Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays (March 17)

Should Be Reading hosts the Teaser Tuesdays weekly event.

My modified rules are as follows:

Grab your current read. Pick two or three “teaser” sentences more or less at random from the book, anywhere on the page. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your teaser from… that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given! (Please avoid spoilers!) (Read the official Teaser Tuesday rules.)

My teaser:

“The week she turned one, Maia spoke her first English words: ‘boot’ and ‘up.’ I like to think that the coupling foretells something about her character: feet firmly on the ground, but arms stretched to the sky, the better to catch her dreams” (pp. 148-149).

This is from “At Lingyin Si” in Pathologies: A Life in Essays by Susan Olding.


  1. That is one strange cover! The teaser is great, though. My teaser is here under the Galway Bay tour post.

  2. Thanks for stopping by the Galway Bay tour. Please give yourself a chance to read this book. It is magical storytelling at it's best. There are some contests out there- maybe you can win the book! I'll be rooting for you.

  3. Interesting teaser - and an intriguing cover. Thanks for sharing!

    My teasers are here.

  4. You're going to be sick of me today. I just saw your post on MM and I live in FL. So far in the USA we get 6 days a week mail delivery. There is some discussion that it may go to 5. Who knows? I take it you only get mail M-F in Canada?

  5. Kaye, yeah, I guess it is a strange cover; maybe it refers to the first essay in this collection, which is called "Pathology" and in which the author's father (who is a pathologist) describes his job to his then fifteen-year-old daughter thusly: "a pathologist is a guy who uses big words and pisses in the sink." Perhaps this is the sink in question? (Eww!)

    Kaye (again), thanks for rooting for me, I just might have to do that!

    Lisa, thanks for stopping by! I'll check out your teasers too.

    Kaye (again), there's no such thing as too many comments (so, no, not getting sick of you at all)! Yup, M-F mail only here, although I have a vague recollection there might have been Saturday mail when I was a kid (or maybe it's just that the local post office used to be open on Saturdays?). Anyway, six-days-a-week delivery sounds awesome!

  6. When I read that her first words were "boot" and "up", I automatically thought of computers. :-)

    I admit that I modify the rules for the Tuesday Teaser too.

  7. Ha, that's funny, Wendy (and didn't even occur to me)! I generally only pick random sentences if I haven't read very much of the book yet, which I'd actually done for this one until I read a better passage. Seems to me that half the point of teasers is for them to be enticing enough to make someone else check out the book, and I find random ones don't necessarily do that.

  8. Interesting pair of words and thoughts on what they might signify in regards to her character! I wonder how she does grow up then :)

  9. What a great teaser--"The better to catch your dreams" I just love that!

  10. Good teaser, so optimistic or hopeful.

  11. aww that's sweet and so optimistic. lovely

  12. I really like this teaser, gives a good sense for the writing style of the author. I, too, find a quote that might pull people in, rather than a totally random one.

    As for that cover, I was going to say it was unique, then I read your explanation and I can't get that out of my head.

  13. Lovely sentiment. I'm not sure about the cover though...

  14. Well, I think the explanation for the cover is kind of funny! Good teaser too ;)

  15. Oh, what a great teaser! I love it about Maia's character being like her first words!

  16. Interesting teaser. I have not read a book of essays or any essays since grade/high school. I wonder if I would like that sort of thing now. How are you enjoying the book?

  17. Epic Rat, we don't get to find out in the book because she hasn't done it yet! (I think she's eight by the end of the book.)

    Thanks, Melissa, Jo-Jo, Mary and Reverie!

    Thanks, Dawn. I hope my explanation about the cover didn't turn you off this book!

    Stacybuckeye, I must admit I'm not sure the cover is a great fit either...

    Glad it amused you, Myckyee!

    Betty, my sister's first words were apparently "wantsomemore" and we still tease her about her appetite, so maybe there's some truth to that theory...!

    Catherine, I'm a great fan of personal essays and I loved this book!

  18. I hope it is okay that I eavesdropped on this conversation. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! Thank you so much for taking time to mention it here.

    On the subject of the cover, it does refer to the first essay, but more generally, metaphorically, it suggests the idea of loss – things slipping away. At the same time, the shiny surface of the drain is reflective - much like the genres of personal essay and memoir themselves. I admit this is oblique, and when I first saw the mock-up I wasn't sure - but I've grown to love it.

    Also, you might be interested to know that this cover, too, is a lookalike, believe it or not! There seems to be something in the zeitgeist; even the most original designers come up with similar images at the same time. Check the cover of Rawi Hage's Cockroach for the lookalike to mine. www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Cockroach-Rawi-Hage/9780887842092-item.html

    The designer for my cover is David Drummond. He's a really interesting guy whose award-winning work you can see at www.daviddrummond.blogspot.com/

    Very best wishes,

  19. Absolutely, Susan, thank you for chiming in and explaining the cover a bit more! I did notice that it was similar to the cover for Cockroach, although the connotations of each are quite different, given the different titles. (Despite what I revealed above from the first essay, your sink seems shinier and cleaner!) I actually like the cover, and although I think its connection to the book is a bit tenuous, in some ways that doesn't matter: I like the cover; I was attracted to the book as a result; I loved the book; it seems to me the cover did its job! In general, I find Drummond's covers are quite abstract: I recently reviewed Good to a Fault and feel the same way about that cover (also designed by Drummond). Thank you for mentioning the designer and his website, by the way.