Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Top Ten Beginnings and Endings

A weekly extravaganza hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Beginnings and endings. Those bits that suck us in and those bits that spit us out. They can be enthralling or wearying, but when they're done right, they're OH so memorable. For some reason I'm MUCH better at remembering beginnings than I am at remembering endings. So this post will be heavy on beginnings, with a touch of the closing lines, and I'll even preview some of my favorite openers for books I haven't read yet. But they're on my stacks! Swearsies!

Favorite Beginnings:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I think I love this opening because it sets the stage for such an epic story. You can really feel the bigness of this book and the time period of the French Revolution when you ponder the whole opening. Read the complete paragraph here.

"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York." from The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. Can't you just smell the burning flesh? OK, maybe not, but it sure is a wicked start. 

"It was a pleasure to burn."
from Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. I swear, I'm not just stuck on electrocution and flames. Really. This is just an odd, sassy way to start, and it opened the door to one of my all-time favorite books. 

"When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton." from The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien. It's just so cozy, isn't it???

"Beneath a sky thickening with summer thunderheads, they rode their bikes to Lafayette Cemetery, where the dead are buried above ground." from A Density of Souls, by Christopher Rice. It's just so atmospheric! I don't see this one discussed very often, but it's a quick mystery/thriller and possibly the first LGBTQ book I ever read. 

And because I'm very bad with endings, here are some great beginnings from books I haven't read yet, but that are on my "intended" list. 

"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun." from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. I finally have this on my Nook, and I'm ready to read!

"Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were." from Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. Because just HAVE to read it sometime. 

"Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress." from Middlemarch, by George Eliot. Because I love Eliot, so I might as well tackle this chunky monkey, too.

"To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman." from "A Scandal in Bohemia" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which is a short story which kinda feels like cheating. But in my defense, it's the first story in my collection of Sherlock stories! And my fave episode from the BBC's Sherlock is based on this story.

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. It's about time. I'm reading this one in August. 

What are some of your favorite beginnings and endings? 

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