July 1, 2014

An Invitation to Read

Missy Wick, Straw Dog Blog Editor

They say that you can’t tell a book by its cover, but the first words can make or break the relationship.  “How can the writer,” asks author Stephen King, “extend an appealing invitation — one that’s difficult, even, to refuse?”*  Here are some answers – first lines – from authors I plan to spend time with this summer.  I look forward to their company. 


Archangel by Andrea Barrett

Early that June, Constantine Boyd left Detroit with his usual trunk but got on a train headed east instead of west. 


All the Land to Hold Us by Rick Bass

He was not the first seeker of treasure upon the landscape, was instead but one more in the continuum of a story begun long ago by greater desires than even his own.


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

At dusk they pour from the sky.


Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

In winter, when the green earth lies resting beneath a blanket of snow, this is the time for storytelling. 


The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall

Human life is so bound up in stories that we are thoroughly desensitized to their weird and witchy power.


Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin

The sky had lifted at least thirty feet.


One Man’s Meat by E.B. White

Several months ago, finding myself in possession of one hundred and seventeen chairs divided about evenly between a city house and a country house, and desiring to simplify my life, I sold half of my worldly goods, evacuated the city house, gave up my employment, and came to live in New England.  


* Why Stephen King Spends ‘Months and Even Years’  Writing Opening Sentences



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