Saturday, February 26, 2011
What's in a Name?
Yesterday Donna Volkenannt's blog, among other things, got me thinking of first lines of books. Donna is asking for you to share some of your favorite first lines. If you haven't done so already, do so.
Also, I quoted Barbara Robinette Moss' first line from her brilliant and moving memoir Change Me into Zeus's Daughter. This was an author I was unfamiliar with. I remember vividly picking this book off the shelf, looking at the first line, being held hostage--with that sentence jabbing me in the back---until I paid for the book and started reading it, completely immersed.
"Mother spooned the poisoned corn and beans into her mouth, ravenously, eyes closed, hands shaking."
I just had to know why the woman was eating something poisoned while she was obviously being watched by her child/children. I figured she was bent on killing herself, but no, that's not where the story leads...(Buy the book or borrow it from the library. It's a worthwhile read.)
Donna's post got me thinking about the fact that sometimes, it's the title that gets me excited. Usually it happens with books that I use with my third graders. And just like I bought Change Me into Zeus's Daughter just because I fell in love with the first line, I also bought this intermediate book simply because of the title: No More Dead Dogs. (And no, it's not a depressing book about the death of a dog. In fact, it's funny.)
So, share with Donna some of the best first lines from books you have collected on your bookshelf. And share with me the book titles that have most intrigued you. What titles have lit you on fire?