Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Answers

Well, it took me some time, let me tell you, to wade through the hundreds of comments on the book title post, but I know you can't contain yourselves any longer, waiting for the answers, so without further ado:

1. Passage to India by E.M. Forster

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

4. The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg. If you haven't read any of her work, you so should. She's the only author to win a Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor in the same year. She also won the Newbery Medal for this one. And her name is Elaine, so how could you not like her?

5. An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden. My mom would be mad if I didn't include this book. That is, if my mom read my blog, which she doesn't. She doesn't really "get" blogs. Then she calls me after she goes to church and asks, "Why does everyone know about my life?"

6. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. Lucy and Elaine trade off every night who gets to pick which audiobook they're going to listen to while they go to sleep. Lately, each night that it's Lucy's turn, she picks this one.

7. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. (The "e" is long instead short like we pronounce it in the U.S.) He was a man. Married to a woman also named Evelyn. Their friends called them He-Evelyn and She-Evelyn. That's kind of funny. Until they got divorced. But it's a great book. And mini-series with Jeremy Irons, so...

8. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene. I love The End of the Affair, but my real Greene favorite is The Quiet American. However, that one starts, "After dinner I sat and waited for Pyle in my room..." so--maybe not as compelling.

9. The Brimstone Wedding by Barbara Vine. I knew no one would get that one. I just want someone, anyone out there to read that book and talk about it with me. My dad read it. He thought it was weird. I'm gonna need more than that.

10. Ordinary People by Judith Guest. This is one of those rare times in which the movie almost lives up to the greatness of the book: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton, Judd Hirsch...

11. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

12. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

13. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. I really thought everyone would get that one. Huh.

14. A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle (sequel to A Wrinkle in Time)

15. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler also by E.L. Konigsburg. Ask a bunch of people my age what book they remember from grade school, and a lot of them will say this one. It's awesome. It's about a brother and sister who run away and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

16. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. Darren never reads fiction, only non-fiction. I read almost exclusively fiction. One day, he said he wanted to try some fiction. Instead of listening to my recommendations, he said, "No, I want to read what you're reading," which happened to be Portrait of the Artist right then. He grabbed it up and read that first line about the moocow and baby tuckoo and said (while tossing the book over his shoulder), "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard." He's not alone--even Joyce's wife asked him, "Why don't you write books people can read?" I still like him, though (Joyce, that is. Oh, and Darren too.)

17. Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie

18. The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes. Most people know Estes from Ginger Pye or The Moffats or The Hundred Dresses (though we LOVE that one), but this is another one with which Lucy is obsessed. It's about two little girls who sit upstairs in their playroom in a house on Garden Lane with a gingko tree outside their window, drawing pictures of witches. Up on Glass Hill, all the things the girls draw come true. I'm going to get her the audiobook for Christmas. Shhh, don't tell her.

19. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

20. The Diary of Anne Frank

21. (I knew no one would get this one either)--Glittering Images by Susan Howatch. Great book though, about espionage in the Church of England.

So there you go. What are some of your favorite first lines?


Danny Lucas said...

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth".
--The Bible by God
(kudos to the Holy Spirit too)

"Life is difficult."
--The Road Less Travelled
by M. Scott Peck

"Before there was anything, there was God, a few angels, and a huge swirling glob of rocks and water with no place to go. The angels asked God. "Why don't you clean up this mess?"
--Does God Have a Big Toe?
by Marc Gellman

"Modern Christians sometimes struggle because they must relate to an invisible God. They do not hear his audible voice. They do not feel his physical touch. Many Christians conclude the only relationship they can have with God will be found in diligently obeying biblical commandments and teachings. So they invest their lives earnestly trying to follow the rules and admonitions they find in Scripture."
(from the jacket as it gets complicated)
--Hearing God's Voice
by Henry and Richard Blackaby

"Dear Dr. Mann: Where did evil come from?"
--When One Day At A Time Is Too Long
by Gerald Mann

"The last drops of the thundershower had hardly ceased falling when the Pedestrian stuffed his map into his pocket, settled his pack more comfortably on his tired shoulders, and stepped out from the shelter of a large chestnut-tree into the middle of the road."
--Out Of The Silent Planet
by C.S. Lewis

