Welcome back to Top 5 Wednesday. This is a meme started in November of 2013 and is still going strong! If you’re interested in being a part of it please see the group on Goodreads.
This week’s topic is favorite first sentences. That doesn’t really require any explanation. So let’s get on with it…
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
The body you are wearing used to be mine.
I love this first line because the reader is thrust into the story in such an intriguing way. You (and the main character) will spend the rest of the book trying to understand fully what that means. I love this book so much. It’s so weird and funny.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Dawn was coming. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.
I have this list of the most favorite of favorite books. Those books have to be ultra special to be on this list. The list is only 4 books long and it’s been a least a decade since anything was added to it. Until last year. The Name of the Wind is on that list now. This first line is only three short sentences but they are so full of meaning. What is a waystone? Why is there so much silence in that Inn? How can a silence have parts? We actually don’t fully know all the answers yet, there’s a third book coming in the series, but what a wonderful way to start a book.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
You better not never tell nobody but God.
The line is chilling. You are plunged into the world of an impoverished, abused african-american child, and the suffering she has to deal with. But this isn’t just tragedy porn. It seems like in the 1990’s and early 2000’s you couldn’t throw a rock in a bookstore without hitting a melancholy story about abused children. I suppose it was cathartic. People were talking more about child abuse and molestation. Molestation was a secret dirty deed whose time in the sun was long overdue, but sometimes it felt like as though it was becoming too much of a spectacle. Were publishers glutting the market because that’s what was selling at the moment? It became hard to swallow so much misery. I don’t mean to denigrate any person’s experience. I am saying that at the time, it seemed as though the industry was cashing in on other people’s real suffereing and I found that distasteful. This book is different. It does speak candidly about child abuse, racism, and domestic violence. Ultimately though, it is a celebration of the spirit. I recommend it to everyone.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
What the heck is a hobbit and why is it living in a hole? Welcome to a wonderful new world! Let me tell you, as a kid that hobbit hole sounded awesome. (Peter Jackson really did it justice) This line sucks you right in and doesn’t let go for four books. More if you read the auxiliary stories!
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Ultimate dystopia. Everything seems so normal. But nothing is right. Nothing is what it should be. Clock’s strike thirteen. Your country’s enemy today, is an ally tomorrow. Doublethink, thought crime, doubleplusgood, words didn’t mean anything anymore. Everything was twisted. How better to keep the masses under control than to mess with their sense of reality? If you haven’t read this book, you really should. It’s important.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens “The best of times …”
Moby Dick by Herman Melville “Call me Ishmael.”