Books With Our Favorite First Lines

List of the Month
juni 2023 (see all)
Beschrijving
First impressions are powerful, and the first lines of the books we read can pack quite a punch. Our List of the Month this June is devoted to the books with our favorite first lines. Each participant may vote on ten titles. Please do not downvote titles, as judgment in these matters is subjective.
1
80,917 leden
1,372 besprekingen
½ 4.4
25 Members
rosalita, anglemark, LadyUndomiel, magnetgrrl, mldg, dewasus1, lizzy50usa, saskia17, amanda4242, merrystar, victoriapeak, sturlington, kleh, susanbooks, michigantrumpet, ahef1963, AbigailAdams26, barefootsong, asiralh, Boand, steller0707, teesamai, loulourevisited, PeanutNoir, PureChaos
Verklaringen
amanda4242: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
2
94,754 leden
1,191 besprekingen
½ 4.3
3
20,821 leden
614 besprekingen
4.2
4
36,791 leden
456 besprekingen
3.9
17 Members
LadyUndomiel, paradoxosalpha, lahochstetler, dewasus1, PitcherBooks, merrystar, kleh, perennialreader, Tess_W, Boand, CharlesTheB, TMCTX, Tosta, HH_Library, loulourevisited, PeanutNoir, PureChaos
Verklaringen
paradoxosalpha: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
5
82,212 leden
1,274 besprekingen
4.2
16 Members
lorax, Cecilturtle, paradoxosalpha, kleo, sturlington, souloftherose, susanbooks, katemcangus, al.vick, ahef1963, AntonioGallo, asiralh, steller0707, CharlesTheB, tekitora, PureChaos
Verklaringen
al.vick: "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
AntonioGallo: Phrases such as "Big Brother is watching you" and "doublethink" have entered the lexicon and are often used to describe similar situations in modern times.
6
38,912 leden
723 besprekingen
4.2
16 Members
LadyUndomiel, paradoxosalpha, yoyogod, abbottthomas, elenchus, Porua, al.vick, ahef1963, kristilabrie, timetunnel, SandraArdnas, asiralh, steller0707, DoomLuz, PeanutNoir, PureChaos
Verklaringen
al.vick: "Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun."
7
25,518 leden
258 besprekingen
4
16 Members
scampus, LadyUndomiel, sharder, lizzy50usa, saskia17, amanda4242, masterdeski, merrystar, sturlington, EMS_24, al.vick, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda, asiralh, steller0707, slimikin
Verklaringen
ManWithAnAgenda: There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it
8
24,803 leden
527 besprekingen
4.1
9
54,072 leden
1,002 besprekingen
4
10
38,577 leden
631 besprekingen
4.1
13 Members
Cecilturtle, LadyUndomiel, lahochstetler, dewasus1, saskia17, Cecrow, PitcherBooks, kleh, perennialreader, katemcangus, Tess_W, CharlesTheB, HH_Library
Verklaringen
perennialreader: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
11
9,225 leden
294 besprekingen
4.1
12
2,333 leden
39 besprekingen
4
12 Members
anglemark, pitjrw, abbottthomas, dewasus1, elenchus, victoriapeak, kleh, RBeffa, susanbooks, Boand, steller0707, loulourevisited
Verklaringen
susanbooks: The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
13
9,820 leden
433 besprekingen
3.9
10 Members
rosalita, pitjrw, sturlington, Porua, ahef1963, msemmag, ManWithAnAgenda, asiralh, steller0707, DoomLuz
Verklaringen
ManWithAnAgenda: No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.
14
23,103 leden
379 besprekingen
3.9
9 Members
hipdeep, kleo, GuyMontag, Cecrow, elenchus, souloftherose, vwinsloe, timetunnel, Mguod
Verklaringen
Cecrow: "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."
15
15,140 leden
138 besprekingen
½ 3.5
8 Members
paradoxosalpha, pitjrw, elenchus, kleh, susanbooks, ahef1963, elahrairah, PureChaos
Verklaringen
susanbooks: A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism.