"What does it mean to truly love another?"
--Dear John
by Nicholas Sparks

"Winston Churchill, a man who was said to have 'won the decathalon of human existence' did not impress any of his fellow Masters and commanders on first acquaintance."
--Masters and Commanders
How Four Titans Won The War In The West, 1941-1945
by Andrew Roberts

"On the evening of May 25, 1961, a man walked into the United States House of Representatives bound to set his country on its longest journey ever."
--Apollo's Fire
by Jay Inslee and Bracken Hendricks

"Keep watch", Jesus said, "because you do not know on what day your Lord will come" (Matthew 24:42). I had a graphic reminder of this truth on the day my wife went into labor. I wasn't ready."
--The Mystery of Children
by Mike Mason

"Anyone who has trapped animals knows a trap needs one of two things to be successful. It must be hidden, in the hope that an animal will stumble upon it, and it must be baited to lure the animal into the trap's deadly jaws."
--The Bait of Satan
by John Bevere

"Scientists can be divided into two types on the basis of temperament. There are rationalists and romantics."
--Teller's War
The Top-Secret Story Behind The Star Wars deception
by William J. Broad

"The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen once wrote: "There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Roman Catholic Church; there are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church."
--Rome Sweet Rome
by Scott and Kimberly Hahn

to be continued.....perhaps.

Reading more books,... to be continued with certainty.

Blessings Alice!

Danny Lucas said...

"God stretched out the heavens, stippling the night with impressionistic stars."
--Windows of the Soul
by Ken Gire

"You need to learn to separate yourself from unnecessary and restless thoughts which grow out of self-love. When your own thoughts are set aside you will be completely in the middle of the straight and narrow path. You will experience the freedom and peace that is meant for you as a child of God."
--100 Days In The Secret Place
by Gene Edwards

"Small moments? It's often those little gestures---a knowing look, a pat on the back, an unexpected kindness, that make a big impression and shape our favorite memories."
--Wisdom of Our Fathers
by Tim Russert

"Getting married is like buying a phonograph record: you buy it for what is on one side but you have to take the flip side too.
Getting divorced is like getting the hole in the record"
--Growing Through Divorce
by Jim Smoke

"Logic is the foundation of knowledge but miracles are the foundation of faith. Only when a dead man lives again is there any point in believeing"
--Miracles and Wonders: How God Changes His Natural Laws to Benefit You
by Calvin Miller

"There are no manuals for identifying or assembling the soul. We never complete the work of becoming mature nor even of fitting life's pieces together. This is the best of all merely human beatitudes:
Blessed are all of those who understand that life is always under construction, for such are able to amend the blue-prints even as they dream up the changes."
--An Owner's Manual For the Unfinished Soul
by Calvin Miller

"I had found my way to the sea to walk the beach alone, aimlessly gathering shells, taking stock of life. Where was the "glorious meaning" the Christian life was supposed to hold?"
--Parables By The Sea
by Pamela Reeve

"George had always been a carefree person---or so he thought---until that afternoon in early October."
--People of the Lie; The Hope for Healing Human Evil
by M. Scott Peck

"I will never forget that day I first received an inkling of what Jesus wanted to do in my life. I even remember the time. It was 2:25 pm on October 19, 1967. I know that because I was looking at the clock behind the head of Professor Harris while sitting in his office...."
--The Unanswered Prayers of Jesus
by Mike Evans

"I only have time for eternity.
Praises and canticles anticipate
Each day the singing bells that wake the sun.
Open the secret eye of faith
And drink these deeps of invisible light."
--A Book of Hours
by Thomas Merton

"Moses was three years younger than his brother Aaron, but starting with the day Pharaoh's daughter fished him out of the bulrushes and adopted him, Moses was the one who always got the headlines while Aaron got the short end of the stick."
--Peculiar Treasures
by Frederick Buechner

Alice said...

Danny--those are GREAT! I especially love that last one. Now I've got more books to read!

Becky said...

Ahh! I only got six of yours. You know 20th century isn't my era.

