Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City Reader.
For Dewey's 24-hour read-a-thon, one of the books that I read was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I really, really liked it and it went well with 84, Charing Cross Road both stylistically (they are both epistolary novels) and by virtue of time period and setting, though 84, Charing Cross is biography not fiction.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society starts with ...
Susan Scott is a wonder. We sold over forty copies of the book, which was very pleasant, but much more thrilling from my standpoint was the food. Susan managed to procure ration coupons for icing sugar and real eggs for the meringue. If all her literary luncheons are going to to achieve these heights, I won't mind touring about the country. Do you suppose that a lavish bonus could spur her on to butter? ...
I need a nonfiction book too - in honor of the airing of the show (you can view episodes on PBS (http://www.pbs.org/your-inner-fish/home/), here is the opening to Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin ...
Typical summers of my adult life are spent in snow and sleet, cracking rocks on cliffs well north of the Arctic Circle. Most of the time I freeze, get blisters, and find absolutely nothing. But if I have any luck, I find ancient fish bones. They may not sound like buried treasure to most people, but to me it is more valuable than gold.
For The Friday 56 hosted at Freda's Voice from page 56 of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society we have ...
I haven't heard from you in ages. Does your icy silence have anything to do with [redacted]?
I have an idea for a new book. It's a novel about a beautiful yet sensative author whose spirit is crushed by her domineering editor. Do you like it ?
And from Your Inner Fish we can't use page 56 because it would require rather a lot of explanation, so starting on page 55 instead ...
Sharks and their relatives are the earliest creatures that have fins with a skeleton inside. Ideally, to answer Randy question, you would want to bring a 400-million year old shark fossil into the laboratory, grind it up, and look at its genetic structure. Then you'd try to manipulate its fossil embryos to learn whether Sonic hedgehog* is active in the same general place as our limbs today. This would be a wonderful experiment, but it is impossible. We cannot extract DNA from fossils so old, and, even if we could, we could never find embryos of those fossil animals on which to do experiments.
Living sharks and their relatives are the next best thing. Nobody would ever confuse a shark fin for a human hand: you couldn't ask for two more different kinds of appendages.
*Sonic hedgehog - a gene sequence that has to do with formation of
digits - like fingers - like signaling formation of a finger and thumb
rather than fifth finger. If you are interested in learning more, the book does an excellent job of explaining or Wikipedia has a decent writeup.