Friday, December 12, 2014

A peak into Jackaby and In the Forbidden City

For this week's Book Beginnings on Friday, hosted by Rose City Reader here is the beginning of Jackaby by William Ritter ...

It was late January, and New England wore a fresh coat of snow as I stepped along the gangplank to the shore. The city of New Fiddleham glistened in the fading dusk, lamplight playing across the icy buildings that lined the waterfront, turning their brickwork to twinkling diamonds in the dark. In the inky black of the Atlantic, the reflected glow of gaslights danced and bobbed. I made my way forward, carrying everything that traveled with me in a single suitcase.

For The Friday 56 hosted at Freda's Voice we pick up Jackaby on page 56 ...

Jackaby climbed to his feet, dusted off his coat, which clinked and jingled as the contents of various pockets resettled, and tossed his scarf back over one shoulder. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss O'Connor. I don't suppose you have a roomate?" 

Mona's stance faltered. She looked briefly to Charlie and me, finding only equal bewilderment, and then back at the detective.

For non-fiction I thought I would share one of the books nominated for the nonfiction Cybils ...
In the Forbidden City by Chiu Kwong-chiu (Author), Nancy S. Steinhardt (Editor), Ben Wang (Translator), but the format really makes the book something that you need to feel and play with (they have a neat website too )...

The Forbidden City was the home of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is said that during the golden days of the Ming dynasty, there was a staggering 100,000 eunuchs in the palace with 7,000 court maids to serve the emperor alone. It was very extravagant! By the Qing dynasty, however, the monarchs began to adopt a more austere and frugal way of living. The numbers of eunuchs and maids gradually decreased until there were only 100 to 200 people serving the last emperor. By then all the past excesses had disappeared under the great wheels of history. 

I would add something from page 56 but the book doesn't have page numbers ... hum ... and there are only 52 pages.

So from somewhere around page 47ish ...

The Gate of Divine Prowess is located at the north end of the Forbidden City, 961 meters away from the Meridian Gate. There is a Chinese saying, "The gate of the palace open to a place as deep as the sea." This not only refers to the vast area of the palace; it also refers to the vast system of laws and regulations contained within. There were difference rules for difference people, determined by their rank, gender, and whether they lived or served in the Inner Court or the Outer court. 

Happy Friday


  1. Both books sound like good reads. I like the description of the clinking and jingling of Jacoby's coat, and I'm wondering what he's carrying in his pockets. The Forbidden City sounds fascinating. Hard to imagine such excess!
    My Friday post features THE TIGER QUEENS.

  2. The cover on Jackaby is surreal and intriguing...and I'm curious about both books. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “WINTER STREET”

  3. Both seem really good. I'm especially intrigued by Jackaby: I wonder what he has in his pockets. Thanks for sharing! Here's mine: The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q.

  4. I have seen this book and always wondered what it was about.

    It sounds quite good. Love the description...excellent and intriguing.

    THANKS for sharing. ENJOY your weekend.

    GREAT post.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  5. Jackaby looks and sound well written! I'd like to read that one!
    Happy weekend!


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