Teaser Tuesday: East of Eden

teasertuesdays31 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My spoiler this week comes from John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, a few fellow book bloggers have started up the Classic Reads Book ClubEast of Eden is the first book and discussion for chapters 1-11 begins January 25, so there is still time to get started.

Because I just started the book moments ago, my teaser is the opening two paragraphs of the book.

The Salinas Valley is in Northern California.  It is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay.

I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers.  I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer–and what trees and seasons smelled like–how people looked and walked and smelled even.  The memory of odors is very rich.

Teaser Tuesday: The Observations

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from The Observations, by Jane Harris.

From Booklist:

Harris’ debut, set in Scotland in 1863, is narrated by the lively, sharp Bessy Buckley, who leaves Glasgow and happens into a job as a maid at Castle Haivers, an estate nowhere near as grand as its name suggests. Her mistress, Arabella, takes a personal interest in Bessy and encourages her to write her thoughts and experiences in a journal. She also subjects Bessy to odd experiments, but Bessy goes along with them because she is flattered by the attention and quickly growing attached to her mistress. Things change when Bessy snoops in Arabella’s locked desk and discovers the book Arabella has been writing, The Observations, a study of the “habits and nature of the Domestic Class.” Bessy is incensed to read some less-than-favorable things about herself in the account, as well as to learn of her mistress’ affection for one of her predecessors, a girl who died under mysterious circumstances. Bessy concocts a revenge that ends up having consequences far more lasting than she ever envisioned. Bessy’s unique, witty voice distinguishes this boisterous novel.

Of course deep down I knew the truth.  It was a desparate blow to learn that she had found out some aspects of my past, let’s just say I would have preferred her not to know.  But what was worse was how she thought of me.  Hells teeth, how can I explain the wretched despair I felt, except to say my heart was banjaxed.

page 103

Teaser Tuesday: The Dead of Night

teasertuesdays31 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from John Marsden’s The Dead of Night, book #2 in the Tomorrow series.

In order not to spoil book #1 for those of you who haven’t read it, I will only quote a brief excerpt from School Library Journal just so you can get a feel of what the series is about.

A few months have passed since Ellie and six of her friends returned from a camping trip deep in the Australian outback to find their country invaded by an unidentified, non-English-speaking nation.

My teaser (which is the opening paragraph of the book and does not spoil book #1 either, for those of you who haven’t read it).

Damn this writing.  I’d rather sleep.  God how I’d love to sleep.  It’s been a long time since I had a peaceful night’s sleep.  Not since I went to Hell.  Since I went to that complicated place called Hell.

Teaser Tuesday: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

teasertuesdays31 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery.

Personally, I think that grammar is a way to attain beauty.  When you speak, or read, or write, you can tell if what you’ve said or read or written is a fine sentence.  You can recognize a well-turned phrase or an elegant style.  But when you are applying the rules of grammar skillfully, you ascend to another level of the beauty of language.  When you use grammar, you peel back the layers, to see how it is all put together, see it quite naked, in a way.

Teaser Tuesday: A Separate Country

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from A Separate Country, by Robert Hicks.

From Publisher’s Weekly–

Starred Review. Hicks follows his bestselling The Widow of the South with the grand, ripped-from-the-dusty-archives epic of Confederate general John Bell Hood. The story begins with Hood, on his deathbed with yellow fever, dispersing a stack of papers to former war nemesis Eli Griffin, urging him to publish the general’s secret memoir. Hood’s story picks up in 1878 as he, nearly broke, reflects on the past 10 years’ dwindling fortunes. Now, with an artificial leg, a bum arm and nearly no money, he and his wife, Anna Marie, live in diminished circumstances in New Orleans. Over time, their once passionate relationship grows mundane as Hood watched the years wrench devilry and lust and joy from her face. Things are also complicated by the violent death of Anna Marie’s best friend and the reappearance of former comrade Sebastien Lemerle, who holds a nasty secret he holds about Hood’s past. Meanwhile, Hood’s marriage and business failures pale in comparison to the yellow fever epidemic that decimates the area. Hicks’s stunning narrative volleys between Hood, Anna Marie and Eli, each offering variety and texture to a story saturated in Southern gallantry and rich American history.

Life is pain. If no pain, there is no life, and yet you wouldn’t release him.  How do you know what he felt, did he talk to you?  Make hand signals?  No.  So I did it for you.  You didn’t have the guts, and I do.  Perhaps you were afraid, or sentimental.  The kindest thing was to let him go.  You never did understand mercy.  Never.  You left it to me to end the pain back in Texas.  I put an end to the pain you caused.  But this time it was pain I had caused and you were prolonging it, perverse bastard, and so I took control.  And I did it knowing you would come after me, so here we are, and I am about to die.

-page 247

Teaser Tuesday: The Jade Cat

teasertuesdays31 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from The Jade Cat, by Suzanne Brøgger.

Here is a description of the book (I am about 150 pages in and it is really good so far!)

From Publisher’s Weekly–

Brøgger’s lively and insightful novel chronicles the fates of the Jewish Løvin family as they endure the tragicomic events of the 20th century and adhere to patriarch Max’s injunction: Thou shalt be a personality. Forging an identity, however, becomes complicated when the family is torn apart by war and forced to abandon its religious identity and nationality. Although the novel expands its breadth by including anecdotes about even the most minor players, the narrative’s emphasis is on three generations of women—strong-willed Katze; her daughter, Li, who comes of age during WWII; and Li’s eldest daughter Zeste. Hypocrisy, particularly with regard to gender-appropriate sexual conduct, is a major issue for all three, though each fares badly in the battle of the sexes. Attitudes toward Jewish identity—animosity, denial, ambivalence—also provide a common link among the stories. Brøgger offers readers a powerful, personal account of rapidly changing times through the lens of a family whose comedies, tragedies and absurdities are magnified by historical context and whose contemporary descendants provide a glimpse of a more hopeful future. (Sept.)

My teaser is a portion of a letter written by Tobias to his wife Katze.

You are a terribly dangerous woman when you send sweet loving words over the ether or in a letter.  Or when you, “à la woman”, aim your delightful blue searchlight at some poor man! You are hard to resist when you want something. And the worst of it is that you are always so convincing because you believe in it yourself for the moment. You are–to speak the language of today–a magnetic mine, so I can well understand how a man would run straight into it, even if it meant being blown to pieces.

-page 64

Teaser Tuesday: Sylvia’s Lovers

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from Sylvia’s Lovers, by Elizabeth Gaskell, which I am reading for the Classics Circuit.

Sylvia was full of the specksioneer and his stories, when Hepburn came to give her the next lesson.  But the prospect of a little sensible commendation for writing a whole page of flourishing “Abednegos”, had lost the slight charm it had ever possessed.  She was much more inclined to try and elicit some sympathy in her interest in the perils and adventures of the northern seas, than to bend and control her mind to the right formation of letters.

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