This week has been a bit of a train-wreck because of the Presidents' Day(s) Break. I finished a couple of books (Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and Digger by Ursula Vernon) but it did not seem fair to do a post on either a book that I had been semi-picking on in my wondrous words post or on a graphic novel, no matter how much I liked it. However, I have gotten addicted to doing a post that contains both a fiction and nonfiction book.
So for my Book Beginnings on Friday hosted by Rose City Reader fiction choice this week I am again going back in time for me and present the first few sentences of Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews ...
I had become so used to hysterical dawn phone calls that I only muttered one halfhearted oath before answering.
"Peacocks," a voice said.
"I beg your pardon, you must have the wrong number," I mumbled.
And for my nonfiction selection, here is the opening to Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock that Shaped the World by Tom Zoellner ...
The place is called Shinkolobwe.
Its name comes from the Bemba language of south-central Africa and is the word for a thorny fruit resembling an apple, typically cooked by submersion in a pot of boiling water. The outside of the fruit cools quickly, but the inside is like a sponge. It retains hot water for a long time. Squeezing it results in a burn.
For The Friday 56 hosted at Freda's Voice here is something from page 56 of Murder with Peacocks
"What sort of little errands?" I asked. Perhaps it was paranoid of me, but I couldn't help suspecting that, as usual, some of Mother's errands would later turn out to involve major amounts of work on my part.
"Oh, this and that," Mother said, vaguely. "Some things for the house. I don't have a list yet. We're going to make a list over a nice breakfast, and then see how much we can get done by lunch."
"Wonderful," I said, insincerely. Mother turned loose on the unsuspecting county. I much preferred her indolent.
For the record, Meg loves her mother and vice versa. The relationship dynamic is important to the story here for reasons that I can't explain without getting into spoilers. Murder with Peacocks is one of my go to books for when I get depressed. It is a hoot to read.
From Uranium we have ...
Several members of the U-boat crew argued for ignoring the order and hiding out in Argentina or on an island in the South Pacific, using their military cargo as something to trade for food and new clothing. Captain Fehler saw things differently. The sub would be considered a pirate vessel if he did not surrender it at the first opportunity. But to whom? Russia was out of the question. The Red Army was known to be vengeful for all the misery it had suffered at Hitler's hands; its cruelty to surrendering troops was already legendary. Britain was also rejected, due to the ferocious blitz bombings it had suffered earlier in the war and the suspicion that the British would turn submarine POWs over to the French. The United States was seen as the best choice. It had no long history of militarism, and its soil had been unsullied by German bombing.