Cover for First-Line Fridays on Peachy Books showing a cue card with the typed quote: He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. from Raphael Sabatini in Scaramouche
Blog Roll, Classic Fiction, First-Line Fridays, MEme Collections

First-Line Fridays | Susanna Clarke

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

🍑🍑🍑🍑 .5 / 5 Peaches


The mythical and magical twist together with the depravity of human greed and cruelty in this mind-bending tale by Susanna Clarke. From the start, you are whisked off to an unknown land, requiring suspension of disbelief and patience as you try to get your bearings; myself, an eager voyeur attempting to soak in every vestibule.

Piranesi is a story that, from my perspective, needs to be experienced from a place of not knowing, thus welcoming its entire execution, as any description could foster preconceived notions that would detract from its enchantment. 

Like with all art, there are different interpretations to be drawn and appreciated, so in an attempt to leave future readers unsullied, I will only offer some memorable quotes of sparse description.

This eccentric tale has been labelled a modern classic and is loved by many, but maintains its detractors who don’t see the beauty in its mystery, so consider yourself forewarned that if you are looking for a sure thing, this might not be it.


I spent a minute blissfully adrift at its beginning without ever feeling fully lost, as alluring visual scenery coupled with an unspecified trust for our protagonist had me relishing in the lead-up to its eventual reveal.


Clarke’s gorgeous imagery in the mythical aspects of the story kept me enthralled, and it was amazing how clear a picture of this other world we were offered in so few pages.


Striking prose and fantastical ideas wrapped up in a novella make this the perfect book to escape from the monotony of our busy schedules.


Susanna Clarke’s second novel, Piranesi, was the 2021 Women’s Prize winner, and in the video below, she shares her prize-winning statue, Bessie.


What side of the divide do you fall on, if you’ve read Piranesi; love it or hate it?

Signup below for the quarterly Just Peachy Newsletter and see another impressive quote from Piranesi, included in the Spring issue I’ll be publishing next week!

Blog Roll, Classic Fiction, MEme Collections, Quotes, science fiction

Fahrenheit 451 In Quotes

The dangers of censorship, technology, mass media, willful ignorance, and a loss of individual identity are some of the dominant themes of Ray Bradbury‘s dystopian classic: Fahrenheit 451

From the first line, we get a sense of the collective mindset shared by the enforcers of the story’s brutal premise: to find and burn all books into ashes and out of existence. I enjoyed watching our protagonist Montag find his way through the darkness of the ashes and into enlightenment. 

Although this pointed quote is not found in Fahrenheit 451, it needed to be included, in my view.

If we ignore our shadows and erase the stories, we lose any possibility of learning to do better. But for some, I do believe that is the whole point.


These days we have to hold on tight to make it off the ride in one piece.  

There are many parallels to be drawn with our modern-day in this classic work of SciFi satire. Given our current climate, it is uncanny how well Bradbury anticipated the future.

It’s as if he may have secretly lived his passion and experienced

time travel, a thought I have had with a few of the classic writers of our time. Too bad we will never know. 😉

What is your favourite read about time travel?


Preach! I need to take heed of this quote. You truly can not make people listen, and it is ultimately up to them to decide to do so or not, regardless of how grave the circumstances are.

Ray Bradbury will keep you chuckling while you scratch your head, so give this classic by a well-loved author a chance next time you are up for something weird and wonderful.


Here is a spectacular clip of Ray Bradbury explaining how he became a writer and why Hitler was a catalyst for the creation of his best-selling book.


Do you have a selection from the Bradbury collection that you suggest?

Are there any dystopian novels that you find to be particularly resonant currently?

Blog Roll, Classic Fiction, MEme Collections, politics, Popular Fiction

Catch-22 In Quotes

WWII bombardier, Captain John Yossarian, faces a dilemma, as he wants out of the war but is met with a catch-22 that could keep him there indefinitely.

For Yossarian to be released, he must be declared ‘unfit’ by the Squadron’s flight surgeon, and of course, anyone who becomes a bombardier must be unstable since it is almost certain death. So one must request an evaluation of mental fitness to be deemed crazy, but only a sane person would ask for such an assessment, ipso facto, Yossarian is sane and must keep flying.

Catch-22 is at once brutal and hilarious whilst managing to impart sound messages about the workings of the war machine. With more than 10 million copies sold, Heller’s top-selling novel is certain to be on the shelves of many an antiwar or political satire enthusiast.


Shit happens, and it is not always comfortable when it does. You cannot hide from it, it just is.

Pragmatism begets less disappointment, so I have found, but optimism certainly holds the key to making it through the day-to-day. A mixture of both is ideal.


Freedom is THE word of these modern times, as we fight for a society that is free to ask questions, free to maintain bodily autonomy, free to oppose government overreach.

There is so much to heed from this often hilarious and cautionary tale, and goodness knows we need the warning.


The side-splitting humour peppered throughout Catch-22 makes all of the corruption and ‘disturbia’ a lot easier to swallow.

