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    November Reading Wrap Up: First Lines

    november first lines - writing finchRather than the usual monthly reading wrap up that appears on a lot of book blogs (which I love reading by the way), I thought I would opt for something a little bit different to see how it goes. I first saw this idea over on Falling Down the Book Hole, and they very kindly let me borrow it! The idea is that you share the first line of all the books you read that month, rather than a little synopsis.

    First lines are SO important in hooking a reader. Think of some of the greatest first lines in literature: Jane Austen with Pride and Prejudice, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” (one of the few lines from literature I can easily quote by heart); or “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” in Daphne du Maurier’s most famous novel, Rebecca. In my own writing, I spend such a long time trying to get the opening line perfect. I definitely don’t always manage it, and I am usually not 100% happy with it. It’s so hard to do!

    Compiling this list, I am actually in shock at how much I read. I thought I had barely did any reading this month! Turns out November was longer than I thought, and there were books that I would have guessed were all the way back in October because they were so long ago. Luckily, I update my Goodreads as soon as I finish one because I like to be accurate.

    Here are the first lines of the books I read in November. Some of them are better than others, and if I saw just those lines and knew nothing else about the book, those are the ones I would be drawn to. I have put stars next to my favourites!



    The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark

    “‘And the material doesn’t stain,’ the salegirl says.”

    The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

    “On a drowsy Sunday afternoon, a man in a long dark coat hesitated in front of a house in a tree-lined street.” (review)

    Unwritten Rules – Eliah Greenwood

    * “Dear Universe, why do you hate me?”

    Normal – Danielle Pearl

    “It’s the kind of situation most people would dread.”

    Trust – Kylie Scott

    “‘Don’t forget the corn chips!’ yelled Georgia, hanging out of her car window.”

    The Sound – Sarah Alderson

    *”I’m running. Running blind. Into the woods. Ricocheting off branches, tripping over tangled tree roots, gripping my arm as I stumble on sobbing. Are those his footsteps coming after me or is it the wind?”

    Poor Cow – Nell Dunn

    “She walked down Fulham Broadway past a shop hung about with cheap underwear, the week-old baby clutched in her arms, his face brick red against his new white bonnet.”

    Absolute Beginners – Colin MacInnes

    *”It was with the advent of the Laurie London era that I realised the whole teenage epic was tottering to doom.”

    The Wrong Bachelor – Alexandra Moody

    *”My boyfriend had a death wish.”

    The Tenth Girl – Carrie Aarons

    “A dusty ranch home was a step up from the trailer park, but just barely.”

    Endgame – Cara E. Holt

    “The luggage carousel springs into life and everyone around me bustles forward.”


    How was your November reading?