Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Book Beginnings

This Meme is hosted by A Few More Pages and will be up all week.
Post the first line or first few lines of your current read.

This is the book I will be starting when I finish Neverwhere in a couple of days.

Title: The Commoner
Author: John Burnham Schwartz

From the prologue:

When I was a girl, my father told me the story of two whooping cranes who set out to fly across the world together to fulfill their destinies.

I really like this first line. It's very beautiful and gives me the impression that I have as my narrator someone who will tell me a well-written story. I know from reading the back of the book that the narrator is Haruko, Empress of Japan and the year is 1959.

My copy of this book is the Bound Galley, therefore not the cover they ended up using when it was published in January 2008. I prefer my cover although I think both are beautiful.
The cover that it was published with is below.  Which cover do you prefer?


  1. I prefer your cover! Sidenote, how are you enjoying Neverwhere? I am planning on reading it this Fall, and I love all of Gaiman's work that I have read thusfar...

    Here's my post: I hate to admit that all I've read of Fannie Flagg is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe. I loved that book and have always wondered how her other novels were, but have not yet gotten around to reading them. Have you read many others and would you have any particular recommendations?

    Here's my post: How bizarre would it be if short stories, classics, and literary fiction just disappeared. Talk about a dystopia!

    Your blog is really nice on the eyes, and I think I will really enjoy reading your content! So glad I hopped by!

    Here's my post for "the Hop"!
    Adventures in Borkdom


  2. Ha! Please excuse my last link got all screwed up with a post I made a few minutes ago on Bonnie's Books site...anyways, here's my post: Adventures in Borkdom

    Excuse my blunder : )


  3. I like your cover more, but both are lovely. I like this beginning. It makes me want to read more!

    Thanks for participating in Book Beginnings!

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Katy!

    Mandy, I am really loving Neverwhere! However, it's the first of Neil Gamain's that I'm reading so I can't compare it to anything else. What do you suggest I read next? I was thinking American Gods.

  5. I think I prefer the new cover, but they're both nice in different ways. I do enjoy reading about folktales from other cultures, and the Japanese culture is something that interests me, so I'd be keen to see how this one turns out :)

  6. Hi Elspeth,

    What some great opening lines, it sounds as if the book will be full of descriptive narrative and a strong emotional storyline.

    The storyline seems to be reminiscent of many royal families and the scimile of the story with our own royal family here in the UK wasn't lost on me.

    I prefer the new cover personally, however when I checked out the synopsis on there is a totally different cover again, although I am not sure that I even 'get' this third option, if you get chance take a look and see what you think.


  7. Great opening lines! Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

    Actually, I like the first cover better. The colors seem more mysterious.

  8. @Between The Lines--I think this novel will probably be sprinkled with stories Luke the one of the cranes as the narrator says in the first page that her father saved his best stories for her.

    @Yvonne-I can definitely see the parallels with the British Monarchs (past and present). The story is inspired by the real life Empress of Japan, Michiko Shodo. If you're interested, there's a NY Times review from 2008 that you might enjoy reading.

    @Laurel-- I love the colors, too. And I think the obvious sorrow of the woman depicted on the cover reflects the sorrow of the main character and the real Japanese Empress who inspired the main character. Apparently she went through such a deep depression that she temporarily lost her ability to speak! (this fact was taken directly from the afore-mentioned NY Times review).