Favourite First Lines

Books have thousands upon thousands of sentences but none are as important as the first few lines to grab the reader’s attention.  As a reader these first lines should entice you, give you a taste for the author’s voice, style and even humour.

Here are some of the books that have made an impression on me within the first few lines:

 Two of my personal faves

 It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate.  Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor. — Deanna Raybourn, Silent in the Grave (2012)

 

 

Short ‘n Sweet 

You are going to die. -- Markus Zusak, The Book Thief (2006).

 In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.J.R.R Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937)

 I’ve been locked up for 264 days. — Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me (2011)

 “To be born again,” sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, “first you have to die.” —Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses (1988)

  

And you can’t forget the classics!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

 Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. — Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (1850)

 “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”  — J.D Salinger, Catcher in the Rye  (1951)

 

Authors have a tall order when it comes to the lines they put on the first page of their books.  But if it’s done well these lines can stay with their readers long after they close the book.  What books have made their mark on you within their first few lines?

– – Laurie P.

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What We’re Reading: Cook Books

Even though we don’t want to admit it the cold weather is upon us.  As the leaves and temperature fall the stress levels concerning what to serve on those hectic weekday family suppers can climb.

 Two kitchen items that this busy mom can’t do without are my slow cooker and bread machine.  They are mighty powerful time saving tools in my culinary arsenal that are easy to use and have saved my sanity many a supper.  With a little prep in the morning you can walk into your house after work with supper ready to serve!  Score one for Mom!

 But first things first.  Finding the right cookbook is important.  Unfortunately cookbooks can be quite costly (especially if you find that a certain cookbook isn’t to your family’s tastes after you’ve purchased it).  This is why coming to WPL to ‘test drive’ various cookbooks is so worthwhile.

 Here are some great slow cooker, bread machine and make-ahead meals cookbooks to make your evenings a little less chaotic so you have more time to enjoy the cool Fall weather.

 

Slow Cooker Cookbooks

 

The New Slow Cooker : Fresh Recipes for the Modern Cook

 

The New Slow Cooker by Taste of Home – This cookbook is filled with beautiful colour pictures for the vast majority of recipes. With helpful tips and ‘tried and true’ recipes from either the ToH test kitchens or home cooks who sent in their favourite recipe this book has a lot to offer.

 Slow Cooker Revolution: One Test Kitchen, 30 Slow Cookers, 200 Amazing Recipes (America’s Test Kitchen) – Lots of recipes, many pictures and easy to find ingredients.  What more could you ask for in a slow cooker recipe?

 Emeril’s Cooking With Power: 100 Delicious Recipes Starring Your Slow Cooker, Multi Cooker, Pressure Cooker and Deep Fryer (Emeril Lagasse)

 The Big Book of Slow Cooker, Casseroles & More (Betty Crocker) 2011

 The Slow Cooker Collection (Elizabeth Baird & the Canadian Living Test Kitchen) 2009

 Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining (Beth Hensperger) 2007

 The Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Over 200 Delicious Recipes (Judith Finlayson) 2010

 Slow-Cooker Quick Fixes: Recipes for Everyday Cover ‘n’ Cook Convenience (editors of Southern Living) 2010

  

Bread Machine Cookbooks

 

 

 

 

 

Bread Machine Bible So many breads, so little time! This book has everything from the basics to dinner rolls, Greek Black Olive Bread to to Rosemary Ciabatta Rolls and Pesto Parmesan Pull-Apart bread and more.  Beautiful pictures are provided to inspire you.

 250 Best Canadian Bread Machine  (Donna Washburn and Heather Butt) 2004

 80 Bread Machine Best-Ever Recipes: Discover the Potential of Your Bread Machine With Step-by-Step Recipes From Around the World (Jennie Shapter) 2011

  

We also have recipe books to inspire you to get ahead of the game and stock your freezer with future meals.

 

Make Ahead Meals

 

 

Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook (Jessica Fisher) 2012

 The Casserole Queens Make-a-Meal Cookbook: Mix and Match 100 Casseroles, Salads, Sides and Desserts (Crystal Cook & Sandy Pollock) 2013

 

 

We invite you to come visit us at WPL and get ahead of the meal planning game by checking out our vast selection of cookbooks! 

 

– – Laurie P.

