Best Beginning
What book do you think has the best beginning/opening chapter ever?

For the Best Ending, please see and vote in this list: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/57...
101 The Brief Wondrous Life of ...
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 127,170 ratings
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101 Spook House (Harmony, India...
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 97 ratings
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103 The Sweetness at the Bottom...
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 76,523 ratings
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104 A Walk to Remember
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 393,969 ratings
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105 Paper Towns
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 289,623 ratings
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106 The Haunting of Hill House
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 37,023 ratings
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107 The History of Love
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 80,500 ratings
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108 The Drawing of the Three (T...
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 102,067 ratings
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109 The Call of Cthulhu and Oth...
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4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 19,217 ratings
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109 Tehlikeli Oyunlar
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4.62 of 5 stars 4.62 avg rating — 1,231 ratings
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111 Franny and Zooey
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 130,506 ratings
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112 Notes from Underground
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 62,408 ratings
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113 The Help
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4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 1,120,548 ratings
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113 Fight Club
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 275,395 ratings
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115 Battle Royale
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 28,048 ratings
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116 The Unbearable Lightness of...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 173,295 ratings
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117 Alice's Adventures in Wonde...
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 305,877 ratings
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118 A Game of Thrones (A Song o...
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4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 850,040 ratings
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119 Invisible Monsters
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 77,314 ratings
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120 Waiting for Godot
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 77,533 ratings
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121 Norwegian Wood
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 128,004 ratings
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122 Sophie's World: A Novel abo...
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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 100,394 ratings
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123 Slaughterhouse-Five
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 646,760 ratings
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124 The Black Cat
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 11,005 ratings
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124 Stardust
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 186,951 ratings
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126 Into the Wild
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 443,840 ratings
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127 The Murders in the Rue Morg...
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 4,935 ratings
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128 Memoirs of an Invisible Man
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 1,017 ratings
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128 The Manufactured Identity (...
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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 341 ratings
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128 John Dies at the End (John ...
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 29,865 ratings
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128 Undeadly (The Reaper Diarie...
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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 2,238 ratings
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128 The First Pillar (Everville...
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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 536 ratings
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128 The Call of Agon (The Child...
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 122 ratings
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128 Atlas
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4.76 of 5 stars 4.76 avg rating — 75 ratings
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128 A Dead Sister (Jessica Hunt...
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4.94 of 5 stars 4.94 avg rating — 70 ratings
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136 Blood Rites (The Dresden Fi...
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4.32 of 5 stars 4.32 avg rating — 58,402 ratings
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136 The Surfer
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 9 ratings
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136 Shades of Grey: The Road to...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 19,099 ratings
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136 Machine
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5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
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140 Afraid
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 4,941 ratings
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140 Tordyveln flyger i skymningen
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 995 ratings
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140 Jurassic Park (Jurassic Par...
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 478,112 ratings
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140 Behind Closed Doors (Daniel...
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 478 ratings
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144 Horns
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 42,927 ratings
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145 Gone (Gone, #1)
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 108,034 ratings
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145 The Three Musketeers
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 161,443 ratings
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147 Graceling (Graceling Realm,...
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 211,502 ratings
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148 Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 156,701 ratings
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149 Life As We Knew It (Last Su...
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 72,970 ratings
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150 Johnny Got His Gun
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 18,594 ratings
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150 The Lost Symbol (Robert Lan...
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 291,728 ratings
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152 City of Bones (The Mortal I...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 759,553 ratings
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153 The Premature Burial
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 571 ratings
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153 Hades' Disciples (The Legac...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 26 ratings
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155 Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wi...
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 19,602 ratings
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156 Have His Carcase  (Lord Pet...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 7,659 ratings
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156 A Heartbreaking Work of Sta...
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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 125,131 ratings
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158 Chess Story
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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 12,104 ratings
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159 Stranger in a Strange Land
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 173,784 ratings
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159 North and South
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 61,762 ratings
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161 Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl,...
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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 281,965 ratings
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162 The Goose Girl (The Books o...
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 76,205 ratings
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163 Tol
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 967 ratings
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164 Across the Nightingale Floo...
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 20,379 ratings
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164 Frankenstein
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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 641,230 ratings
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166 Portnoy's Complaint
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 29,908 ratings
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166 Matched (Matched, #1)
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 346,094 ratings
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168 Dubliners
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 63,565 ratings
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169 The Grass is Singing
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 4,856 ratings
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170 A Study in Scarlet  (Sherlo...
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 126,636 ratings
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171 The New Life
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3.53 of 5 stars 3.53 avg rating — 3,608 ratings
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172 The French Lieutenant's Woman
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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 28,644 ratings
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173 The Sword in the Stone (The...
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 12,892 ratings
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174 Peace Like a River
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 47,003 ratings
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175 Howl's Moving Castle (Howl'...
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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 95,318 ratings
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175 Catch-22 (Catch-22, #1)
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 404,668 ratings
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177 Teenage Mermaid
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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 920 ratings
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178 Amerika
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 11,062 ratings
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179 A Descent into the Maelstrom
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 684 ratings
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180 Ligeia
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 1,301 ratings
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181 Just So Stories
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 28,496 ratings
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182 Everything Is Illuminated
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 112,131 ratings
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183 Going Down with Janis
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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 89 ratings
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183 Child of God
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 886 ratings
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183 Chang and Eng
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3.28 of 5 stars 3.28 avg rating — 1,334 ratings
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183 Kindness Goes Unpunished (W...
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 4,807 ratings
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183 Stations of the Tide
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 1,219 ratings
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183 Gatekeepers - The Quest for...
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4.43 of 5 stars 4.43 avg rating — 14 ratings
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183 A Heart to Mend
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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51 avg rating — 79 ratings
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183 Intrinsical (The Yara Silva...
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 1,792 ratings
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183 Bad Things Happen
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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 3,494 ratings
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183 The Watcher
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3.1 of 5 stars 3.10 avg rating — 48 ratings
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183 Secretariat
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 5,228 ratings
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183 Progeny (The Children of th...
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 205 ratings
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183 Deadly Currents (An RM Outd...
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3.37 of 5 stars 3.37 avg rating — 332 ratings
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183 The Seduction of the Crimso...
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 5,900 ratings
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183 Pieces of Eight: A Story of...
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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 24 ratings
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183 Morning, Noon & Night
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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 10,507 ratings
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183 Are You Afraid of the Dark?
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 16,174 ratings
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183 Parkcrest View The Love Chr...
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 20 ratings
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351 books · 568 voters · list created August 28th, 2008 by Leila (votes) .
14 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Leila
Leila
554 books
100 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
2508 books
488 friends
Neil
Neil
206 books
13 friends
Jennie
Jennie
396 books
28 friends
Julia
Julia
1936 books
99 friends
Munchkin
Munchkin
87 books
5 friends
Julieh
Julieh
193 books
1 friend
☯Bettie☯
☯Bettie☯
11354 books
159 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Neil (new)

