Thursday, December 27, 2012

Favorite First Lines & Covers

I was looking back over my reading spreadsheet for this year and I started to fall behind on keeping track of what I read this year. So, I'm not exactly sure of final totals, but it is somewhere in the vicinity of 95ish books total, a little low which I expected because of all the change this year. I am committing to keeping better track in 2013 and hopefully reading a bit more. But, from what I did accurately track I can tell you that I read at least 77 different authors; at least 54 of the authors were new to me; and at least 13 were debut novels. My audiobook total was the area that took the hardest hit. I listened to about 23 audiobooks. Past years it's been closer to 50 percent of my total. I'm also going to work on getting that back up in 2013 by dedicating at least an hour for walking each day, and I'll listen to audio then.

How about you all? Any areas of your reading that you'd like to work on in 2013? Anything from 2012 that you're especially proud of? A new author you tried? A different genre? Or even sub-genre of crime fiction? Did you discover you loved (or hated) something that surprised you? Share with us in the comments!

This is my week of favorites lists for this year. I'm going to include a new one today and that's my favorite covers and first lines. I have to admit that I am not a connoisseur of covers. I don't buy books because of the covers or reject books because of the covers (at least to date--if a cover really offended me I'd probably not buy it). So take my five choices with a grain of salt. Now on the other hand, first lines are something that I definitely pay attention to; that's why I include them on my reviews. And of course these choices are only from the books I read this year--it also doesn't include any 2013 publications I've read this month.

My Top Five Favorite Covers:


5. Boca Daze. I have often commented about walking down the mystery aisle in a bookstore or library. There's a sea of black, with red and white speckled in. The books that stand out to me are the ones that are NOT black. And the cover of Boca Daze just screams fun without looking preposterous. Since I had an early copy of this one, my cover was just boring black and white. The final cover is a masterpiece.


4. The Prophet. I really have to tip my hat to the Little, Brown folks because this was a bit of a gamble. I know there was some concern about people not wanting to buy the book with the dead bird on the cover. That didn't stop Koryta from hitting the NYT bestseller list with it, though. This is a cover that was tuned into the content of the book and was unique to the book. Nice call on this cover!



3. Whiplash River. I love the pure simplicity of this cover and how well it articulates the constant movement of the book. And again, I think the cover is in tune with the unique elements of the book.



2. Taken. The atmosphere of this cover is what first grabs my attention. I have a large version of this cover hanging on my library wall. It embraces the impending doom that boils in the novel while still showing a ray of hope. And the reflection is equally befitting the content of the novel. This one was well planned out.



1. The Survivor. At first glance this cover may not look like much, but the power behind the itty bitty man on his precipice is breathtaking. If you miss that little man (as I did at first because I was so excited to read a new Gregg Hurwitz book), it changes the cover completely. When I closed this book and really looked at the cover I was blown away. Again, the simplicity of the image was what did it. The enormity of the message in the simple graphic arrangement is stunning. I love this cover. Hands down, my favorite this year.


My Top Five Favorite First Lines:

5. Julia Heaberlin's  PLAYING DEAD:

"Despite its name, Ponder, Texas, pop. 1,101, isn't a very good place to think."

 This opening line is a good chuckle, but it all sets the scene and the atmosphere immediately. I was very excited to read this debut novel after that opening line.

4. Chris Grabenstein's FUN HOUSE:

"He wasn't happy about it, but last night my partner John Ceepak became a TV star."

Chris Grabenstein is a master of first lines. This first line may hold more attraction to readers of the series who already know John Ceepak, but even if you don't have that background, you know quite a tale is close on the heels of this opening sentence.

3. Ace Atkins's THE LOST ONES:

"A couple of roustabouts had been asking about guns at the Tibbehah County Fair, but by the time the word had gotten back to Donnie Varner, they'd long since packed up their Ferris wheel, corn dog stands and shit, and boogied on down the highway."
I love how Atkins's language brings out the setting of the novel. It also seems to add a scent to the air and a color to the page. Even though I know this is going to be a crime novel, I end up with a warm feeling from the way he puts his words together on the page.

2. Gar Anthony Haywood's ASSUME NOTHING:

"His last night in Florida, Joe Reddick remembered the blood in the goldfish bowl."

