Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Best First Lines in Books






"Where's Papa going with that axe?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.                                                                E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web
If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.                                                                        Lemony Snickett, Series of Unfortunate Events
As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.                                               Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis 
There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.                                                                                                                       C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Call me Ismael.                                                          Herman Melville, Moby Dick
I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as "Claudius the Idiot," or "That Claudius," or "Claudius the Stammerer," or "Clau-Clau-Claudius" or at best as "Poor Uncle Claudius," am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the "golden predicament" from which I have never since become disentangled.                                                                                                     Robert Graves, I, Claudius
It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York.                                            Sylvia Plath,The Bell Jar
Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.   Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.                                                                                                                                George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.                           Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

35 comments:

  1. Lemony Snicket's starting line was the best. It made me want to keep reading! And George Orwell's 1984 hooked me in! What clocks strike thirteen???

    Great list, really forgot some of them!

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  2. What a great meme!! I love this. I recognize so many and came up with a few myself. Stealing this! :)

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  3. I recently reread The Bad Beginning. I was at an elementary school, helping with testing. I found myself wanting to read it aloud to every child I saw. Who could resist those lines?

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  4. Now I want to go back and do a Closing Lines meme, Les. Maybe I will.

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  5. Of all the posts I've read on this week's Top Ten Tuesday this is the one I like the most! You picked a few of my favorite firsts lines :)

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  6. Oh...I like the I Capture the Castle one of course. It almost made my list.

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  7. I want to read I Capture The Castle!

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  8. What a great picks! I have read more or less all books from your list and for me Sylvia Plath really had a way to start the book. Great list!

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  9. Capture the Castle is such a quirky book. Love it.

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  10. The Sylvia Plath quote is certainly a great lead in to a dark book.

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  11. On of my all time favourite reads, I love Charlotte's Web.

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  12. Great list! I didn't add 1984 to my list this week but the opening and closing sentences to that book was great. And I've been meaning to re-read The Bell Jar and I Capture the Castle.

    My TTT

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  13. I love this! I'd forgotten how impactful some of these opening lines are, like Nineteen Eighty-Four. The opening lines of Metamorphosis are unforgettable as well.

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  14. These are some great lines! I can't BELIEVE I missed The Voyage of the Dawn Treader on my list and its really making its rounds on everyone's list!

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  15. Hey, these are great! The Metamorphosis is one of my all-time favorites, and now I'm quite intrigued by I, Claudius and I Capture the Castle. An interesting opening line always sucks me in. ;)

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  16. LOVE all of these quotes! Especially Series of Unfortunate Events and the Metamorphosis. Great list! Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    Halee @ Confessions of a Book Addict

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  17. That 1984 opening line...killer! Love it

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  18. I've never really thought about it, I guess, but the start of Charlotte's Web is pretty interesting. You immediately want to know what the heck that dude is doing with the axe lol. I love the start of The Bad Beginning as well. Thanks for stopping by my TTT!

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  19. Sitting in the kitchen sink?! I simply MUST read that book!

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  20. Charlotte's Web starts out with a bang, doesn't it?!

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  21. I'm glad that these books don't just start well and that's it.

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  22. Audrey, I remember reading Metamorphosis when I was in high school and thinking, What?!

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  23. Ohh, you've got lots of classics! I really liked Orwell's 1984--I read it in high school and thought it was quite interesting. Thanks for stopping by!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

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  24. I almost put Charlotte's Web and Metamorphosis too!

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  25. Aww... ya can never go wrong with Charlott'es Web. :) and OMG I almost went with Moby Dick!!! but that would have been the only classic on my list so I decided against it! Great list. :)

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  26. Your list is amazing! I can't believe I forgot about Metamorphosis , I, Claudius, 1984, and Moby Dick!

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  27. What a fabulous list! I haven't read most of the books, but those first lines are awesome! I think my favorite may be the last one though. So simple, yet I love it! :)

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  28. Thanks for visiting my blog. I think you've changed your format, too, at least your colors. I considered using the I Capture the Castle quote, too. It cracks me up!

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  29. There are so many great first lines, Jess, and so little time.

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  30. I agree, Kara. Try to stop yourself from reading that book with a first line like that? Ha!

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  31. Anne, yes, I've changed my colors a bit. My mom passed away two years ago after a long bout with cancer and my blog went dark for the longest time. When I finally started feeling a little less sad all the time, I came back with all my mom's favorite colors. I miss her so much.

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  32. I am kicking myself that I didn't think of some of these! Charlotte's Web! Lemony Snicket! The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a really good one too!!

    Really awesome list!

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  33. I'm proud of my list. I wish I'd been able to format it in a beautiful way, like the way Whispers of a Barefoot Med Student did!

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  34. Awesome list! I almost picked Mrs Dalloway myself - love that book :)
    I've never heard of I, Claudius but the beginning kinda reminds me of Tristram Shandy and that one was hilarious!
    Interesting to read Kafka in a translation. In the German version, it never actually says that Gregor transforms into an insect, but you can't really translate the German 'Untier' very well into English.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my TTT :)

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