Neil great opening reminds me of school


message 2: by Jennie (last edited Aug 28, 2008 01:12PM) (new)

Jennie I love this first page because you instantly know the precocious 9-year-old narrator of this novel without having read one iota of physical description, family history, demographics, etc. When I read this, I knew that I had to read the rest of the book.

He says it much better than I could. Just read the first page for yourself...

"What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just
crack up with me? I could invent a teakettle that reads in Dad's voice, so I could fall asleep, or maybe a set of kettles that sings the chorus of "Yellow Submarine," which is a song by the Beatles, who I love, because entomology
is one of my raisons d'être, which is a French expression that I know.

Another good thing is that I could train my anus to talk when I farted. If I wanted to be extremely hilarious, I'd train it to say, "Wasn't me!" every time I made an incredibly bad fart. And if I ever made an incredibly bad fart in the Hall of Mirrors, which is in Versailles, which is outside of Paris, which is in France, obviously, my anus would say, "Ce n'étais pas moi!"

What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could
be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboarded down the street at night you could hear everyone's heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone's hearts would start to
beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don't really
want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their
heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war."



message 3: by Cindy (new)

Cindy I see a bunch I've never heard of. It will be fun to look for these at the library.


message 5: by Immaculate (new)

Immaculate You guys should read The Book Thief. It's an amazing book.


message 6: by Derya (new)

Derya Here is one of the best openings, I've ever read:

"Two households, both alike in dignity
(In fair Verona, where we lay our scene),
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal lions of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife."

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.


message 7: by M/Ðɑηηɑ (new)

M/Ðɑηηɑ soooo true :p


message 8: by Namida... (last edited Feb 04, 2012 05:34AM) (new)

Namida... where's The Bell Jar a brilliant opening for a brilliant book

"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York. I’m stupid about executions. The idea of being electrocuted makes me sick, and that’s all there was to read about in the papers--goggle-eyed headlines staring up at me on every street corner and at the fusty, peanut-smelling mouth of every subway. It had nothing to do with me, but I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like, being bummed alive all along your nerves.
I thought it must be the worst thing in the world.
New York was bad enough. By nine in the morning the fake, country-wet freshness that somehow seeped in overnight evaporated like the tail end of a sweet dream. Mirage-gray at the bottom of their granite canyons, the hot streets wavered in the sun, the car tops sizzled and glittered, and the dry, cindery dust blew into my eyes and down my throat.
I kept hearing about the Rosenbergs over the radio and at the office till I couldn’t get them out of my mind. It was like the first time I saw a cadaver. For weeks afterward, the cadaver’s head--or what there was left of it--floated up behind my eggs and bacon at breakfast and behind the face of Buddy Willard, who was responsible for my seeing it in the first place, and pretty soon I felt as though I were carrying that cadaver’s head around with me on a string, like some black, noseless balloon stinking of vinegar."


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