Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Novel Opening

Several years ago, my sister, Stacy, started a Twitter account to honor her love of books. The concept was simple: Share the first lines from novels in 140 characters or less. That was the beginning of A Novel Opening.

I latched onto the idea, because I found that just by reading the opening lines from these known (and unknown) books, it got me itching to pick them up and devour their contents. I adore reading, but I don't do it as much as I'd like. A full stack marked "to read" sits at my bedside, and the list keeps growing, but fewer and fewer are getting checked off.

While its been 2 years since my sis began work on the Twitter account, the busyness of life took her away from it. But now she's back (with a little help from me)! Posting a new opening every day, and it's truly getting my literary juices flowing.

This post is to serve as an advertisement for A Novel Opening; an attempt to reach out to all you book lovers out there. Follow, read, and enjoy!

A few of my favorite openings posted so far:

Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. — THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD

✪ Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl.LITTLE BEE

✪ There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. — HOLES

✪ The moment one learns English, complications set in.CHROMOS

✪ There was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. — THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER

Do you have any favorite books with opening lines you've never forgotten? Feel free to share with us; our collection of hundreds of first lines is growing every day!

{image via Jeremy Nelson}


  1. "Aujourd'hui, maman est morte." -- the first lines to the Stranger by Albert Camus. I recently read this article about the inaccuracies of the English translations, which was illuminating. It just shows how valuable precision in language can be.

    1. Fascinating! Such an interesting article, and I completely understand why people are so irritated by professional translators making that subtle, but incorrect change. Thanks for sharing!


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