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Author: Subject: Favorite Book-First Chapter-Paragraph

World Class Peach





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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 09:55 PM
I have always read. Books, magazines, cereal boxes,bumper stickers. It didn't matter, if someone thought enough about something to write it down- I read it. Didn't make me smart or well-read, but it did allow me to connect the dots. My bookcases overflow, some books I will never get around to reading; others I can never part with.

So.... what is your favorite book? The book you hated to see end, the one you pull off the shelf to re-read over and over. For me it is Les Misarables by Victor Hugo. Not the short version meant for a play, but the 1200 page opus that has hundreds of stories going on all at once....a 100 page explaination of the Battle of Waterloo that has nothing really to do with the story occurs in the middle! I loved this book and was sorry to see it end.

The first chapter of Thomas Hardy's The Mayor Of Casterbridge to me is the most perfect first chapter ever written in fiction. I challenge any lover of novels to read it and then turn away from the book, never to pick it up again. It is perfect.

The first paragraph of David Bradley's The Chaneysville Incident has always stayed with me. I can read it over and over.

One of the books that I want to read before I die is Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. I have started and stopped it a half dozen times. The final chapter of Conrad's Youth has also been a favorite. I feel that At The Hands Of Persons Unknown by Phillip Dray should be required reading in high school.

Anyone have a personal favorite? book/chapter/paragraph?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 10:13 PM
"It was love at first site. "

Joseph Helller's "Catch-22"

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 10:58 PM
The opening to Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy has a special place in my heart...

"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea."

Kind of puts it all into perspective, doesn't it?

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/16/2010 at 11:17 PM
I rather like the 1997 winner.

http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/lyttony.htm

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 05:36 AM
"A screaming came across the sky."

Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 05:36 AM
quote:
I rather like the 1997 winner.

http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/lyttony.htm


I have that site bookmarked and go to it each July.

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 06:44 AM
"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

Opening to Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 09:08 AM
from "The Body" (aka Stand By Me) by Stephen King

The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them – words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than the living size then they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
– Stephen King

That has always been my favorite- it's so true
When someone asks me why I like music so much or what does music do for yiou, this is about the only answer I can think of.

 

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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 09:29 AM
quote:
I rather like the 1997 winner.

http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/lyttony.htm


Great stuff on that page! - I have a question: What *is* it? Is the Award for "one sentence only", or are these excerpts (or the first line) from whole novels?

thanks!

P.S. Good topic! OP ... think I'll take a look at my bookshelf and see what's there.

[Edited on 3/17/2010 by Rob_in_NC]

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 10:57 AM
"We were somewhere out of Barstow when the drugs began to take hold..."
-Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

As for books that are my faves, they run rather strange:

Sometimes a Great Notion by Kesey is at the top of the list and why I moved to Oregon
Six Out Seven by Jess Mowry is the best urban street book ever written
White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty is one of the funniest street books
The Willow Tree by Hubert Selby, Jr. is his best and most powerful
Confessions of a Raving Nut by Paul Krassner is perhaps the funniest book
Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore is just plain loony (Lamb as well)
Cadillac Ranch by Tim Dorsey is the one book they need to make into a movie asap. A laugh out loud riot and better than anything Hiaasen will ever do.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 11:04 AM
Don't know if this qualifies, but nothing ever gripped my soul like the intro to No Saints, No Saviors. Written by Elizabeth (Pastdreams). Thank you, Lizzy.
 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 11:26 AM
quote:
quote:
I rather like the 1997 winner.

http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/lyttony.htm


Great stuff on that page! - I have a question: What *is* it? Is the Award for "one sentence only", or are these excerpts (or the first line) from whole novels?

thanks!

P.S. Good topic! OP ... think I'll take a look at my bookshelf and see what's there.

[Edited on 3/17/2010 by Rob_in_NC]


Although Sir Bulwar Litton gave us the quote 'The Pen is mightier than the sword', he's also noted for being a very 'dry' writer and was the author who came up with the opening sentence that began...'It was a dark and stormy night.....' Every year there is a contest to see who can write the worst opening sentence to a story and the link is to the winners.

About thirty years ago I was in a junk shop and found a novel by Sir Litton that I wanted to buy. The center of the book was cut out as a place to store valuables which was usually done in books that absolutely no one would ever select to read. It made the book much more appealing to me for it to be that way but I almost had to fight the owner to buy it. He was apalled at the condition and wanted to throw it away. I think I got it for a quarter and it's one of my prized posessions that makes me laugh every time I see it.