I was sure I had heard this quote before, but it may just have been borrowed from Heller without proper recognition, given this was published in 1961.


I have seen this principal quotation about living standing tall instead of going out kneeling in submission a lot lately. I recall seeing the inverse, ‘I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees’ on a banner at the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa last month. Below hear an excerpt from the novel, read on the DarkHorse Duo podcast, which addresses both versions.

I will always choose to fight for my freedoms and individual rights rather than die as a serf for the corrupt leaders that wish to keep us divided as WE do their bidding.


Enjoy this clip from the DarkHorse Duo podcast where Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein discuss living on ones feet.


Do you have a favourite piece of political satire that puts you in stitches?

Graphic for the Peachy Books Storytime Read-a-Loud of Chapters 1 -6 of The Twits by Roald Dahl, read by Peachy TO, showing the book cover with the Twits upside down
Blog Roll, Classic Fiction, Kids Books, Storytime

Storytime Sunday: The Twits by Roald Dahl ~ Chapters 1 – 6

Book Cover for The Twits by Roald Dahl in moss green with teal lettering, showing the Twits upside down with birds from the story flying around them

Please enjoy this week’s Storytime Sunday edition where I’ll be reading Chapters 1 – 6 of The Twits by Roald Dahl.

Mr. & Mrs. Twit are a brutish pair, who enjoy entertaining each other with disgusting pranks.

Who will get the last laugh, in this hilarious classic tale?

Please visit the Peachy Books YouTube Channel to see all of the Peachy Books Read-a-Louds, or click on the video below to hear this one.


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To hear the Peachy Books Storytime Read-a-Loud of George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, click here.

Follow me on Facebook for off-blog content and fun discussions.

Join me on Instagram, home of all my quotes and memes.

Take a peek at my Read-a-Loud collection on YouTube if you prefer to listen.

Graphic for the Peachy Books Storytime Read-a-Loud for Chapters 1 and 2 of George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl showing the book cover with George mixing up his bubbling brown medicine.
Blog Roll, Classic Fiction, Kids Books, Middle Grade, Storytime

Storytime Sunday: George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl ~ Chapters 1 & 2

Book Cover for Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine, showing George mixing up his bubbling brown concoction.

Please enjoy this week’s Storytime Sunday edition where I’ll be reading Chapters 1 & 2 of George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl.

George has the misfortune of being charged with caring for his beastly Grandma while his Mother is out at the shops.

Will the intimated George find his revenge for her wicked ways when it’s time to dose out her daily medicine?

Please visit the Peachy Books YouTube Channel to see all of the Peachy Books Read-a-Louds, or click on the video below to hear this one.


If you enjoy this reading and use YouTube, please ‘like’ my video and subscribe! It is really helpful for my channel to grow, and lets me know that I should keep going. Thanks for listening!

To hear the Peachy Books Storytime Read-a-Loud of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, click here.

Follow me on Facebook for off-blog content and fun discussions.

Join me on Instagram, home of all my quotes and memes.

Take a peek at my Read-a-Loud collection on YouTube if you prefer to listen.

Blog Roll, Classic Fiction, Kids Books, Middle Grade, Storytime

Peachy Books | Storytime Sunday | Read-a-Loud: James and the Giant Peach, Chapters 1 & 2 – by Roald Dahl

Book Cover for James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl showing a small James in the bottom left corner, staring up at a giant peach taking up the majority of the cover

Please enjoy this week’s Storytime Sunday edition where I’ll be reading Chapters 1 & 2 of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.

Poor James must live with his beastly aunts after the tragic loss of his parents, who had the misfortune of being eaten up by an escaped rhinoceros from The London Zoo!

Please visit the Peachy Books YouTube Channel to see all of the Peachy Books Read-a-Louds, or click on the video below to hear this one.


If you enjoy this reading and use YouTube, please ‘like’ my video and subscribe! It is really helpful for my channel to grow, and lets me know that I should keep going. Thanks for listening!

Yellow and blue advertisement for Storytime Sunday Read-a-Loud at peachybooks.ca for The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Chapter 11, Aslan is Nearer, by C.S. Lewis, with a background of a field full of small yellow celandine flowers
Blog Roll, Classic Fiction, Kids Books, Storytime

Peachy Books | Storytime Sunday | Read-a-Loud: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Chapter 11 – Aslan is Nearer by C.S. Lewis

Book Cover for The Chronicles of Narnia book 2, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, with a blue cover and a lion in the middle

This week on Storytime Sunday I am pleased to read to you Chapter 11 – Aslan is Nearer of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

I had too much fun recording this! Reading stories to my son is one of my most cherished pastimes, and narrating the voices for the characters often leaves us in stitches.

Please visit the Peachy Books YouTube Channel to see all of the Peachy Books Read-a-Louds, or click on the video below to hear this one.


If you enjoy this reading and use YouTube, please ‘like’ my video and subscribe! It is really helpful for my channel to grow, and lets me know that I should keep going. Thanks for listening!