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My Favorite First Lines

13 Favorite Opening Lines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up from The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie theme. So I decided to update an old post about my favorite opening lines. You can write about as many or as few as you like, ten is just a guide. Be sure to check out all the other blogs in the link up! 🙂

“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.”

Gone With the Wind Margaret Mitchell

“When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.”

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien

“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 by Jane Austin

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

“When Augustus came out on the porch the blue pigs were eating a rattlesnake – not a very big one.”

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

“It was starting to end, after what seemed most of eternity to me.”

Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny

“A dozen stories have been told about the old Dark jug. This is the true one.”

A Tangled Web by LM Montgomery

“The house in the hollow was “a mile from anywhere” – so Maywood people said.”

Emily of New Moon by LM Montgomery

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

“When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

“The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. ”

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

“My hand shakes as I brace myself against the brick wall.”

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

As soon as I read these sentences, I knew that the book that I was holding was going to be amazing! And I wasn’t disappointed!

What are some of your favorite opening lines? Do we have any in common? Let me know in the comments!

This post originally ran on February 22, 2012. It has been updated.

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14 responses to “13 Favorite Opening Lines

  1. I love going back and seeing what the opening lines were to some of my favorite books. I’ll always love the opening line to the HP series. It’s perfect. And the opening line to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl will forever be one of my favs. It is: “I have no idea how to write this stupid book” 🙂

  2. I loved Pride and Prejudices opening line. It’s a classic!

    I think my absolutely favorite opening line of a book which made me realize that this book was going to be life altering for me and that I was going to absolutely love it is from Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project”: “I’d always vaguely expected to outgrow my limitations!” To this day, “Happiness Project” sits front and center in my person Book Hall of Fame.

    Is there a way that I can contact you privately? Have a question for you?

  3. YAY! Great choice of topic this week. I always love freebie week as people always do such amazing topics! There’s nothing I love more than an amazing opening line! I especially love the LotR one!!! <3

    Here's my TTT post if you want to check it out. I picked non-book romances I would love to see get book adaptations.

  4. What a great idea for a post and I really love so many of these. Lonesome Dove is so so good and I remember being completely jolted and intrigued by that first line. Also I had forgotten that that Scarlett was not meant to be beautiful since Vivien Leigh is burned in my brain. Fantastic list that made me smile fondly a lot!