Tuesday, April 1, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph ~ Tuesday Intros - New Life, No Instructions; Gail Caldwell


Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where I share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book I am reading or thinking about reading soon. Care to join us? Today's pick is a book was released today!

 New Life, No Instructions; Gail Caldwell
(a memoir)
Random House - April 1, 2014

Cambridge 2011

"My first tip off that the world had shifted was that the dogs looked lower to the ground.  I dismissed the perception as visual misread: Because I was on crutches and couldn't bend down to touch them, of course they would seem father away.  Then a friend came to visit, a striking woman whom I'd always considered tall.  She was standing across the living room and I was smiling, happy to have her there, and I thought, Tink is small! And I never realized it before.

The fact is Tink is about my size, but until that day I had looked up to her in more ways than one.  I was just home from five days at New England Baptist Hospital, where the chief of joint reconstruction had built me a new hip and lengthened my right leg by five eighths of an inch.  The measurement sounds deceptively slight, but then pi, unexplained, doesn't mean much, either.  What the extended hip brought me was about two inches of additional height, because I was no longer bending forward in pain.  It gave my leg something immeasurable: an ability to reach the ground, and the chance and anatomical equipment to walk right for the first time in my life. Almost as dramatic, at least in the beginning, was the reorientation of my physical self in space.  My perspective had been jolted to the point that trees and cars and other markers of street life felt closer to me, within reach in a way they hadn't before.  I could sense the effort involved in making these neural adjustments: In a simple movement like a step forward, particularly outside, there would be a lurch of visual confusion, then acceptance.  It happened quickly and brilliantly, and my comprehending it changed everything: What had seemed to be mere dizziness was in fact the brain's ballet."
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What do you think? Would you keep reading? Feel free to join us by linking your First Chapter post below.

19 comments:

  1. I don't usually read books on 'overcoming or having illnesses' (because I'm a bit of a hypochondriac :) but I do like it when they are uplifting.

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  2. I'd have to be in the right mood to read this one.

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  3. Like the others, I don't think this one would be for me.

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  4. This is an interesting opener. i would keep reading.

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  5. That would definitely be disconcerting. I wonder how old she was when this happened. I've loved other Gail Caldwell books, so this is definitely on my list. Here's Mine

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  6. Interesting excerpt, but I'm not sure the book would hold my interest.
    I'm spotlighting Mrs. Lincoln's Rival today.

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  7. Definitely interesting opener and I like the book title. Makes me curious to find out more.
    Happy Tuesday!
    Maya
    Love Bites and Silk

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  8. I'm not sure about this one - I think I'd have to read a little more.

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  9. I don't read many memoirs, and even though it's an interesting opening, I don't think this one is for me.

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  10. I enjoy memoirs and would give this a chance. I have heard of Ms. Caldwell but don't remember reading one of hers before. I only read inspirational memoirs or "everyman" ones, not celebs, because I feel I can take something away from reading it. Thanks.

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  11. A friend of our just had a double hip replacement and he is taller because he can finally stand straight.

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  12. I'm not familiar with this book, but the intro has me curious!

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  13. I like it. The first sentence got me right away and made me smile. I'd like to read this one.

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  14. I am intrigued--I'd read more!

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  15. Oh yes, I would definitely keep reading. It's amazing how a change in a physical condition can change our whole perspective.

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  16. Yes, I think this one sounds interesting!

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  17. I would definitely read this one. In fact, it is going on my TBR list right away. Thanks for the intro.

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  18. I might give this as try since I enjoyed her previous memoir, Let's Take the Long Way Home.

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