July 2020 TBR

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and I couldn’t be happier. My husband and I are heading to New Jersey to visit the parents. I haven’t seen my mom since before COVID-19, and even though I talk with her everyday, it will be nice to spend time with her. We will be spending the weekend with the family eating good food and have countless laughs. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the traffic, but hopefully not many people will be out.

Things are starting to settle down at work. We lost two people during June and it was madhouse, but we have a new boss coming in on Monday and I will be getting someone to work with me hopefully in the next week or two. Then maybe, just maybe, I can take a nice long vacation. Though I know that won’t be until August. For now I am biding my time and trying to at least take Fridays off to get three-day weekends. God knows I have the time.I have been trying to balance my work and personal life, but work has been winning. Maybe this is the month that the balance will start tipping in my favor.

I didn’t get around to a lot of reading last month for reasons I mentioned in my wrap-up post, but this month I am determined to get back on track. I signed up for the library summer reading challenge, which I will explain in a future post, but I think it will be just the thing I need to get back to it. Since I am actually ahead in some of my book club reads, I can actually put some more personal picks on the list this month, which is exciting. Hopefully I can bridge that 7 book deficit I have had for months in my summer reading challenge on Goodreads.

Book club pick

Disgrace” by J.M Coetzee

This book is the July read for the Modern Library Book Club and I am looking forward to it. We have a whole new reading list and the first book we just got done reading was pretty damn good. The fact that this book won the Booker Prize and the Nobel Prize must mean that it is just as good, if not better. We shall see.

 

Personal picks

The Lake House” by Kate Morton

I had read Kate Morton’s “The Forgotten Garden” years ago and remember loving it. I had always planned to read more of her books but for some reason never got around to it. This book has been on my shelf for a year and it sounds the perfect summer read.

Two for the Dough” by Janet Evanovich

Maybe it’s the fact that I am going to New Jersey this weekend or the summer, but I suddenly a craving for some Stephanie Plum. I seriously have to thank my friend Carmen for introducing me to these books. She bought me “One for the Money” awhile ago and when I read it, I felt like I was back home. This is the book that I am bringing with me. I know it will be a light, fast read, perfect for a weekend at the Jersey Shore.

Oryx and Cradle” by Margaret Atwood

I know that we are still in the midst of a pandemic but I can’t help but want to read a dystopian novel set post-plague. For some reason it’s intriguing me and besides it’s by Margaret Atwood so it’s bound to be good. The only thing is that I don’t have the other books in the trilogy, so if I like this book I am going to have to wait for to read the others.

Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng

As I mentioned in my wrap-up, this is my transition book from June. I have started reading this book and I love it. The character development in this book is amazing. Normally, I am not one to write a lot of notes about a book, but I can’t help but keep jotting things down. There are so many passages that are capturing my attention and quotes that I want to remember.

Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America” by Erik Larson

This is the other book that I am reading from last month. I am nearly halfway through it, and while intriguing, it’s a slow burn for me. I have no doubts I am going to end up loving this book. It’s just a matter of getting there.

 


What are you reading? Have you read any on the list? Let’s discuss!

 

 

 

 

Mark your calendars! Anticipated reads coming soon

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl, takes a look at the most anticipated reads for the remainder of 2020. I love these posts because I usually don’t find out about a book until it is being blogged about constantly or I come across a sign at the book store announcing a book’s upcoming release. These posts force me to do some digging and I have come to find out, I need to do this more. Nearly all the books on my list are books from authors I have read before and had no clue they were coming. Can you say excited?!

Midnight Sun (Twilight #5) by Stephenie Meyer
August 4

How did I not know that Stephenie Meyer had another Twilight book coming out? Where the hell have I been and why isn’t this being talked about more? I am not scared to admit that I loved these books. The fact that this book is from the perspective of Edward is even more exciting. I always wondered about his past and what he was thinking?

The Return by Nicholas Sparks
Release date: September 29

I am usually really good about following Nicholas Sparks and knowing when he is working on a book way before it’s announced. Not only didn’t I know he was working on something, I almost missed it. I seriously preordering this one. I own every single one of his books and absolutely loved his last one.

