What is the first sentence from the book you are currently reading?

Its a long one - “Slammed right and left by battering, 60 mph wind gusts, blinded by snow squalls at the leading edge of an Arctic storm, search and rescue pilot Lieutenant David Neel was doing his best, early on that cold December morning in 2004, to shake off the sudden bouts of vertigo and keep his H-60 helicopter on course and in the air.” On the Edge of Survival - Spike Walker.

This true-life story checked all (well, most) of my boxes. Aviation, ships and sea faring, and ‘man against nature’ survival against long odds. I recently had the chance to meet and speak with one of the pilots involved after our mutual friend sort of badgered him into telling the story. He was modest but at the same time rightfully proud of what they accomplished. I had to get the book to get all of the many details Its an amazing story that is legendary in the Coast Guard community.

The Hollow Places, Ursula Vernon

His sister also cleaned his house, and he also ate over at the Emersons pretty frequently. There’s an amazing thread on Twitter about it, if you’re interested.

“Late during one of those perfect twilights when the sky shimmered with copper like the last pulse of heat burning out of a body, Padilla and Bigelow turned off the highway onto a narrow residential street that brought them directly into the sun.”

The Forgotten Man, by Robert Crais

In Walden, Thoreau makes it very clear that he often has dinner at other people’s houses, and occasionally mentions borrowing things from them. Still, I enjoyed reading his observations about nature.

Back to the thread:

“From where I sit, the story of Arthur Less is not so bad.”

Less, by Andrew Sean Greer

“When the Moon rose in the Third Northern Hall I went to the Ninth Vestibule to witness the joining of three Tides.”

Piranesi, by Susanna Clark

This, which I started yesterday.

Ah, thanks. Pardon the snark, then. I had read elsewhere that he tried to portray himself as much more of a rugged individualist and noble, nature-loving loner than he really was.

“On September 12, 1876, the crowd overflowing the auditorium of Baltimore’s Academy of Music was in a mood of hopeful excitement, but excitement without frivolity.”

-The Great Influenza - The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry

“Now the black man screamed No!, now the black man screamed Get out, motherfucker, and Carp, a big-boy at thirty, felt the explosion behind his eyes.”

The Hanged Man’s Song, by John Sandford

“The city was hers for a single hour, just the one magic hour, only hers.”

The Watchman, by Robert Crais

“Our character, basically, is a composite of our habits.”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic, by Stephen R. Covey

"Letter 1

To Mrs Saville, England
St. Petersburgh, Dec. 11th, 17–

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings."

  • Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. The whole book is that flowery shit. I love it.

“It is exactly midnight, which means Mother’s Day has just begun.”

Where Are You Now? by Mary Higgins Clark

“When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”

Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

“The day is bright and warm for December 1, but the logs in the marsh pond are bare.”

All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings, by Gayle Boss

“Rusty Rutherford emerged from his apartment on a Monday morning, exactly one week after he got fired.”

The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child. A Jack Reacher book.

“I bounded over the gray, dusty terrain toward the huge dome of Conrad Bubble.”

Artemis, by Andy Weir

“Now Uther Pendragon, King of all Britain, conceived an inordinate passion for the fair Ygraine, duchess of Cornwall, and having otherwise no access to her, he proceeded to wage war upon her husband, Gorlois the duke.”

Arthur Rex by Thomas Berger

The Great War had brought Paul Lewis into the navy in 1918 as a lieutenant commander, but he never seems quite at ease when he was in his uniform.

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History – John M. Barry

Sidenote: I learn to my amazement that there was no such thing as medical science prior to about the 1870s or 1880s. Medical schools were supported by student fees, and students were not required to have any kind of degree at all (even a highschool degree!) prior to admission. They performed no labs, experiments, or autopsies. Most never used thermometers or stethoscopes. You could become a doctor by attending lectures for a few months and didn’t even have to pass an exam. I’m at chapter 5 and still learning about the history of medical practice and how it changed in a short period of time once doctors were willing to apply the scientific method to the practice. Amazing stuff.