Art Works Blog

Guess the New NEA Big Read Titles by their First Lines

Put your thinking cap on! Can you guess these NEA Big Read titles from their first lines? Test your knowledge to see how well you know the NEA Big Read library! Don’t worry, we’ve included an answer key at the bottom of the page. Be sure to share your score with us in the comments or on our Facebook page!

  1. “The king stood up in a pool of blue light, unmoored.”
  2. “So many socks.”
  3. “All of this happened because a boy I once knew named Miles Sperry decided to go into the resurrectionist business and dig up the grave of his girlfriend, Bethany Baldwin, who had been dead for not quite a year.”
  4. “Our car boiled over again just after my mother and I crossed the Continental Divide.”
  5. “Small trees had attacked my parents' house at the foundation.”
  6. “crow floats in winter sun”
  7. “When you are alone and too tired even to turn on any of your devices, you let yourself linger in a past stacked among your pillows.”
  8. “Lydia is dead.”
  9. “It was a cold May in all of Idaho, and as the month began there were only a few short stacks of lumber and construction gear on the plateau above the remote river gorge, along with all the game trails and the manifold signs of rabbits who were native to the place and now moved cautiously around the three men sleeping on the ground.”
  10. “When I was ten years younger than I am now, I had the carefree job of going to the countryside to collect popular folk songs.”
  11. “I told you last night that I might be gone sometime, and you said, Where, and I said, To be with the Good Lord, and you, Why, and I said, Because I’m old, and you said, I don’t think you’re old.”
  12. “The world that they were living in could no longer hold them safe.”
  13. “Once, I got lost.”


  1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  2. Book of Hours by Kevin Young
  3. Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
  4. This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff
  5. The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  6. How we Became Human by Joy Harjo
  7. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
  8. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  9. Five Skies by Ron Carlson
  10. To Live by Yu Hua
  11. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  12. The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang
  13. Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra

To learn more about all the new titles and authors in the NEA Big Read library visit, Also be sure to check out the 2017-2018 NEA Big Read guidelines, here.


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