Call Me Ishmael

At the best of times, you may call me ‘indecisive’. Therefore, it will not surprise anyone to see not one, but two first lines from books. I have too many favourites!

“1801 – I have just returned from a visit to my landlord – the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with. This is certainly a beautiful country!”


Ahh, Wuthering Heights. These two sentences define half of my childhood. How do I describe the obsession I have, just akin to madness? I have read and re read this novel so many times, I keep having to buy replacement copies. For those of you who don’t know, this is one of the most exquisite love stories ever written. Readers inevitably loathe the heroine, Catherine, with a passion, and fall in love with Heathcliff. They feel sorry for the Lintons, but despise them for their weakness simultaneously. Wuthering Heights is for me, true love (yes, a teensy bit exaggerated), but passionate nevertheless, and pure. Anyone who has not read it, must add it to their list of Must Reads, or you have not lived. Also, I keep buying different editions of the novel every time I see one. This drives my sister insane.

“The Santa Anas blew in hot from the desert, shriveling the last of the spring grass into whiskers of pale straw.”


White Oleander is a more recent discovery. I read it last year, and since then it’s become one of my absolute favourite reads. Its basically about a young girl, and how she struggles through adolescence  surviving foster home after foster home. Her mother, who likens herself to the tough Vikings, is in prison for a crime of passion. Astrid, the girl meets a series of foster mothers, each with different personalities and stories. This is fascinating in itself, along with the fact that the truth is stripped bare, and harsh facts are seen in clear light. Its a revelation of a book, and hosts some very complex, well thought out characters.