Isn't it funny how bookish people gravitate towards other bookish people? It's like we just don't want to escape each other, even those for whom books, their writing, publishing, distributing, or reviewing pays the bills and/or consumes their days. So last night I went to a girls' night out at my friend C.'s house. (As an aside, check out her new book blog at Caroline Bookbinder.) Almost everyone there was in the book industry in some way. As my husband says, these were my people. ;-) And because everyone was bookish, we all happily played my new board game, the one I asked for at Christmas, knowing that it could be hard to ever convince other people to play it with me. It's called Liebrary. It's a sort of bookish version of Balderdash (which I also love and which no one will play with me either).
The basics of Liebrary are that you roll the die to choose a genre/category. Then one person reads the title, author, and a very short plot synopsis of the book. You then have a limited amount of time to write a first line for the book. The person with the info card writes out the real sentence and then all players vote on which sentence they think is the real one. You accumulate points based on picking the real first line or by having others choose your first line as the real line. While we were familiar with some of the books, none of us knew the actual first lines (although we never got to choose from the classics sections) so it was all guesswork. And sometimes we thought we'd written better first lines than the authors in question.
I collected all the sheets and thought I'd share our found poetry (extra points if you can tell me the real first line and the book from which it comes--but no cheating!). We played on teams so there are only three sentences in each set.
Mad Dog took the first punch.
The car pulled into the dustry driveway.
He hefted his backpack, stuck his thumb out, and waited.
Dorothy called out for Aunt Em as she reached the farm house after school.
Dorothy watched as Hank took his tools out to secure the shutters.
Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife.
The mailbox was empty yet again.
Claire stood and looked out the window at the fog while Frank set down their suitcases.
It wasn't a very likely place for disappearances at least at first glance.
Allegra set down her latte on her elegantly appointed desk.
Allegra sat in the lobby and checked her watch again as she sat in waiting for her meeting to start.
The traffic moved along the Santa Monica Freeway at a snail's pace, as Allegra Steinberg lay her head back against the seat of the midnight blue Mercedes 300.
Caroline rolled her eyes as she saw Clea's name on her caller ID again.
It was the longest day of the year.
It had been several years since Caroline Renwick had been in the same place at the same time as her sisters, Clea and Sky.
Where's Pa going with that axe?
A dog howled somewhere in the trees in front of him.
When I left my office that beautiful spring day, I had no idea what was in store for me.
A fun night, a fun game.
This past week I've been wallowing around all over the place in my book travels. I started in Prince Edward Island with a young girl newly orphaned and sent to live with her late mother's estranged relatives. I hopped around the world to hear a yellow haired stranger relate the tale of a long forgotten Mogol princess who captivated all of Florence for a while. I watched as a teenaged girl grew up, fell in love, reconciled with her dad, and learned that her way of seeing was not the only way. I went with an older woman who travels back to the Iran of her childhood after a tragedy and the British daughter who follows her. And finally, I saw a young man, on the eve of WWII growing up, learning about love, and trying to determine what will make him a man.
I am still tucked into the India of the British Raj, the England of Dickens, those damned sparkly vampires, and domestic life among several sisters in pre-WWII Japan.