Thoughtful Thursday: Guess what we’re reading!

It’s been over a year since we played Guess What We’re Reading. Let’s try it again!

Grab a very well-known speculative fiction book off the shelf (something you think we should 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.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsHere 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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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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29 comments

  1. “First he examined the jotted notes. They were scrawled by the same hand that had written the note glued to the lid, and the penmanship was no less abominable. Pound pastrami, said one note, can kraut, six bagels — bring home for Emma. Another reminded: Remember — pick up Form 1040, Uncle Revenue.”

  2. “At Third Hour we stopped for dinner at a large inn, a grand place with a vast roaring fireplace and vast beamed-roof rooms full of tables loaded with good food, but we did not stay the night. Ours was a sleeper-caravan, hurrying (in its Karhidish fashion) to be the first of the season into Pering Storm country…” (57 words)

  3. This is new, and thus not strictly within the rules, but the first sentence struck me as so memorable that I’m putting it up here anyway:

    “It was all going so nicely, right up until the massacre.

    “Sir Hjortt’s cavalry of two hundred spears fanned out through the small village, taking up positions between half-timbered houses in the uneven lanes that only the most charitable of surveyors would refer to as ‘roads.’ The warhouses slowed and then stopped in a decent approximation of unison, their riders sitting as stiff and straight in their saddles as the lances they braced in their stirrups.”

  4. At the beginning of the thirteenth millennium, this tendency reached its climax. As the center of the Imperial Government for unbroken hundreds of generations and located, as it was, toward the central regions of the Galaxy among the most densely populated and industrially advanced worlds of the system, it could scarcely help being the densest and richest clot of humanity the Race and ever seen.
    Its urbanization, progressing steadily, had finally reached the ultimate. All the land surface, 75, 000, 000 square miles in extent, was a single city. The population, at its height, was well in excess of forty billions. This enormous population was devoted almost entirely to the administrative necessities of Empire.
    Encyclopedia Galactica

  5. I reached out my hand, England’s rivers turned and flowed the other way…
    I reached out my hand, my enemies’s blood stopt in their veins…
    I reached out my hand; thought and memory flew out of my enemies’ heads like a flock of starlings;
    My enemies crumpled like empty sacks.
    I came to them out of mists and rain;
    I came to them in dreams at midnight;
    I came to them in a flock of ravens that filled a northern sky at dawn;
    When they thought themselves safe I came to them in a cry that broke the silence of a winter wood…

  6. Human beings say, “It never rains but it pours.” This is not very apt, for it frequently does rain without pouring. The rabbits’ proverb is better expressed. They say, “One cloud feels lonely”: and indeed it is true that the appearance of a single cloud often means that the sky will soon be overcast.

  7. “Puzzled, he glanced from land to sea and back again: it was some little time before he thought of looking at the sky. Then Reinhold Hoffman knew, as did Konrad Schneider at this same moment, that he had lost his race. And he knew that he had lost it, not by the few weeks or months that he had feared, but by millennia.”

  8. The giant Grof was hit in one eye by a stone, and that eye turned inward so that it looked into his mind, and he died of what he saw there.

  9. I’m on a roll. Here’s a different book:

    “I wanted to come, and if I hadn’t, they would have been all alone, and nobody would have ever known how frightened and brave and irreplaceable they were.”

  10. One more:

    “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

  11. “Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no true, faithful, eternal love in this world! May the liar’s vile tongue be cut out! Follow me, my reader, and me alone, and I will show you such a love!”

  12. RedEyedGhost /

    But one strange wild dark long year, Halloween came early.

    One year Halloween came on October 24, three hours after midnight.

    At that time, James Nightshade of 97 Oak Street was thirteen years, eleven months, twenty-three days old. Next door, William Halloway was thirteen years, eleven months, twenty-four days old. Both touched toward fourteen; it almost trembled in their hands.

    And that was the October week when they grew up overnight, and were never so young any more…

  13. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

  14. Ashley, 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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