Thursday, November 29, 2007

You Had Me At Hello

I tend to be a quick judge when it comes to picking out books. I'll scan the shelves, looking for something that catches my eye, with either an interesting cover or title. Then I'll pick it up and see how it feels. I know. That's not really important, right? How a book feels in your hands? But it kind of is. Some older books have a typeface that's hard to read, or the book is too narrow and has those not-quite-paperback-weird-cardboardy kind of covers. Finally, I'll read the first page. If nothing grabs me and makes me want to turn the page, then back on the shelf it goes. I know a book's going to be good when I can read the first 5 or 6 pages in one breath.

So today I was pleased to find 5 books at the library that piqued my interest. Each had something on the first page that drew me in.

~ "I'm thinking about starting an all-girl band," Meg says to me as she flips through an old People magazine, stopping at a large photo spread of a popular boy band. "'N Secure. What do you think?" from Still Life With Husband

~ "When the Hiroshima Project was long over and all the dust had settled, Daisy discovered that she could close her eyes anywhere, in a crowded room or doing the dishes, and see the girl getting off the plane...The press seized upon the name Hiroshima Maiden - such an odd way to describe an A-bomb survivor: as though Keiko might have stepped out of an Arthurian legend, wearing a cone-shaped princess hat; as though being ravaged by the bomb might have transformed the girl, giving her, along with a history of suffering, some fairy-tale virtues." from Radiance.

~ "He was known primarily for his marrows. This made him a figure of considerable suspicion to the ladies of the Horticultural Society, who, until his arrival on the scene, had vied quite happily amongst themselves for the most coveted award in the vegetable class at their annual show." from The Savage Garden

~ "Long before his chance encounter with its owner in the 600 section of the university library, Gray knew the Queen Anne at 25 University Avenue as the house that changes colors. The siding is a peculiar shade of yellow that turns a dusty sap-green under the light of the streetlamp. The house is yellow in the morning on his way to campus and green on his walk home." from Mary Modern

~ "Who shall I be today? Guy smiled at the landlady as she proffered a ballpoint pen with a bitten top. Her hands were chapped, her pink nail varnish flaking. He reached inside his suede jacket. 'Thanks, but I always write with my own fountain pen." from The Arsenic Labyrinth

Of course, there's no way I'll finish all these books in 3 weeks, so the secondary sort will come when I have to decide which ones to return. I'll keep you posted.

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