 

 

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What We’re Reading: World War 1

I have been following with great interest The Record’s series about local men who fought in the First World War (1914-1918).  It’s so sad to think of all those young men who were killed, leaving behind grieving families.  I found myself wanting to read more about the war, which began 100 years ago.  I came across two items at WPL that I would particularly recommend.

The Illustrated History of World War One by Ian Westwell is the kind of book I like. It’s fairly comprehensive and easy to read and has more than 350 maps and photographs. I admit I like photos, they really help me grasp a situation or event.  But while the book does give a good overview of the war, unfortunately Canada is barely mentioned.

This is where I found the July/August edition of Canadian Geographic to be really excellent. Almost the entire magazine is given over to 100 ways in which the war shaped Canada.

The magazine has short as well as longer articles on all sorts of subjects: from the “temporary” introduction of income tax, to the role of women in the war, to the conscription crisis (which bitterly divided English and French Canadians and merited a much longer article, I felt) to Winnie the Pooh. Yes, Winnie the Pooh. If you are unaware of the Canadian World War One soldier/Winnie the Pooh connection, check it out. It’s fascinating.

If you want to look further into this important—and timely—topic, WPL has these and many other items on the First World War.

 

– – Penny D.

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What We’re Reading: Chevy Stevens

Chevy Stevens is a Canadian author living in Vancouver who writes thrillers. She got her start in writing while working as a realtor. You won’t want to sleep with the lights off anymore after reading one of Chevy’s books.

Always Watching

 

Still Missing - Annie O’Sullivan, a 32 year-old realtor is abducted from an open house. Her story weaves together the year she spent in captivity and the horrifying things she had to do to survive with the story of the events following her escape as she tries to piece her life back together.

Never Knowing - All her life Sarah Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. When she finally does locate her birth mother she is met with rejection. When the truth is revealed she learns that her mother is the only victim to ever survive an attack from a serial killer who is still on the loose and hunting women. Even worse, he has now learned that he has a daughter . . .

Always Watching - Dr. Nadine Lavoie works in the lockdown ward at a psychiatric hospital where she helps people come to terms with their past and move forward in their lives. When a suicidal patient reveals her story about living on a remote commune in Vancouver Island Nadine senses many parallels with her own life and must delve deep to find the true story and attempt to put her past to rest.

That Night -

 

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Waterloo Reads

Waterloo Reads 2014_1 Waterloo Reads 2014_2

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Books Made into Movies or TV series

There is no doubt that many books are snatched up by Hollywood in the hopes that they will be the next smash hit.  You only have to think of the mega-blockbusters of the Harry Potter series or True Blood to realize how profitable translating a book onto the big or small screen can be.

But is the movie or TV show as good as the book?  Readers tend to be very protective of their favourite reads when Hollywood gets their hands on them.  Personally, I think that while many movies/TV shows based on books are quite good in their own right, overwhelmingly the books tend to be better.

Here are some books that you can find at WPL that have (or will soon have) on-screen counterparts.  Why not make the best of the rest of the summer and get a head start on reading the books before the movie/TV series comes out?!

 

TV Series:

 

Call The Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Based on the real life of a young midwife in the very tumultuous post-WWI London this series is touching, honest and humourous (thanks to dear Chummy!).  Downton Abbey fans should look into this series!

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (1st season aired on the Space channel and the 2nd season will air in early 2015).  Bitten is the first book in the very popular supernatural series by Canadian author Kelley Armstrong.  The TV version is not only really good in its own right but filmed in Cambridge, Ontario!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (premieres on Showcase August 24, 2014!) – Men in kilts, fight scenes and the swoon worthy love between Claire and Jamie make this miniseries highly anticipated by Outlander fans the world over.  As long as they cast the main characters well I think this could be an amazing TV series.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Harriot

A Game of Thrones series by George R.R Martin

 

Movies:

 

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

This movie did the Herculean feat of putting the epic scope of this large and amazing book into one movie.

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

When a woman goes missing on her 5th anniversary her husband fears there’s more to his wife’s disappearance than he first thought.  Look for this movie in theatres October 3, 2014!

 

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Silver Linings Playbook  by Matthew Quick

Horns  by Joe Hill (release date in theatres October 31, 2014)

 

– – Laurie P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fall 2014 Featured Titles

This fall we invite you to pick up one or more of our Featured Titles, a handpicked selection of the new books you’ll find at the Waterloo Public Library. From new literary legal fiction to historical fiction, and memoir to family cooking, we think our line-up of Fall Featured Titles offers something for everyone.

