…Carole’s idea for today was about opening lines of books. She suggested we write ten of our own, or choose ten favorites. I did neither. Instead, I decided to revisit the opening lines of ten of my favorite books. which of course entailed revisiting my favorite books (and, ahem, a bit of re-shelving). I was surprised to see that, with just a couple of exceptions, these openers aren’t really all that memorable. In case you’re in for a bit of fun, I listed the books and authors at the bottom of the post. Can you guess the titles from the opening lines?
1. When they write my obituary.
2. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
3. Mr. & Mrs. Dursling, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
4. I go down to the shore in the morning and depending on the hour the waves are rolling in or moving out, and I say, oh, I am miserable, what shall — what should I do?
5. A fug of tobacco smoke and damp clammy air hit her as the she entered the café.
6. In 1980, a year after my wife leapt to her death from the Silas Pearlman Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina, I moved to Italy to being life anew, taking our small daughter with me.
7. The circus arrives without warning.
8. I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice — not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.
9. Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
10. There he is, three days after his fifth birthday, standing barefoot upon wet summer grass.
and of course today was a Charlie day. I’d intended to include the first line from whatever book we read most often. But instead, it really makes sense to include the last line.
This is The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. It’s wonderful. I teared up on the first reading. and didn’t hate it after the sixth.
Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done with this prompt. and to what surprises (or not) you found with my list. Happy reading!
If you’re not already playing along with Carole’s Ten on Tuesday fun, click here to join.
1. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
2. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (this one isn’t on my favorites shelf, but the last one is…and it only felt right to use the first line from the first one)
4. A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver
5. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
6. Beach Music by Pat Conroy
7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
8. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
9. Emma by Jane Austen
10. Forever by Pete Hamill