Monday, October 3, 2011

Great Beginnings

What catches your attention when you're browsing through the local bookstore? A trendy cover? A kiosk display? I confess, I'm a sucker for both of those. But for me, the bottom line is always the book itself. Story concept and execution are what get me to buy books.

So, I thought I'd just share some first passages from books that I loved.

From The Black Echo by Michael Connelly:

"The boy couldn't see in the dark, but he didn't need to. Experience and long practice told him it was good. Nice and even. Smooth strokes, moving his whole arm while gently rolling his wrist. Keep the marble moving. No runs. Beautiful."

From The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:

"When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim's warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the reaping."

From This Glittering World by T. Greenwood:

"Winter came early to Flagstaff that year. Ben hadn't split the firewood that lay in a cluttered heap in the driveway. He hadn't cleaned out the chimney or brought salt to melt the snow from the sidewalk in front of the house. Sara hadn't gotten the winter coats out of storage, hadn't taken down the artificial spiderwebs and plastic decals she'd hung in the windows for Halloween. the harvest dummy sat ill-prepared and coatless on the porch. The jack-o-lanterns hadn't even started to bruise and rot when the first storm brought twelve inches of snow. They weren't prepared."

From Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell:

"Red Dolly stood at break of day on her cold front steps and smelled coming flurries and saw meat. Meat hung from trees across the creek. The carcasses hung pale of flesh with a fatty gleam from low limbs of saplings in the side yards. Three halt haggard houses formed a kneeling rank on the far creekside and each had two or more skinned torsos dangling by rope from sagged limbs, venison left to the weather for two nights and three days so the early blossoming of decay might round the flavor."

What about you? What gets you to pick and read/buy a book?


  1. I get drawn in by the cover first. If the back blurb sounds good I'm then sold. Although once in a while a cover is so cool I just buy the book even if the back blurb isn't that great.

  2. Hi Merrie, have to say that I can't pass a kiosk of books without perusing them. I'll say that first an author's name grabs me but if the cover of an author's book intrigues me, I'll pick it up. I read that inset or back cover - that's what hooks me. I have such a varied taste in reading that I'm constantly being turned onto someone new. Currently reading, and behind in it, THE PRESIDENT'S VAMPIRE by Christopher Farnsworth - awesome! Happy Reading and Writing!

  3. Sullivan, I LOVE a good cover! Although, I know I've given in and bought a few books based on the cover alone and ended not reading them. In fact, I've stopped reading some pretty awesome books, sometimes because I got too busy. (Must find that pile of unread books...)

  4. Amy, Great point. Good display in a bookstore often draws me to a new author. The President's Vampire sounds interesting! I'll have to check it out.

  5. Merrie, Christopher Farnsworth is a screenwriter who has written 2 novels, BLOOD OATH and THE PRESIDENT'S VAMPIRE, both feature a vampire named Nathaniel Cade who acts an agent of the sitting President. Haven't read BLOOD OATH yet, hubby's reading that one (of course, we're both backwards as BLOOD was first) but TPV is fast moving and has more than a vampire in it. : ) BTW, BLOOD OATH is in the works to become a movie and there's a 3rd Cade book coming next year, hopefully, RED, WHITE, AND BLOOD. : )