And the whole book follows suit with that. It's such a startling image to really grab the reader as soon as he/she opens the book!

1. Robert Pobi's BLOODMAN:

"Two hundred feet below the rolling metal surface of the Atlantic, a handful of ghosts skittered along the ocean floor in a jerky seesaw roll, furling and unfurling in a diluvial ballet."

The imagery of this statement is a mix of fun and fear. Bloodman was one of those rare books that taps the paranormal (just slightly) and I still love it and buy into it. It would have been hard to dislike the book after this opening sentence. This is another debut novel, by the way.

I went back and forth with about three other first lines that were great from my reading this year, but I wanted to keep each of these lists today to five, so I determined these five first lines to be my favorite.

Tomorrow I should have my favorite audios of 2012 and Monday will be my overall favorite reads of the year. I hope you'll check back and share your favorites as well! Happy Reading!

2 comments:

Katharine Ott December 27, 2012 at 8:13 AM  

I like the idea of keeping track of the first line of a book - I'll add that to my journal for 2013! Happy New Year from Lakewood!

Chris Grabenstein December 27, 2012 at 4:55 PM  

Whenever I write a first line I think of Jen Forbus reading it! Thanks for the mention. Chris Grabenstein

Labels

2011 2012 2013 Ace Atkins Adrian McKinty Agnete Friis Alafair Burke Alan Bradley Alan Glynn Alan Orloff Alex Berenson Alex Dryden Alexandra Sokoloff Andrew Grant Andrew Gross Anne Zouroudi Annie Barrows Ariana Franklin Arne Dahl Attica Locke audiobook jukebox Audiobooks author events Author Q/A Barry Eisler Bernard Cornwell Beth Ann Fennelly Bill Cameron Bill Crider Bill Loehfelm Bill Pronzini blog tour Book Events Book News Brad Meltzer Brad Parks Brent Ghelfi Brett Battles Brian Azzarello Brian Freeman Brian McGilloway Bryan Gruley C. J. Box C.J. West Camilla Läckberg Cara Black Carl Hiaasen Carla Buckley Carlos Ruiz Zafon Carter Wilson Catriona McPherson Charles Cumming Charlie Huston Charlie Newton Chevy Stevens Chris Grabenstein Chris Holm Chris Kluwe Christa Faust Christopher Reich Christopher Rice Chuck Greaves CJ Lyons Claude Berube Colin Cotterill Cozy Mystery Craig Johnson Craig McDonald CRCRC crime caper Crime Fiction Crime Writers Caught Recommending Crime CWCRC D.A. Mishani Dana Cameron Daniel Palmer Daniel Silva DATW Dave Barry David Baldacci David Corbett David Ellis David Handler David Hayward David Morrell David Rosenfelt Deborah Coonts Deborah Crombie Declan Burke Denise Hamilton Denise Mina Dennis Lehane Detective Fiction Diane Stuckart Don Bruns Don Winslow Donald E Westlake Donato Carrisi Douglas Corleone Duane Swierczynski dystopian Earl Emerson ebook Ed Lynskey Edoardo Ballerini Elizabeth Hand Elizabeth Haynes Emma Donoghue Eric Beetner F. Paul Wilson FFB Five on Friday Focus Features Forensic Science Foul Play Books Francine Mathews Gabriella Herkert Gar Anthony Haywood Gayle Lynds General Fiction George Guidall George Pelecanos Gillian Flynn Graham Brown Gregg Hurwitz Hallie Ephron Hank Phillippi Ryan Harlan Coben Harley Jane Kozak Harper Lee Herman Koch Heroes and Villains Hilary Davidson Historical Fiction Hugh Laurie Ian Rankin Inger Frimansson Ingrid Thoft international thriller J.J. Myers J.T. Ellison James Barney James Conway James Crumley James DuPont James Fredericks James Grippando James Lee Burke James LePore James O. Born Jamie Freveletti Jan Burke Jane Cleland Janet Evanovich January LaVoy Jassy Mackenzie Jed