Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Intro: My Brilliant Friend

This could be it - the slump of a lifetime. I've sampled the first chapter of countless books over the past couple of weeks and can't seem to stick with anything. Writing a blog post seems just as futile.

For a while, I thought I'd settled on Winter of the World by Ken Follett, but my hardcover edition is just too heavy to read comfortably. I've added my name to the library hold list for a digital copy, but may purchase my own if the wait is too long.

Today I'm trying out:


Eliminating All the Traces
1.
This morning Rino telephoned. I thought he wanted money again and I was ready to day no. But that was not the reason for the phone call: his mother was gone.
"Since when?"
"Since two tweaks ago."
"And you're calling me now?"
My Brilliant Friend
by Elena Ferrante

This novel is the first of Ferrante's popular Neapolitan Novels and the first few chapters are promising. Here is the goodreads summary:
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. 
The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila.
What do you think of the opening? Would you keep reading?


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. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

42 comments:

  1. This is a new-to-me author and book that I think I'd enjoy. Hope you like it.

    My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/02/first-chapter-first-paragraph-95.html

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    1. Catherine - It's very promising so far.

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  2. I've not heard of this author. The intro makes me curious, and I love the cover of the book. I'd keep reading!

    Here's my post:
    http://monicasbookishlife.blogspot.com/2015/02/first-chapter-first-paragraph-tuesday_24.html

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    1. Monica - I love the cover, too. It could end up as my favorite cover of the year!

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  3. I like the idea of the story being told from the standpoint of two friends. I like the beginning too. I would read it.

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    1. Topazshell - I am enjoying it so far.

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  4. I love the sound of this one! Friendships can inspire and change lives, and I like the idea of friendships that can transform lives.

    Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “SECOND LIFE”

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - This trilogy of friendship has gotten some excellent reviews. There is even a twitter hashtag #FerranteFever

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  5. I like the intro. I admit I am not too drawn to books about friendship, but this one does sound interesting.

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    1. Literary Feline - Friendship stories seem to draw me in every time, lol!

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  6. The book and author are completely new to me too. It definitely appeals to me - the character study, the setting, and the story. I'm going to check it out. I'm so sorry about your reading slump. I sincerely hope this is the book to pull you back.

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    1. Margot - I don't think I've ever had a slump like this... starting to wonder if I'm developing attention deficit!

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  7. I hear you on the slump! Most of my 2015 has been a slump...with 1 true bright spot and a couple other solid 4 star reads, but just not that great overall. Winter of the World is really good - but I def recommend the ebook...could never have read that thing in hard copy!!
    I like your intro...definitely makes me curious. I'd keep reading.

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    1. Sarah - I had a great January and then things came to an abrupt halt! Winter of the World is off to a strong start, but I just can't hold that hardcover comfortably. Ebooks to the rescue :)

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  8. I would keep reading. I like the intro and the blurb. I also like the cover. I hope this one breaks your slump.

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  9. This sounds pretty promising. Hopefully it'll help you bust your slump. I haven't had one in awhile but I hate them. Have you tried rereading an old favorite? Sometimes that helps me. Good luck!

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    1. Katherine - I thought about rereading some favorites, but don't have any of them here in FL. There's always the library though...

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  10. JoAnn, maybe you just need to take a break from reading for a bit. Just walk on the beach and maybe read a magazine or binge watch a TV show or whatever. Or read something completely out of your norm. A mystery, a romance, an old favorite, a YA book. I've had those awful slumps. Make me feel wrong from the inside out. Good luck!

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    1. Kay - You may be right! I took your advice to heart and bought a graphic memoir I've been wanting to read and can't get from the library. First time ever I've bought a comic ;-) I know I could spend an entire week reading magazines from the library on Zinio, too.

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  11. I'm not sure about this one. I think I will wait and see what you think! I liked Winter of the World and I did read it in hard copy. I used a pillow sometimes to support it. It is definitely a chunkster!

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    1. Grammajudyb - A support pillow would be a necessity for Winter of the World, lol! Glad to know you liked it :)

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  12. Oh, it's a bummer when a slump hits. I hope you are able to get out of it soon. Maybe take a break from books for a couple of days and come back? Or pick something totally fun and persist through it for a few chapters and see if that makes a difference?

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    1. Athira - This is really the first major slump I've had. I picked up a graphic memoir today... hoping that might help.

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  13. I hope you have a better reading spell soon. I had some terrible slumps last year but been lucky so far this year. But you will get back into it. I agree with maybe trying an old favourite read or something light maybe.

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    1. Linsday - I read some light nonfiction and that seemed to help.Now I'm going to give a graphic memoir a try, too.

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  14. I love this author and series. Have read all except the most recent and enjoyed them....Keep reading.

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  15. Hope this one works out for you! I agree, Ken's books are too big to hold. I have this series on my Kindle.

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    1. Nise' - Kindle is definitely the way to go with Follett!

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  16. I'd keep reading. Sounds like a good book.

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    1. Yvonne - I read more last night and am still enjoying it.

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  17. Oh, I've been there. Slumps are so frustrating. I hope this book is the one that pulls you out of the funk!

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    1. Anbolyn - I know you've been in slumps like this, too. Keeping my fingers crossed that this will help :(

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  18. I just downloaded My Brilliant Friend from the library. I do want to read the Ken Follett series sometime -- maybe this summer. It looks like just the sort of thing I would like.

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    1. Karen K. - I read the first book in Follett's series while on vacation and think it's definitely a summer-type book. Lots of characters and very easy to lose yourself in their stories.

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  19. I agree with Kay. A complete break from books might be just the thing. I know I find if very difficult to read anything when I'm near the ocean. I spend far too much time just gazing at the water.

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    1. Les - If I can't turn it around in the next week, that will be the next option. I really do love it here, but can't seem to focus on books...

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  20. I'm actually going through a reading high at the moment, but I know how tough the slumps can be. I also recommend leaving the books for a while. One day soon they'll call you back :-)

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    1. Jackie - I may have to take a reading break if things don't change soon, but I hope it doesn't come to that. On the flip side, so glad to hear you're on a reading high :)

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  21. Replies
    1. Kelley - I haven't been reading much the last couple of weeks, but am about 1/3 done with this book and like it a lot.

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