Yesterday, I tossed The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing into my beach bag. I first read Melissa Bank's debut novel when it came out sixteen years ago, and I remembered that some of the action takes place on Long Beach Island, where I am now.
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the first line is the window to the book. A first line can drag you in, shock you, confuse you, or touch you. A first line is what makes you read on. Here are some of our favorite first lines that set the tone for some incredible books.
British writer Virginia Ironside is determined to convince people that getting old is not so bad -- even for a Baby Boomer who interviewed the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix early in her career.
This sharp, sensitive debut story collection introduces us to a parade of people (and one dog) grasping their ways through complex relationships with family, friends, lovers, strangers, and, of course, themselves.
Writers come and go with new generations. Young readers today might not know Rosamunde Pilcher. But her books remain as timeless as the classics. I treasure all her books, but The Shell Seekers is her masterpiece. Do yourself a favor: pick up a copy and savor every word.
It took only a few pages for me to recognize that Richard Flanagan is an exceptional writer. True, he writes about Australia in an unmistakably Australian accent (how do we hear accents when we hear no spoken words?) but it takes little imagination to transpose the post-9/11 Australia he writes about to America today.
Steve marveled at the way Jews produced so many talented businessmen. His interest was piqued. Was it something Jews are born with, that creates so many Nobel Laureates and high achievers in every field? Or did it have something to do with Jewish values and culture?
In a novel that's part love story, part urban thriller, Phillips (And Yet They Were Happy, 2011, etc.) captures the way an isolating job and an indifferent city can stealthily steal our lives and erode our souls--and the protective, nourishing power of love.
If you still find it possible to fathom that there was a time before the Internet, you may recall the days when books were either New York Times Bests...
The rhyming picture book shows a sick boy watching his friends play football in the street through his bedroom window. The story progresses through how the parents try to give the boy hope and courage by connecting him with his love for football.
Why Leaders Fail by Pastor Ronald Godbee takes a microscopic look into exactly why some of the greatest leaders often fail tremendously. In his introductory chapter Pastor Godbee explores the importance of asking the right questions.
9 books that grab you from page one.
When a boisterous young family moves in next door to Ove's lonely little home, with one inquisitive daughter and another on the way, his whole world is turned upside down, and you'll thank the reading gods for the heartwarming story that ensues.
Romantic loving is, for Simone de Beauvoir, existentially dangerous. Romantic relationships can be such intoxicating experiences that lovers get lost in euphoria. Authentic loving, according to Beauvoir, needs to overcome such traps.
Go set a Watchman is about growing up and realizing that your own parents are no more than flawed human beings too, learning how to stand by your own values -- set your own watchman if you will -- and still be able to live alongside those you disagree with.
Originally published on Kirkus. For more from Kirkus, click here. ...