How To Stop Time

HTST

Matt Haig

First Sentence:     I often think of what Hendrich said to me, over a century ago, in his New York apartment.

Back of the book:

‘I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong.’

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life.

Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover – working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he’d never witnessed them first-hand. He can try to tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom must not do is fall in love.

How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to really learn how to live.

Quotes from the book:

“It wasn’t just the loss of people I had known but also the loss of myself. The loss of who I had been when I had been with them.”

She clicks the top of her pen. Then clicks it again. Each one is a moment. The first click, the pause between the click, and the second click. The longer you live, the harder it becomes. To grab them. Each little moment as it arrives. To be living in something other than the past or the future. To be actually here.

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Beatlebone

Beatlebone

Kevin Barry

First Sentence:     He set out for the place as an animal might, as though on some fated migration.

Back of the book:

He will spend three days alone on his island. That is all that he asks . . . John is so many miles from love now and home. This is the story of his strangest trip.

John owns a tiny island off the west coast of Ireland. Maybe it is there that he can at last outrun the shadows of his past.

The tale of a wild journey into the world and a wild journey within, Beatlebone is a mystery box of a novel. It’s a portrait of an artist at a time of creative strife. It is most of all a sad and beautiful comedy from one of the most gifted stylists now at work.

Quotes from the book:

Baby spew the sour milk smell the bloody motherhood.

‘Did you know that the groans get passed down to us?’

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The Book Of Strange New Things

The Book of Strange New Things

Michel Faber

First Sentence:     “I was going to say something,” he said.

Back of the book:

‘I am with you always, even unto the end of the world…’ Peter Leigh is a missionary called to go on the journey of a lifetime. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Bea, he boards a flight for a remote and unfamiliar land, a place where the locals are hungry for the teachings of the Bible – his ‘book of strange new things’. It is a quest that will challenge Peter’s beliefs, his understanding of the limits of the human body and, most of all, his love for Bea. The Book of Strange New Things is a wildly original tale of adventure, faith and the ties that might hold two people together when they are worlds apart. This momentous novel, Faber’s first since The Crimson Petal and the White, sees him at his expectation-defying best.

Quote from the book:

He remembered how, when he was a kid, he would play with the girl at the end of the street and she’d spray him with the garden hose and he’d jump to avoid it  but get caught anyway, which was the whole point and pleasure of it, Knowing that it would get you, but that you wouldn’t come to harm and you’d love it really.

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The First Bad Man

TFBM-COVER-667x1024Miranda July

First Sentence:     I drove to the doctor’s office as if I was starring in a movie Phillip was watching—windows down, hair blowing, just one hand on the wheel.

Back of the book:

Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people’s babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women’s self-defense nonprofit where she works. She believes they’ve been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one.

When Cheryl’s bosses ask if their twenty-one-year-old daughter, Clee, can move into her house for a little while, Cheryl’s eccentrically ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee—the selfish, cruel blond bombshell—who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, provides her the love of a lifetime.

Quotes from the book:

Then I realized that we all think we might be terrible people. But we only reveal this before we ask someone to love us. It is a kind of undressing.

“I could see it so clearly, the zygote—shiny and bulbous, filled with the electric memory of being two but now damned with the eternal loneliness of being just one.”

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The Crimson Petal And The White

Michel-Faber-Crimson-Petal-and-the-White1Michel Faber

First Sentence:    Watch your step.

Back of the book:

‘Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them . . .’

So begins this irresistible voyage into the dark side of Victorian London. Amongst an unforgettable cast of low-lifes, physicians, businessmen and prostitutes, meet our heroine Sugar, a young woman trying to drag herself up from the gutter any way she can. Be prepared for a mesmerising tale of passion, intrigue, ambition and revenge.

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