First Sentences

“There are few views that can draw noses to airplane windows like those of the Great Lakes.” Dan Egan, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes.

“By the third night the death count was rising so high and so quickly that many of the divisional homicide teams were pulled off the front lines of riot control and put into emergency rotations in South Central.” Michael Connelly, The Black Box.

“In the haunted summer of 2016, an unaccustomed heat wave struck the Siberian tundra on the edge of what the ancients once called the End of the Land.”  Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.

“The man in dark blue slacks and a forest green sportshirt waited impatiently in the line.” Patricia Highsmith, The Blunderers.

“He had been waiting for the morning, dreading it, aware it couldn’t be stopped.” Karen Abbott, The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America.

“When he was small, he was often mistaken for a girl.” Denise Giardina, Saints and Villains.

“Fiction writers as a species tend to be oglers.” David Foster Wallace, “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction” in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments.

“I’ve always considered myself to be, basically, a lucky person.” Tana French, The Witch Elm.

“I’ll begin with my own beginnings.” Daniel Okrent, The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America.

“Midway between Old Oba-Nnewi Road and New Oba-Nnewi Road, in that general area bound by the village church and the primary school, and Mmiri John Road drops off only to begin again, stood our house in Ojoto.” Chinelo Okparanta, Under the Udala Trees.

“From high up, fifteen thousand feet above, where the aerial photographs are taken, 4121 Wilson Avenue, the address I know best, is minuscule point, a scab of green.” Sarah M. Broom, The Yellow House.

“Iron rails the rusty brown of old blood cut across a cracked paved road that leads into the Lowcountry.” Patricia Cornwell, Red Mist.

“Throughout the night of Friday, September 7, 1900, Isaac Monroe Cline found himself waking to a persistent sense of something gone wrong.” Erik Larson, Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History.


During these shelter at home days, the spouse has made many baby quilts. In other words, she has been quilting. She and the NBP have put together difficult jigsaw puzzles. In other words, they have been putting together jigsaw puzzles. Don’t we a need new a verb here?

“The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves.” Logan Persall Smith.

I have seen discussions of who Joe Biden should pick as his vice-presidential running mate. The lists, however, never include my choice: Beyoncé. She would bring a lot to the ticket. She could appeal to many ethnic and racial groups besides blacks since her Creole mother has a diverse ancestry including French, Spanish, Chinese, and Jewish. Beyoncé was born in Houston and perhaps could help make Texas into a swing state. She might even appeal to Republicans of a certain age since she gave birth to twins in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. She has been financially successful without having been given millions from her Daddy. She has been placed on the lists for the most influential people in the world and Time’s person of the year. She has supported Democratic candidates, the Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQ rights, and has identified as a feminist. No, she has not been elected to any office but that did not matter in the last election. She is, however, an amazing artist and a successful businessperson, founding a company and a co-owner of at least one other. And, as far as I know, neither her companies nor she have ever declared bankruptcy. Beyoncé: Think about it. However, I do not know if she will reveal her tax returns.

“There is, of course, no reason for the existence of the male sex except that sometimes one needs help with moving the piano.” Rebecca West.

I was taught that holding the Bible upside down, as someone recently did, is what witches did to summon the Devil.

“If you set off on a witch-hunt, you will find a witch.” Chinelo Okparanta, Under the Udala Trees.

Once again the cry for law and order. As throughout history, many who demand law and order do believe in order.

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress. Napoleon

The local news source’s headline read: “A Homophobe Has The Strongest Chance At Winning Bronx’s 15th Congressional District Seat. But Others May Come Out On Top.” I thought that the second sentence should read: “Others May Come From Behind.”