First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
- Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
- Finally… reveal the book!
Copy and paste the text and banner (or make your own!) above for your own First Lines Fridays posts. Make sure to comment your first lines below so that other people can check them out!
Find your next book to read:
She was waiting for him – or someone – though he had not phoned ahead. ‘Where’s the boy?’ she called from her porch. [Reveal the book]
Carl Sagan said that if you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. When he says “from scratch,” he means from nothing. He means from a time before the world even existed. [Reveal the book]
You have to be quick,
none of this pretending to be browsing business
that some shoplifters go for. [Reveal the book]
First of all, I’m sorry. Second of all, you’re welcome. [Reveal the book]
It had certainly been a wild end to the autumn. On the Heath a gale stripped the glorious blaze of colour from Kenwood to Parliament Hill in a matter of hours, leaving several old oaks and beeches dead. [Reveal the book]
Inner North London
All white walls
[Reveal the book]
Cape Sata is the end of Japan.
When you turn your back to the sea and look northward, all of mainland Japan is balanced, swordlike, above you.
[Reveal the book]
Sometimes there are signs. Or things I can’t help but interpret as signs. Maybe from fate or the universe or God, if there is one. Or maybe from the grandmother I barely knew but who I’ve always been told is in heaven.
Watching and judging.
Like Santa. [Reveal the book]
Standing alone at the Lowhrs’ party, Anna Mackintosh thought about her husband Edward, establishing him clearing for this purpose in her mind’s eye. [Reveal the book]
It was the summer of 1970, and time had not yet trampled them flat, these lines:
Sexual intercourse began
(Which was rather late for me) –
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles’ first LP. [Reveal the book]
Once upon a time in Westphalia, in the castle of Monsieur the Baron von Thunder-ten-tronckh, there lived a young boy on whom nature had bestowed the gentlest of dispositions. [Reveal the book]
It was the closest kingdom to the queen’s, as the crow flies, but not even the crows flew it. The highest mountain range that served as the border between the two kingdoms discouraged crows as much as it discouraged people, and it was considered unpassable. [Reveal the book]
Before she became the Girl from Nowhere – the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years – she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy. Amy Harper Bellafonte. [Reveal the book]
This is how it begins.
A woman stands on a station platform, a suitcase in her right hand, in her left a yellow handkerchief, with which she is dabbing at her face. [Reveal the book]
It happened in October, two days before the half-term break. [Reveal the book]
He stood in the corner shop with rainwater dribbling off his anorak, looking for the cheapest box of beers. The checkout girl thought him a drunk, he knew, so he paid on his shiny new credit card in the hope it somehow proved him otherwise. [Reveal the book]
At the hour of the hot spring sunset at Patriarch’s Ponds two citizens appeared. [Reveal the book]
People look at me funny when I tell them I have a demon. [Reveal the book]
I find great irony in my choice of profession.
A first-class geiko is constantly in the glare of spotlights while I spent much of my childhood hiding in a darkened cupboard. [Reveal the book]
Pawnshops in Night Vale work like this.
First you need an item to pawn. [Reveal the book]
Ella said, ‘Stop fighting,’ but nobody listened. [Reveal the book]
The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. [Reveal the book]
The last train wasn’t coming. [Reveal the book]
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. [Reveal the book]
Dead people never stop talking. [Reveal the book]
For thousands of years the Cursed Ones hid in the shadows, fooling mankind into thinking they didn’t exist. Then one day they just… stopped. Skeptics turned into believers one fateful dawn. And no one was ever safe again. [Reveal the book]
I’ve always wanted to be a writer; since I first felt the precarious wobble of a book in my hand, since I first heard the phrase ‘Once upon a time’, since I first realized that fairies, wizards and sea-farers could transport you from the endless grey of 1970s south London. [Reveal the book]
I opened my eyes.
To dark. Black as arctic winter.
Am I dead? [Reveal the book]
‘I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference,’ she said. ‘You know, actually change something.’
‘What, like, “change the world”, you mean?’
‘Not the whole entire world. Just the little bit around you.’ [Reveal the book]
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. [Reveal the book]
The letter that would change everything arrived on a Tuesday. It was an ordinary morning in mid-April that smelled of clean washing and grass cuttings. [Reveal the book]
Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time thinking about death. [Reveal the book]
Ah, the beginning of another school year. And I’m back with all the shit that’s not fit to print…
So while you’ve all been whiling away the summer in Southampton, or on Nantucket or in the South of France, perfecting your tennis game or your pas de deux, or training for your first marathon, or basking in your latest chess championship, I’ve spent the summer keeping track of the back and forth of our dear faculty members. [Reveal the book]
Mira was hiding in the ladies’ room. She called it that, even though someone had scratched out the word ladies’ in the sign on the door, and written women’s underneath. She called it that out of thirty-eight years of habit, and until she saw the cross-out on the door, had never thought about it. [Reveal the book]
There are places I’ll remember all my life – red square with a hot wind howling across it, my mother’s bedroom on the wrong side of 8-Mile, the endless gardens of a fancy foster home, a man waiting to kill me in a group of ruins known as the Theatre of Death. [Reveal the book]
The circus arrives without warning.
No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. [Reveal the book]
The dead walk among us. Zombies, ghouls – no matter what their label – these somnambulists are the greatest threat to humanity, other than humanity itself. To call them predators and us prey would be inaccurate. They are a plague, and the human race their host. [Reveal the book]
I taped the commercial back in April, before anything had happened, and promptly forgot about it. A few weeks ago, it had started running and, suddenly, I was everywhere. [Reveal the book]
Roger, aged seven, and no longer the youngest of the family, ran in zigzags, to and fro, across the steep field that sloped up from the lake to Holly Howe, the farm where they were staying for part of the summer holidays. [Reveal the book]
One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone.
No ‘poof’. No flash of light. No explosion. [Reveal the book]
Be careful what you wish for. I know that for a fact. Wishes are brutal, unforgiving things. They burn your tongue the moment they’re spoken and you can never take them back. They bruise and bake and come back to haunt you. I’ve made far too many wishes in my lifetime, the first when I was eight years old. [Reveal the book]
It’s a weirdly subtle conversation. I almost don’t notice I’m being blackmailed. We’re sitting in metal folding chairs backstage, and Martin Addison says, “I read your email.” [Reveal the book]
There was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke. Night after night I had passed the house (it was vacation time) and studied the lighted square of window: and night after night I had found it lighted in the same way, faintly and evenly. If he was dead, I thought, I would see the reflection of candles on the darkened blind for I knew that two candles must be set at the head of a corpse. [Reveal the book]
My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and where I was born. Instead, they returned to Ireland when I was four, my brother, Malachy, three, the twins, Oliver and Eugene, barely one, and my sister, Margaret, dead and gone. When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. [Reveal the book]
“Somebody stabbed you in the neck, young lady.”
My eyes widen, and I slowly turn toward the elderly gentleman standing at my side. He presses the up button on the elevator and faces me. He smiles and points to my neck. [Reveal the book]
A girl always remembers the first corpse she shaves. It is the only event in her life more awkward than her first kiss or the loss of her virginity. The hands of time will never move quite so slowly as when you are standing over the dead body of an elderly man with a pink plastic razor in your hand. [Reveal the book]
They finally stopped me at Dover as I was trying to get back into the country. I was half expecting it, but it still came as kind of a shock when the barrier stayed down. [Reveal the book]