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Fun Friday–Random Lines from Books

Friday, February 19, 2010


This is probably the lamest Fun Friday I’ve ever done, but it’s 2 a.m., I just finished a big editing project (and went ahead and started the next one that’s due on March 1!), and it’s the only thing I can think of—aside from saying Woohoo! Evan Lysacek won the Olympic gold medal!!!

Now, for the lame “game” I’m playing today. If you’d like to play along, here are the rules I just made up.

Today is 2/19/2010

So on page 219 of 10 books (chosen by pulling every 10th book from each of my ten shelves of fiction—counting from left or right, whichever I deem fitting at the moment), I’m going to randomly quote the sentence(s) that falls on the 20th line of the page.

1. “If you cannot bear an uncle’s admiration, what is to become of you? You must really begin to harden yourself to the idea of being worth looking at. You must try not to mind growing up into a pretty woman.” (Jane Austen, Mansfield Park)

2. “I know of no passage in Holy Scripture that prohibits this particular human weakness,” the Catholic said. And besides, wine was part of the Catholic liturgy. (Tom Clancy, The Bear and the Dragon)

3. “Not dead! He feared us so much—and within reason—that he caused himself to be represented as dead, and had a grand mock-funeral.” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)

4. There were kids making rash decisions to bring guns to school, to use them, and somewhere out there was a missing gun and another kid who had to be an emotional mess right now. (Dee Henderson, The Healer)

5. He turned and stared at her for a long minute. “This really isn’t a con, is it?” The muscles clenched and twitched beneath his skin. (John Olson, Powers)

6. Senora Favores lay sprawled just inside the dining room, her face contorted in pain, as Don Ramon and Luis knelt on each side of her to bring her to a sitting position. “It was the cat.” (Willo Davis Roberts, Victoria)

7. She struck the cue ball with side English. It caromed off the side rail, whispering past the eight ball, and striking the six with just enough force to send it careening the length of the table. (Michael Snyder, My Name is Russell Fink)

8. “Grace went above? Sous la pluie?” Rafe glanced at the porthole where streaks of rain flattened beneath a prevailing wind. (M.L. Tyndall, The Raven Saint)

9. She’d made the right decision in keeping on her armor and leine rather than changing into the dress Delwynn ap Emrys had given her. This was a place for warriors, not women. (Linda Windsor, Maire)

10. “It may be best,” she said. “They will be sure to reach Minnesota before snow falls.” (Laura Ingalls Wilder, These Happy Golden Years

If this strikes your fancy, feel free to use it on your own blog and come back and post the link. Or if you just want to pull one random sampling, you can post that as your comment. Of if you’d rather post a comment that doesn’t have anything to do with this, that’s fine too. It’s 2:45 a.m. I really am beyond being particular at this moment.

And here’s this, just for kicks and giggles.

  1. Friday, February 19, 2010 11:12 am

    First, the video – LOVED it, but why on earth did they completely leave out Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy? And they’ve GOT to do a new one with the new Mr. Knightly. Loved him.

    As for a book passage – going out into the library to pick up a random book…

    Concern was still evident in the shadows on Naomi’s face as she reached back for the candle. “Shall I come downstairs and sit with you for a while?”
    (Lawana Blackwell’s “The Maiden of Mayfair,” Book 1 of the Tales of London series)

    And that was truly a random pick.


  2. Friday, February 19, 2010 1:23 pm

    Okay, you asked for it! πŸ™‚

    I noticed that all your random passages have tension! Something to strive for. If someone pulled a random line from my WIP could I say as much?


  3. Becky Miller permalink
    Friday, February 19, 2010 4:09 pm

    Oh, my goodness…that “It’s raining men” montage is hilarious!


    • Friday, February 19, 2010 5:01 pm

      Here’s another “It’s Raining Men” video—much longer and more diverse!


      • Friday, February 19, 2010 5:12 pm

        Now that I’ve watched that one all the way through (muting the sound after the first full version of the song), my biggest complaint is that for all of the movies from which clips were pulled in which my dearly beloved Paul McGann was in, the one and only clip we got of him was from Our Mutual Friend with that horrible mustache!