16
39,603 leden
961 besprekingen
4
8 Members
Aquila, Cecilturtle, LadyUndomiel, dewasus1, masterdeski, TMCTX, Tosta, PureChaos
Verklaringen
Aquila: "It was a dark and stormy night."
17
19,017 leden
326 besprekingen
3.9
7 Members
scampus, dewasus1, saskia17, Tess_W, al.vick, AbigailAdams26, barefootsong
Verklaringen
AbigailAdams26: “All children, except one, grow up."
18
44,521 leden
697 besprekingen
4.2
6 Members
lorax, pitjrw, kleo, perennialreader, SandraArdnas, CharlesTheB
Verklaringen
SandraArdnas: Many years later as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. (...) The world was so recent that many things lacked names
19
23,987 leden
213 besprekingen
4.1
6 Members
paradoxosalpha, magnetgrrl, elenchus, AntonioGallo, barefootsong, slimikin
Verklaringen
paradoxosalpha: When I had journeyed half of our life's way, I found myself within a shadowed forest, for I had lost the path that does not stray.
AntonioGallo: I prefer "Inferno" since it is known for its exploration of moral and ethical issues. Dante uses the sins and punishments of the various characters to comment on the nature of sin, justice, and divine retribution. This gives the book a timeless quality that continues to resonate with readers today. Life, sometimes, is just like Inferno
20
28,182 leden
503 besprekingen
4
6 Members
lahochstetler, susanbooks, msemmag, ManWithAnAgenda, Tosta, HH_Library
Verklaringen
ManWithAnAgenda: It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York.
21
5,566 leden
349 besprekingen
4.1
5 Members
lizzy50usa, souloftherose, asiralh, Tosta, slimikin
Verklaringen
souloftherose: "I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module..."
22
20,428 leden
558 besprekingen
4.1
5 Members
lahochstetler, sturlington, msemmag, teesamai, jsclar
Verklaringen
sturlington: The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.
23
18,552 leden
1,266 besprekingen
4.1
5 Members
saskia17, flying_monkeys, msjudy, Tosta, HH_Library
Verklaringen
saskia17: The circus arrives without warning.
24
44,129 leden
706 besprekingen
4.1
5 Members
rosalita, elenchus, ahef1963, SandraArdnas, Tosta
Verklaringen
SandraArdnas: All this happened, more or less.
25
23,877 leden
988 besprekingen
4.2
5 Members
chin2chin, masterdeski, Tess_W, al.vick, HH_Library
Verklaringen
al.vick: Prologue: "People disappear all the time."
26
36,244 leden
1,025 besprekingen
4.2
27
35,696 leden
544 besprekingen
3.8
5 Members
Cecrow, CharlesTheB, Tosta, HH_Library, loulourevisited
Verklaringen
Cecrow: "Call me Ishmael."
28
24,928 leden
532 besprekingen
½ 4.3
5 Members
paradoxosalpha, merrystar, al.vick, ahef1963, PureChaos
Verklaringen
al.vick: "This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it."
29
12,557 leden
260 besprekingen
4.1
4 Members
anglemark, msemmag, CharlesTheB, kay.emme
Verklaringen
anglemark: "You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, 'If on a winter's night a traveler'."
30
18,224 leden
1,248 besprekingen
½ 4.3
4 Members
al.vick, timetunnel, HH_Library, PatrickBenner
Verklaringen
al.vick: "I'm pretty much fucked."
31
5,243 leden
99 besprekingen
3.9
4 Members
otori, kleh, perennialreader, loulourevisited
Verklaringen
otori: “I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.”
perennialreader: I had a Farm in Africa.
32
10,769 leden
125 besprekingen
3.9
4 Members
PitcherBooks, EMS_24, ManWithAnAgenda, Boand
Verklaringen
ManWithAnAgenda: Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
33
21,698 leden
419 besprekingen
3.8
4 Members
amanda4242, susanbooks, barefootsong, slimikin
Verklaringen
amanda4242: "No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine."
