Thursday, November 02, 2006

What's My Line?

I'm already in my "I hate Christmas" mode and it's only November 2nd. Of course, it could be that I'm just suffering from a time change hangover and the cold weather blues because I really do like the Christmas decorations the company chose this year which indicates that true grinchiness has not set in.

(Even if the colors do turn me a special shade of death warmed over.)

Given my general sense of blah-ness, I can't remember if we did this before (so please forgive me), but I was wondering what your favorite lines are from books. They don't have to be opening lines, and you don't have to keep it down to one. Just give the title and author of the book you pulled it from.

Jazz this cold November day up with some words, people. Spark some interest in others.


lady t said...

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents!"-fits right in with your mood there,doesn't it BSC:)? It truly is a favorite of mine,along with"Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last." As Borat would say,very nice-high five!

new_eyes said...

Simple quote but I'm sure I can't put it exactly right. "It's so bad, really", ---Rabbit on his death bed, to his son I believe. Not just talking about dying of course...
(Updikes's Rabbit series)

Hm. I like this question but it's been so long since I've read novels , due to this dang internet. (I'm determined to start reading fiction again,really, after the election. I need a reading chair, though.)

Just discovered your scroll here and am enjoying it. I was a bookseller for years at the superstores and at one used/ antiquarian. I'm thinking of coming back, but maybe I should skip reading about your holiday season, lol :)

Anonymous said...

Ooooh come-on BSC!
We all know X-mas is a totally manufactured holiday, but it's OUR manufactured holiday! REtailers I mean!
Get the rubes in, take their money, get them out! ha-cha-cha-cha-cha!

Fave quote: "Nothing warms a young girls heart like a smile on the face of a sadist." - Emily Prager.


Anonymous said...

In many a fin and reptile foot I have seen myself passing by--some part of myself, that is, some part that lies unrealized in the momentary shape I inhabit. People have occasionally written me harsh letters and castigated me for a lack of faith in man when I have ventured to speak of this matter in print. They distrust, it would seem, all shapes and thoughts but their own. They would bring God into the compass of a shopkeeper's understanding and confine Him to those limits, lest He proceed to some unimaginable and shocking act--create perhaps, as a casual afterthought, a being more beautiful than man. -- Loren Eisely, The Immense Journey

"And what if it doesn't work?"
"Then both of us end our existence tonight," he said in that impassive we're-chained-to-the-wall-and-the-bad-guys-are-coming voice I remembered too well.
Oh gee. Don't pull your punches like that. I can take the truth, really I can. I said something like, "Unnngh."
"I believe it will work."
"I'm delighted to hear it."
-- Robin McKinley, Sunshine

Eileen said...

I loved the opening to Barbara Gowdy's Mister Sandman. (this is rough- but it is close to this

"Joan was the reincarnation baby and big news at the time. Joan was the newborn who screamed "oh no, not again!" in a voice so shrill that one of the women attending the birth clawed out her hearing aid. One nurse fainted and grabbed he umbilical cord and pulled Joan head first onto the floor. Joan's mother attributed everything after that to the brain injury."

Annie said...

My favorite lines from a book are these from Welcome to the World, Baby Girl by Fannie Flagg.

"... Poor little old human beings- they're jerked into this world without having any idea where they came from or what it is they are supposed to do, or how long they have to do it in. Or where they are gonna wind up after that. But bless their hearts, most of them wake up every morning and keep on trying to make some sense out of it. Why, you can't help but love them, can you? I just wonder why more of the aren't as crazy as betsy bugs." -Aunt Elner, 1978

(I found your blog through Diana Peterfreund's blogroll and love this excerpt so had to chime in.)

Robin Brande said...

So many to choose from! Let's go with these from David Copperfield:

"I cannot so completely penetrate the mystery of my own heart, as to know when I began to think that I might have set its earliest and brightest hopes on Agnes. I cannot say at what stage of my grief it first became associated with the reflection, that, in my wayward boyhood, I had thrown away the treasure of her love."

I mean, how romantic is that?

jellybean said...

"There are no wrong turnings, only paths we had not known we were meant to walk." Guy Gavriel Kay, Tigana

Beth said...

Dude. I started loathing Christmas about month ago. How sad is that? Anyone tries to decorate in any scheme other than mini liquor bottles, and I may go postal.


jmc said...

The seasonal blahs seem to be going around -- I posted a complaint about my holiday mood today, too.

Piracy is our only option.
-Sense & Sensibility, J.A.

"Expensive?" he said blankly. "Automated weapons-control systems are expensive. Combat drop missions which go wrong are very expensive. Flowers are cheap. Really."
-Komarr, Lois McMaster Bujold

Maya said...

"If Henry Wingo had not been a violent man, I think he would have made a splendid father."

Pat Conroy in Prince of Tides

Beth said...

Here's just one of many of my favorite lines from books. (I write them down as I come across them.)