Anxious People by Frederick Backman
September 8

Ever since I read “A Man Called Ove”, I have fallen in love with Backman’s work. It’s my mission to read all of his work, so I am so excited that I am catching this one before it even comes out. Now I don’t have to go looking for it.

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline
August 25

I just read Kline’s “The Orphan Train” in the spring and absolutely loved it. I wasn’t planning on reading another one of her books so soon but I was pleasantly surprised that she had a new book coming out. This book sounds so interesting and I can’t wait to read it.

 

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
September 8

I am practically bouncing in my seat right now. I am so excited! Gyasi’s “Homecoming” is in my top 10 reads and the fact that it was her debut novel still astounds me. I still recommend it to everyone. I can’t wait to read this new book by her. Why do I have to wait for so long?!\

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
July 21

It’s been years since I read “Room” and I have not had another chance to read another book by her. However, when I saw the synopsis of this book, it immediately went on the TBR list. While everyone else seems to be turning away from reading anything about plague or flu during this time, I seem to be leaning toward them. Coincidently this one is about the Flu of 1918, which COVID-19 is constantly compared with. Go figure.

The Answer is…Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek
July 21

I think almost everyone knows Alex Trebek from his long reign as the host of “Jeopardy” not to mention he has been in the new regarding his cancer. It was only a matter of time that he came out with a book. I realized that there is very little of Alex Trebek so to hear about his life in his own words would be super interesting.

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell
August 6

Had it not been for the Barnes and Noble Book Club I probably would never have discovered Lisa Jewell. We read her book released last year “The Family Upstairs” and I enjoyed it. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it and this new release looks like it is going to be even better.


What are your anticipated reads for the last half of 2020? Are any on this list? Let’s discuss!

 

 

 

June reading wrap-up

Normally I am sad to see June go. For one thing, it’s my birthday month and another, usually we go on vacation to Florida. However, thanks to COVID-19, that vacation is out the window, especially since New York instituted a travel ban from all states that have spikes in cases, which includes Florida. Besides, the way work has taken over my life this year, I probably wouldn’t have been able to go on vacation anyway. I haven’t had a solid weekend off yet and even had to work on my birthday ­čśŽ

With that said, it won’t surprise you that my reading this month has been a little light. Because I have been so stressed out at work, I have been vegging out in front of the television to de-stress. It hasn’t helped that I have been binge watching ER, which was my all-time favorite show when I was a teenager (I know I am weird). I am enjoying it again and every time I tell myself I am going to read, I end up turning on ER instead. I know it’s mind over matter but at this stage I am giving in…every…damn…time.

However, the month didn’t go to a complete waste. I at least was able to read all the books for book club. So that is something.

This was the June read for my Capital District Book Club and I was surprised by how good it was, I mean as good any book can be when its about sexual assault, predators and outright creepiness. Many in book club, including me, were actually surprised by how much of the story we didn’t know. I guess since I am a fellow journalist I could relate to what Ronan Farrow went through in trying to get this story out when everyone was doing everything to shut it down. I give him kudos for continuing even when his reputation, his career and even his life were on the line. It’s journalist like him that help put Harvey Weinstein in prison and other guys like him.

The Society for Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club wanted something light and fun to read for June, especially since we are still holding virtual meetings. This was definitely a good pick. I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I was a bit younger but overall I thought it was a fun read, even if parts were nonsensical, which I recently explained in my review.

This was the first book that the Modern Library Book Club read since creating a new reading list and it was a definitely a good one. This book had so much in it that it is no surprise that Pat Barker made it into a trilogy. This book highlights the psychological effects of war and the road to recovery. It was definitely not what I was expecting. It was more. The group will be discussing the book later this week and I can’t wait to hear what everyone else thought of it, though the majority show they liked it. You can read all my thoughts here.

Transitioning to July..

I am still reading “Devil in the White City”. It is a slow burn for me but I am enjoying it nonetheless. I put it down so I could read the books I needed to for book club and haven’t had a chance to start it back up again.

I started “Little Fires Everywhere” yesterday but I didn’t really get that far into it yet. However, I am liking what I am reading so far and can’t wait to get more into it. If only I can keep ER turned off. So expect this book to be on my TBR list for next month.

