Blogs for the Person Who Loves To Read

I want to just give out a little link-love today. (Today is Saturday, a gorgeous almost-70-degrees-and-not-even-11a.m.-yet, and I have a million chores to do. So I’m just going to throw open the windows, do the boring chores, then try to get out of the house for some of the day! Oh, and write fiction. …)

Anyway, I want to give a little link-love to a writer friend in Switzerland who has an outstanding blog about books called Incurable Logophilia. She’s been keeping it up for years, and she’s written some great essays/reviews on many of the books we’ve read in our book club (The Life of Pi, The Bluest Eye, The Sparrow, The Known World, Middlesex, Madame Bovary, to name a few). She’s on holiday right now, but look under “Book Lists and Reviews” at the top, and you’ll see a long list of all the books she’s covered. If you love to read, browse around in her blog and look up all your favorites. You’ll get her take on them and see others’ comments, as well. Great fun. I have her in my blogroll, too, if you want to find her in the future.

And for my romance-reading friends, my favorite blog of all time is Romancing the Blog. A wonderful grouping of writers and readers, all coming together to discuss what makes a great hero, whether the heroine needs to have a best friend, how realistic you really want that historical novel to be, and other fun topics. The comment discussion is often as entertaining as the post itself, and Nora Roberts even pops in from time to time to leave a comment. It’s a lot of fun if you’re in the world of writing or reading romances. …

Have a great Saturday!

Favorite First Lines

So my writer friend Sharon and I were talking about great first lines of novels. This is a common topic among writers, because we’re always trying to come up with the greatest “hook,” or line, for our books. But she pointed out that every time she researches first lines (or famous first lines, hooks, etc.), it always lists the same ones, over and over. But surely fiction has some new ones! I’ll bet at least one book you read recently had a terrific first line. What are some of your favorites?

Sharon said this would be her submission:

“At this point in the story, Packard had never fallen in love, and didn’t trust what he’d heard of the lingo (forever, my darling, with all my heart, till the end of time, more than life itself, with every fiber of my being, oh my darling Clementine, etc.)  It sounded out of control to him, and messy.”


— “Train” by Pete Dexter


Love it.


I like some of the humorous ones I always remember. Love Susan Elizabeth Phillips:


“Phoebe Somerville outraged everyone by bringing a French poodle and a Hungarian lover to her father’s funeral.”


— “It Had To Be You,” Susan Elizabeth Phillips






What are some of your favorite first lines?

The 2009 Book Club List

Ornament made by Janelle, highlighting last year's book list

Ornament made by Janelle, highlighting a previous book list

Whoo-hoo! Our new book club list is in! I look forward to our new book club list every year. When my kids were very little, I never had time to read anything but the backs of cereal boxes and the occasional Parenting Magazine article about whether you should put your baby to sleep on her back or her belly (… it depended on the year). I’d read these random sentences while my children were in the bath, or try to hold the magazine steady while I fed the baby with my other hand, but I had “reader envy” big-time. My co-workers at the newspaper would go on and on about all the great books they were reading, and I’d listen wistfully, longing for the day when I could read two whole pages, straight through, without a small fry needing his shoes tied or a munchkin needing me to wipe the chocolate milk she just spilled across the breakfast bar. And soon — eventually — the day came! Now I read like crazy. And my book club has been a great source of joy — a seriously wonderful group of women who are smart, savvy and make me feel like a grown-up. Here’s what’s in store for 2009:

  • January: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • February: The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
  • March: Snow, Orham Pamuk
  • April: The Transit of Venus, Shirley Hazzard
  • May: The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb
  • June: Zorro: A Novel (P.S.), Isabel Allende
  • July: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • August: The Devil in the White City, Erik Larsen
  • September: When You Are Engulfed in Flames, David Sedaris
  • October: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski
  • November: A Mercy, Toni Morrison
  • December: A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Have you all read many of these? Tell me what I’m in store for. …

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