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

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ .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 donโ€™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.


Clarkeโ€™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 Clarkeโ€™s second novel, Piranesi, was the 2021 Womenโ€™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!

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, First-Line Fridays

First-Line Fridays | Ray Bradbury

It was a pleasure to burn.

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury postulated that the pages of books ignite and burn at 451 degrees Fahrenheit and accordingly decided to name his wildly popular and shockingly insightful futuristic tale after this assertion.

Fahrenheit 451 offers a dystopian world where books are banned and destroyed whenever discovered; literal Hell for all of us bibliophiles. ๐Ÿ˜ณ โ€˜Firemenโ€™ with hoses spewing kerosene are responsible for finding and incinerating any trace of the evil objects that cause one to think and become unhappy.

This 1953 sci-fi tale that started as cautionary has morphed to prophetic in modern times, and I suspect this has something to do with it, ironically, being banned by some school boards, although I am sure you would not catch them admitting it.  

As dark as the messaging is, with satire as the medium, the tone is light and easy to ingest by a wider audience. Themes dealing with censorship, governmental control, (what was then advanced) technology, and an apathetic citizenry will have you double-checking its release date, as Bradbury appears to be detailing the farce that is our current day.

Join me next week for a MEme Quotes Collection in honour of what many consider Ray Bradburyโ€™s finest work.

Take a look at this short Ted Ed animated video to learn more about Fahrenheit 451.


This is a bookmark that I made for The Library Book, but I think it also works here.

Crochet bookmark of red books with flames on the front, inspired by the The Library Book by Susan Orlean, and made by Peachy Books.

What are some banned books that you think are important to keep in our libraries?

Are there any books that you believe should be banned?

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, First-Line Fridays, Historical Fiction

First-Line Fridays | Joseph Heller

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ / 5 Peaches!

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

There is no more appropriate time for antiwar political satire than at the dawning of our next world conflict, no? Sure hope I’m wrong on that, but these days it seems anything is possible.

Heller’s messages about a corrupt and predatory government’s relation to the war machine are more relatable now than ever, as the previously subdued masses start to awaken to the obvious corruption of our own.

No book nails both the ridiculousness and the peril of bureaucracy better than Catch-22, and although this is clearly a work of satire, there are endless lessons to be learned about war and how it warps humanity.


Listen to Heather Heying read an excerpt from Catch-22, published in 1961, that might seem eerily familiar to modern day:


Watch for my black and white MEme collection next week, highlighting meaningful quotes from this hilarious and horrifying classic.


Have you read Catch-22 or any of Joseph Heller’s work?

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, First-Line Fridays

First-Line Fridays | The Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century

This week I’m sharing the enticing first line from a treasured book, The Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide To The 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life, a collaborative effort by married couple Heather E. Heying and Bret Weinstein.

Although I donโ€™t know them personally, I feel as though I do, after spending endless hours watching their fascinating and educational DarkHorse Duo podcast throughout the pandemic.

Science, data, truth, and the bravery to speak it to power in the face of a vitriolic mob, makes Bret and Heather heroes of these crazy times. Without their sense-making and calming presentation, these dark years would have been a lot longer for me.

Watch for my Peachy Books MEme Collection tribute to this long-awaited best seller later in the week.


Here is a twenty minute clip from Bret and Heather’s DarkHorse Duo podcast, where they discuss their new book.


Do you have an interest in evolutionary biology?

If so, are there any experts in the field that you favour?

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, First-Line Fridays

First-Line Fridays | Anne Rice

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ / 5 Peaches

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

Lives of the Mayfair Witches Trilogy: Book 1

The literary world lost a gothic erotica writing legend this past December. More than a decade before Buffy The Vampire Slayer and almost thirty years before Twilight, there were The Vampire Chronicles, and I devoured them like Lestat on a gaggle of girls. The difference being I didn’t feel guilty about it for a second.

The vampires were wild, but I preferred the Mayfair Witches, the tragic spirit Lasher, and their trilogy of supernatural fantasy. With psychic detectives working for secret societies, and 500 years of paranormal history and lore, you will get swept away to another land, and who couldn’t use that right now?!

Pictured above is a house that Anne Rice used to own in The Garden District, where some say the The Witching Hour was conceived. For those that love the richness of detail, Rice’s depictions of New Orleans and its historic neighbourhoods are vivid escapes to the true beauty of the city-parish. Be forewarned though, this is an elaborate accounting, so if descriptions aren’t your thing you might want to skip this series.

I’ll be sharing a MEme Collection for The Witching Hour on my Peachy Books social media platforms over the next few days; feel free to join me, or stay tuned for when I share a compilation post next week on the blog.


Fascinating Fact…

Anne Rice was afraid of the dark! Watch this fun interview from 1995, conducted by a Canadian great, Dini Petty, and hear some more interesting factoids about the Queen of Gothic Fiction. You have to hear what she thought about the famous actor that played Lestat in the movie adaptation. ๐Ÿ˜†


Is there a book from Anne Rice’s collection that you point to as her best?

Do you prefer books with a lot of detail, or does that turn you off?

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, First-Line Fridays, Memoir

First-Line Fridays | Maya Angelou

Image of a caged bird with a background of a creek with sun rays and trees covering it with a quote from Maya Angelou's I know why the caged bird sings: The free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ / 5 Peaches


An unflinchingly brave and soulful retelling of Angelou’s beginnings that is equal parts terrifying and inspirational.

Not for the faint of heart, this intimate and honest work has brought solace to many who have sung that fearful trill of the caged bird.

I hope you will join me this week on Peachy Books as I highlight some memorable quotes in a meme collection honouring a legendary role model to many, myself included, Maya Angelou.


Have You Heard?

Maya Angelou has been recognised as the national treasure she so rightly is by being the first black woman to be featured on the US quarter. Take a minute to check it out on YouTube here:

Have you read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings?

Which of Maya Angelou’s books or poems do you favour?