34
22,857 leden
494 besprekingen
3.8
3 Members
scampus, ianreads, sturlington
Verklaringen
sturlington: The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.
35
480 leden
12 besprekingen
3.8
4 Members
paradoxosalpha, magnetgrrl, yoyogod, elenchus
Verklaringen
yoyogod: The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
36
4,515 leden
184 besprekingen
4.1
3 Members
Aquila, msemmag, asiralh
Verklaringen
Aquila: "In the myriadic year of our lord—the ten thousandth year of the King Undying, the kindly Prince of Death!—Gideon Nav packed her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and she escaped from the House of the Ninth."
37
13,522 leden
207 besprekingen
½ 4.3
4 Members
scampus, elenchus, susanbooks, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
susanbooks: Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin.
38
15,973 leden
384 besprekingen
4
3 Members
Aquila, msemmag, DoomLuz
Verklaringen
Aquila: "I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination."
39
door Homer
40,111 leden
386 besprekingen
4
3 Members
anglemark, sharder, loulourevisited
Verklaringen
anglemark: μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος / οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε
40
36,293 leden
742 besprekingen
4.1
3 Members
sharder, barefootsong, Mark.Milton
Verklaringen
barefootsong: "Lyra and her dæmon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen."
41
3,217 leden
60 besprekingen
4
3 Members
lorax, anglemark, Boand
Verklaringen
anglemark: "It was the day my grandmother exploded."
42
35,586 leden
507 besprekingen
3.9
3 Members
Cecilturtle, Boand, CharlesTheB
Verklaringen
Cecilturtle: Aujourd'hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas.
43
11,167 leden
182 besprekingen
4.2
3 Members
Cecilturtle, kleh, susanbooks
Verklaringen
susanbooks: For a long time I used to go to bed early.
44
5,109 leden
147 besprekingen
4
3 Members
anglemark, kristilabrie, msemmag
Verklaringen
kristilabrie: "Have you ever tasted a Whitstable oyster?"
45
5,197 leden
105 besprekingen
½ 4.5
3 Members
hipdeep, EerierIdyllMeme, lahochstetler
Verklaringen
EerierIdyllMeme: On the copyright page: "This is a very dull page. What is on the next page?"
46
11,316 leden
157 besprekingen
4.1
3 Members
saskia17, PitcherBooks, merrystar
Verklaringen
saskia17: Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree.
47
5,789 leden
75 besprekingen
3.9
2 Members
vwinsloe, SandraArdnas
Verklaringen
vwinsloe: "If this typewriter can't do it, then fuck it, it can't be done."
48
17,532 leden
425 besprekingen
½ 4.3
3 Members
merrystar, sturlington, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
sturlington: There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself—not just sometimes, but always.
49
6,401 leden
164 besprekingen
3.8
2 Members
scampus, merrystar
Verklaringen
merrystar: If you want to find Cherry Tree Lane, all you have to do is ask the policeman at the crossroad.
50
3,748 leden
74 besprekingen
3.8
2 Members
SavvyScot, amanda4242
Verklaringen
amanda4242: "to wound the autumnal city."
51
19,178 leden
346 besprekingen
4
2 Members
saskia17, DoomLuz
Verklaringen
saskia17: Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
52
20,744 leden
276 besprekingen
4.1
2 Members
msjudy, PeanutNoir
Verklaringen
PeanutNoir: "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."
53
2,112 leden
22 besprekingen
4
2 Members
victoriapeak, RBeffa
Verklaringen
RBeffa: I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.
54
1,276 leden
82 besprekingen
½ 3.5
2 Members
LadyUndomiel, asiralh
Verklaringen
asiralh: “Once upon a time on a small, watery, excitable planet called Earth, in a small, watery, excitable country called Italy, a soft-spoken, rather nice-looking young gentleman by the name of Enrico Fermi was born into a family so overprotective that he felt compelled to invent the atomic bomb.”
55
18,483 leden
309 besprekingen
3.8
2 Members
hipdeep, fvenez
Verklaringen
hipdeep: No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were being scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.
