Thoughtful Thursday: Guess what we’re reading!

Six months ago, we tried a new game that didn’t go over very well because it was just too hard. So, we’ll try an easier version of the game today.

Grab a well-known speculative fiction book off the shelf (something you think that many of us will be familiar with), choose a passage and give us 50 words from that passage. Other readers will try to guess your book while you try to guess theirs.

Here are the rules:

  • Submit as many passages as you like — just put them in separate comments.
  • When you guess someone’s book, reply directly to that comment so we keep the threads neatly organized.
  • Please keep your 50 words family-friendly and free of major spoilers or obvious clues such as well-known character names.
  • When you guess books, you may not use any resources outside of your own brain. No Google, no Amazon, no looking in the books on your shelves, etc. Where’s the fun in that?
  • Don’t spoil the fun by naming all the books. Let us know you recognize it and make a comment about how well you like it, but let others figure some out, too. Feel free to guess as much as you like, though.
  • Come back to let us know if your book was guessed correctly. If it’s been over a week, please tell us the answer.

As always, one random commenter will win a book from our stacks. You don’t have to guess anything correctly to win the book — all you have to do is play the game. Good luck!


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KAT HOOPER is a professor at the University of North Florida where she teaches neuroscience, psychology, and research methods courses. She occasionally gets paid to review scientific textbooks, but reviewing speculative fiction is much more fun. Kat lives with her husband and their children in Jacksonville Florida.

View all posts by Kat Hooper

28 comments

  1. Sandy Ferber /

    “Item. What an undercover narcotics agent fears most is not that he will be shot or beaten up but that he will be slipped a great hit of some psychedelic that will roll an endless horror feature film in his head for the remainder of his life….”

  2. RedEyedGhost /

    “I’m sorry to disturb you, Mistress-san.”
    “You’re very welcome, Kiku-san,” the old women replied. “There’s no trouble, I hope?”
    “Oh, no, but I don’t know whether or not you’d want me to awaken your son,” she said to her, already knowing the answer. “I thought I’d better ask you, as…”

    Those are the 50 words at my current place in my current book.

  3. “Then we went back to Manila. All along the way, I tried to imagine the logistics of getting even a single one of those gold bars from the jungle out to the nearest bank where it could be turned into something useful, like cash.
    Let me transition to a Q&A format…”

  4. “In the North, a chieftan’s own Carls ate with him every night in his hall. The women brought the food in wooden bowls. You’d stab the lumps of meat out with a knife and with a knife you’d cut them up, then you’d stuff the bits in your mouth with your fingers.”

    • Melanie Goldmund /

      Is this something to do with Bernard Cornwell’s books — the names of which I can’t remember without looking them up? The main character’s name starts with an U … similar to Utrecht?

      I’m probably way off base here.

  5. Here’s an easy one:

    “Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians. They met upon the third Wednesday of every month and read each other long, dull papers upon the history of English magic.
    They were gentleman-magicians, which is to say they had never harmed any one…”

  6. April /

    Here’s an easy one, at least to define the author:
    “On the whole we’re a murderous race.
    According to Genesis, it took as few as four people to make the planet too crowded to stand, and the first murder was a fratricide. Genesis says that in a fit of jealous rage, Cain, snapped and popped the first metaphorical cap in another human being.
    As I opened the door to my apartment, I was filled with a sense of empathic sympathy and intuitive understanding.
    For freaking Cain.”

  7. David /

    Each time the gold-wristwatch man came to the village he would take several children away with him, to sell flowers to tourists on the city streets. The work was easy and the children would be well treated, he assured the mothers: he wasn’t a low-down thug or a liar, he wasn’t a pimp.

    • April /

      I don’t know the answer but Hello! This is definitely ‘a low-down thug’ just so you know.

  8. And the moon would have told him more, and perhaps she did, but the moon became the glimmer of moonlight on water far below him, and then he became aware of a small spider walking across his face, and of a crick in his neck, and he raised a hand and brushed the spider carefully from his cheek, and the morning sun was in his eyes and the world was gold and green.

  9. Sir Read-a-Lot /

    It took me a long while to find the right quote, but I like this one.

    The window frame knows what a stained glass window should look like. It once had stained glass in it. Even though the new window is not the same as the one it once held, the seal works because the general concept of a stained glass window has been fulfilled.

  10. David, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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