First Lines Friday | July 17

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? You can view Wandering Words’ post here.

If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

‘Esther’s hand raced over the paper as if the colored pencils might be snatched from her, the quivering inside her wild, foreign, thrilling. All this time she hadn’t known that ‘blue’ was actually seven distinct shades, each with their own name…’


Any guesses?



Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner

I read this for my local library’s book club last year, and I thought it was pretty good, Esther had a complicated life!

Synopsis

In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah’s arrival. While the feisty Esther Kaminsky understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris and to believe that God has a special destiny for her. When tragedy strikes her family, Esther views it as a warning from an angry God and suppresses her desires in order to become an obedient “Jerusalem maiden.”

But when a surprising opportunity forces itself on to her preordained path, Esther finds her beliefs clashing dangerously with the passions she has staved off her entire life forcing her to confront the most difficult and damning question of all. To whom must she be true, God or herself?


What do you think of Jerusalem Maiden? Feel free to share in the comments!


Love and Light, Cathleen

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Friday Reads: April 10

I’m about halfway through Lobizona by Romina Garber. I’m just swept away by the reality of the Miami, Florida setting and the Argentinian folklore woven into the story. I’m sure it’s going to be quite a ride once things pick up!

I did discover one thing that I’m not too thrilled about…nothing story related, but the face that the publication date is pushed back to August. I should have expected it, considering the pandemic we’re all experiencing has caused delays and postponements all around. I was surprised about the news, but I can wait. It will just build up the excitement!

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Friday Reads (and talks with loved ones): April 3

This week I’m reading ‘Get a Life, Chloe Brown’ by Talia Hibbert. So far I’m really liking it. I didn’t expect for the book to be so humorous! The chemistry between Chloe and her family (most especially the handyman) is very vibrant!

Throughout all the craziness of working remotely, and establishing a new work/life routine while we all handle isolation, I’m trying to remind myself to stay calm. I’ve learned to maintain watching news coverage at a minimum–about 45 minutes tops. Anything above that and I get depressed, and very stressed out. I check in on friends and family regularly, and pray that they stay safe and healthy.

I came across this poster on Google, and I wanted to share it with you all:

Hopefully those better days will come soon!

Friday Reads: February 28

I’m reading two books this week. I’m nearly finished with ‘The Other People’ by C.J. Tudor. I’m enjoying the twists and turns this story has taken me on! I’m anticipating the wrap up video Kayla (@booksandlala) will present next month about the book!

Today I begun reading ‘We Ride Upon Sticks’ by Quan Barry. I received a complimentary copy of the book from Pantheon Books. So far I enjoy the mini history of Salem, MA, and its significance for the women’s hockey team in this tale. I hope to have my review up by Tuesday!

Friday Reads: February 21

I’m currently reading ‘The Other People’ by C.J. Tudor. So far I’m really liking the creepy feels to the story, but I’m sensing that I have a feeling about a certain plot point. It may just be that the author is just tricking me into predicting one thing about the tale, when the truth is quite different.

I’ve also listened to some audiobooks this week. It’s been quite helpful in finishing up a story for book club in time. Another book I own is ‘The Women of Brewster Place’, and I learned that it was a 3 hour read on Audible. So I listened to it in one sitting! I would never have gotten to it by this month since I’m still reading C.J. Tudor’s book!

Friday Reads: February 14

This week I finished reading two books!

I read The Light We Lost on by Jill Santopolo. I purchased this book through Audible. This is a love story set in New York City. I’m always drawn to books set in New York, and it was fun to recall certain landmarks like Columbia University (I used to work by Columbia for a few years). I found the characters to be very self-absorbed, I enjoyed reading the story.

I also read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I alternated reading this story through physical copy and audiobook (also purchased through Audible). This story is a coming of age novel filled with characters struggling to understand each other despite racial and cultural differences. I will post a review for this book shortly!

Friday Reads: February 7

I’m currently reading ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ by Celeste Ng. It’s interesting how the neighborhood of Shaker Heights is set up. It seems like the community reflects some diversity, which I really appreciate. I recall the leader of the book club I attend mention that there are many topics for discussion in this book, and I definitely agree!

Friday Reads: January 24

I’m about 40 percent into ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern. I find it very curious that each chapter does a time jump. Considering that the book only focuses on a small cast of characters, the time jump holds some significance in the story. I also love the circus setting, and the thread of Celia and her lineage.

I have memories of an old relationship, in which this other person had a fascination with magicians. He would watch films and television shows that featured magicians highlighting their craft. Although that relationship ended a few years ago, I’m glad that those past experiences didn’t dull my interest in magic!

Bookish Thoughts: January 17

Last night I took part in the Book Club run by one of my local libraries. We took time to share our thoughts about Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. There was a small turnout, but an engaging conversation was shared about the predicament of the Osage Indian nation. We all agreed that there was rampant distrust throughout the entire situation.

After the book club finished, we discussed future ideas for books to read. I expressed interest in reading Pachinko by Min Lee. There is a lot of buzz for this book, and it’s always intrigued me. For now, we made a tentative plan to read it in March, but that may change once the other members return next month. I enjoy taking part in the Book Club a great deal, so I’ll agree to whatever selection the group decides on!

Friday Reads: January 10

I’m currently reading Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. It’s a non-fiction story about members of the Osage Indian nation being killed through mysterious causes. I’m reading this story as part of a book club selection at my local library.

I’m learning about the history of the Osage tribe losing their land forcefully through the US government, yet discover a loophole through an allotment deal. This method finds a stipulation where the Osage could have land leased to companies interested in mining their land for a rich resource: oil.

I’m curious in seeing how these discoveries lead to more efficient methods in solving homicide cases among the Osage Nation as the book progresses.