Thursday, October 16, 2008

You've helped me narrow my choices...

...but not my much! Thank you all for playing along...I had so much fun with this! I was so amazed by the variety of sentences that appealed to people. Very interesting, but I'm afraid my pile didn't get a lot smaller. ;)

I could also tell by some of the comments that many of you knew just what books many of these first lines came from. Yes, I mention that because I'm mighty impressed.

Also, a few asked that I reveal all the books after we finished. So here we go. The bold titles are the ones you chose for me to leave in my "potential reads" pile.

1. Angus, our one-year-old, was busy smearing a mixture of scrambled eggs and peach yogurt in his hair and under his shirt when the phone rang. (Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization by W. Hodding Carter)

2. When Dante Cazabon used his shoulder to open the double doors of the kitchen, he was concentrating on the mountain of soup bowls he carried on a tray in front of him. (The Hollow People by Brian Keaney)

3. Dinnie, an overweight enemy of humanity, was the worst violinist in New York, but was practicing gamely when two cute little fairies stumbled through his fourth-floor window and vomited on the carpet. (The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar)

4. This is my favorite book in the world, though I have never read it. (The Princess Bride by William Goldman)

5. Diagramming sentences is one of those lost skills, like darning socks or playing the sackbut, that no one seems to miss. (Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences by Kitty Burns Florey)

6. There had been no warning. (First Evidence by Ken Goddard)

7. For decades, Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Des Moines, and Federal Way depended on the Pac HiWay for their commercial sustenance, entertainment, and transportation to either Seattle or Tacoma. (Green River, Running Red by Ann Rule)

8. It was in the year 1046, on a cold winter's night, when a fog, thick as wool and dank as a dead man's hand, crept up from the River Scrogg into the ancient town of Fulworth. (The Book without Words by Avi)

9. Charles Monet was a loner. (The Hot Zone by Richard Preston)

10. Imo set out one day to catch some fish, but there was no sea. (Nation by Terry Pratchett)

11. Today is the first day of winter, I believe. (ZenZele: A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire)

12. There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. (The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman)

13. A midwestern town. (Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge)

14. No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. (The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson)

15. The hooded figure stood motionless on Pennsylvania Avenue facing the White House. (The Strand Prophecy by J.B.B. Winner)

16. Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a rabbit who was made almost entirely of china. (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo)

17. It is my first morning of high school. (Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson)

18. Rain lashed through the hellishly hot Saharan sky, hurling itself groundward with chaotic fury only to evaporate before it made contact with the drying earth. (Category 7 by Bill Evans and Marianna Jameson)

19. The ambulance came bobbing out of the Mercy Medical Center parking lot and swung south on Pine Street, its blue and red lights just winking dots in the bright noon sunshine and the siren echoing away into the cloudless blue vault of the sky. (Three Days to Never by Tim Powers)

20. It was the autumn of 1981 and I'd been asked by my paper the Leinster News to do an article on folklore and changing ways in Ireland, a chance I jumped at, availing myself of the opportunity to return home to Slievenageeha, which I hadn't been to visit in years. (Winterwood by Patrick McCabe)

21. My sweater was new, stinging red and ugly. (Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn)

22. They say winter in the Northlands can chill the skin right off your bones. (Northlander by Meg Burden)

23. When I was little, my uncle Pete had a necktie with a porcupine painted on it. (Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli)

24. "Come on David." (Rules by Cynthia Lord)

25. At the time of his formal sentencing in Alexandria, Virgina, for eleven known murders, the former FBI agent and pattern killer Kyle Craig, known as the Mastermind, was lectured and condescended to by U.S. District Judge Nina Wolff. (Double Cross by James Patterson)

26. "Let's get this party started, already!" Sabrina complained under her breath as she rubbed the charley horse in her leg. (The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley)

27. In Generica, Kansas, Christmas wasn't something you felt in the chill of the winter air or the warmth of a generous smile. (Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go by Dale E. Basye)

28. The main difference between school and prison is that prisons release you early for good behavior. (Iris, Messenger by Sarah Deming)

