It is a difficult task to define why we love each of these titles, especially without revealing too much of what makes them special. I think it is safe to say that they are books that have stayed with us in our minds since we first discovered them. Speaking just for myself, the few titles I've put on this shelf are books that I know I will return to and find something new upon giving them a second or third (or fourth or fifth or umpteenth) read.
First lines often have a way of drawing us in and giving us a sense of the story and the mood and music of the author's language. So, in the interest of introducing a selection from the Wallace Books Staff Recommendations shelf, we thought it would be nice to highlight first lines from a few of our favorites. Here they are, alphabetically by author:
"Papa is in his easy chair, reading the Sunday sports page."-- The Brothers K by David James Duncan
"How is it possible to bring order out of memory?"
-- West with the Night by Beryl Markham
"When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reached out to touch the child sleeping beside him."
-- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
"In the town there were two mutes and they were always together."
-- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
"I wanted to find my own way, so this morning I persuaded my father to let me travel alone from his apartment in Kobe to my grandfather's beach house in Tarumi."
-- The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
"If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head."
-- The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall
You can find the Staff Recommendations shelf in the alcove with poetry and plays just to the left of the entrance to our kids room.
We also have a great deal on books by one of our favorite authors. We are currently offering 50% off all Louise Erdich in stock. This offer is good through the end of July, and maybe even into August. Her books will be in a box right in your line of sight as you enter our front door. Erdich has many good first lines but one of her best comes from her novel Tracks:
"We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall."
What books do you recommend to friends? What are your favorite first lines?