Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Just do the following:
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
5. Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
That’s how quickly New York City comes about – like a weather vane – or the head of a cobra. Time tells which.
– page 161, Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
In a jazz bar on the last night of 1937, watching a quartet because she couldn’t afford to see the whole ensemble, there were certain things Katey Kontent knew: the location of every old church in Manhattan; how to sneak into the cinema; how to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, and nine million a year; and that if you can still lose yourself in a Dickens novel then everything is going to be fine.
By the end of the year she’d learned: how to live like a redhead and insist upon the very best; that riches can turn to rags in the trip of a heartbeat; chance encounters can be fated; and the word ‘yes’ can be a poison.
What I think of it so far:
Another review request to the BCF reviews team, this time from the publisher. I’ve only just started this one so I can’t really comment on it so far, apart from to say that the writing is wonderful. I can only hope the plot and characters live up to that promise…
Top Ten Tuesday
Books That Would Make Great Book Club Picks
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted at Broke and Bookish.
My top ten books that would make great book club picks are:
- Vikas Swarup – Q&A
I loved this one – the sight and sounds of India are all wrapped up in the intrigue of a fascinating life and the excitement of a televised big-money quiz show. This is way better than the film (Slumdog Millionaire).
- Lionel Shriver – We Need To Talk About Kevin
I hated this one, but it certainly got discussion going in our group. I think it’s one of those Marmite books – you either love it or hate it.
- Patrick Süskind – Perfume
This is a beautifully written account with an almost sympathetic view of a serial killer that really gets your heart and mind racing.
- John Boyne – The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas
Incredibly poignant – this one moved us all to tears but was absolutely wonderful for it.
- Bret Easton Ellis – American Psycho
A darkly satirical urban thriller. I think most people do not expect there to be such humour in a novel about a serial killer, but its here in spades.
- Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale
A harsh look at how the sexuality of women is taken to extremes in society, even without such harsh restraints.
- Kazuo Ishirugo – Never Let Me Go
Hauntingly beautiful and sad, this makes us question the ethics of where modern medicine may be headed.
- Natsuo Kirino – Out
It’s not often that women are the killers, but in this novel, life goes askew for a small group of women who find that when it comes to the crunch, they can do pretty much anything they set their mind to it.
- Jed Rubenfeld – The Interpretation of Murder
An interesting look at how the mind of a murderer works, from the point of view of the pioneering psych-analysts Freud, Jung et al.
- John Wyndham – Day Of the Triffids
A great look at how society adapts to overcome astronomical odds when disaster strikes.
You’ll notice I’ve not included any classics. That’s because it goes without saying that the likes of Austen, Dickens, the Brontë sisters et al are automatically great picks and it’s inevitable that a handful of those will get chosen and discussed at some point, but these more modern ones were all novels I’ve enjoyed discussing with other members of various books groups and they have a broad appeal, so anyone can get into them and find something discussion-worthy between the covers.
You’ll also see that murder plays a heavy role in my choices, but I only noticed this after compiling my list. I suspect it’s because I find the inner workings of the psychotic mind fascinating – they’ve certainly always got everyone talking at book group meetings I’ve attended!