Rubenfeld Jeff Abbott Jeff Woodman Jeffery Deaver Jeffrey Cohen Jeffrey Siger Jennifer McMahon JIAB2011 JIAM2013 Jill Thompson Jo Nesbø Joelle Charbonneau John Connolly John Grisham John Hart John Lescroart John Sandford John Shannon John Verdon Johnny Shaw Jon Land Jonathan Hayes Jonathan Kellerman Jonathan Schuppe Joseph Finder Joseph Wallace Joseph Wambaugh Josh Bazell Josh Corin Joy Castro Julia Heaberlin Julia Pomeroy Julia Spencer-Fleming Julie Hyzy Juliet Blackwell Karen Fossum Karen Olson Karin Slaughter Katherine Kellgren Keith Thomson Kelli Stanley Kelly Braffet Ken Bruen Ken Isaacson Kevin Guilfoile Kimberly McCreight Lachlan Smith Laura Lippman Laurie R King Lawrence Block Lee Child Left Coast Crime Legal Thriller Lene Kaaberbøl Lenny Kleinfeld Les Roberts Liad Shoham Libby Hellmann Linda Castillo Linda Fairstein Linwood Barclay Lisa Ballantyne Lisa Black Lisa Brackmann Lisa Gardner Lisa Lutz Lisa Unger Literary Mystery Lori Roy Lou Berney Louis Bayard Louise Erdrich Louise Penny Louise Ure MacLeod Andrews Marcia Clark Marcus Sakey Mark Billingham Mark Gimenez Mark Hammer Mark Pryor Mark Sullivan Markus Zusak Martin Limon Martyn Waites Mary Higgins Clark Matt Coyle Matthew Dicks Matthew Pearl Matthew Quirk Medical Thriller Meg Gardiner Megan Abbott Memoirs Meredith Cole MfM 2011 Michael Chabon Michael Connelly Michael Harvey Michael Koryta Michael Lister Michael Stanley Michael Van Rooy Michael Wiley Michelle Gagnon Middle Grade Mike Lawson military thriller Murder and Mayhem in Muskego Narrator Interviews Nevada Barr Nonfiction novella NPM Oliver Harris Owen Laukkanen p.i. fiction paranormal Paranormal Thriller Pat Conroy Paul Levine Pete Larkin Peter Berkrot Peter Robinson PI Fiction poetry Police Procedural political thriller Psychological Thriller R.J. Ellory Ralph Cosham Raymond Chandler Rebecca Cantrell Reed Farrel Coleman Reg E. Cathey Review review copy Richard Lange Ridley Pearson Robert B. Parker Robert Crais Robert Dugoni Robert Fate Robert Greer Robert Gregory Browne Robert Pobi Robin Burcell Rochelle Staab romantic suspense Rosemary Harris Ross Macdonald Rupinder Gill Ruth Rendell Ryan David Jahn S. J. Watson S.J. Rozan Sandra Ruttan Sara Gruen Sara Henry Sara Paretsky Sarah Weinman Sasha Abramsky Sci-Fi scientific thriller Scott Turow Sean Black Sean Chercover Sean Doolittle Shane Gericke Shelf Awareness review Short Stories Simon Lewis Simon Prebble Simon Vance Simon Wood Six-word Memoirs Sophie Hannah Sophie Littlefield Spencer Quinn spy thriller Stefanie Pintoff Stephen Cannell Stephen Coonts Stephen Jay Schwartz Stephen King Stephen White Steve Forman Steve Hamilton Steve Hockensmith Steve Mosby Steve Ulfelder Steven Forman Stieg Larsson Stuart Macbride Sue Ann Jaffarian Sue Grafton Susan Arnout Smith Suspense/Mystery T. Jefferson Parker Tania Carver Tasha Alexander Tess Gerritsen theme week Theresa Schwegel Thomas Holland Thomas Kaufman Thomas Young Thriller Tim Dorsey Tim Maleeny Timothy Hallinan tlc book tours Todd Ritter Tom Franklin Tom Piccirilli Tom Schreck Toni McGee Causey Tony Hays Tony Hillerman Trevanian Truman Capote Val McDermid Victor Gischler Walter Mosley Warren Ellis Wayne Arthurson Will Lavender William Kent Krueger Xe Sands xuni author Yasmina Khadra Young Adult Young Readers Yrsa Sigurdardóttir Zoë Sharp

Great Indie Bookstores

xuni

xuni
An amazing collection of authors!

TLC Book Tours

Traffic Map

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed

Google+ Followers

Our Blogger Templates Web Design


  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP