Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted at Rose City Reader where you share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

This was first brought to my attention by Inspiration Pie.

What Stacy is Currently Reading:

“Chapter 1: Moro Rebellion

‘Glory is fleeting but obscurity is forever.’– Napoleon

Musical theme: Spartacus & Phrygia, Adagio, by Aram Khachaturian

November, 1916, Mindanao, Philippine Islands

First Lieutenant Edmund ‘Ned’ du Pont led his U. S. Army horse platoon in single file through tangled swamp on the north coast of Mindanao Island. As the patrol slogged forward along the narrow path, the stench of rotting undergrowth filled the air. Off to the left, he noticed a dark-skinned Filipino native in mud-smeared black pantaloons emerge from the neck-high razor grass. The Filipino looked him straight in the eye, a broad smile on his face, one arm hidden behind his back and obscured by the tall grass.”

My thoughts:

Is ‘Ned’ leading his horse platoon into a trap? Is this native a distraction to an ambush about to happen? Why is the U. S. Army in the Philippine Islands in 1916 anyway? Is ‘Ned’ from the legendary Du Pont family? I know this is speculative historical fiction… who is the Maid of Baikal and how does she fit in? Will ‘Ned’ fall in love with her, or does she play a completely different role in the story? (I know some of these answers may well have been answered by reading the blurb or synopsis, but if you know anything about me (from Goodreads or here on the blog), you will know I never read either since I liked to be surprised by the story. Generally, all I know of a book when I start it (besides author and title, and whatever I can glean from the cover is it has a picture) is the genre, and I like it that way!) So there are my thoughts at the start of the book….. The author includes a playlist (one composition for each chapter) which I have downloaded, and take it that each song is the “theme” to that chapter, much as the background music on a movie to set the feeling and emotion for the action.

Chapter 1: Wisconsin

“Falling In Love Again”

Tuesday, May 25, 1954, US RT 10, Appleton, Wisconsin, 6:03 p.m.

“Twenty-six year old Alexander Nicholas Throckmorton wheeled his new cream yellow Packard Patrician 400 into the gravel parking lot. Small stones clicked against the inside of the wheel wells and little puffs of dust rose up from the white-wall tires into the crisp evening air. He parked the large car close to the entrance and breathed a sigh of relief. It had been a long day, he was tired, and his eyes itched from the birch and alder pollen. The bite of another frost was perched upon the brown branches of the budding maples. The green colors of spring were already on the aspens, but winter was stubbornly hanging on and reluctant to leave the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin.”

My thoughts:

I had read Sangria Sunsets ( reviews and interview with the author) first (which is actually #6 in the “Throckmorton Family series”, and this book is #1)…. the author sent me the rest of the series. Each book has a cd with it, with the songs from those years that the book is set, and each chapter is titled after a song (as a theme for the chapter). So I was a bit familiar with some of the characters mentioned so far… Alex the son of Nick and Nora Throckmorton, Nora’s sister, her husband and children… and am waiting to see how this unfolds and what will happen in their lives. I had to look up what a Packard Patrician 400 looked like as I was not familiar with the car… and I have seen them– just didn’t know what it was:

So imagine that car, just cream yellow.

I am interested to see who Alex falls in love with and what happens with them. Tragedy? Happily ever after?

As a funny aside, when I was listening to the cd, this song was on and my son thought Hank Ballard (the vocalist) was singing “Workin’ with my heinie”…. I laughed forever as he was dancing around, singing along with what he “thought” the lyrics were. LOL


Friday 56:

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted at Freda’s voice.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

You know me– I always do one off my shelf that I have already completed, usually a throwback (often a way, way throwback LOL)…. so without further Adieu, the next one in line is:

(Note to reader: this book contains dated info from about 12 years ago, before the housing bubble collapse and subsequent recession, but it is a good look at what was sound advice then.)

Page 56:

“In stage 4, since the goal is to eliminate debt, you sell ten properties and pay off the remaining ten. That puts you in a zero-leverage position in the eleventh year. Then, to avoid taxes, you continue your investment program for several years until you reach a zero tax position where your leverage line holds steady.

You are now in permanent orbit with steady cash flow sheltered from taxes. Your net worth is shielded from inflation, with appreciating assets and increasing rents. A steady orbit, wouldn’t you say?”

I am not sure how much of his investment/money strategy would be of use now, as so much has changed in the decade+ since the book was written. Perhaps a money savvy person could adapt the strategies for the here and now, but perhaps that person would be one that knows about the current tax laws, etc. It was interesting to read, though, how he implemented his strategies to work for him up until the housing crash– I would like to read something updated since then to find out how he navigated those tough times and how he has fared since, and if he has developed new methods, etc.