56
10,312 leden
284 besprekingen
4
2 Members
rosalita, abbottthomas
Verklaringen
abbottthomas: It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills.
57
1,155 leden
22 besprekingen
3.9
2 Members
paradoxosalpha, SandraArdnas
Verklaringen
paradoxosalpha: There were angels in the glass, two four six many of them, each one shuffling into his place in line like an alderman at the Lord Mayor's show.
58
52,178 leden
705 besprekingen
3.9
2 Members
tina1969, Tess_W
Verklaringen
Tess_W: “I have just returned from a visit to my landlord – the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.”
59
4,796 leden
115 besprekingen
3.8
2 Members
hipdeep, pitjrw
Verklaringen
hipdeep: This is the saddest story I have ever heard.
60
1,419 leden
176 besprekingen
4.1
2 Members
otori, vwinsloe
Verklaringen
vwinsloe: "He began to die when he was twenty-one, but tuberculosis is slow and sly and subtle."
61
684 leden
11 besprekingen
4.2
2 Members
anglemark, slimikin
Verklaringen
anglemark: "My friend Hergal had killed himself again."
62
2,365 leden
35 besprekingen
3.8
2 Members
kleo, msjudy
Verklaringen
msjudy: And then, after walking all day through a golden haze of humid warmth that gathered about him like fine wet fleece, Valentine came to a great ridge of outcropping white stone overlooking the city of Pidruid.
63
1,265 leden
37 besprekingen
3.8
2 Members
pitjrw, perennialreader
Verklaringen
perennialreader: Take my camel, dear, said my aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass.
64
6,549 leden
171 besprekingen
3.9
2 Members
rosalita, katemcangus
Verklaringen
rosalita: "A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which, to look ahead."
65
21,256 leden
217 besprekingen
½ 3.7
2 Members
Cecrow, CharlesTheB
Verklaringen
Cecrow: "Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo...."
66
78,728 leden
1,434 besprekingen
½ 4.4
2 Members
kleo, perennialreader
Verklaringen
perennialreader: When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
67
30,585 leden
453 besprekingen
4.1
68
19,376 leden
325 besprekingen
4.1
2 Members
paradoxosalpha, elenchus
Verklaringen
paradoxosalpha: Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler's pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.
69
4,126 leden
83 besprekingen
4.2
2 Members
al.vick, SandraArdnas
Verklaringen
al.vick: "This isn't at all what I expected. In 1985, by some sort of journalistic accident I was sent to Madagascar with Mark Carwardine to look for an almost extinct form of lemur called the aye-aye. None of the three of us had ever met before. I had never met Mark, Mark had never met me, and no one, apparently, had seen an aye-aye in years."
70
794 leden
35 besprekingen
4
2 Members
EerierIdyllMeme, CharlesTheB
Verklaringen
EerierIdyllMeme: There once lived, at a series of temporary addresses across the United States of America, a traveling man of Indian origin, advancing years, and retreating mental powers, who, on account of his love for mindless television, had spent far too much of his life in the yellow light of tawdry motel rooms watching an excess of it, and had suffered a peculiar form of brain damage as a result.
71
1 lid
2 Members
hipdeep, Tess_W
Verklaringen
hipdeep: En arkhêi ên ho lógos, kaì ho lógos ên pròs tòn theón, kaì theòs ên ho lógos. | In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Tess_W: In the beginning was the Word.
72
18,813 leden
886 besprekingen
½ 4.3
2 Members
Tess_W, msjudy
Verklaringen
msjudy: At dusk they fall from the sky.
73
4,758 leden
150 besprekingen
4
2 Members
Tess_W, al.vick
Verklaringen
al.vick: "My name is Uhtred. I am the son of Uhtred, who was the son of Uhtred and his father was also called Uhtred."
74
7,563 leden
191 besprekingen
4.2
2 Members
saskia17, msemmag
Verklaringen
saskia17: The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone.
75
18,178 leden
451 besprekingen
3.9
Member
kristilabrie
Verklaringen
kristilabrie: "In eighteenth century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages."
