Friday, May 01, 2009

Fun with an old, old meme times three

(Why yes, I am a very lazy blogger this week.)

1. Take five (random!) books off your bookshelf.
2. Book #1 -- first sentence
3. Book #2 -- last sentence on page fifty
4. Book #3 -- second sentence on page one hundred
5. Book #4 -- next to the last sentence on page one hundred fifty
6. Book #5 -- final sentence of the book
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph:

When my nose finally stops bleeding and I've disposed of the bloody paper towel, Teddy Barnes insists on driving me home in his ancient Honda Civic, a car that refuses to die and that Teddy, cheap as he is, refuses to trade in. And the sun was warming the top of Justine's head right through her hat, and the dexterous twist of the baseball glove as it rose to meet the ball and the slap of leather on leather lulled her into a trance. Sally wasn't home when I got back, but there was a letter in my mailbox from Emma Horton, and one from my editor. We would bury him tomorrow and so bury our sorrow, then resume our lives and forget him. "Because I never found My audience," said God and annihilated, as Mother Mary and Christ and Lesefario and Flanoy and Quiz in their Y.M.C.A. seafront room in Piraeus and all Hell's troubled sighed, everything.

1. Straight Man. Richard Russo
2. Searching for Caleb. Anne Tyler
3. All My Friends Are Going to be Strangers. Larry McMurtry
4. A Book of Reasons. John Vernon
5. The Living End. Stanley Elkin


My parents seemed to believe in letting everyone do whatever they wanted until they became very good at it or died. "I'm having a beer," Mona declared. How awful other people's families are, yawned Eliza. Nurses are almost always like that. We all sat in the sun, warming ourselves, eating cookies, watching the giraffes and the clouds.

1. Nola. Robin Hemley
2. Living to Tell. Antonya Nelson
3. Human Croquet. Kate Atkinson
4. April Witch. Majgull Axelsson
5. A Primate's Memoir. Robert M. Sapolsky


The weekend that Helly brought her new boyfriend down to meet Clare, Clare's younger brother, Toby, was also staying with them, following them round with his video camera, making a documentary about the family for his college course. I met Sils halfway, in the dining room, already coming in, and I grabbed her jacket cuff, turned, and led her back into my room. "But we always have a fire in the evening, if we can bear it; and you especially require one in this cold house and dreary room." It's the failings people want to hear. But now I must sleep.

1. Accidents in the Home. Tessa Hadley
2. Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? Lorrie Moore
3. Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Anne Bronte
4. Crooked Hearts. Robert Boswell
5. Atonement. Ian McEwan


  1. Those are fun. They're like a Dadaist party game. I may give it a try.

  2. Have at it, C.B. I look forward to what you come up with.

  3. Mine -- and some responses -- are here.

  4. Play Audio: Sprinter - True Lya Lya (Psychedelic Trance)


"I don't believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time."

Sherman Alexie cancels book tour for memoir about his mother.