Bibliophiles, Unite!

I’ve been gratified by a decent number of comments on my previous post, and so I’m feeling like indulging myself in a little nerdy online wallowing in my favorite topic: books. My friend the Crazy Squirrel has invited his readers to make up the first sentence of a debut novel. I couldn’t think of my own brilliant sentence, but the idea got me thinking about some of my favorite first lines from books that I have loved. I’ve decided to share them with you here. Bon appetit!

“Dr. Iannis had enjoyed a satisfactory day in which none of his patients had died or gotten any worse.”

“For the first fifteen years of our lives, Danny and I lived within five blocks of each other and neither of us knew of the other’s existence.”

“I went back to the Devon School not long ago, and found it looking oddly newer than when I was a student there fifteen years before.”

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.”

“No one in Shiloh saw it coming.”

“James Gould’s eyes stung from the heat of the fire he had tended through two days and nights in the strange house at Petersham; his blistered hands stung too, and for the first time in almost twenty years, he didn’t know what to do.”

“The Opera Ghost really existed.”

“There was once a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself–not just sometimes, but always.”

“The book was thick and black and covered with dust.”

“An author ought to consider himself, not as a gentleman who gives a private or eleemosynary treat, but rather as one who keeps a public ordinary, at which all persons are welcome for their money.”

“My mother did not tell me they were coming.”

“Ugh. The last thing I feel physically, emotionally, or mentally equipped to do is drive to Una and Geoffrey Alconbury’s New Year’s Day Turkey Curry Buffet in Grafton Underwood.”

“Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav’ns and Earth
Rose of out Chaos.”


11 responses to “Bibliophiles, Unite!

  1. I am impressed at your erudition!

  2. I know two, maybe three of those.

    Pride and Prejudice is the one about a “single man in possession of a fortune”.

    Rebecca is the one about “Manderly”.

    And is the last one from “Paradise Lost”?

  3. What? Where’s the “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

    Oh yeah, you don’t like Dickens.

    (I don’t either, necessarily, but I think that might be the only first line quote I know.)

    I think I’m a bibliophobic.

  4. I actually meant to put that line in there, but I forgot. I guess it’s all good, though, because you’re right, I don’t like Dickens anyway.

  5. Is this a contest? I’ve got #2 (The Chosen) #6 (In My Father’s House) and #8 (The Phantom of the Opera). I am pretty sure I have not read any of those others, but perhaps I need to?

  6. Is the Manderly line from Rebecca? I think I’ve seen the movie…

  7. I didn’t even realize there was a movie version of Rebecca.

    I love it when someone recognizes the books. It’s like discovering a mutual friend!

  8. Well, I’m not that mutual friend (when it comes to books) but I do share your love for Clorox Wipes.

  9. Oh, and the Rebecca movie… maybe it was made-for-TV? I saw it when I was a kid, and I just distinctly remember that Manderly line… the voice that said it and the music in the background.

  10. I remember Manderly because one of my good friends LOVED that book so much she wanted to name her daughter Manderly. So I read the book at her recommendation. It is rather dark but good.

  11. TheCrazySquirrel

    The Crazy Squirrel

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