Friday, August 30, 2013

Red Dragon, Book Opening Lines, and Friday Celebrations

Today is the August meeting of The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a book club hosted by The Armchair Squid, and this is my first time participating in the group. The rules of the club are simple - post about the best book you've finished during the past month and visit other bloggers who are doing the same.

My choice for this month was an easy one. The best book I read in August was Red Dragon by Thomas Harris.
Red Dragon on Amazon
I know this book is old but I had never read it before, and I haven't seen either of the movies made from it. But I became totally addicted to the tv show Hannibal this summer and I wanted to read the book that inspired it.

Once I started this book I couldn't stop and I was turning pages well into the night until I came to the end. That was both a good and a bad thing, because when I took my dog Clancy outside in the dark after finishing the book I was scared to death when I heard footsteps in my parking lot. I froze and nearly had a heart attack, certain Hannibal Lecter was coming up behind me. Fortunately, the footsteps only belonged to one of my neighbors. :D

According to one of the reviews on Amazon, "if you haven't read [Red Dragon] you haven't had the creeps."

I definitely second that and now wish I had read this book years ago. I not only loved the book, I also got more addicted to the series after reading it. A big thumbs up from me.

Thanks to Armchair for giving me the heads-up about this monthly meeting!

In keeping with the book theme, my Friday Faves list for this week is five of my favorite book opening lines. These are in no particular order, except for this first one, which is my all-time favorite.

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." ~ 1984, George Orwell


"Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered that she had turned into the wrong person." ~ Back When We Were Grownups, Anne Tyler

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . ." ~ Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier


“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish aboard.” ~ Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston


"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." ~ Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling

I have to say this was probably the hardest topic yet to narrow down to just five. I could easily have gone on all day.

Finally, Friday brings another round of the Celebrate the Small Things Bloghop, hosted by Vikki at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author.

I'm celebrating that I have a long weekend thanks to the Labor Day holiday. The beginning of the new school year is always a stressful time at the college where I work and I am really looking forward to the break.

And speaking of the weekend, I'm celebrating the return of college football. Go Buckeyes! :)

Finally, I'm celebrating that we are heading into September and my favorite time of the year. I love autumn!

What are you celebrating? Did you read a book you particularly loved this past month? And what are your favorite book opening lines?

Happy weekend, all! :)


  1. Although I'm not into dragons (or any other fictional creatures!) this book's been on my to-read list for some time.

  2. I'm also intrigued to read the series, but I don't know if I'm brave enough yet. :-D

  3. Oh I so want to watch the series but we can't get in on our Box provider. We'll no doubt stream it though. :D I need to read that book now though. I love having the creeps. I'm of to get my copy as soon as I leave here. :)

    I too adore the autumn, but here in Dubai I prefer the winter (it's too darn hot any other time of the year).

    Enjoy you long weekend. X


  4. I had to chuckle reading you're looking forward to the school break when its just beginning. Autumn is my favorite time of year also! Enjoy the long weekend, Julie!

  5. Enjoy your long weekend Julie!
    I'm a summer girl... and my side of the globe that's December time, which is also the festive season and 5/6 week summer holidays... need I say more?
    Writer In Transit

  6. I'm ready to enjoy a long weekend as well!
    Red Dragon was an excellent book. If you're going to watch one of the movies, make it Manhunter. Very creepy and effective.

  7. I read that book ages ago, but all I have in my head is the Manhunter movie with William Peterson, which was good, too. :)

    Love those opening lines! I have my August Recommended Reading post coming out next week. Lots of good stuff!

    Enjoy the long weekend, Julie!

  8. I have Red Dragon on my Plex, but am yet to venture near it.

  9. You are much braver than I, surely I would have had a heart attack if I heard footsteps coming up behind me after reading about Hannibal the Cannibal. Scary stuff!!

    I am looking forward to Fall and football as well, but I will miss summer as I feel like this summer went way too quick, for my tastes.

    Enjoy your long weekend!!

  10. I had forgotten it was a long weekend in the states, something worth celebrating. I will add Red Dragon to my reading wish list.

    Rhonda @Laugh Quotes
    Visiting today from the Celebrate blogfest

  11. Great first lines! Red Dragon sounds pretty good, and creepy! I'm really excited for autumn coming around, I love it. Have a great long weekend!