As for books that I've read over and over.....A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich is the one dear to my heart.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 12:14 PM
quote:


Although Sir Bulwar Litton gave us the quote 'The Pen is mightier than the sword', he's also noted for being a very 'dry' writer and was the author who came up with the opening sentence that began...'It was a dark and stormy night.....' Every year there is a contest to see who can write the worst opening sentence to a story and the link is to the winners.



Ah, got it! Thanks Ann. I do believe the Car Talk guys have talked about this contest.

I was curious whether they were purposefully written to be ..... like they are -- I get it
.......................

Also, I totally agree about the Thomas Hardy!

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 12:17 PM
I don't read much fiction anymore, but my favorites from when I did were Steinbeck's Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday.

My favorite first chapter is actually the prologue of Don DeLillo's Underworld, a 50 page fictional account of Bobby Thomson's shot heard 'round the world through the eye's of a boy who skipped school, snuck into the game, and ended up with the famous ball.

[Edited on 3/17/2010 by bob1954]

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 12:19 PM
I guess "The Great Gatsby" would seem like a pedestrian choice, but that book just slays me and keeps on slaying me when some other books don't always hold up to repeated readings. While its opening paragraph is wonderful, the last page always gives me chills:

Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes—a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.


 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 08:58 PM
lots of great stuff here!

Many of these older books can be read and downloaded for free on-line at sites such as Classic Reader. http://www.classicreader.com/ They have 3761 book titles and counting. There are many other websites such as Yale's http://oyc.yale.edu/courses offers free on-line college lectures. I'm taking one now on the Civil War. The web-site http://www.archive.org/ offers Grateful Dead shows, books, magazines, photos.

Download a few pages of a book, read it on your lunch break, re-cycle the paper. No book to lug around.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 09:53 PM
It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realized, somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn't sound like much, I know. But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when it's all you've got, that freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice you make, between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.

Gregory David Roberts
"Shantaram"

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/17/2010 at 10:38 PM
I'd say my fav. book....if i can only pick one.....is "Lamb" by Christopher Moore.....if were to pick Two,my other fav. is "Slaughterhouse 5" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 3/18/2010 at 12:01 AM
Most dragging or binding of overhead garage doors can be traced to improper track alignment or lack of lubrication. the vertical tracks must be plumb and the two curbed sections at the same height. Track mounting brackets have slots for adjustment, made by loosening the screws or lag bolts.
 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 3/18/2010 at 06:13 AM
quote:
quote:
"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

Opening to Stephen King's Dark Tower series.


Also the last line of the 7th book. But I agree that it is a great opener of a great series.


Otie, you damn spoiler!!!!

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 3/18/2010 at 06:53 AM
Good call on Slaughterhouse 5!

"Listen. Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time."

I haven't read that book in years, but I still remember the opening.

 
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  posted on 3/18/2010 at 07:54 AM
Chapter One
INTO THE PRIMATIVE

Old longings nomadic leap,
Chafing at custom's chain:
Again from it's brumal sleep
Wakens the ferine strain

"CALL OF THE WILD"

[Edited on 3/18/2010 by SpyNet]

 

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  posted on 3/18/2010 at 07:55 AM
Mother's Night by Vonegut.
 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 3/18/2010 at 11:07 AM
quote:
Most dragging or binding of overhead garage doors can be traced to improper track alignment or lack of lubrication. the vertical tracks must be plumb and the two curbed sections at the same height. Track mounting brackets have slots for adjustment, made by loosening the screws or lag bolts.


man, that is over my head.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 3/18/2010 at 01:26 PM
"I bought Mother a new car. It damned near killed Aunt Louise. Those two have been fighting like banty roosters since 1905, the year Mom was born. The first big blowup that both recall involved a multi-colored hair ribbon, 1909. Juts (Mom) says Celeste Chalfonte gave it to her because she was such a pretty, sweet little darling. This made Louise jealous. Things have been sliding downhill between them ever since."

Six of One

Rita Mae Brown

1978

Hilarious, moving, informative...always laugh 'til I cry and always want to be friends with these characters!

 

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By my calculation, there's nothing else I need to know. Turn off the street lights, Baby, I've seen it all. - Randall Bramblett

 
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