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

“My two favorite things to do with my time are helping people and looking at cat pictures.”

Catfishing on CatNet, by Naomi Kritzer

Commodore Eddie Cantrell looked past the bowsprit of the USE steam cruiser Intrepid into the nautical twilight brightening the eastern horizon.

1637: No Peace Beyond the Line by Eric Flint and Charles E Gannon

“When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from my neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only.”

Walden, by Henry David Thoreau

And Thoreau often went into town to have his laundry done and to enjoy meals cooked by his sister, IIRC.

“I know a place where there is no smog and no parking problem and no population explosion… no Cold War and no H-bombs and no television commercials… no Summit Conferences, no Foreign Aid, no hidden taxes – no income tax. The climate is the sort that Florida and California claim (and neither has), the land is lovely, the people are friendly and hospitable to strangers, the women are beautiful and amazingly anxious to please. I could go back. I could…”

Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein

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