I am excited to join the 2011 TBR Challenge. Here are the books I'll be reading.
Mrs. Mike: "The Heartwarming Classic Story of the Boston Girl Who Married A Rugged Canadian Mountie." by Benedict & Nancy Freedman. 1947. 284 pages.
First sentence: The worst winter in fifty years, the old Scotsman had told me. I'd only been around for sixteen, but it was the worst I'd seen, and I was willing to take his word for the other thirty-four.
Tisha. "The Wonderful True Love Story of A Young Teacher in The Alaskan Wilderness." Robert Specht. 1976. 342 pages.
First sentence: Even though it was barely eight o'clock and the sun had just come up, practically the whole town of Eagle had turned out to see the pack train off.
The Sunne in Splendour: "A fascinating portrait of the controversial King Richard III--a monarch betrayed in life by his allies and betrayed in death by history." by Sharon Kay Penman. 1982. 944 pages.
First sentence: Richard did not become frightened until darkness began to settle over the woods.
The Pilgrimage: The Unforgettable SF Masterpiece of the Strangers Among Us: The First Book of The People. Zenna Henderson. 1961. 255 pages.
First sentence: The window of the bus was a dark square against the featureless night.
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. Betty Smith. 1943/2006. Harper. 528 pages.
First sentence: Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York. Especially in the summer of 1912. Somber, as a word, was better. But it did not apply to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Prairie was lovely and Shenandoah had a beautiful sound, but you couldn't fit those words into Brooklyn. Serene was the only word for it; especially on a Saturday afternoon in summer.
The Franchise Affair. Josephine Tey. 1948. 304 pages.
First sentence: It was four o'clock of a spring evening; and Robert Blair was thinking of going home. The office would not shut until five, of course. But when you are the only Blair, of Blair, Hayward, and Bennet, you go home when you think you will. And when your business is mostly wills, conveyancing, and investments your services are in small demand in the late afternoon. And when you live in Milford, where the last post goes out at 3:45, the day loses whatever momentum it ever had long before four o'clock.
A Shilling for Candles. Josephine Tey. 1936. 240 pages.
First sentence: It was a little after seven on a summer morning, and William Potticary was taking his accustomed way over the short down grass of the cliff-top. Beyond his elbow, two hundred feet below, lay the Channel, very still and shining, like a milky opal.
The Story of the Amulet. E. Nesbit. 1906. 228 pages.
First Sentence: There were once four children who spent their summer holidays in a white house, happily situated between a sandpit and a chalkpit.
Enchanted Castle. E. Nesbit. 1907. 304 pages.
First sentence: There were three of them -- Jerry, Jimmy, and Kathleen.
Our Mutual Friend. Charles Dickens. 1864/1865. 880 pages.
First sentence: In these times of ours, though concerning the exact year there is no need to be precise, a boat of dirty and disreputable appearance, with two figures in it, floated on the Thames, between Southwark Bridge which is of iron, and London Bridge which is of stone, as an autumn evening was closing in.
The Woman in White. Wilkie Collins. 1860. 672 pages.
First sentence: This is the story of what a Woman's patience can endure, and what a Man's resolution can achieve.
Framley Parsonage. Anthony Trollope. 1861. 576 pages.
First sentence: When young Mark Robarts was leaving college, his father might well declare that all men began to say all good things to him, and to extol his fortune in that he had a son blessed with so excellent a disposition.
East of Eden. John Steinbeck. 1952/2003. Penguin. 608 pages.
First sentence: The Salinas Valley is in Northern California. It is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay.
Grapes of Wrath. John Steinbeck. 1939. Penguin. 619 pages.
First sentence: To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.
Jubilee. Margaret Walker. 1966. 512 pages.
First sentence: "May Liza, how come you so restless and uneasy? You must be restless in your mind."
"I is. I is. That old screech owl is making me nervous."
To Love and Be Wise. Josephine Tey. 1950. 224 pages.
First sentence: "Grant paused with his foot on the lowest step, and listened to the shrieking from the floor above. As well as the shrieks there was a dull continuous roar; an elemental sound, like a forest fire or a river in spate. As his reluctant legs bore him upwards he arrived at the inevitable deduction: the party was being a success."
Miss Pym Disposes. Josephine Tey. 1946. 240 pages.
First sentence: A bell clanged. Brazen, insistent, maddening. Through the quiet corridors came the din of it, making hideous the peace of the morning.
The Singing Sands. Josephine Tey. 1952. 224 pages.
First sentence: It was six o'clock of a March morning, and still dark. The long train came sidling through the scattered lights of the yard, clicking gently over the points.
Whose Body. Dorothy L. Sayers. 1923. 224 pages.
First sentence: "Oh damn!" said Lord Peter Wimsey at Piccadilly Circus. "Hi, driver!"
Little Dorrit. Charles Dickens. 1855-1857. 1024 pages.
First sentence: Thirty years ago, Marseilles lay burning in the sun, one day.
The Small House at Allington. Anthony Trollope. 1864. 752 pages.
First sentence: Of course there was a Great House at Allington. How otherwise should there have been a Small House? Our story will, as its name imports, have its closest relations with those who lived in the less dignified domicile of the two; but it will have close relations also with the more dignified, and it may be well that I should, in the first instance, say a few words as to the Great House and its owner.
The Last Chronicle of Barset. Anthony Trollope. 1867. 928 pages.
First sentence: 'I can never bring myself to believe it, John,' said Mary Walker, the pretty daughter of Mr. George Walker, attorney of Silverbridge.
Secret Life of Bees. Sue Monk Kidd. 2002. 336 pages.
First sentence: At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.
First sentence: Not long ago in a large university town in California, on a street called Orchard Avenue, a strange old man ran a dusty shabby store.
Neither the 'original' or 'alternate' lists can change after January 1, 2011.
What I read:
January: Whose Body? Dorothy L. Sayers.
February: Mrs. Mike: "The Heartwarming Classic Story of the Boston Girl Who Married A Rugged Canadian Mountie." by Benedict & Nancy Freedman AND Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
March: Framley Parsonage. Anthony Trollope. Little Dorrit. Charles Dickens. Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope.
April: Jubilee by Margaret Walker. The Pilgrimage: The Unforgettable SF Masterpiece of the Strangers Among Us: The First Book of The People. Zenna Henderson.
May: The Last Chronicle of Barset. Anthony Trollope.
July: The Story of the Amulet. E. Nesbit.
August: Grapes of Wrath. John Steinbeck.
October: The Woman in White. Wilkie Collins. 1860. 672 pages.
November: The Sunne in Splendour: "A fascinating portrait of the controversial King Richard III--a monarch betrayed in life by his allies and betrayed in death by history." by Sharon Kay Penman. 1982. 944 pages.
December: A Shilling for Candles. Josephine Tey. 1936. 240 pages.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews