The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Famous First Words?

Washington, DC

"The Teacher" by Kevin Dooley via Flickr

While you may not be able to judge a book by its cover, sometimes you can tell an awful lot about a book from its first line. Or can you?

Here are the first lines from five of the titles in The Big Read library. Can you guess which novels begin with these sentences?

1. "Robert Frost made his visit in November of 1960, just a week after the general election."

2. "On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York."

3. "She is plucking her bird of paradise of its dead branches, leaning around the plant every time she hears a car."

4. "The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile above the storm-racked Northeast Sea, is a land famous for wizards."

5. "I was not there, yet I was there."

1. Old School by Tobias Wolff
2. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
3. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
4. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
5. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

What are YOUR favorite first lines? Don't forget to visit The Big Read website to learn more about The Big Read titles and authors.

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