I sometimes think that a memorable first line is a bit of a curse. I know that might sound crazy. After all, authors go through a lot to try and find the perfect opening to draw people in. Surely it must be on the major keys to success? But think about it. What if you have a really great opening but the rest of the novel can’t live up? Every time I see rundowns of books with the best first lines, I see plenty of books that I don’t really care about. Pride and Prejudice? The opening is iconic, certainly, but I find the rest of it rather bland. 1984? The opening promises so much that the repetitive and long novel can’t fully deliver. So, a great opening line doesn’t always indicate a 5 star read. But what about my favourite reads? Do they all have attention grabbing first lines? Do they pass the first line test? Let’s find out.
This week started so well in a number of ways but quickly descended into more negative territory. I managed to finish some books but then my reading broke down. I’ve finished one short story and started one audiobook. That’s it. I’ve not been sleeping too well and, if I’m honest, have been spending too much time playing Animal Crossing. Well, I did pay for it so I might as well get my money’s worth. It does mean that I’m going to have to do something major today in order to get a review up tomorrow. I’m sure I can manage it. All I’ve got to do today is take this week’s photos and general weekend admin. Easy peasy.
On Tuesday, I reviewed Vampires vs the Bronx. One of the main reasons that I did this was because it gave me the chance to rewatch The Lost Boys for today. My friends and I were obsessed with the 1987 classic black comedy when we were teenagers. It was a ridiculous thing and we loved it. It also helped that, even as a bleach blonde vampire, Kiefer Sutherland is an absolute dreamboat. The Lost Boys was a commercial success and is still beloved by fans. To the extent that, 21 years after it was released, a sequel was released. Apparently, there’s a third one as well. Something I might never have realised had I not been writing this post. Will I watch it? It’s unlikely but at least I now have the option.
Like most book people, Autumn is my favourite time of year. Knitwear weather is starting but we’re still not in the potentially icy period. The leaves are starting to change, the nights are getting darker and socially acceptable to stay inside all the time. It is also the perfect time to read a whole bunch of Agatha Christie. I know people like to use the term “cosy crime” as a pejorative but it’s nothing of the sort. It is, however, cosy. There’s nothing I love more than settling down with a cup of tea and a murder mystery. I have several books that I want to get through this year but I decided to start with this one. Some may think it’s the wrong time of year for a crime thriller set in a Summer holiday resort but why not?
I miss going out to the cinema. The news that Cineworld would be closing due to Covid has made me realise just how long it been since I was las sat in a cinema. I obviously hope that cinemas will survive but it seems clear that, post-Coronavirus, the way people watch films is going to change. I’d love to be able to go out and support my local cinema but I just don’t want to take the risk. I’m not officially shielding but as a “high risk” individual in a virus hotspot, it really doesn’t seem worth the risk to sit in a room full of strangers for a few hours. No matter how good Tenet might be. And it’s not fair to place the survival of a whole industry on individuals anyway. But I digress. For the time being, there are plenty of films being released on Netflix at the moment to keep me occupied. It won’t ever be the same but it’s something.
As much as I enjoyed rereading My Sister the Serial Killer last week for book club, it does mean that I’m now a book behind for reviews. I didn’t want to post a second review of the book because my feelings haven’t changed much since my first read. I could have tried hard to finish my current read in time but, I’ll be honest, I spent much of the weekend playing Animal Crossing and was too busy collecting wood and catching bugs to be reading. So, it left me without a topic for today’s bookish. As it’s October, the scariest month of the year, I thought it would be fitting to discuss some of my top scary books. Disclaimer going in, I’m not much into the horror genre, so this is probably going to end up being massively underwhelming. I thought about including some examples of traditional gothic fiction but decided against it. Partly because I’ve already covered it. Also because they might not seem as spooky to modern readers.
I’ll be honest, I was surprised by how productive my week has been. Especially as last weekend I finally allowed myself to buy Animal Crossing. I’m already obsessed. Although I have already restarted my game once because I ended up hating the layout of my island. My second game is going much better but I do regret the placement of my house. Once I make enough bells I’ll definitely have to move it. In between all of this island living, I have managed to do some reading. It’s a miracle.
It’s October which can only mean one thing: Autumnal vibes abound. Yep, I’ve already pulled out my fake leaves, pine cones and other suitable props for my Instagram feed. I can’t wait. Autumn is my favourite aesthetic. I should probably jus embrace it all year around. Although, I’m also looking forward to the spooky Halloween posts. I bought so much fake blood spray last year that I really need to do some fun things with it. But now isn’t the time to look ahead. Now is a time for looking back on what turns out to be a fairly average month.
Number of books read:6 Number of rereads: 3 Number of physical books: 3 Number of ebooks: 1 Number of audiobooks: 1
In my review of Love, Guaranteed on Tuesday, I suggested that my main motivation for watching it was to escape from reality with something ridiculous. That was partly the case. After all, the more news I watch the less energy I have for dramatic narratives. However, I won’t pretend that it was my only motivation. Really, I wanted to use it as an excuse to rewatch She’s All That. I can’t remember the last time that I watched this film but, for a time, it was definitely something I watched all the time. Along with 10 Things I Hate About You, this was a film that had a prominent place in my teenage years. I clearly didn’t have great taste at the time but I don’t think anybody really does in their early teens, right?
When we were younger, my sisters and I really loved the 1993 film Homeward Bound. We watched it over and over again. The film had such an impact on my whole family that we all still quote things from it now. It helps that Michael J. Fox is absolutely amazing in the role of Chance but, really, we just love a good animal story. Especially about a group of them defying the odds. So, when writer Tony Lee Moral got in touch with me about his new children’s book, I definitely wanted to read it. After all, what’s better than the story of an animal defying the odds? The story of an animal defying the odds that is based on real-life.