RULE ONE, I have to grab one of the books closest to me, go to page 56, type the fifth line and the next two to five lines that follow.
Well, the closest book to me is a little pile of my own novel The Witch's Trinity. I won't be so self-promotional as to include lines from that. So next, I turn my eyes to the left of my computer, where one of three bookcases in our house stands.
Balanced precariously on the top of the bookcase (where books aren't supposed to be) is Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell. On the top shelf, the closest book is Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser. The second shelf, Strong Measures by Dacey & Jauss. Third shelf, The Malleus Maleficarum by our wicked German friars. Fourth shelf, Hayden's Ferry Review, Spring/Summer 1996 issue. Fifth shelf, The Great Pharaoh Ramses II and His Time, a museum catalog from the Montreal exhibit my father took me and my mom to in 1985 (thanks again, Dad!)
So, in the Ramses book, p. 56 is a description of a rake-comb, none too interesting. The Malleus quote, predictably about impotence, is too fractured by picking it up on line 5. I have to laugh, because p. 56 is literally BLANK in the Marie Antoinette book! So, how about a selection from Russell's book:
I felt like a film star with my cloche hat and dark glasses, dressed perfectly for the late-afternoon warmth in a linen dress that stopped at my knees. I fancied that the Egyptian women envied me. Poor things, I thought, sweltering in their robes and veils!
RULE TWO, I have to pick five people who love books. My five picks are (in no particular order):
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