It is my literary duty to bring the top books read of this year to the
forefront and highlight my favorites. Please note that my list is purely
my opinion. It is not influenced by authors, other readers, other
bloggers, or publishers that may have provided free or advance copies in
exchange for an honest review. For your convenience, my original
reviews of the Top 13 Books of 2013 are available by clicking the book title.
First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
Grab your current read(s).
Share the first line(s).
Include the title and author.
13. "Honest Toddler. Not potty trained, not trying." ~ The Honest Toddler by Bunmi Laditan
12. "I sat in the back pew and watched the only woman I would ever love marry another man." ~ Six Years by Harlan Coben
11. "They found Seth Hubbard in the general area where he had promised to be, though not exactly in the condition expected. He was at the end of a rope, six feet off the ground and twisting slightly in the wind." ~ Sycamore Row by John Grisham
10. "Delicious political intrigue, shocking twists, oh-so-chic clothes, and the hottest White House affair since Marilyn sang for JFK—That's why viewers are electing Scandal their new TV (and Twitter) obsession." ~ Crazy in Love with Scandal in Entertainment Weekly
9. "Young people! With their hurrying and their worrying and their wanting all the answers now." ~ Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
8. "I acted hateful to Dorrie the first time we met, a decade or so ago. A person gets up in years and she forgets to use her filters. Or she's beyond caring." ~ Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler
7. "The bedroom is strange. Unfamiliar. I don't know where I am, how I came to be here. I don't know how I'm going to get home." ~ Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson
6. "Two dead men changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue." ~ W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton
5. "Billie's orgasm tore through her like a lightning bolt." ~ Destiny's Surrender by Beverly Jenkins
4. "Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death." ~ The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
3. "I held his lingam, suckled the part called the meatus. The glans. Licked his foreskin." ~ Decadence by Eric Jerome Dickey
2. "Well, I guess what the niggers is supposed to be doing is putting themselves in the path of that old sweet chariot and have it swing down and carry us home." ~ Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems by James Baldwin
1. "Frequently, I have been asked how I got to be this way. How did I, born black in a white country, poor in a society where wealth is adored and sought after at all costs, female in an environment where only large ships and some engines are described favorably by using the female pronoun—how did I get to be Maya Angelou?" ~ Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
"Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus: We hope for better things; it shall rise from the ashes." ~ City of Detroit Motto
"No one cared much about Detroit until the Dow collapsed in 2008, the economy melted down and the chief executives of the Big Three went to Washington, D.C., to grovel. Detroit became epic, historic, symbolic, hip even." ~ pg. 13
Once the richest city in America, Detroit is now the nation's poorest and recently filed for bankruptcy. To outsiders, Detroit is well known as Motown and The Motor City. Great musicians began careers here. Installment purchasing (car loans and leasing) was invented here in 1919 by General Motors. Now the foreclosure, unemployment and illiteracy rates are among the highest of big cities.
"Go ahead and laugh at Detroit. Because you are laughing at yourself." ~ pg. 15
After leaving the city two decades ago, journalist Charlie LeDuff returns home to research the city that he once knew through interviews with politicians, struggling homeowners, factory workers, homeless squatters and union heads. He doesn't simply report their answers but instead let the people tell of experiences by using their own words. LeDuff also shares his own experiences.
"At the end of the day, the Detroiter may be the most important American there is because no one knows better than he that we're all standing at the edge of the shaft." ~ pg. 16
As Charlie LeDuff writes in his Acknowledgements, "Corn does not grow alone. And books do not write themselves." I am Detroiter and thank LeDuff for writing this book of reportage about our proud city. He earned credibility in the first chapter when he correctly pronounced Gratiot "Gra-shit." I instantly thought, oh, this man knows his stuff. LeDuff is not some random author that wrote about a city he only read about in news. He actually lived here, reports the news here on Fox 2; Detroit is his home. He is not sugarcoating its history or its current status. Detroit: An American Autopsy is recommended to all: Detroiters, suburbanites, urban city residents, geography and history buffs. It is not a feel good, happy go lucky book. It tells the true unbiased story of a strong nation.
UK is my hometown glory but I live in the US. The US vs. UK bookish
meme compares book covers published in the two countries.
Today's first comparison is The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. The US cover is too plain. It shows a red balloon floating in the clouds. The UK cover shows a manicured hand holding a jar. In the jar is a flying pink butterfly. There is no question as to which cover I like better: UK wins!
Total: US 22, UK 21
Today's second comparison is The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith. The US cover shows a woman facing a crowd, possibly paparazzi. There are cameras flashing. The title is scrawled across the cover in white cursive font. The UK cover shows a man in a trench coat walking across a bridge. The title is in white block font. It has a London mysterious look that is far more eye-catching. I am ending this year on a tie with the US vs. UK meme.