        • Nick permalink
          Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:24 pm

          That was a fun video and it was great to see all those wonderful actors in period costumes! My only complaint also concerns the video’s lack of Paul McGann. And I don’t mind his ‘look’ in Our Mutual Friend, it seemed correct for the period and his undeniable handsomeness still shined through.

          Other ‘mustache-less’ Paul McGann clips could’ve been pulled from: The Monocled Mutineer, Catherine the Great, The Hanging Gale, Fairytale A True Story, Poirot Sad Cypress, Kidnapped and of course, Hornblower! πŸ™‚


        • Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:43 pm

          I think that’s what bothered me the most—there was a brief clip of the landlord from The Hanging Gale, but not a clip of Paul. I guess whoever put that video together just doesn’t appreciate the greatness that is Paul McGann.


  4. Friday, February 19, 2010 4:26 pm

    A quiz for Kaye. What ARE all those movies?


    • Friday, February 19, 2010 4:57 pm

      Persuasion 2007 (Rupert Penry-Jones)
      P&P 2005 (Matthew McFadyen, Simon Woods)
      Northanger Abbey 2007 (J.J. Field)
      Wives & Daughters 1999 (Anthony Howell, Iain Glen)
      Sense & Sensibility 1995 (Greg Wise, Alan Rickman)


  5. Sylvia permalink
    Friday, February 19, 2010 5:07 pm

    This is the second “redo” version of “It’s Raining Men” and I think I like it better. It includes the guys from S&S 2007, Colin Firth, and Ioan Gruffud and Benedikte Cumberbatch from “Amazing Grace”!


    • Friday, February 19, 2010 5:12 pm

      LOL–I just posted another “It’s Raining Men” montage above, too!


  6. Friday, February 19, 2010 6:11 pm

    OK, so NOW it’s been a good day – lovely video montages πŸ™‚ , AND . .. drumroll, please . .. I finished “A Case for Love!”

    I’m still sighing in utter delight . . .


    • Friday, February 19, 2010 6:14 pm

      πŸ˜€ Thanks. I needed that tonight.

      Long story short . . . need to get out of the house after a long, stressful week and now the car is on the fritz—Service Engine Soon light on and engine running really rough, which means I’m now stuck at home. So knowing that you liked ACFL really brightened my evening!


      • Friday, February 19, 2010 6:33 pm

        Didn’t like it . . . LOVED IT.

        I’m stuck at home, too, but by choice! Everybody else is at a basketball game, and I’m home with a sore throat reveling in BBC heroes (even caught a snippet of Johnny Lee Miller from like ten years ago!) and Contemporary Romance! πŸ™‚ Hope the rest of your evening goes better!


      • Friday, February 19, 2010 10:48 pm

        Oh man, so sorry to hear about the car. I hate car issues.


  7. Clari permalink
    Friday, February 19, 2010 6:46 pm

    Back home after running town errands on my day off from the library. Cleaned house for a little while and am sitting here cooling off after an hour of exercise while watching an old black and white film “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and checking blogs.

    Book ten from the left on the third shelf down; page 219; approximately line 20:

    She shivered. At least the handcuffs were off again. Except for the fact that they put those on her, everyone had been polite enough. Even the mean-looking man named Smith had been gruffly polite. Not that they made small talk with her. Not that anything was normal—

    (To Dream Again by Sally John)


    • Clari permalink
      Friday, February 19, 2010 6:50 pm

      Ooh! I forgot! YEAH for Lysacek! We beat the Russian! (hee, hee)


  8. Friday, February 19, 2010 11:53 pm

    It’s terrible being stuck at home. I hope your car is easy enough to fix. Mine did that a long time and we couldn’t afford to fix it so I drove it with smoke pouring out of it when I had to. I’m so redneck sometimes. πŸ™‚ Turns out it was something small. Hope that’s the case for you too!

    So how does a self professed “non girlie girl” end up being “the” authority on girlie shows? I’m kidding, period shows are really well done. Actually I loved Sense and Sensibility and you know what I’m going to do? Start watching all those on your list. I’m SO out of the loop. Where have I been? Oh wait, watching “Thomas” and Disney for the past 8yrs. Time to get my romance back!