 


What did you read during June? Have you read any on this list? What did you think? Let’s discuss!

Book Club Discussion: ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll

For the month of June, the Society for Avid Readers Across the Hudson (SARAH) Book Club read Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Most of the group had read the book as a child so this was a reread for many, except for yours truly. I had never read the book but was quite familiar with the story, having grown up on the Disney movie and later watching the Tim Burton version.

If you don’t know the story, a young girl name Alice is sitting with her sister one day when she suddenly sees a white rabbit. While a rabbit isn’t extraordinary, the fact that this one can talk and seems to be watching the time on a pocketwatch has little Alice intrigued. She decides to follow the rabbit, and ends up down the rabbit hole. After falling for what seems like eternity, she ends up in Wonderland and there she is introduced to a myriad of characters including the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and of course the evil Queen of Hearts, who does nothing but scream “Off with your head!”

This is a simple, fun read, especially for a child. While I did enjoy it, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was younger. The book itself is a bit surreal and nonsensical. Obviously when we get to the end, we understand why, but all the same, there were parts of the book where I couldn’t make heads or tales about what was going on or why. I wasn’t the only one who felt that way as many in the group said the same. Some even compared this book to feeling like they were on drugs. I guess it is a bit “trippy”, but I guess the best way to describe it can be summed up with the movies. The Disney version, which is obviously for kids, makes it exciting as we follow Alice on her adventures, while the Tim Burton movie is a bit unique to say the least. If you know Tim Burton’s movies, you know what I am talking about.

If you have seen the movies and are reading this book for the first time, you will think that the book has left out some characters or key elements that are in the movies. I came to find out that this is because the movies combine the book with it’s sequel, “Through the Looking Glass”, which I have obviously not read. Will I read it? That has yet to be determined.

The group also talked about how this book remain popular since it was first published in 1865 and how it continues to be referenced today in pop culture, from bands using it as inspiration in their music to popular English phrases such as “Mad as Hatter” or “Smiling like a Cheshire Cat”. The teacups at many amusements parks are inspired by this children’s classic and there is even a medical term called the Alice in Wonderland syndrome, where people perceives objects around them as smaller or larger than they are. This book has stood the test of time and should definitely be read at least once.


Have you read “Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland”? What did you think?

 

 

 

‘Regeneration’ by Pat Barker

I had never heard about Pat Barker until my book club recommended “Regeneration”, the first book of a trilogy, for our new reading list. At first I was skeptical. We had read two “war” books and I didn’t finish either of them. Yet, this book was different. It focused more on the horrors that soldier face while on the front as well as the psychological impacts as a result. I finished this book over two weeks ago, but it took me awhile to get my thoughts straight.

It starts with Siegfried Sassoon who writes a memo refusing to continue serving as an officer in World War I because he doesn’t believe in the cause behind it. Diagnosed as “shell shocked” He is sent to Craiglockart War Hospital where he becomes the patient of Dr. William Rivers. Rivers doesn’t think that there is anything mentally wrong with Sassoon, but fears that he is anti-war and will make trouble. However, Rivers agrees to treat Sassoon and is determined to send him back to service.

While at the hospital, we are introduced to Rivers’ other patients, all soldiers who suffer from PTSD as a result of war trauma. David Burns is a patient who is unable to eat after a bomb throws him headlong into the gut of a rotting soldier; Billy Prior suffers from mutism whenever he is forced to remember what happened in the war as well as asthma, which prevents him from returning; and Anderson, a prior surgeon, has a mental breakdown and can’t stand the sight of blood.

Through these characters, we see how trauma is different in each individual and the journey each takes to heal. Through Rivers’ treatment, each learns to deal with their trauma in different ways. At the same time, Rivers begins to see his patients in a new way and begins to think that Sassoon may have had a point about the war. He begins to question whether the sole purpose of his treatment is to send soldiers back and for what reason. This is highlighted when Rivers goes to study another doctor who uses electroshock treatment to cure a different case of mutism. Rivers, who suffers from a stutter, is horrified.

Through the book, Barker highlights other themes including sexuality, masculinity, identity and social structure. While Billy is dating a woman in town, there are subtle hints that Billy may be gay or bisexual, though it is never clearly resolved. Also, when Prior is given home service due to his asthma, he thinks he will be seen as a coward. Even Sassoon decides to return to the war because of his guilt of leaving the other men behind.