Fall 2014 Featured Titles_1

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What We’re Reading: In the Mood for some YA melodrama

Every once in awhile I go through a phase of wanting to read young adult books.  Maybe its because they are predictable. Maybe its the innocence of young love. I don’t know. But, I’m going through one of those phases now . . .

 

 

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Hazel and Augustus meet at a Cancer Kid’s support group meeting. Isn’t young love filled with enough anguish? Apparently not. Throw some cancer into the mix. The dialogue is smart and the characters believable. I might have cried a little.

 

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Lucy and Owen meet in an elevator during a New York City blackout. They spend a magical night wandering around a darkened city. The next day the power is back on and they both return to the reality of their own worlds. But the pull of attraction compels them to keep in touch with one another as circumstances take them to different ends of the world. It is anyone’s guess whether they will reunite.

 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

1986 Omaha. Eleanor is the new girl in town. Her bright red hair and wardrobe choices scream misfit. Although Park is from town he too feels like a misfit. They sit beside each other on the bus every day with careful indifference. Until.  They gradually bond over a shared love of music and comics. Soon they are inseparable. When Eleanor’s unstable home life gives way she must leave Park behind and move.  Can their love last?

 

If I Stay by G. Forman

Mia is seventeen years old and an accomplished cello player. She has applied to Julliard and is reasonably sure she will get accepted. Her boyfriend is a musician as well and is lead vocalist in a band. Life is good. One snowy day she is in the car with her parents and younger brother going to visit friends when the car is in an accident. She has no memory of the accident but watches as her body is removed from the wreckage.  She has a choice to make.  Note: Have a box of Kleenex nearby as you read this!

 

– – Christine B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What We’re Reading: Bird Box

Bird Box by Joshn Malerman

I’m not a big fan of horror, so I was a bit afraid to read this book. But I’d read a review somewhere and because it sounded interesting, I decided to try it. The novel opens with sisters Malorie and Shannon facing an uncertain future. Frightening things are happening around the world and getting geographically closer to where the sisters live. People are killing others and themselves in horrifically violent ways, with no apparent provocation. It seems related to something they’ve seen, but no one can say what that ‘something’ is. Those who remain alive start covering the windows of their homes and staying behind closed doors as much as possible. If they go out, they cover their eyes so as not to see anything provocative. When something happens to Shannon, the pregnant Malorie decides that she can’t go it alone. Led by an old advertisement, she seeks out a home that’s supposed to offer safety and sanctuary to any who want it. There she meets a small group of people trying to survive in this strange new world. They work and brainstorm together, but like any family, they have their issues. Don, in particular, has ideas that frequently clash with the others’.

Follow the characters as they face a terrifying new reality. Can anyone be trusted? Is it possible to be safe? Can people live a normal life again?

Although horrifying things happen in the book, my fear of reading a ‘horror’ was unfounded. I’d rather call this a novel of suspense, or an apocalyptic novel. There was certainly high tension on every page and you care about the characters and what  happens to them. Very well written; an excellent read for anyone, but especially for those who enjoy horror and suspense.

– – Susan B.

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What We’re Watching: A Hard Day’s Night

A Hard Day’s Night (DVD) starring The Beatles

Wow, it’s been 50 years since the release of the first– and best– Beatle film (July, 1964).

The Fab Four could so easily have made a lousy film and it wouldn’t have mattered–the fans would have flocked to the movie theatres anyway.

Instead they made a film that stands up, one that is as fresh and captivating as the day it was released. I defy anyone, Beatle fan or not, to watch “A Hard Day’s Night” and NOT get swept up and carried away by its sheer joyfulness, high spirits and cheeky humour. Not to mention the incomparable music of the incomparable Beatles.

The movie is basically two days in the lives of The Beatles. A couple of scenes epitomize the whole movie for me. The first is the opening, in which the group are chased by screaming fans through the London streets as they struggle to catch a train (to the music of that great title song). The other unforgettable scene is where John, Paul, George and Ringo break out of the TV studio and run about and cavort in an empty field (to the song “Can’t Buy Me Love”). I also love the John-in-the-bathtub scene.

So I would recommend you take a look at this film, whether you have seen it many times or not at all, whether you are a Beatle fan or not. A splendid time is guaranteed for all (Beatle allusion, see Sgt. Pepper LP).

Penny D.

 

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