She Brings Me Water

An aeclectic look at the nearby world

First-line Contest with a Prize

 If you know anything about me, you know that I love to read books.  I Read.  A Lot.  Of Books. I was, in honor of the end of the Old Year and the beginning of 2008, going to give you a list of the books I’ve read over the past year, the ones I’m reading now, and the ones lined up waiting to be read.  Then I thought: boring.  For anybody except me.

So then I thought: Contest!  Prize!  Everyone loves a contest, right?  You love a prize, don’tcha?  Well, here’s your chance to show off your literary chops and add to your Christmas booty as well.  If you win, that is.

 So, here’s the contest:  I’m going to list the first line of some of the books I’ve read this year and you get to answer with the author and the book in which the line appears.  Put your answers in the comment box below.  At the end of the contest time, the person with the most correct answers wins!  Simple, no?   Oh, and no fair googling (or any other kind of searching) for answers; if you don’t know an answer, say so.

Here are the first lines (or snippets of them):

1. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

2. “I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family…”

3. “For a long time I used to go to bed early.”

4. “Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the particulars about…”

5. “Marley was dead, to begin with.”

6. “On the 24th of February, 1815, the watch-tower of Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the arrival of the three-master Pharaon, from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.”

7. “Call me Ishmael.”

8. “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by any body else, these pages must be show.”

Hint: All of the books are considered “classics”.  And the prize?  (Wait for it.)  A $25 gift certificate at Amazon, which I’m sure you will use to buy a book.  I would.  Oh, and the contest ends January 4th, 2008 at midnite, EST in the US.  

Bonne Chance!

(The picture at the top of this post is our latest acquisition of books, the Harper & Brothers Household Edition of Charles Dickens’ works (16 in the edition, we got 14), published in the decade after Dickens’ death in 1870.)

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4 Comments»

  Wilford wrote @

Your blog is beautiful. I am sure I got a few of the books and authors right, but definitely not enough to win What a fun activity! I will invite Zahir and some others to make sure they see your contest.

Happy New Year!

Wilford

  cygnet wrote @

I agree with Wilford that your blog is beautiful. I never could rock this layout correctly 😛

Unfortunately, I am poorly read in the classics… 😦

Congrats on your new books! 😀

  surrealistgesture wrote @

1. A tale of two cities – Dickens
2. Robinson Crusoe – Defoe
3. Remembrance of Things Past – Proust
4. Treasure island – Stevenson
5. A Christmas Carol – Dickens
6. Count of Monte Cristo – Dumas
7. Moby Dick – Melville
8. David Copperfield – Dickens

I must say I’m impressed that you managed to fit Proust in with the rest of these. Good show. My reading suffered greatly this last year, I only managed to read maybe ten books total, and one of those (Journey to the end of the night) was a re-read!

Thanks for the fun diversion!

  quinncreative wrote @

The lotus pictures are amazing. I have a lotus as the wallpaper on my iPhone, but I didn’t take the picture. This is just amazing.

Hmmm, now on to the books. I’m not a champ, but I recognize some of them, so I’ll give it a go. I love a good literary quiz!

1. Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens. I can still hear the knitting needles of Madame LaFarge clicking when I read that line. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

2. Robinson Cruso, Daniel Defoe. I always wondered about that unnamed narrator in the preface. I don’t think we ever hear from him again. “I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family…”

3. It’s Marcel Proust, but I’m not sure where. I’m simply going to go for the most popular here, A La Recherche Du Tempe Perdu. “For a long time I used to go to bed early.”

It helps to read your blog regularly, though. You sometimes mention hints, like the Dickens set, above.

4. Haven’t read this in a while, but it made a huge impression on me one summer when I as about 12. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson. “Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the particulars about…”

5. Sheer guessing here. Dickens, A Christmas Carol. It’s the only Marley I can remember. “Marley was dead, to begin with.”

6. Ummm. This could be a trick. I’m going with Three Musketeers by the elder Dumas. “On the 24th of February, 1815, the watch-tower of Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the arrival of the three-master Pharaon, from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.”

7. Still a favorite book of mine. I’ve read the paperback right out of its cover. Moby Dick, Herman Melville. The scene of removing ambergris from a whale turned me into a vegetarian for half a year, but I never gave up perfume. ”Call me Ishmael.”

8.You really did love that Dickens collection. I can’t remember if this is Oliver Twist or David Copperfield. I do remember that when I saw my first picture of the bearded and serious Dickens, I thought, “THIS is the guy who wrote Little Dorrit? “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by any body else, these pages must be show.”


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