Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Winner of the National Book Award is...

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell. I won't lie and say it was my first choice among the five. (It would make my top three of the five.) But it was a book I enjoyed reading. And it does have a great hook:

The match snapped, then sizzled, and I woke up fast. I heard my mother inhale as she took a long pull on a cigarette. Her lips stuck on the filter, so I knew she was still wearing lipstick. She'd been up all night.
She lay on the bed next to me. I felt her fingers on my hair and I kept sleep-breathing. I risked a look under my eyelashes.
She was in her pink nightgown, ankles crossed, head flung back against the pillows. Arm in the air, elbow bent, cigarette glowing in her fingers. Tanned legs glistening in the darkness. Blond hair tumbling past her shoulders.
I breathed in smoke and My Sin perfume. It was her smell. It filled the air.
I didn't move, but I could tell she knew I was awake. I kept on pretending to be asleep. She pretended not to know. (1)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Debi said...

I don't recall ever hearing of that book, but you're right...what a beginning! Based on that alone, I think it's going straight to the wish list.

Anonymous said...

This book looks so adult, like film noir or something. Winchester and I are gobsmacked at how many books you read, Becky! The Writer reads maybe two pages a night then she's out.

*We'll be posting on our choice of the NBA tomorrow!*

Eva M said...

Well phooey, I still haven't gotten to that one yet (my library system just got it in). I'm always behind with this stuff...!

Gwendolyn B. said...

I read this book recently and absolutely loved it. Definitely one of my favorites of the year. If you haven't read it, get to it!!

Melissa said...

Hmmm. Interesting.But then, the National Book Award doesn't always do what you want it to, does it?

Becky said...

No, Melissa :) They don't. I did enjoy this one. But I guess I'd just fallen so very much in love with one or two of the other finalists that I wanted one of them to win.

If I were judging a book solely on the cover. Of the five books, this is DEFINITELY the one I'd choose.

And if I were judging a book on its first sentence or first paragraph...this one would almost immediately get my vote. (Though Disreputable History has an awfully great hook too.)

I think the appeal is here with this one. While it's historical fiction, it doesn't require much of a stretch. Chains is GREAT. Awesome even, but it does have complex vocabulary and the style isn't as user-friendly perhaps.