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Merle

Merle

My book haul
My book haul

So I just moved back to an area that I love after spending most of a year living and working in the boonies, and while unpacking is still a work in progress, I'm celebrating by doing all things I missed: like making pesto (couldn't buy fresh basil), and getting a big stack of exciting new books from the library. There's something especially thrilling about checking out a tower of books all at once: knowing me, I probably won't think highly of half of them, but right now they're all possibility.

 

Since I can't say much about them as yet, I am going to quote their first sentences in case any pique your interest as well!

 

 

Island of a Thousand Mirrors,* Nayomi Munaweera

 

"It is 1948 and the last British ships slip away from the island of Ceylon, laboring and groaning under the weight of purloined treasure."

 

 

Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees

 

"The free state of Dorimare was a very small country, but, seeing that it was bounded on the south by the sea and on the north and east by mountains, while its centre consisted of a rich plain, watered by two rivers, a considerable variety of scenery and vegetation was to be found within its borders."

 

 

The Garden of Evening Mists, Tan Twan Eng

 

"On a mountain above the clouds once lived a man who had been the gardener of the emperor of Japan."

 

 

Dragonsbane, Barbara Hambly

 

"Bandits often lay in wait in the ruins of the old town at the fourways--Jenny Waynest thought there were three of them this morning."

 

 

The Odd Women, George Gissing

 

"'So to-morrow, Alice,' said Dr. Madden, as he walked with his eldest daughter on the coast-downs by Clevedon, 'I shall take steps for insuring my life for a thousand pounds.'"

 

 

The Wizard Hunters, Martha Wells

 

"It was nine o'clock at night and Tremaine was trying to find a way to kill herself that would bring in a verdict of natural causes in court when someone banged on the door."

 

 

Sashenka, Simon Montefiore

 

"The shy northern sun had already set by teatime when three of the Tsar's gendarmes took up positions at the gates of the Smolny Institute for Noble Girls."

 

 

The Grand Ellipse, Paula Volsky

 

"'She is incomparable, she is exquisite, she is divine,' proclaimed the king of the Low Hetz."

 

 

Hmm, not only are there some great first sentences here, but there are also some interesting patterns. I am a reader who's drawn to foreign settings and novels with a strong sense of place, and six of the eight books I've picked up have place names in the first sentence. Meanwhile only three have character names, which surprises me. I will have to report back on whether this is indicative of the contents of the books...

 

*Okay, I won this one in a giveaway, but the rest are from the library.