Friday, July 31, 2009

First Sentences on my Desk Top

First sentences of the books stacked on my desk waiting to be read:
"It was my father who called the city the Mansion on the River." - South of Broad by Pat Conroy

"On the burnt-out end of a July day in Southwest Texas, in a crossroads community whose only economic importance had depended on its relationship to a roach paste factory the EPA had shut down twenty years before, a young man driving a car without window glass stopped by an abandoned blue-and-white stucco filling station that had once sold Pure gas during the Depression and was now home to bats and clusters of tumbleweed." - Rain Gods by James Lee Burke

"The sun sits flat against the blue sky like someone pressed it there with a giant thumb." - Wait Until Twilight by Sang Pak

"At one end of my desk sits a nearly four-hundred-year-old book cloaked in a tan linen sack and a good deal of mystery." - The Man Who Loved Books too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett

"God has failed too many on this one, thought Detective Bill Wall as he ambled, soaking wet, toward he large home with the brick facade." - A Cold-Blooded Business by Marek Fuchs

"The shovel has to meet certain requirements." - Bad Things Happen - Harry Dolan

"It was summer several years ago when my 88-year-old Dad announced to my husband Marty and me that he and Mom were ready to move in with us." - In My Heart by Ursula Hanks

"Panic has a way of defining an individual." - Doubleback by Libby Fischer Hellman

"In the Antarctic, white sea-spiders sit in shallow blue waters under a thick layer of turquoise ice." - Selling Light by Effie Gray

"Parade coming." - City of Refuge by Tom Piazza

"Piers the Powerful, revered by men and universally desired by women, a legend in his own Armani suit, had waited fifteen minutes outside the fifty-story office block for the chauffeur-driven limousine that was to carry him to the meeting of the shareholders in the financial heartland of he City." - The Profit by John Karter
And, then, I'm reading these four already:
"I think I know who you are." - Glenn Beck's Common Sense by Glenn Beck

"Kate drove them to the station and now, as she and Clem put the bags down on the platform, Kitty looked around for someplace for them to sit." - As Long as He Needs Me by Mary Verdick

"The Church of St. Germain des Pres, at the start of what was supposed to be spring, was a miserable place, made worse by the drabness of a city still in a state of shock, worse still by the little coffin in front of the altar which was my reason for being there, worse again by the aches and pains of my body as I kneeled." - Stones Fall by Ian Pears

"On the wall of my rowing club at Cambridge University is a plaque on which are inscribed the names of every member of the club who perished in the mad chivalric contest that was WWI." - The Sky Rained Heroes by Frederick E. LaCroix
These first sentences pretty much run the gamut from beautifully constructed, complicated sentences all the way down to bare-bones ones. Two of them do jump out at me and would have enticed to me read on for sure. I'll let you guess which two to see if we agree.


  1. Too cool!

    I started a "meme" on my blog. I call it First Line Friday. I was just about to write it. I LOVE first lines.

  2. It was summer several years ago when my 88-year-old Dad announced to my husband Marty and me that he and Mom were ready to move in with us.

    This one gets the attention of anyone who is scared to death she will hear it from her outlaws.

    Just saying.

  3. First lines, Kathy, have to be the most important lines in new books. They can make all the difference in the world as to whether or not someone will read past that point when scanning books in a bookstore or library.

  4. Factotum, are we having the same nightmare? That's spooky. :-)