    Wish me luck.


    • Saturday, February 20, 2010 12:26 am

      Okay, here’s the list of the versions you need to watch:
      Austen adaptations:
      P&P 1995 (Jennifer Ehle and my least-favorite Darcy, Collin Firth)
      Emma 2010 (it’s been getting rave reviews from what I’ve seen) or 1995 (Kate Beckinsale)
      Mansfield Park 1983 (Sylvestra Le Touzel and Nicholas Farrell)
      Northanger Abbey 2007 (Felicity Jones and J.J. Field)
      Persuasion 1995 (Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds)
      Sense & Sensibility 2008 (Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield, David Morrissey, and Dan Stevens)

      Dickens adaptations (read the story summaries on Wikipedia first, so that they’re easier to follow):
      Bleak House 2005 (Denis Lawson, Anna Maxwell Martin, Carey Mulligan, Gillian Anderson)
      Little Dorrit 2008 (Claire Foy and Matthew Macfadyen)
      Our Mutual Friend 1998 (Paul McGann, Keeley Hawes, and Anna Friel)
      Great Expectations 1999 (Ioan Gruffudd and Justine Waddell)

      Elizabeth Gaskell adaptations
      Cranford / Return to Cranford (Judi Dench, Julia Mckenzie, Imelda Staunton, et al)
      Wives & Daughters (Anthony Howell, Justine Waddell, Keeley Hawes, Tom Hollander, +++)
      North & South (Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe)

      Other Costume Dramas
      The entire Horatio Hornblower series (8 movies, but the last four are the best with the introduction of Paul McGann to the cast!)
      St. Ives 1998 (Anna Friel, Miranda Richardson, and Richard E. Grant)
      Victoria & Albert 2001 (Victoria Hamilton and Jonathan Firth)
      The Woman in White 1997 (Justine Waddell and Tara Fitzgerald)
      Jane Eyre 2006 (Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson)
      Miss Austen Regrets (Olivia Williams and Gretta Scacchi)

      I’ll refer you to my friend Ruth, whose love and knowledge of costume dramas far exceeds mine. And now, I’m going to sign off and go watch Star Trek on the laptop in bed.


      • Sylvia M. permalink
        Saturday, February 20, 2010 12:31 am

        I agree with that list 100%, Kaye, except for the Mr. Darcy. I think he’s the best Darcy! πŸ™‚ I just had to get that in.


        • Nick permalink
          Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:33 pm

          Thanks for the list, Kaye. I’ll be referring to it as I’ve not seen about 20% of the wonderful movies you’ve included. πŸ™‚


    • Saturday, February 20, 2010 12:30 am

      Oh, and this non-girlie-girl was an English major who loves history and handsome leading men. In these, you have (a) classic literature, (b) historical settings, and (c) handsome leading men. How can I not like costume dramas?


      • Monday, February 22, 2010 12:25 am

        Ack, I watched the first and second episodes of Wives and Daughters. Roger has just left for England! I wish I could stay up for another. πŸ™‚

        Some of Dickens’ stories I believe I’ve read a long time ago.

        I would have majored in English with a vocal music emphasis but I fell in love. Teehee. I guess I’ve got the romance in me somewhere. And yes I know where those 4 kids came from. πŸ˜‰

        About your car. Its possible that your one of your O2 sensors is out. That happens after a certain # of miles and because of the way computers work (so I’m told) it can cause other things to show up as not working properly. My suburban did exactly what you’ve described. I’ll pray it is simple like that.


  9. Carol Collett permalink
    Saturday, February 20, 2010 10:49 am

    “But there had been eighteen bite patterns. Nineteen empty boxes.”

    from Field of Blood (Jerusalem’s Undead Trilogy Book 1) by Eric Wilson


  10. Erika permalink
    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 5:27 pm

    “Thomas and Matthew came in, rather shyly, and the office seemed suddenly overfull as the burial team seldom came indoors and both of them were very tall.”
    (Audrey Niffenegger, Her Fearful Symmetry)

    I love all the videos πŸ™‚


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