" that is dream a lie and call it truth.
The dream is a lie, but the dreaming is truth."

Robert Penn Warren
(Meet Me in the Green Glen)

I love your blog - and I envy you your job. Books, books, books...

ColoradoGuy said...

"The liver, you see, is a large, ugly mystery to us. If you've ever eaten liver, you know what I mean." (English intern to Yossarian in Catch-22)

Vicki said...

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

Opening line of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice"

"It is very foolish to shut oneself into any wardrobe."

from C. S. Lewis's "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" (alas, the producers of last year's movie ruined the film for me by failing to include this line!)

quiche said...

He dared not formulate it more clearly even to himself, because when the imagination is playing its highest game, it is important not to let it come out into the open, lest reason should say "Nonsense" and the tension be lost.

from "A Stranger at Green Knowe" by L.M. Boston

Buffy said...

Are you mad woman?! I thought everyone loved twinkle time.

"A black dog suffered on a summer's day." To Kill A Mockingbird

BuffySquirrel said...

Nah, they're all too sad. I'll keep them to myself :).

Sling Words aka Joan Reeves said...

Great question! I have eclectic taste in books. Here are a few of my faves:

Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens:
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times....

In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway: The strange thing was, he said, how they screamed every night at midnight.

Charlotte’s Web, E.B.White:
Where’s Papa going with that axe?”

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath:
It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.

Fear of Flying, Erica Jong:
There were 117 psychoanalysts on the Pan Am flight to Vienna and I’d been treated by at least six of them.

Carrie, Stephen King:
Nobody was really surprised when it happened, not really, not at the subconscious level where savage things grow.

Eight Black Horses, Ed McBain:
The lady was extraordinarily naked.

Dean Koontz: Death drove a green Lexus.

One for the Money, Janet Evanovich: There are some men who enter a woman's life and screw it up forever.

Anonymous said...

Harlan Coben. Can't remember which book.
I like it because his descriptions are spot on and I'd love to do that all that time.

He sat on antique furniture as comfortable as an iron lung.

Misty said...

"Davies laughed. "Not ever. Not one. You remember Lot?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"Lot – the fellow with the wife who was made out of salt."

"Oh, that Lot." Shandy nodded. "Sure."

" ‘Member when Yahweh came over to his house?"

Shandy scowled in concentration. "No."

"Well, Yahweh told him he was going to stomp the town, because everybody was such bastards. So Lot says, hold on, if I can find ten decent lads, will you let the town alone? Yahweh huffs and puffs a bit, but finally allows as how yeah, if there’s ten good men he won’t kick the place to bits. Then Lot, being crafty, see, says how about if there was three? Yahweh gets up and walks around, thinking about it, and then says, all right, I’ll go three. So Lot says, how about one? Yahweh’s all confused by this point, having had his heart set on wrecking the town, but at last he says all right, one decent man, even. And then, of course, Lot couldn’t find even one, and Yahweh got to torch the town anyway."

Davies waved at the other men in the boat, a gesture that managed to take in the Carmichael, too, and New Providence Island and perhaps the whole Caribbean. "Don’t, Jack, ever make the mistake of thinking he’d find one among these."

On Stranger Tides, Tim Powers, Ace Books, 1987

Well, you said it didn't have to be just one line.... *grin*

Sam said...

"Suzy fell in love with Harry Fitzallen the moment she showed him her husband's sperm sample."

'Good at Games' by Jill Mansell.

No one can stay in a bad mood while reading this book, I promise.

Lisa Hunter said...

Any random sentence in the Autobiography of Alice B. Tolkas.

OtterB said...

I think I'll join jmc in posting a Bujold quote. From A Civil Campaign, Aral Vorkosigan speaking:

"Reputation is what others know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself ... Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards."

corneilius said...

Hi There,

Corneilius here, a not-for-profit singer/songwriter, dj and activist.

The hyped-up commercialised pavlovian drooling over this seasons 'must haves' for children, teens, adults, elders and dogs, cats, fish and snakes makes me wanna hurl the entire contents of all my semi-digested christmas dinners over the nearest ecclesiastcally sub-minded sub-person. EUUUUUUUURRRGGGH!!

So I wrote a few songs, in the form of an 'AA' (double sided) Electronic FREE Christmas Single, which I hope you will enjoy.

The first side is "I can't stand Shopping", and the second side is "Christ! What a mess this World is in!"...... both are sing along songs with an allusion in one to another great ode, "Imagine"..... there's no christmas ........ i am pretty sure The Good Lord Jesus looks upon this festive idiocy with the same regard he has for The Cross upon which he was so brutally crucified!

You can find them both at , where you can listen to them or download them.

If, perchance you do enjoy them, perhaps I might enjoin you to spread the word, pass them on, share them with your good friends or even mention them in your web site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this unsolicited email, and if I have caused you any offence, be assured that none is intended. I am a gentle soul.

Kindest regards