Suggested by: Nithin
Here’s another idea about memorable first lines from books.
What are your favourite first sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its first sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the first line?
I haven’t done a “Booking Through Thursday” in quite a while- half the time I forget about it until, oh, Saturday, when really it’s way too late. Today, though, I realized AHA! It’s Thursday! while it was still Thursday, so I popped over to see what the question was, and it’s one I’ve actually thought about in the past.
I expect a book to give me a good first line. I love it when I get a DAMN GOOD first line, one that sucks me in to the story immediately and makes me want more. A memorable first line (“Call me Ishmael“) is even better, but so infrequent as to make me wonder if authors are really trying- maybe they don’t much care if the first line is memorable. And maybe it really doesn’t matter. Or maybe it does matter, but it’s just crazy-difficult to come up with something fabulous. I can count on one hand how many first lines I actually know from memory, but here is a recent one:
I liked this book but did not love it, however that first line (and much of the first paragraph) was amazing and has remained with me for months. I’m always interested in books about sisters, probably because I have a complicated relationship with my own sister. The Girls is about conjoined twins- joined at the head- explaining why she has never looked into her sister’s eyes.
I don’t think the first line of a book ever makes it or breaks it, so to speak, but when I’m in a book store, or even standing in front of my TBR pile, I will sometimes open a book to page one and read the first couple of lines to decide if this is going to be the next book I read. This line grabbed me today:
“I was thirteen years old when my parents conquered Granada.” from The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner.
Bam! I have to read this book! I can’t wait to read this book!! It’s about Juana of Castile, also known as Juana la Loca, crazy Queen Jane, sister to Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Why was she crazy? I have no idea, but cant wait to find out.
How do you feel about the first line in a book? Do any stand out in your memory?