  12. It sounds far too creepy for me - I'd never sleep at night.

  13. Wow, that was like three posts in one. :P

    I remember when I saw Silence of the Lambs the first time. I couldn't go out at night either without jumping at every sound.

    And great first lines! That would be tough to nail it down to five.

  14. Red Dragon is an awesome book! In fact, I've enjoyed all the Hannibal Lector books.

    Yay for the longer weekend and football coming back! I've been looking forward to September since May. LOL!

  15. @Ghadeer, oh, it's not about an actual dragon, the monsters are all people. I'd definitely recommend it.

    @Misha, I really didn't expect to like it but it was like crack for me once I started LOL.

    @Shah, I hope you like it! And I hope you have a nice weekend too.

    @Cathrina, I know, it's pathetic but I can't deny it LOL. One week of school and I'm already anxious for a day off. :D

    @Michelle, I love December too, even if it's winter here for me. Thanks and I hope you have a great weekend too!

    @Alex, I've heard that about Manhunter, will have to check it out.

    @Madeline, I'm curious to see what you will recommend for August. :)

    @Damyanti, oh, I think you'll like it if you decide to. :D

    @jaybird, LOL, I seriously did almost have a heart attack. If I hadn't had my dog with me I probably would have passed out. I figured he could at least bite Hannibal and save me if needed LOL.

    @Rhonda, I hope you like it!

    @Laura, thanks and I hope you have a great weekend too!

    @Sally, I almost didn't LOL.

    @LG, I did the same when I saw Silence of the Lambs. I still think that is the scariest movie I've ever seen.

    @Cherie, me too LOL. I need to read the rest of the Lector books now.

  16. Those are great opening lines - love the one from 1984!

    One of my favorite first lines is from a small press book called A Slight Change of Plans by John Zobel - "Inside the polyester moose head, the temperature was rising."

  17. Such great opening lines! And Red Dragon very creepy - I couldn't get into the Hannibal series as much as I'd have liked, it became to graphic, doesn't need to go there to get across the message, another show I listen to instead of watch.
    I'm so odd! :)

    Celebrating the long weekend too!

  18. Good job, so happy you found a book you love. I read Pie, an old Brown Horse, and it was very good. But the sad parts made me cry. That's the last book I've read.
    Have a lovely week. celebrating Fall.

  19. Go football. September is the best month ever.

  20. Hmm, that series while intriguing will not gain me as a reader, I am such a coward and I know I will not sleep for a whole year from the scars... lol

    Great opening lines, loved the first one. I only know the Harry Potter book, which means I have to get myself reading more but I love this idea.

    Ah, yes September is a great month!

  21. There is a famous short story "Knock," by Frederick Brown that begins with these two sentences:

    "The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door..."

  22. I can't read or watch serial killers... my husband unit will say an amen to that.

    Coming up with a great first line is tough. I'm working on it now for the new one... thinking, thinking, thinking...

  23. I'm the opposite I've seen the movies based off the books but haven't read any. Love Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Your theme is great and while I'm a big Potter fan I have to pick the first two. 1984's start definitely has my hair standing on end.

  24. I read Red Dragon when I was in middle school.


    I got hold of my brother's copy and thoroughly traumatized myself, though it didn't stop me from gobbling up lots of other inappropriate material afterward, and didn't actually scar me for life. And it WAS really exciting. Though I think I'd cry if I found out my own middle-schooler read it.

    Great review, and I LOVE the first line splurge! I could have read them all day, if you'd written them!

    Welcome to the Club.

  25. Awesome opening lines! My favorite would be the Harry Potter one too. I read POP TRAVEL by Tara Tyler. That was fantastic! Have a great long weekend. :)

  26. I don't think I've ever heard of Red Dragon, but I love creepy fiction, so I guess I need to keep an eye out for this!

    And yay, autumn! I'm a fan of this time of year, too. :)

  27. Funny - my teaching partner and I are currently doing a unit on storytelling and today's lesson was about hooks. I suggested in passing to him that we should compile a list of famous opening book lines for our students - maybe a match the line to the book exercise.

    One of my favorites: "All children, except one, grow up." - Peter Pan, of course.

    The World According to Garp has a nice one, too: “Garp’s mother, Jenny Fields, was arrested in Boston in 1942 for wounding a man in a movie theatre.”

    One I came up with myself, just today: "I had no idea what to do with all of the bones in my freezer." A little Lecter-esque?

