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Personal Challenges > Paula’s Ongoing “Best Opening Lines” Personal Challenge

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message 1: by Paula W (last edited Dec 30, 2019 09:48AM) (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Best opening lines from books -

https://www.stylist.co.uk/life/the-be...

1.) Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
Mrs. Dalloway completed 1/10/19. 4/5 stars

2.) Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men's eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all.
The Exorcist completed 1/30/19. 4/5 stars

3.) He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.
Scaramouche completed 2/3/19. 5/5 stars

4.) Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
Emma completed 4/5/19. 4/5 stars

5.) ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First and is in print large enough to be seen from the backseat of the cab as it lurches forward in the traffic leaving Wall Street and just as Timothy Price notices the words a bus pulls up, the advertisement for Les Miserables on its side blocking his view, but Price who is with Pierce & Pierce and twenty-six doesn't seem to care because he tells the driver he will give him five dollars to turn up the radio, ‘Be My Baby’ on WYNN, and the driver, black, not American, does so.
American Psycho completed 4/24/19. 4/5 stars.

6.) At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.
The Secret Life of Bees completed 5/6/19. 4/5 stars.

7.) Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.
Their Eyes Were Watching God completed 6/3/19. 5/5 stars.

8.) No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.
The War of the Worlds completed 7/5/19. 4/5 stars

9.) My suffering left me sad and gloomy.
Life of Pi completed 7/21/19. 2/5 stars

10.) Nick Naylor had been called many things since becoming the chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, but until now no one had actually compared him to Satan.
Thank You for Smoking completed 10/25/19. 4/5 stars

11.) It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears' house. Its eyes were closed.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time completed 11/28/19. 4/5 stars

12.) We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas completed 12/24/19. 3/5 stars

13.) The play – for Which Briony had designed the posters, programs and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its side, and lined the collection box in red crêpe paper – was written by her in a two-day tempest of composition, causing her to miss a breakfast and a lunch.
Atonement completed 12/30/19. 5/5 stars


message 2: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2389 comments Boy, there are a lot of good books on that list! A lot I've read -- A lot I want to read!! Thanks for the info :)


message 3: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Terris wrote: "Boy, there are a lot of good books on that list! A lot I've read -- A lot I want to read!! Thanks for the info :)"

I'm super excited about it! I have read a little more than 1/3 of them, but have put the others on my TBR list.


message 4: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9333 comments Mod
Nice list find.


message 5: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Katy wrote: "Nice list find."

Thanks! I am going to be nominating several of these as group reads in 2019!


message 6: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Link to my Goodreads shelf for this challenge -
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 7: by Paula W (last edited Jan 31, 2019 03:47PM) (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
Mrs. Dalloway completed 1/10/19. 4/5 stars


message 8: by Paula W (last edited Jan 31, 2019 03:47PM) (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men's eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all.
The Exorcist completed 1/30/19. 4/5 stars


message 9: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.
Scaramouche completed 2/3/19. 5/5 stars


message 10: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 1549 comments Paula W wrote: "
He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.

Scaramouche completed 2/3/19. 5/5 stars"


I love that first line! And I really enjoyed the book too.

What a creative way to choose books!


message 11: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments It has been very interesting so far! I have found a lot of books that I would have never otherwise read.


message 12: by Rosemarie (last edited Feb 05, 2019 06:25AM) (new)

Rosemarie | 1549 comments Have you read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier? That has a very memorable first line.


message 13: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Rosemarie wrote: "Have you read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier? That has a very memorable first line."

Yes, that one and several others I have already read are on the list. I hope to spend the next year or so reading the ones that are new to me. Message #6 has a link to my bookshelf with all the books from the complete list if you’d like to see what’s on there! 👍😀


message 14: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 1549 comments Thanks. I will do that. 🙂


message 15: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
Emma completed 4/5/19. 4/5 stars


message 16: by Emily (new)

Emily Dybdahl | 147 comments Paula W wrote: "
Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the w..."


Awesome. I love Jane Austen. Emma is a spunky character.


message 17: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Emily wrote: "Paula W wrote: "
Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one..."


Interestingly, I have considered myself not to be much of a Jane Austen fan. I liked the ones I previously read, but didn’t really love them. I really, really liked Emma, though.


message 18: by Paula W (last edited Apr 24, 2019 12:26PM) (new)

Paula W | 554 comments ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First and is in print large enough to be seen from the backseat of the cab as it lurches forward in the traffic leaving Wall Street and just as Timothy Price notices the words a bus pulls up, the advertisement for Les Miserables on its side blocking his view, but Price who is with Pierce & Pierce and twenty-six doesn't seem to care because he tells the driver he will give him five dollars to turn up the radio, ‘Be My Baby’ on WYNN, and the driver, black, not American, does so.
American Psycho completed 4/24/19. 4/5 stars.


message 19: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.
The Secret Life of Bees completed 5/6/19. 4/5 stars.


message 20: by Paula W (last edited Jul 21, 2019 06:27AM) (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Finished Their Eyes Were Watching God, The War of the Worlds, and Life of Pie. Items #7, 8, and 9 on the original post.


message 21: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Completed Thank You for Smoking.


message 22: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Paula W wrote: "Completed Thank You for Smoking."

I didn't know that was a book! I loved the film so much. I'm glad to see that you rated it 4 stars. Love this challenge!


message 23: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Completed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.


message 24: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Completed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and I didn’t love it.


message 25: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Completed Atonement. Might be my favorite book of the year.


message 26: by Terry (new)

Terry | 1441 comments When I wander through the stacks, I frequently decide on the books that have intriguing first lines.


message 27: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1847 comments Paula - I promise not to keep hi-jacking your thread, but the book I just started (Malice Aforethought) has quite an impressive opening line:

"It was not until several weeks after he had decided to murder his wife that Dr Bickleigh took any active steps in the matter."


message 28: by Paula W (new)

Paula W | 554 comments Darren wrote: "Paula - I promise not to keep hi-jacking your thread, but the book I just started (Malice Aforethought) has quite an impressive opening line:


"It was not until several weeks after..."


Ahhhhh that’s great! I think I’ll add it to my list.


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