Barker has a way of making you connect with each of the characters┬á so that you feel that you know each of them personally. While I have never been to war and could not possibly understand what soldiers go through, I felt like I was there with each them. There is so much packed into this book that I was startled when I got to the end and sad that I had to leave them. I originally had no plans to read the other two books in this trilogy, but now I feel invested and want to see how these characters make out. I can’t wait to talk about this book next week in book club.

Top 10 Tuesday turns 10!

I have not been participating in Top 10 Tuesday for that long, but I must join in the congratulations as Top 10 Tuesday celebrates its 10th year and 500th post. That is quite a fete! To celebrate, this week’s post gave us the option to either redo a post that we previously participated in OR do a post we didn’t get to. I chose the latter.

Two weeks ago, the theme for Top 10 Tuesday was the books that are on our TBR but don’t know why. I really wanted to do that post but didn’t get a chance to as I got busy with work. I am so glad that I can go back to it and upon looking back at my TBR shelf on Goodreads, there were quite a few books on my TBR that I don’t remember putting there or why.

My Goodreads shelf says I added this last year but I have no clue why. I must have read a review for it somewhere or someone must have recommended it, because I don’t even recall putting it on my TBR. If this wasn’t on my TBR, I doubt I could tell you I ever heard of it.

The only possible reason I can think for putting this on my TBR shelf is that it is about marriage and last year I was in the middle of wedding prepping. Perhaps I thought it intriguing, I don’t know.

I think this was added after being bored one day and going through Goodreads to find things to put on my TBR list. Honestly, I completely forgot that it was there but having read the summary, I think I will leave it.

I seriously don’t ever recall hearing about this book. I apparently added in 2016 but none of my friends have reviewed it. However, now that reread the summary, I think this is one I might check out.

This is not a book I would normally read so why did I add it to my TBR? You got me. None of my friends reviewed it or even have it on their TBR. Perhaps I was browsing through Goodreads and read the summary and thought it was interesting at the time? I have no clue.

Another book added in 2016 that I completely forgot about and don’t know why I added it. I haven’t heard of this book, except for the fact that it is on my list.

I am not one to read self-help or advise books so I don’t know why I would add this to my TBR except that the title intrigued me. I have heard some of my friends talking about this book so maybe I put it on the list out of curiosity.

I have heard of John Updike and he is an author I have wanted to check out, but I don’t remember adding this to the list. I think it was a recommendation in book club after reading another book about terrorists. The only indication that this may be the fact is that my book club organizer has it marked at to-read.

Another book I have never heard of but somehow it is on my TBR. Why? At this point, anything goes. I am starting to think tiny elves live in my Goodreads and when I am not looking they like to wreak havoc on my lists.

This was recommended by one of my friends on Goodreads, which I think is the only reason why I added it to my TBR. It’s been on my shelf for years lost and forgotten. And I can definitely say for sure I have no desire to read this book any more.

June 2020 TBR

Hey all,

We are halfway through the year and what a year it has been so far. Hopefully, the second half is much better than the first. In my view, there is no where to go but up. Also, since June is my birthday month, I declare that nothing bad can happen. So it is written, so it shall be done. LOL

Anyway, things are starting to get back to “normal” here in upstate. We have officially reached phase 2 in the reopening plan, which includes the long anticipated, barbers and hair salons. You can imagine the rush there has been, though with all the protocols in place it may take a few days or even a week to get that long awaited hair cut. Our governor has also allowed outside dining at restaurants/bars, so my husband and I had our first date since getting married. It was nice to be out, sitting among others, hearing the hum of hushed conversations around us, the bustling of waitresses passing back and forth and just sitting at a restaurant again. It was well needed.

With that being said, my book clubs are starting up in full force again. Most of them have been doing virtual discussions for the last month and are probably going to do the same this month just to be safe. However, it’s nice to get back to a routine again, especially when it comes to reading. So my reading list this month is focused on my reads for book club with some personal picks thrown in if there is time.

