Fates And Furies


Lauren Groff

First Sentence:     A thick drizzle from the sky, like a curtain’s sudden sweeping.

Back of the book: 

Every story has two sides.
Every relationship has two perspectives.
And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but behind closed doors things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed.

Quotes from the book:

It unnerved her, the gap between who he appeared to be and the person he held inside him.

‘Up there rose the ghosts of parties, of themselves when they were younger, too dumb to understand that they were ecstatic.’

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Nick Harkaway

First Sentence:     At seven fifteen a.m., his bedroom slightly colder than the vacuum of space, Joshua Joseph Spork wears a longish leather coat and a pair of his father’s golfing socks.

Back of the book:

Joe Spork, son of the infamous criminal Mathew ‘Tommy Gun’ Spork just wants a quiet life, repairing clockwork in a wet, unknown bit of London.

Edie Banister, former superspy, lives quietly and wishes she didn’t. She’s nearly ninety and the things she fought to save don’t seem to exist anymore. She’s beginning to wonder if they ever did.

When Joe is asked to fix one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. The client? Unknown. The device? A 1950s doomsday machine. Having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator, Edie’s old arch-nemesis. Joe’s once-quiet world is now populated with mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe. The only way he can survive, is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she gave up years ago, and pick up his father’s old gun…

Quotes from the book:

‘[…] she is almost vibrating with rich, distilled energy, as if the process of living all those decades has made a reduction of her spirit which is thick and slow in her chest, but sweeter and stronger for it.’

Those times faded away in almost perfect synchrony with the change in relative scale of their palms. As Joe’s first equalled and then exceeded his mother’s, so both of them became unwilling to share the inverted contact which told them the years had moved on.[…] They spoke occasionally, met rarely, and touched little if at all.

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Fourth Of July Creek


Smith Henderson

First Sentence:     The cop flicked his cigarette to the dirt-and-gravel road in front of the house, and touched back his hat over his hairline as the social worker drove up in a dusty Toyota Corolla.

Back of the book:

‘If I knew for a certain’ty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life…’

After trying to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face-to-face with the boy’s profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah. With courage and caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist itching for a final conflict that will signal the coming End Times. But as Pete’s own family spins out of control, Jeremiah’s activities spark the full-blown interest of the FBI, putting Pete at the centre of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed.

In this shattering and iconic novel, Smith Henderson explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion and anarchy, brilliantly depicting America’s disquieting and violent contradictions. Fourth Of July Creek is an unforgettable, unflinching debut that marks the arrival of a major literary talent.

Quote from the book:

He slumped against the car door into the crusty snow and howled out griefs that had come on as sudden and frightening as earthquakes, and even after they emptied out, left him in fear of aftershocks, of unseen cracks in the load-bearing trestles of his mind.

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