My wonderful book group just finished The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach, which we all enjoyed--much to the surprise of those who thought the novel was actually going to be about baseball. Unfortunately, at our meeting we did not pick a book to read next. If we don't pick right away, it tends to stymie us, and we send several hundred emails back and forth debating the potential pros and cons of many options. I think we have finally settled on Swamplandia, by Karen Russell. I hope so, as it's looking like an interesting novel.
I ran across this article about the 100 Best First Lines of Novels. There is nothing better than a clever or memorable first line in a novel, and this collection was fun to look through.
Number 2 on the list is probably my favorite: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. - Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813).
Five and six are favorites as well:
5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. - Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
6. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. - Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877; trans. Constance Garnett)There are many other first lines I love on the list, as well as a bunch I didn't remember, or had never even heard of. Tell me some of your favorite first lines! Do you know any by heart?