Book club picks

Catch and Kill” by Ronan Farrow

This is the pick for the Capital District Book Club and it has created a general buzz among the members. Apparently since the book has come out there has been articles about the author and the book. I refuse to read them until I get a chance to read the book. Given the subject of this book and all the news that the subject has generated, I am sure that our discussion this month is going to be very lively to say the least.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

While I know this story very well, I have never read the book. The Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club thought everyone needed a fun, light read for the month and went with this one. I am actually looking forward to reading this to see how the story differs from the live action movies I have seen dozens of times.

Regeneration” by Pat Barker

This is the first book on the new list that the Modern Library Book Club made since finishing the Modern Library’s Top 100. The new list comprises of books that members thought should have made the top 100 list. Our first book is going to be a heavy one as it addresses the psychological impacts of World War 1 and the treatment methods that were used. I have never heard of this book but I am actually looking forward to reading it.

Personal picks

The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson

This is my second Erik Larson book and so far I am enjoying it. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was unable to finish it for May so it’s my transition book for June. I loved Larson’s “In the Garden of Beasts” so I am hoping to enjoy this one as much. I have heard nothing but good things.

Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng

Can I just say how excited I am to be reading this book?! It has been on my TBR since it came out but for some reason I could never get around to it. I loved Ng’s “Everything I Never Told You” and I am sure I am going to like this one just as much. Plus the show came out on HULU, which my family and friends have been raving about, but I refuse to watch it until I read the book.


Have you read any of these? What did you think? Let’s discuss!

Reading wrap-up for May 2020

May has been the weirdest month of my life. The first three weeks seemed to move in slow motion and then the last two weeks flew without me even realizing it.

You can read my previous post about me dealing with my parents having COVID-19 so I won’t go into it again. Let’s just say I started my month in a frenzy. However, I can provide an update – my mother came home the other day, completely COVID negative. YAY!! She is home and already driving my dad nuts, though I know he is happy to her home.

Things really started to look up the weekend I got married. That’s right, my fiance is now my husband and I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t have gotten through all this craziness without him. It was a small ceremony at the park since the big party is in July, fingers crossed, if New York allows bigger gatherings after we reopen entirely. Yet, our small ceremony became its own special day and I will now have those memories forever.

Despite all the excitement throughout the month, I will still able to master my reading list, with only one book I didn’t finish. So I will get on with it.

This was a reread for me but both times were book club. The first time I read this book, I absolutely loved it. You can read what I thought in my original review. It was for book club and they enjoyed it for the most part as well. In my reread, I still rather enjoyed it and even noticed stuff that I didn’t notice the first time or had forgotten about. Finn does such a good job twisting the plot, that even though I knew what was going to happen, I began to doubt some parts. This reread was also for book club, a different one of course. This group however, like to dig and pick apart every little thing. So while I still liked the book, I now am beginning to rethink my 5-star to more of a 4-star. It also doesn’t help that I looked up the author and he isn’t a good guy, which has left a bad taste in my mouth.

This was my nonfiction pick for my Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club (aka SARAH Book Club). We all got to pick a nonfiction book of our choice and talk about it. It made for an interesting book discussion because people read books that others hadn’t heard about or books that others did read and could compare notes. “The Girls of Atomic City” was educational for me because I had no clue that this city in Tennessee had existed. I had heard of the Manhattan Project but not this part of it. It was also interesting to learn how many women had actually worked for the war effort and the impacts this project had on their lives. #feminism

When I saw Sue Monk Kidd had a new book, I immediately had to order it and read it. I knew I was going to love it but I didn’t realize just how much. This book had me at its opening line when the main character introduced herself as Ana, the wife of Jesus. And then it just pulled me in deeper and deeper until I would completely forget where I was. Kidd’s power to weave a story is mesmerizing and I didn’t want it to end. You can read my full review here.

So I am not one to read Greek mythology, except when I had to in school, so I wasn’t really planning on reading “Circe” despite all the rave reviews. Then the Capital District Book Club chose it an upcoming title. I thought it was for June but then realized after ordering it, the book was July’s pick. Since I now had to wait for the right book to come, I figured I might as well start reading this. I ended up loving it! It was so well done and at the moment I still can’t put into words my feelings about it. I loved the magic, loved the gods’ antics, and I especially loved Circe. I loved watching her powers grow until she was able to become better than all those who would have put her down. Now, I plan on reading Miller’s other book, “The Song of Achilles.”

