My friend Lauren (Books Tea & Me) is getting me going in the blogging world – she thinks it will be a good way for me to organize and understand my hectic life. My goal is to have a completely honest account of my daily life. I’m heading towards being a better person. I’m going to fuck up
occasionally pretty much everyday, but I really am going to try to improve.
Exciting Times! Its time for my very first ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ (a weekly blog topic that the lovely ladies of The Broke and the Bookish publish). This week, the theme is Beginnings and Endings.
Starting a new book is always nerve-racking for me. I don’t use libraries because I prefer to make an investment with a book and as we all know, not all investments pay-off (see: 4-5 boxes of books sadly sat in the storage room of my house). I usually give the author two or three chapters of my time to really try and get into a book – if its not happening by then, it ain’t gonna happen! Endings are somewhat bittersweet. It’s always nice to find out what happens to characters and feel closure on any events that occurred on the pages past, and yet filled with sadness (especially at the end of a fantastic read) when the time to close the book and place it back on the shelf arrives. Here are a few (10 to be specific…duh) of my favourite beginnings and endings.
1. Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay
“The girl was the first to hear the loud pounding on the door. Her room was closest to the entrance of the apartment. At first, dazed with sleep, she thought it was her father, coming up from his hiding place in the cellar. He’d forgotten his keys, and was impatient because nobody had heard his first, timid knock. But then came the voices, strong and brutal in the silence of the night.”[This passage really caught my attention and I remember feeling unsettled in my stomach. I felt scared for the girl, obviously young, frightened, and without her father. I finished this book so quickly whilst on holiday just because the author intrigued me by the middle of the first page.]
2. 1984 – George Orwell
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind…”
Setting the tone perfectly, Orwell quickly acclimatizes the reader to the harsh realities of life in 1984. That’s pretty much all I can say… you have to read the rest of the book if you haven’t.
3. Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie
“All children, except one, grow up.”
If summarizing novels in the first sentence was a contest, Barrie would win hands down for his six-word summary of this classic novel. Peter Pan is one of my most cherished stories. In the form of pantomimes, graphic novels, Disney movies and staged productions, this story is timeless. I actually think I’m going to put this on my ‘to-read’ list once again!
4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime – Mark Haddon
“It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears’ house. Its eyes were closed.”I reluctantly read this book in my Grade 10 or 12 novel study.. can’t really remember the exact year. Wow I was not disappointed at all! The storyline was sharp and I fell in love with Christopher 🙂
5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved with anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.”
OKAY this… this first passage helped shape my childhood! Imagine, if you will, because I used to live in Northern Scotland, my primary five teacher, Mrs. Murray, sitting in the middle of a group of ten-year-old children and reading this first sentence out loud in a broad Scottish accent. After hearing the first few chapters I had to purchase a copy and take it to school to follow along from then on. I know I put this one last, but it must be counted as number 1 in this category because I had no idea how popular this book would become.
(To continue the theme of great writing…)
1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
“‘Godfather?’ spluttered Uncle Vernon. ‘You haven’t got a godfather!’
‘Yes, I have,’ said Harry brightly. ‘He was my mum and dad’s best friend. He’s a convicted murderer, but he’s broken out of wizard prison and he’s on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, though … keep up with my news … check I’m happy …’ And grinning broadly at the look of horror on Uncle Vernon’s face, Harry set off towards the station exit, Hedwig rattling along in front of him, for what looked like a much better summer than the last.”
[This!!!! AHHHH – This book was my favourite of all the Harry Potter books. Harry finds hope in Sirius (who becomes my favourite character in the whole series) and is happy to have found a family member at last. I remember reading this last page and thinking ‘fuck yeahhh Harry!’]
2. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
” …because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.”Whenever I read a line in a book that uses the title of the book I get giddy and a million questions run through my head. Did the author think of this line randomly and then figure out the rest of the story from here? Did it take them forever to come up with a line that could use the title so beautifully? Did someone tell them to put it there, or was that planned from draft stages? Etc, etc, etc.
3. The Shining – Stephen King
“He put an arm around Danny’s shoulders and the boy reeled the fish in, little by little. Wendy sat down on Danny’s other side and the three of them sat on the end of the dock in the afternoon sun.”
Picture perfect ending to a horrific story. This book kept me awake on a flight to the UK and I remember finishing it and feeling covered with the relief pouring out of the pages. After the terrors of the hotel it was nice to see Danny surrounded by love and safety.
4. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S Lewis
“And that is the very end of the adventure of the wardrobe. But if the Professor was right, it was only the beginning of the adventures of Narnia.”
Classic ending to a fairytale/adventure story! Makes you excited to find out what comes next!!
5. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
“An excellent year’s progress.”
Simply put… this is a perfect ending to one of my favourite novels. Again – I have to add it to my must read… again… haha
OKAY – so I was a little late on the Tuesday post… BUT I love the fact that the topics are posted ahead of time – I’ll be much better prepared for next week.