Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Intro: Without Reservations



Dear Alice, 
Each morning I am awakened by the sound of a tinkling bell. A cheerful sound, it reminds me of the bells that shopkeepers attach to their doors at Christmastime. In this case, the bell marks the opening of the hotel door. From my room, which is just off the winding staircase, I can hear it clearly. It reminds me of the bell that calls to worship the novice embarking on a new life. In a way I too am a novice, leaving, temporarily, one life for another. 
Love, Alice

Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman
by Alice Steinbach

Pulitzer prize winning journalist Alice Steinbach, trying to discover who she is when removed from work and family roles, takes a sabbatical to travel the world on her own. During the 1993 journey, she writes numerous postcards to herself which will later serve to jog her memory as she documents the journey.

This book was recommended by a book club friend and, after just 60 pages, I am enjoying it immensely. What do you think of the opening?

Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening paragraph(s). Feel free to grab the banner and play along.



27 comments:

  1. The opening sounds wonderful! This book pops up every once in a while at the used book stores around here. I've picked it up a couple of times but have yet to bring it home with me. I don't know why - it sounds like just the kind of book I would like. Next time, though. Next time.

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    1. Trish - I'd never heard of this book before my friend mentioned it, but I'm so glad she did! Think I'm going to love this one.

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  2. I might not have picked up the book off the shelf, the cover doesn't grab me, but the intro you wrote certainly piqued my interest. This one will go on my TBR list too.

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    1. Grammajudyb - You're right. The cover isn't especially attractive, but I sure am enjoying the book!

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  3. That is a very interesting opening paragraph. It's new to me and I'd like to know more.

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    1. BookPlease - This is a new author to me, too. Have a feeling I'll want to read more of her...

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  4. I read this in 2004 when I traveled alone across Europe (perfect, right?) and utterly adored it. I've been meaning to re-read it, and dip into her other work. I have Educating Alice on my to be read soon pile. Enjoy!

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    1. Nomadreader - How perfect! I have a feeling I'll be reading more of Steinbach...

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  5. Oh, I love the excerpt...and the idea of a traveler writing postcards to herself. Wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing, and here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - This is a wonderful book! I'm so glad my friend mentioned it. It seems like I'm the last one to know about this author.

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  6. Alice Steinbach is one of my favourite authors. She only wrote three books, this one and a sequel where you get to hear more about the Japanese lover. She also did another that are more essays/short story types. My mother and I still discuss her. Sadly she died a couple of years back and there will be no more from her. I loved the way she wrote of her experiences w/out dragging the reader down with the reasons why she was single again and rediscovering life.

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    1. Pam - I already want to read more by Steinbach, but your comment has intrigued me. Now I want to know more about her life, too.

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    2. I didn't know she'd passed away. :-(

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  7. I don't know why, but from the cover and the letter, I pictured something from the 1800s. Then you said 1990s and I was surprised. I'm sure I'd like this because I love travel and independent women. Here’s mine

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    1. Paulita - I can see how the cover/writing would give that impression, but it's very much a late 20th century book... and a very enjoyable one at that!

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  8. I love this intro- read this quite a while ago, enjoy

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    1. Diane - Seems like everyone was familiar with this author except me!

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  9. I like the idea of writing down what happened throughout the day when on vacation. I'd keep reading.

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    1. Nise' - It's really very good so far.

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  10. I like the first paragraph but I really like the idea of the book. Yes, I'd love to read this book.

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    1. Margot - The idea sold me, too... and the writing is proving to be a big plus.

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  11. I like that opening, even though I didn't notice it was her writing to herself until you explained it.

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    1. Carol - I think that's a great idea to help remember a trip!

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  12. I loved her book, Educating Alice, and this sounds an equally delicious mix of memoir and creative writing. I didn't realise she had another book out though so thanks for the heads up. :)

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    1. Alex in Leeds - I have added Educating Alice to my wish list... just know I'm going to want to read more by Steinbach.

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  13. I actually liked this intro. Could you imagine being able to do something like this???

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    1. Staci - I can't imagine being able to do this... but it sure is fun to try!

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