Posts Tagged "inspire"

The Secret Lives of Books

Posted by on Nov 30, 2011 in Books | 24 comments

If you love to read, then you know that there are treasures to be found within the pages of books.  Books entertain, inspire, and even change us.

There are so many ways books can leave an imprint, but what about the imprint the reader leaves behind?



Forgotten Bookmarks is a collection of  interesting finds made by the author Michael Popek.

By day, Michael Popek works in his family’s used bookstore. By night, he’s the voyeuristic force behind, where he shares the weird objects he has found among the stacks at his store.

There are actual bookmarks, but there are also pictures and ticket stubs, old recipes and notes, valentines, unsent letters, four-leaf clovers, and various sordid, heartbreaking, and bizarre keepsakes. Together this collection of lost treasures offers a glimpse into other readers’ lives that they never intended for us to see.

The secret lives of books.

But what if the reader could make another mark?  What if you could change your favorite story–would you?

That’s the premise in Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s new book Little Women and Me.

Modern-day teen Emily March turns to Louisa May Alcott’s famous book for a school assignment and finds herself mysteriously transported to the world of Little Women, where she and Alcott’s story both undergo surprising changes.

What would you do if you ended up in your favorite book?  Would you change anything?  How would you leave your mark behind?

***My copy of Little Women and Me is up for grabs this week.  Simply leave a comment below (before 12/9) and you will be entered into the giveaway.***


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It was the Best of First Lines

Posted by on Nov 16, 2011 in Books | 23 comments

reading glasses on book

First impressions can be significant.

That first meeting with someone, your first taste of Brussels sprouts or reading the first line of a book–we get an instant, often lasting, impression.

“A man’s look is the work of years; it is stamped on his countenance by the events of his whole life, nay, more, by the hand of nature, and it is not to be got rid of easily.”  –William Hazlitt

I guess it’s kind of like the imprinting phenomenon for the wolves in the Twilight series, they are forever branded once they experience their love at first sight moment (although when it happens to Jacob in Breaking Dawn, it’s a bit bizarre).


But the best first lines not only impress, they offer a glimpse into the entire story to come.

“The boy who lived.”
–Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone  by J.K. Rowling

“It was a pleasure to burn.”

  –Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

“We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.”

–Feed by M.T. Anderson

“There is no lake at Camp Green Lake.”

–Holes by Louis Sachar


The best first lines make the reader curious, instantly pulling you further into the story.

“It was the day my grandmother exploded.”

–The Crow Road by Iian Banks

“The winds in Washokey make people go crazy.”

–Like Mandarin  by Kirsten Hubbard

“Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.”

–A Tale Dark and Grim by Adam Gidwitz


Sometimes the best first line tells you so much about the main character.

“My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog.”
–Because of Winn Dixie by Kate Dicamillo

“It was fun at first, playing house.”

–Love, Aubrey Suzanne LaFleur


Or they simply inspire.

“So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee.”  

Wintergirls  by Laurie Halse Anderson


First lines are special, crucial to both reader and writer, because they often determine the success of the rest of the story.

“He who therefore fails to please in his salutation and address is at once rejected, and never obtains an opportunity of showing his latest excellences or essential qualities.”–Samuel Johnson

What is your impression on the first line?   Do you have a favorite story opening?


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