Friday, November 2, 2012

Beginning ~ with monkeys and some wood

To make up for not posting any book beginnings since July, I decided to post two of them today.  Both books are memoirs of a sort, and while they are different, each has to do with religion.  I'm trying to read both books at the same time, while doing a million other things.  What I like so far is that both authors are witty, as you may be able to tell from these opening lines.  Neither opening sounds very religious.

Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions - by Rachel Held Evans, 2010
"Monkeys make me nervous.  Whenever I hear about chimpanzees solving math problems or Koko the Gorilla using sign language to order her breakfast, I feel inexplicably threatened by their humanlike qualities and intelligence."
Strength for the Journey: A Pilgramage of Faith in Community ~ by Diana Butler Bass, 2002
"Years after I found my way back to mainstream Protestantism, someone asked what attracted me to the Episcopal Church.  With only a moment's pause I replied, "The wood."

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.
Click here for today's Mister Linky.


Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

Welcome back!

Those are both good openings, but they look like very different sorts of books.

Thanks for playing along with Book Beginnings!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Both beginnings captured my interest, but I like the first one best because I've always felt the same way. Uneasy. I wonder if apes know more than we think!
Good posts.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Sandy, have you ever read (or heard of) Ishmael by Daniel Quinn? The subtitle of this 1992 novel is "An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit." It begins with a newspaper ad:

TEACHER seeks pupil. Must have an earnest deaire to save the world. Apply in person.

So he did. And found...

The creature on the other side of the glass was a full-grown gorilla.

Eventually, he notices a "sign or poster hanging on the wall behind the gorilla." It read:


And it turns out the gorilla was the teacher. Very compelling story, and I've kept the book for 20 years and bought four others by Daniel Quinn that sit next to it on my bookshelves.