Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a recent download:  The Garden of Small Beginnings, by Abbi Waxman,  “So witty, amusing, and perceptive that I can’t decide if I liked the writing, the characters, or the story better. They’re all so well done.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Waxman’s voice is witty, emotional and often profound.”— (UK)

Grab life by the roots.



Beginning:  (Chapter 1)

I’m an illustrator, which sounds romantic, as if I spend my days under a spreading tree, dapple-splashed with sunshine, a watercolor tablet steady on my knee.  Actually, I spend my days slumped in an office chair, destroying my posture and working on a computer.  There is sunshine, of course, this being Southern California.


Friday 56:  As we walked through the botanical garden, it was like an episode of Gilligan’s Island or something.  Giant leafy plants arched overhead, birds cackled at their good fortune, and the air was filled with the scent of flowers and the sound of insects freaking out with excitement.


Synopsis:  Lilian Girvan has been a single mother for three years—ever since her husband died in a car accident. One mental breakdown and some random suicidal thoughts later, she’s just starting to get the hang of this widow thing. She can now get her two girls to school, show up to work, and watch TV like a pro. The only problem is she’s becoming overwhelmed with being underwhelmed.
At least her textbook illustrating job has some perks—like actually being called upon to draw whale genitalia. Oh, and there’s that vegetable-gardening class her boss signed her up for. Apparently, being the chosen illustrator for a series of boutique vegetable guides means getting your hands dirty, literally. Wallowing around in compost on a Saturday morning can’t be much worse than wallowing around in pajamas and self-pity.
After recruiting her kids and insanely supportive sister to join her, Lilian shows up at the Los Angeles botanical garden feeling out of her element. But what she’ll soon discover—with the help of a patient instructor and a quirky group of gardeners—is that into every life a little sun must shine, whether you want it to or not…


What do you think?  Would you keep reading?



  1. Very descriptive. I might.

    I don’t have a separate post but I’ll share a little something from the book I’m reading (have been reading forrrevvver …it’s very thick but I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel). The title is A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. It is a Man Booker winner and the second book I’ve read/am reading by the author (the first was The Book of Night Women).

    Okay, the beginning:

    “Sir Arthur George Jennings

    Dead people never stop talking. Maybe because death is not death at all, just a detention after school. You know where you’re coming from and you’re always returning from it. You know where you’re going though you never seem to get there and you’re just dead.”

    P. 56:

    “This is what I want to say before the writer say it for me. When the pain was so bad that only strong weed could help me, the only other thing that help was the Singer. They never play him on the radio. A girl that check for me give me a cassette. Is not that music take away the pain, but when it play I don’t ride the pain. I ride the rhythm.”

    Synopsis: Seven gunmen storm Bob Marley’s* house, machine guns blazing, the reggae superstar survives, but the gunmen are never caught.”

    *Marley is never specifically mentioned by name in the book but the events closely mirror a chapter in the Singer’s life.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the excepts. This looks like a book full of black humor, which is totally my jam. I will be interested to see what you think about this.
    Thanks for visiting my blog, and have a great weekend. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the Book Beginning. Watercolor paintings are so pretty. It seems like she will have to make a choice, or at least, do what she despises first. When I worked, my dream was to get home and read during the evening.

    Liked by 1 person

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