76
13,979 leden
247 besprekingen
4.1
Member
otori
Verklaringen
otori: “Barrabas came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy. ”
77
13,884 leden
264 besprekingen
4
Member
Micheller7
Verklaringen
Micheller7: “It was Wang Lung’s wedding day.” I have remembered this line for about 65 years.
78
12,606 leden
265 besprekingen
4
Member
dud5ers
79
12,542 leden
222 besprekingen
3.9
Member
sharder
80
12,237 leden
120 besprekingen
3.9
Member
EerierIdyllMeme
Verklaringen
EerierIdyllMeme: It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression "as pretty as an airport".
81
10,783 leden
141 besprekingen
4.1
Member
paradoxosalpha
Verklaringen
paradoxosalpha: A screaming comes across the sky.
82
7,478 leden
325 besprekingen
3.9
Member
Archakr
Verklaringen
Archakr: "Kell wore a very peculiar coat."
83
6,757 leden
197 besprekingen
3.9
Member
Moloch
Verklaringen
Moloch: "Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them." It's the book that speaks directly to the reader; I was instantly hooked.
84
6,619 leden
125 besprekingen
½ 4.3
Member
perennialreader
Verklaringen
perennialreader: So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration.
85
5,985 leden
97 besprekingen
3.9
Member
Yuki-Onna
Verklaringen
Yuki-Onna: I often dream about the Dolphin Hotel.
86
4,550 leden
132 besprekingen
3.8
Member
Porua
Verklaringen
Porua: In the first place, Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all the holders of houses, above a certain rent, are women.
87
4,194 leden
232 besprekingen
4.2
Member
Brubow
Verklaringen
Brubow: "Late one evening toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-bareled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else's forehead and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there."
88
3,551 leden
89 besprekingen
3.9
Member
LibraryCin
Verklaringen
LibraryCin: Three days before her death, my mother told me -- these weren't her last words, but they were pretty lose -- that my brother was still alive.
89
3,467 leden
132 besprekingen
½ 3.7
Member
PeanutNoir
Verklaringen
PeanutNoir: "They threw me off the hay truck about noon."
90
2,515 leden
83 besprekingen
½ 3.7
Member
sinki
Verklaringen
sinki: "Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months."
91
1,792 leden
39 besprekingen
4.2
Member
exhocforte
Verklaringen
exhocforte: "It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me."
92
546 leden
19 besprekingen
3.8
Member
abbottthomas
Verklaringen
abbottthomas: Mr Salteena was an elderly man of 42 and was fond of asking peaple to stay with him.
93
486 leden
9 besprekingen
4.2
Member
barefootsong
Verklaringen
barefootsong: "When I was nine years old, I hid under a table and heard my sister kill a king." This first line has stuck with me since I first read this in sixth grade.
94
342 leden
11 besprekingen
½ 3.7
Member
Aquila
Verklaringen
Aquila: "When, suddenly, on an ordinary Wednesday, it seemed to Barney that the world tilted and ran downhill in all directions, he knew he was about to be haunted again."
95
246 leden
22 besprekingen
4
Member
AbigailAdams26
Verklaringen
AbigailAdams26: Mr. C'Mere's first line: "Humans were diggers and buriers, the cat thought, like dogs." Zoë's first line: "I'd hoped for better, Henry's being a heart doctor. A job like that, you'd think he might actually have a heart."
96
101 leden
1 bespreking
4
Member
prosfilaes
Verklaringen
prosfilaes: It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
97
door Nescio
79 leden
2 besprekingen
½ 3.6
Member
EMS_24
Verklaringen
EMS_24: 'Except for the man who thought Sarphatistraat was the most beautiful place in Europe, I have never known a more curious fellow than the 'bummer/ deadbeat/ .'' - "Behalve den man, die de Sarphatistraat de mooiste plek van Europa vond, heb ik nooit een wonderlijker kerel gekend dan den uitvreter."
98
19 leden
½ 4.3
Member
cpg
Verklaringen
cpg: "Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the living room."
99
6 leden
Member
paulmdh
100
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4.1