Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Opening Lines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week, we're talking about the very first words with which an author tries to snag you. That's right, it's time for favorite opening lines. You only get one chance at a first sentence, and here are ten of my favorites!

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." (The Hobbit)

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." (1984)

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." (Anna Karenina)

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." (Pride and Prejudice)

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins." (Lolita)

"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." (Mrs. Dalloway)

"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York." (The Bell Jar)

"The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we understood the gravity of our situation." (The Secret History)

"On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide—it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese—the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope." (The Virgin Suicides)

"In later years, holding forth to an interviewer or to an audience of aging fans at a comic book convention, Sam Clay liked to declare, apropos of his and Joe Kavalier’s greatest creation, that back when he was a boy, sealed and hog-tied inside the airtight vessel known as Brooklyn, New York, he had been haunted by dreams of Harry Houdini." (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)


  1. That Pride and Prejudice line has been on so many lists this week! It's a great opening line.

    My TTT .

    1. It's really one of the very very best!

  2. I forgot how good the opening for Pride and Prejudice was and I also have the Secret History on my list, good picks!

    1. The Secret History is just so good from top to bottom!

  3. Replies
    1. I'm a sucker for the use of "sultry" to describe hot weather

  4. Oh wow, that opening line from Anna Karenina, how true!

    1. The whole book is fantastic but that opening line is unforgettable!

  5. Nicely done! These are great, classic opening lines!

    Here's my TTT.

  6. Wow - we have 5 opening lines in common in our posts :)
    Great minds think alike, I suppose!

    My TTT: https://mamaneedsabook.blogspot.com/2020/05/10-great-opening-lines.html