Top Ten Tuesday #3

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every Tuesday, a new prompt about books and reading is released.

This week’s prompt is: Opening Lines (Best, favourite, funny, unique, shocking, gripping, lines that grabbed you immediately, etc.)

The lines I picked are shown in no particular order. I chose them not only due to their impact factor, but also how evocative they are for me. Do they bring me back to a certain moment in my life? Do they instantly conjure the book for me? Some of them come from my favourite books/plays/poems ever; I would recognise them anywhere!

You can find last week’s post here.


1. Beloved, by Toni Morrison

Beloved: A Novel (Vintage Classics) (English Edition) eBook ...

124 was spiteful.

2. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens | 9780393608649 | Hardback ...

Marley was dead: to begin with.

3. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, Italo Calvino

If On A Winter's Night A Traveller (Vintage Classics): Amazon.co ...

You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller.

4. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

LOLITA:NABOKOV, VLADIMIR | Asiabooks.com

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

5. The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea (English Edition) eBook: Morgenstern, Erin ...

There is a pirate in the basement.
(The pirate is a metaphor but also still a person.)
(The basement could rightly be considered a dungeon.)
The pirate was placed here for numerous acts of a piratey nature considered criminal enough for punishment by those non-pirates who decide such things.

6. A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire (Penguin Modern Classics) (English ...

The exterior of a two-story corner building on a street in New Orleans which is named Elysian Fields and runs between the L & N tracks and the river. The section is poor but, unlike corresponding sections in other American cities, it has a raffish charm. The houses are mostly white frame, weathered grey, with rickety outside stairs and galleries and quaintly ornamented gables.

7. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez

Cheat read: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García ...

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

8. Only the Ocean, Natasha Carthew

Only the Ocean by Natasha Carthew

The decision to run from the shack was the right one and the only one available to the girl and she took it without a second thought.

9. The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora: Amazon.co.uk: Scott Lynch: 9780575079755 ...

At the height of the long wet summer of the Seventy-seventh Year of Sendovani, the Thiefmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest at the Temple of Perelandro, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy.

10. After Dark, Haruki Murakami

After Dark (English Edition) eBook: Murakami, Haruki: Amazon.it ...

Eyes mark the shape of the city.


That’s my list for this week! What are your favourite opening lines? Let me know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #3

  1. The Starless Sea is on my shelf – hopefully I’ll find time for it soon!
    If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller is an interesting one (in the English translation) because Weaver’s translation is in US English, so uses “traveler” – the UK edition changes the spelling of the title to “traveller”, but in my copy (and probably yours) keeps the US spelling inside. Nerdy fact from an essay I wrote there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! It is translated in US English – I changed it to British spelling for the sake of consistency. I read this in Italian before reading it in English, and seeing the change in voice and tone across translations was immensely fascinating.

      Liked by 1 person

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