Yes I did read a book about cadavers. Why? Because why not? Roach had me at the title. I mean how interesting could a cadaver be. It’s a dead person. But oh though they may be dead, they definitely have their own story to tell, from what happens when they are donated to science to the experiments and more. This was definitely an interesting read as you can see in my full review.

The book I didn’t finish

I was unable to get to “Devil in the White City” for May but I plan on reading it in June. I really don’t know much about the World’s Fair and what happened, so I think this will be an interesting read. I loved Erik Larson’s “In the Garden of Beasts” and people rave about this one, so I am sure I will enjoy it.


Have you read any of the books on this list? What did you read in May? Let’s discuss!

 

‘Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers’ by Mary Roach

You must be thinking, “What in the world possessed you to read a book about cadavers?” The simple answer: curiosity. You can’t read a title such as this and not think, what lives do cadavers have? They are dead people. Plus, my book club mentioned that they had read this book previously and I figured it must be interesting if it was discussed in such a setting.

Honestly, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about cadavers. People die and they either get buried or get cremated. Some donate their organs to science. But as Roach points out, in a very unexpected detailed way, cadavers actually do a lot more than just that.

In fact, now that I have read this book, I feel I know everything I need to know about cadavers and the curious lives they lead, from being test dummies to improve driver safety and being subjects for medical students to practice skills on, to helping understand the different stages of decay and being part of experiments to see if cadaver parts can be used for transplants.

This was a surprisingly easy book to read. Usually with books about science, a reader can get bogged down with trying to understand all the scientific terminology, or in this case, medical terminology, that often has words so long, they make you tongue tied. However, Roach breaks everything down in layman’s terms that is easy to understand and sometimes, a little too detailed.

With such a morbid topic, it is inevitable that parts of this book were going to get a bit gross. If you are squeamish or get grossed out easily, you may want to forgo this book or enter with caution, especially the chapter called Eat Me. That’s right, Roach even goes into the history of cannibalism. Let’s just say I made sure I wasn’t eating when I reached this chapter. I’m actually glad she names the chapters to provide some bit of a warning of what you are about to get.

Overall, I thought it was an interesting book to read and I did learn some stuff I didn’t know. However, I don’t think it is a book that I would return to over and over again. I’m glad I read it but honestly, it’s a one and done.

Opening lines that left an impression

The opening lines of a book is pivotal in not only setting up the plot but capturing the reader’s attention. There are some opening lines that set the mood, while others make a simple statement that powers more punch in a few short words than in the paragraph that follows. For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl, I wanted to share the opening lines that left an impression upon me when I first read them.

“I am Ana. I am the wife of Jesus ben Joseph of Nazareth. I called him Beloved and he, laughing, called me Little Thunder.”The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

I just finished this book but I remember thinking how these opening lines instantly caught my attention and held it all the way through the book.

 

“One of the very first bullets comes in through the open window above the toilet where Luca is standing.”American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Talk about starting in the middle of the action. There are bullets flying and we don’t even know why. Definitely caught my attention.

 

“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.”Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Well this opened a whole slew of questions. Who is Lydia? What happened to her? Who didn’t know? This book ended up being one of my top favorite reads.

 

“Elspeth Howell was a sinner.”The Kept by James Scott

This opening line is just so blunt and so… judgmental. It stops you before you even get started. What did she do?

“When she woke, she was red. Not flushed, not sunburned, but the solid declarative red of a stop sign.”When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Well this is interesting. Who is she and why is she so red? This ended up being one of the most interesting dystopian novels I have ever read.

“Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.”The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Ok Ms. Atwood, you got my attention. The war ended so why would someone drive off a bridge. This became one of my favorite Atwood novels.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This is a story that I have reread countless times and this opening line never gets old. It is such a great set up for what is to come.

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents.”Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I first read this book when I was in middle school and I can still remember reading this opening line and felt all the emotion from little Jo, who ended up being my favorite character.

 

“Even in death, the boys were trouble.”The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Another brief line that says so much. I was actually surprised by how much I liked this book.