First Line Friday: Excellent Women

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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I read my first book by Barbara Pym last year and discovered, with delight, a new love for spinster and vicar fiction.  Though I’ve never met a vicar, so I can’t speak to the accuracy of her portrayals.

I began a read-through of her published writings, in order written rather than published, but took a break after the second book.  I’m hoping to re-start my Pym read-through this month with Excellent Women, written between 1949 and 1951, but published in 1952.

Here is what the back cover of my Plume edition has to say about it:

Excellent Women is probably the most famous of Barbara Pym’s novels. The acclaim a few years ago for this early comic novel, which was hailed by Lord David Cecil as one of ‘the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past seventy-five years,’ helped launch the rediscovery of the author’s entire work. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman’s daughter and a spinster in the England of the 1950s, one of those ‘excellent women’ who tend to get involved in other people’s lives – such as those of her new neighbor, Rockingham, and the vicar next door. This is Barbara Pym’s world at its funniest.

And here are the first lines:

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First Line Friday: Code Name: Lise

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is from an Advance Uncorrected Proof won on GoodReads and may differ from the final text.

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I started writing this First Line Friday post about Code Name: Lise : The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII’s Most Highly Decorated Spy by Larry Loftis and, several paragraphs later, decided to take what was essentially a review and just go ahead and post it as my review.

So, rather than make you wade through it to get to the first lines (notice the plural – I think you’ll see why I chose to share the whole first paragraph from Chapter 1), here they are: Continue reading

First Line Friday: Mrs. Tim of the Regiment

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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I first discovered my love of middle-brow fiction through a library e-book of D.E. (Dorothy Emily) Stevenson’s Miss Buncle’s Book, and have been wanting to read her Mrs. Tim Christie series ever since.  Based on the author’s own diaries as an Army wife and first published in 1932, Hester’s diary promises to be interesting and amusing.

I’m 2 days in and already that promise is bearing fruit.

I’ll be reading this first Mrs. Tim book, which begins in January and ends in June, slowly over the course of the month, so I couldn’t resist sharing her first January line for this first First Line Friday of the year.  Here it is: Continue reading

2019: Pondering a New Year of Reading

So here we are, again.  Thinking back on what could have been better in the past year and making plans to do better, be better in this new year.

In considering my GoodReads goal for 2019, I started to think about my reading and blogging related regrets from 2018.  Mostly, these center on not having caught up on my ever fluctuating Mount Must Read, the print portion of which now resides in a cart.

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Mount Must Read cart, early November 2019.

While my intention was to have the top shelf of this cart emptied by the end of 2018, this did not happen.  In fact, it is now full and an additional stack of books is nearby, needing to be added.  And then there is that other stack of read, but not yet reviewed, books.

According to the GoodReads challenges, 2018 saw me reading more books than ever before in a single year.  What this doesn’t reflect is that Continue reading

First Line Friday: Freedom’s Light

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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I finally read my first Colleen Coble novel this week!

I love discovering new authors when it is their debut and when they are new-to-me and have a backlist of books.  In a way, Freedom’s Light by  Colleen Coble is both.  It is my first read of an author with a daunting backlist and it is an early story that, according to the note from the author, was part of her journey to publication but has been waiting eighteen years for it’s own debut.  And I love that!

I reviewed it earlier this week, but today I’m sharing the first line – and I’m holding back, since the first few pages are among my favorites of this Revolutionary War novel.  Here it is: Continue reading

First Line Friday: Envious Casca or A Christmas Party

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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I recently read my first Georgette Heyer and instantly added her to my list of 20th century authors to read more from in 2019.  Not for her Regencies or Historicals (though I’ll get to them), but for her English country house mysteries.  Lucky for me, there are recent and ongoing reprints with gorgeous covers coming out from Sourcebooks Landmark and from Penguin UK’s Arrow imprint.

I picked up a used Arrow edition of Georgette Heyer’s Envious Casca  last summer and only today discovered that it has been retitled A Christmas Party and has been given a lovely, wintery cover.

Here is the first line and a cover for each title:

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First Line Friday: Lost Christmas Memories

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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Lost Christmas Memories by Dana Mentink is the fourth in the Gold Country Cowboys series from Love Inspired Suspense, and though I’ve only read the first 6% of the ebook, I can already tell you it definitely has two things in common with the rest of the series:  A Thorne brother and a high action start with the heroine in imminent danger.

A witness with amnesia

Can she trust this Gold Country Cowboy with her life?

Tracy Wilson witnessed a murder—but after a head injury, she can’t remember what she saw. Now someone plans to silence her for good, and only cowboy Keegan Thorn believes her. With a killer after her at Christmas, Tracy is running out of time to remember…and falling dangerously hard for the cowboy who could break her heart.

Here is the first line:

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