In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?




The last few books I've finished
"If you cannot read all your books at any rate handle, or as it were, fondle them--peer into  them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let the at any rate be your acquaintances." --Winston Churchill

"Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home." --Anna Quindlen
my current stack--Prince Caspian is, of course, a re-read
I've been fascinated by first lines as of late. The beginning words of a book open the door to a whole world, as yet unknown. Some are commonplace enough. Some excite every fiber in you. And once you are attached to a book, the most menial of phrases can vibrate with intensity or make you laugh with delight. Sometimes, the first line catches my eye right away, but often it is only afterward that I go back and appreciate the opening phrases, and with the knowledge of the book in my mind, each word has more meaning. So I pulled a bunch of books off my shelf a few nights ago, and out of the piles on my floor, to read their forgotten first lines. Each one brings a smile for me, and I decided to share some of my favorites here. Perhaps these lines will make you want to read the books in full. I hope so! They have afforded me much enjoyment. At any rate, I hope they bring a smile.

"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."
--Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J. K. Rowling

"'It may be only blackmail,' said the man in the taxi hopefully."
--The Tiger in the Smoke, Margery Allingham

"Anyway, I said savagely to myself as I tried to lift a large and very clumsy suitcase down from the baggage rack, anyway, it is my father's old home, and I've always liked antiques, and I suppose an ancestral house is always more interesting than--'Oh, drat it! Ouch!'"
--The Sherwood Ring, Elizabeth Marie Pope

"The Friday before winter break, my mom packed me an overnight bag and a few deadly weapons and took me to a new boarding school."
--The Titan's Curse, Rick Riordan