Here are just a select few of mine:

"Of Man's First Disobedience, and the Fruit/Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste/Brought death into the World, and all our woe,/With loss of Eden, till one greater Man/Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat, Sing Heav'nly Muse"

"There was no possibility of taking a walk that day."

"If music be the food of love, play on" (Scott's favorite play, my second fav)

"Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress."

"Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm" (I remember how struck I was by this opening line the first time I read this. Of course Scarlett was beautiful. She was Vivien Leigh.)

Danny Lucas said...

Alice, I appreciate your thoughts and comment.

I buy books by Author, not Title.
Anything by Calvin Miller will inspire your spirits higher.
(He wrote on discipleship and referred to God, using a pallette of colors to create his own murky colored discipleship.)

Ken Gire is awesome and Windows of the Soul is the best of all of his in my opinion.

Frederick Buechner is touchy that you call him correctly as "BEEK-ner". A friend of mine lived by him in Vermont and spoke to me in an email of HIS favorite Buechner books. I will comment on that when I find the book; tho the line I will write is the story, not the first line.

I buy ANYTHING with his name on it.
While Peculiar Treasures is a treat, I have several copies of his "Whistling in the Dark". And, I am glad ONE copy is an early version.

Buechner wrote a series of stories alphabetically there and when he got to "D", he wrote on "Darkness", but removed it in later versions.

Darkness was the story of Peter fishing all night, while Jesus prepared breakfast fish over a fire on the beach. As the disciples returned to shore (after Resurrection, and Peter needed restored due to his betrayal three times), that is the setting of Darkness.

Buechner says that Jesus would do anything to get his message across to people, especially Peter, who would retain the Keys to the Kingdom, secured by Christ from satan (who got them from Adam in the Garden); Christ "decended into hell" after death, ministered to the captives, and picked up the Authority of the Keys anew....for Peter.

Anyway, Buechner paints a picture of the Light of the World, cupping his hands, to blow on a fire spark, to make a fire, to cook breakfast for his the very same time that the Light of the World was lifting the Sun into the heavens to light the entire world for another day. The juxtaposition of Christ as light, the spark, the fire, and Christ doing anything to get his message to the disciples is awesome.

Any book by Frederick Buechner is a grand purchase and read.

More another day.

Praise be to God!

Alice said...

I'll check into Buechner (and make sure I'm pronouncing his name right when I do it!)

Hmmm, #1-Paradise Lost? 2-ahhhhhh. Jane Eyre, 3. Twelfth Night, 4. Middlemarch, 5. GWtW. :-) Those are great. Did you know that Cranford 2 is going to be on MT in 2010? I'll keep you posted...

Danny Lucas said...


Two of our four local Christian Bookstores bit the dust (one a month ago). They insist on carrying mainstream nonsense like Joel Osteen and his Gospel of Prosperity: "Send me money as God wants to prosper you" ....
forgetting the words of Jesus Christ: "The poor you will ALWAYS have among you".

Max Lucado. They got a plenty.
Max is good, but seems to be Bible-lite.

T.J.Jakes is everywhere, and I am not convinced this is good for the Christian Church.

Then there is Rick Warren with his PURPOSE driven life, car, family, house, and cat. Enough!
None of his stuff is our PURPOSE.

Since these folks and more, fail to satisfy as much as an NIV, shoppers go elsewhere. Indeed, Buechner is NOT carried by most Christian Bookstores. He is at Barnes and Noble, who have a policy of placement of Christian writers next to the Gay and Lesbian section everywhere. I do not know why. It is almost a mission statement with B&N.

Christian Bookstores maintain that Christians do not support them, and the general public is unlikely to enter. Well, LOWER the price.
They charge list on everything, and absorb funds from poor inner city churches for VBS materials and the like. They have forgotten their reach and gain FOLLOWERS.

Buechner is the best I have listed, and I will one day come back and add more to this post, as I open boxes and reread my favorites.

When I lived in Portland, OR, Powell Books was the place to go. It is like the Smithsonian with a book on anything and multiple floors in massive numbers to peruse anything you can think up. They are online.

