Beginnings for a New Year -- Part Two

A baker's dozen of first lines to inspire your reading list in 2010, cont.
A guest post by Betsy Jordan.

"'Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,' grumbled Jo, lying on the rug." I grew up reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and went on to enjoy many of her other books as well. In my opinion, though, Little Women is her opus - an enduring gem worth treasuring. Also check out the 1994 movie version for a terrific screen adaptation.

"The nurse walked out of the room, closing the door behind her, and Mrs. Pollifax looked at the doctor and he in turn looked at her." After finding out that there is nothing at all wrong with her except for a middle-age-crisis, Mrs. Pollifax decides to follow through on a lifelong dream - she walks into the CIA and announces that she wants to be a spy. Dorothy Gilman's The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax takes women's mysteries to a whole new level. This book (and the subsequent series) is highly recommended to someone who is looking for something new to fall in love with in the new year.

"It was difficult, later, to think of a time when Betsy and Tacy had not been friends." Maud Hart Lovelace wrote an amazing series about three childhood friends. The first few books start out short and written for a somewhat younger audience, but they age (and lengthen) along with the characters. Betsy-Tacy is the first book in the series that culminates with Betsy's Wedding. While the books will probably be most appreciated by girls, there is no reason that an adult can't fall in love with these books as well. (And yes, just in case anyone wondered, I was named after the main character in this series and was even given Betsy's Wedding as a wedding gift.)

"Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs." This is another one of those books that I think everybody should read. They're not just for girls, either - my father enjoyed them a lot and even read this series out loud to us as children. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods is full of memorable moments, great characters, and a family that I always wished was my own. No offense, Mom!! 
(None taken. :) )

"Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin." A. A. Milne's original Winnie-The-Pooh, before it was turned into a children's cult classic, will actually be enjoyed more by adults than by children. While it is about certainly about a child and his toys, its many inside jokes and humorous incidents will endear it to any grown up looking to recapture their own childhood.

"This is not the way to spend a beautiful spring morning! Elena Klovis thought, as she peered around the pile of bandboxes in her arms." So begins Mercedes Lackey's fantastic retelling of the classic Cinderella story in The Fairy Godmother. NOT a children's book, this is a great journey into the mythical world of the Five Hundred Kingdoms where fairy tales are lived out every day, from a master in the art of writing great fantasies. If you're familiar with Lackey's Valdemar series, you'll know what to expect in terms of great characters, amazing depth and detail, and the extensive worlds the author creates. If you're not, try this book and you may have a new favorite author on your shelf.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Whether you are a religious person or not, I don't think anyone can deny the impact that the Bible has had on the world over the past 2,000 years. No other book has been printed more or banned more often. No other book has inspired such dedication and such controversy. So, if you haven't read it yourself, find a nice readable version (New International Version, The Message, Young Readers Version, etc.) and see what all the fuss is about.

I hope you enjoyed this look into some of my favorite books, and that it inspires you to find some new books for the new year!

Read Well, Friend

More about Mrs. Polifax here --  http://abookwithaview.blogspot.com/2009/08/dear-mrs-pollifax.html
To see the first half of this post, scroll down or click here -- http://abookwithaview.blogspot.com/2009/12/beginnings-for-new-year.html
Another review by Betsy -- http://abookwithaview.blogspot.com/2009/09/oh-to-be-ordinary.html

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