the answer will be below the cats.

When her phone rang at three in the morning, ripping her from a desperately needed sleep, Maggie’s first thought was bad news.

Her mind raced through the possibilities, starting with the worst-case scenario. Death, or at least life-changing injury. Police. Ambulance.

and the answer is …

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding.

First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret about their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Rosie’s older sister Katie is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself. If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…

Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiance but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived – how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget. 

Did anybody guess correctly? Please drop me a comment with your thoughts if you have read the book. Also if you are taking part in First Lines Friday today please leave your link and I will head over for a guess.

Happy Reading

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)