Pricewise, Amazon claims to be best. They are wrong.

Go to Alibris for your shopping.
I purchased a used "Parables By The Sea" by Pamela Reeves (now out of print) for $1.99. New is available for $75.00. ???

Years ago, I bought that book in multiples of ten to give away (it is that good). A friend went to the Sea of Galilee and I asked she bring me a sea shell from where the Sermon on the Mount made history. Instead of a shell, she returned home with an entire bag of shells.

I made a note in Parables by the Sea to folks I knew to be in trouble (a teen on suicide watch at the hospital, etc) and taped a shell from Galilee to the book. I spoke to them of the book and the shell, ...and them, and their worth to God. EVERY one of them are healed and functioning members of society this day.

Alibris will bug you to buy every day after you purchase. Skip that stuff. The sales are ALWAYS.
Order fewer books in multiple buys (my first order was $160---too much), and free shipping sets in at a lower price volume.

Happy reading, to a writer who brings joy to this

Best regards,

Becky said...

Ooo. Cranford 2! Yes, keep me posted. I want to watch the first one again too.

And speaking of Jane Eyre, I also need to watch that again. But...we're a little busy watching NCIS. :)

Danny Lucas said...

I visited a new church recently.
I wanted communion and Protestant churches are primarily once a month (generally first Sunday, but not always). Miss that and tough luck. So I found a church with communion, AND a lending library.

Calvin Miller caught my eye, and I realized the book immediately. It is called "Walking With Saints", 'Through The Best and Worst Times of Our Lives'.

Long ago, I picked this book up and opened it to a random page to read this guy. Here are some of the first words I read of Calvin Miller's pen and mind.....and why you will read him too:

"As a watercolorist, I understand the principle of contrast in art. Setting dark objects against light backgrounds makes art possible. This simple technique creates form as it moves objects around in the painting. As images blend in color, they retreat to the rear of a canvas. As they contrast in color, they move forward in the painting. During one of those nameless, small crises out of which my life --- and every life --- is shaped, God reminded me of His own artistry in my life. He has long been at work to produce art from the mucky palette of my discipleship. But on this one occasion, my usually talkative spirituality sat in silence before him. I listened to his accounting of the greatest moments of my life. There were not many that came quickly to my mind. Still, they stood like monuments of joy in the level and uninteresting deserts of my journey.

Next, he played across the cinema of my mind the darker events of pain and disappointment I have known. As I examined these two very different lists of joy and pain, I was surprised to find both lists identical. God is a wonderful artist whose contrast of bright joy and dark needs creates life. These contrasts remain in full view from year to year as reminders that joy and pain are but opposite ends of the same great lessons of God.

These lessons are hard to identify. Like oysters, we believers all react the same way when a hunk of sharp silica enters our shells. We cry and complain; we even rail against God. But the pearl is born in the pain, built by coating our adversity with maturity. As each lesson of life passes, we move on to others. We glory in knowing that at the core of our best pearls there exists a ragged hurt that once stabbed us with ripping pain. Then God came. His grace pearlized our pain with dependency. Our deep moans gave way to glad Hosannas! He transformed our hurt into a beautiful, usable ministry.

"I will turn their mourning to joy" (Jer. 31:13), says the Lord at these times of great loss. Then such times become for us occasions of great gain. No wonder our finest picture of heaven has to do with God establishing his eternal adequacy over our broken circumstances: God shall indeed wipe away all tears from our lives (Rev. 21:4). Joy will inhabit heaven because, in that great land, the confessing church will have lost all interest in confessing its own identity. Then, having escaped old self-concern, we will join in the grand anthem, "Worthy is the Lamb" (5:12). How grand will this singing be? It will be made grand by all those who have "come out of the great tribulation" (7:14), those whose martyred lives taught them that there was no other worthy name to be confessed but that of Jesus"
~~~Calvin Miller

I dedicate these first words of Mr. Miller that I ever read, that make me buy all books he writes, that make me cry for God in joy and pain,.....I dedicate all of these to Lois, I mean, Saint Lois,... the "Walking With Saints", Lois. What a beautiful pearl God has crafted in her.