  28. Few things are scarier than Hannibal Lechter! You picked some fantastic first lines. The one from 1984 is one of my all time favorites. Congrats on a long weekend and the return to football season. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! :-)

  29. Tom Harris is one scary dude or he really knows how to give his readers the creeps. Not a good idea to go out in the dark after wards.

  30. @Tyrean, oh, I love that moose head line! I've never heard of that book but now I want to check it out.

    @Yolanda, LOL, you're not odd. It is really graphic and I have to look away sometimes. Truthfully I feel a little twisted for loving it like I do LOL.

    @Deanie, thanks so much, I hope you have a lovely one too. :)

    @Nana, agree!

    @SK, LOL, you are probably smart to avoid it. I love the 1984 line too, just perfect to me.

    @Loach, oh wow, that's an awesome one. Need to check that story out.

    @Mary, LOL, I never used to be able to either and if I were smart I'd probably still avoid them. Good luck with your line. :)

    @Sheeena, me too, I think it's perfect. I want to catch up on the other Lecter movies, I've only seen Silence of the Lambs.

    @Stephanie, LOL LOL. If I had read this in middle school I probably would have needed therapy. Thanks!!

    @Christine, I have Tara's book on my list, I know it will be great.

    @Heather, if you love creepy you will definitely like it. :D

    @Armchair, wow, that's a great line you came up with! You need to do something with that. :)

    @Lexa, agreed, one of the scariest characters ever. I hope you have a great weekend too.

    @Denise, true, I am a little scared of him because of what he has come up with in his books LOL. :D

  31. Hurrah to autumn and long weekends!

  32. I got shivers just reading "Red Dragon." I watched this move a lot when in college and not again since but it STILL lives vividly in my mind. In your situation, my poor doggie would've just had to wear a diaper until the sun came up!

  33. I love autumn, too. :D
    Have a nice weekend!

  34. Perhaps I will someday, Julie. Perhaps I will...

  35. I must read Red Dragon. I love a good chill and that author is very capable of giving me some.

    Here's to your long weekend and enjoying the start of your favorite season.

  36. I'm reading a book by Joan Anderson (amazing author) called The Second Journey. It's a continuation of her first book A Year By The Sea. I love any book that carries me along a spiritual journey and resonates within me.

    Yay for your interviews and those were great first lines-- I struggle to come up with something overly clever.

  37. You were quite busy in this post, weren't you? I haven't read any of the Lecter books, but I have no doubt they'd creep me the heck out. The movie(s) sure did.

  38. Yeah, there's no way I could narrow it down to 5. No way. For creep factor, I love Dean Koontz. Fear Nothing and Seize the Night were stellar.

  39. @Vikki, :)

    @Nicki, LOL LOL, I was almost at that point with Clancy, the poor dog.

    @Jackie, definitely the best time of the year in my book. Thanks!

    @Armchair, I hope you do! :)

    @Lee, if you read it I think you'll love it.

    @Julie, I know, it's very hard I think. I've never read that author, will have to check her out.

    @Trisha, LOL, I did get a little carried away. I need to watch the rest of the Hannibal movies now.

    @Crystal, oh yeah, Koontz is creepy for sure. I haven't read any of his in a while, I need to go back to those.

  40. I still want to read Red Dragon. I still have a pile of older books that I yet have to read. I tagged you for the Next Big Thing on my blog if you are interested.

  41. Hi Julie - I'm not sure I want to read Red Dragon - I really don't like being scared! I just stay well away from those, tv series, films .. then I get brave and actually enjoy them.

    Thanks for the thumbs up though .. and then the five books with first lines you've selected - I then realise how unread I am.

    Good luck with school and new beginnings .. I've only just realised it's a school library you're in!! Makes a difference ...

    Enjoy your walks with Clancy .. in the light .. cheers Hilary

  42. Sounds like a good book club. I'm thinking of ways to adjust mine. I'll definitely look at it! that first line. Loved the book. I need to read it again. That and Animal Farm. Two great books.

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  43. @Murees, oh, thank you for tagging me, I appreciate it!

    @Hilary, thanks! I definitely enjoy walking with Clancy in the fall, we both hate the summer heat LOL. And I am going to make sure I don't read any more creepy books before I take him out in the dark LOL.

    @Michael, I didn't know you had a book club, will have to check that out.

  44. good booking club.old follower

    hope you can visit my Celebrate Small Things

  45. @Michie, thanks for coming by and thanks for the link, I will be visiting. :)


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