29. Later, while I was facing the Potter Moth, or fleeing for my life from the First Ones, or helping man a cannon aboard Jack Havock's brig Sophronia, I would often think back to the way my life used to be, and to the last afternoon at Larklight, before all our misfortunes began. (Larklight by Philip Reeve)

30. I once believed that life was a gift. (Green Angel by Alice Hoffman)

31. It was 7 minutes after midnight. (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon)

32. I was born in this house, and grew up here. (The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa)

33. Ten years ago, when I was living in a small flat above an off-licence in SW1, I learned that the big house next door had been bought by the wife of the dictator of Nicaragua, Anastasio Somoza Debayle. (The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey by Salman Rushdie)

34. It is August 1854, and London is a city of scavengers. (The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson)

35. I had been making the rounds of the Sacrifice Poles the day we heard my brother had escaped. (The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks)

36. "Where to?" (Wolves of the Crescent Moon by Yousef Al-Mohaimeed)

37. When the blind man arrived in the city, he claimed that he had traveled across a desert of living sand. (The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier)

38. They promised me nine years of safety but only gave me three. (Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess)

39. An owl called, its shuddering hoots repeating mournfully in the distance. (Gossamer by Lois Lowry)

40. The sun sets in the west (just about everyone knows that), but Sunset Towers faces east. (The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin)

41. The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party. (Looking for Alaska by John Green)

42. Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? (The Reluctant Fandamentalist by Mohsin Hamid)

43. Rats! (The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett)

Oh man, any idea how hard it was to NOT just keep reading beyond the sentence in many of those books?!! Anyway, I thank you all so much for playing along! The sad thing for me is that I'm such a slow reader, I'll only manage to finish two or three books during the whole 24 hours. But then, on the bright side, I probably wouldn't be finishing any of them without the read-a-thon.

Anyone who hasn't yet signed's not to late! Saturday's the big day, so don't miss out! Hop over here and add your name to the fun!


jupitersinclair said...

That was such a cool idea :)

I read Green Angel years ago.My "made" me read it...but I remember it was a quick read,if that helps any ;)

Trish said...

Princess Bride!! That would be a great one for the read-a-thon. Since I'll be mostly participating now *huge grin* maybe I'll have to make a trip to the store for some goodies. :)

Debi said...

I'm grinning ear-to-ear here, finding out you'll be able to join in the fun after all!!!

And a trip to the store is definitely in order! :)

Nymeth said...

Wow, how did I manage to completely miss Nation, Green Angel and Looking for Alaska while going through your list? *slaps self* Missed as in...I don't remember actually reading the quotes. But I'm glad to see them in bold! Gossamer and Edward Tulane too. You have so much great reading ahead of you :D

Debi said...


I KNEW you had to just miss the Nation quote. Even if you hadn't known what it was from (though I'm sure you did), it just seems like one you'd pick.

You're right...I've got a huge pile of good reading ahead of me. I love this pile so much that I'm tempted to just try to see how many of them I can finish this year. Unfortunately, I'll probably only finish two, maybe three, during the read-a-thon.

Oooh, I'm so excited to get started!!! Bet you know the feeling, huh? :)

Dewey said...

I avoided picking books if I knew what they were, just because I wanted to choose mysteriously intriguing first sentences! I hope you get some great reading done this weekend.

Dawn said...

Thanks for posting those titles. I never would have guessed any of them! I might have to look some up!

take care,

Melody said...

I'm glad you listed the titles...I've been wondering about them myself. ;)

I just love, love, love Gaiman's book! Hopefully you'll start with this book first! ;)

Debi said...

That's actually kind of what I meant people to do. But then again, I guess I'm kind of glad they didn't or I might have "lost" some of the books I was really hoping would stay.

I can't decide if I should start with it, or save it for the hours of Carl's mini-challenge, when we're to read RIP type books.

DesLily said...

Ohhh you must read Edward Tulane ! (glad I remembered that quote! lol) Good luck with any and all that you read!! have fun.. I hope your eyes hold up and don't get toooooooo tired!