Welcome to our Friday memes, in which we excerpt passages from books we’re reading (or about to read).

Book Beginnings is hosted by A Few More Pages, and in this meme, we share the opening lines of a book…and then react to it.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and we grab an excerpt on p. 56…and then link to our host’s site.

My spotlighted book has been on my TBR stacks for awhileIn Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, is all about a horrific crime that took place in Kansas in the late 1950s.

Product Description: Controversial and compelling, “In Cold Blood” reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote’s comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human. The book that made Capote’s name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative.

Beginning:  The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.”  Some seventy miles east of the Colorado border, the countryside, with its hard blue skies and desert-clear air, has an atmosphere that is rather more Far West than Middle West.

This opener doesn’t really grab me, but it does lay the foundation and the setting of this book that tells about an unusually terrible crime that completely blindsided the residents of the town.

Friday 56:  Nancy was invariably the last of the family to retire; as she had once informed her friend and home-economics teacher, Mrs. Polly Stringer, the midnight hours were her “time to be selfish and vain.”  It was then that she went through her beauty routine, a cleansing, creaming ritual, which on Saturday nights included washing her hair.  p. 56

This gives me the chills.  The sheer normalcy of those moments…followed by what came next.

What are the rest of you sharing this week?  I hope you’ll stop by with your comments and links.


  1. I like how the cover art on this one blends in so well with the wonderful background template you’ve selected. Gives an overall feeling of “Spring is in the air!” I think creepy is an understatement for this crime scene. Sounds too scary! lol Thanks for the visit.


  2. Having driven through large parts of the western US, including the I70 through Kansas I had no problem imagining the sort of place Holcomb must be. I quite like the beginning, it had me going to Google Maps to place Holcomb, and that’s always a good sign. My local library has it as an audio book, I think this might be the one I’ve been looking for to take along in the car. And page 56 was eerie…
    Mine’s at Mostraum Viewpoint


    • I’ve had it on my TBR stacks for quite awhile—since right after I’d seen the movie Capote. I think I postponed reading it until now because I was a little creeped out…thanks for stopping by, Sherrie.


  3. I actually like the beginning quite a bit, It does set the scene. And that sort of slow beginning is just right considering what a terrible crime will be described in the story.
    I also liked the p.56 excerpt for the same reasons you gave.


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