I mentioned that I had to go on maternity leave for my reading jobs, so my On Reading posts will no longer mean that I read a book for work. I could be a stickler for consistency and just stop doing them, but they’re just too much fun–especially when I catch the fever for a really great meme like the one accidentally started by the Accidental Novelist, and picked up by Poodlerat.
Here are 13 opening lines (or two) to books that are beloved by me, the Superfast Reader. See if you can guess where they come from. I’ll update the post with the answers as the correct ones come in.
- “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.”
- “Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could neither read nor write.”
- “There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills.”
- “The primroses were over. Toward the edge of the wood, where the ground became open and sloped down to an old fence and a brambly ditch beyond, only a few fading patches of pale yellow still showed among the dog’s mercury and oak-tree roots.”
- “Every time the men’s-room door opened, the amped-up onslaught of Swarm, the band banging out the concert in the theater overhead, came crashing in, richocheting off all the mirrors and ceramic surfaces until it seemed twice as loud. But then an air hinge would close the door, and Swarm would vanish, and you could once again hear students drunk on youth and beer being funny or at least loud as they stood before the urinals.”
- “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”
- “I WILL NOT…Drink more than fourteen alcohol units a week.”
- “The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.”
- “News item from the Westover (Me.) weekly Enterprise, August 19, 1966: RAIN OF STONES REPORTED.”
- “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.”
- “Indian summer is like a woman.”
- “When the earthly goods of Ivar Gjesling the Younger of Sundbu were divided up in the year 1306, his property at Sils was given to his daugher Ragnfrid and her husband Lavrans Bjorgulfson.”
- “On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York.”
—The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, guessed by Danika
–Ruth Rendell’s classic Judgment in Stone.
—Ann correctly guessed Alan Paton’s magnificent Cry, the Beloved Country.
—Danika guessed right–this is the opening to Watership Down.
—I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe
–Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca, guessed by Katya.
—Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding, guessed by Eva.
—Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, guessed by Becky.
–Danika correctly guessed Stephen King… but what book? Danika came back with Carrie & she’s right!
—The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
—Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
–And Poodlerat takes it, identifying this from Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath by Sigrid Undset, translated by Tiina Nunnally.
–Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence
Who knows my books?