Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 10, 2015 - 4:57pm

This thread has added so many books to my to-be-read list ... Keep 'me coming! :-)

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day October 29, 2016 - 11:34am

KateRose's picture
KateRose from Chicago is reading The Making of a Story November 9, 2016 - 12:03pm

"You could not tell if you were a bird descending (and there was a bird descending, a vulture) if the naked man was dead or alive." 

Jim Harrison's Revenge

MattF's picture
MattF from Tokyo is reading Borges' Collected Fictions November 11, 2016 - 3:36am

KateRose, I just read Legends of the Fall after Jim Harrison's passing, a long overdue introduction to his work--for years I'd been entertained/intrigued by stories about Jim Harrison, but never actually read him. A great writer, and truly fun to read (which can be a rare combination).

helpfulsnowman's picture
Community Manager
helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman November 11, 2016 - 6:31pm

"As my exciting story begins, I'm being punched in the stomach."

-The Time Machine Did It by John Swartzwelder.

In the interest of full disclosure, first sentence of paragraph 2. But I consider it the book's opening and have never forgotten it.

Ian Muller's picture
Ian Muller from Seattle, WA is reading Long Form Religious Porn by Laura Lee Bahr. November 12, 2016 - 4:08pm

My all-time favorite, and one that captures the rough tone for the rest of the book: 

"You think you know pain?"--Jack Ketchum, The Girl Next Door. 

IanV's picture
IanV from Seattle is reading In the Valley of the Sun—Andy Davidson November 20, 2016 - 5:25pm

‘“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”

-William Gibson, Neuromancer


and seeing that Christmas season approaches:


"Nicholas Was...

older than sin, and his beard could grow no whiter. He wanted to die."

- Neil Gaiman, Nicholas Was

Hugh Dufour's picture
Hugh Dufour from Montreal is reading Bleak House January 7, 2017 - 10:21am

For a man of his age, fifty-two, divorced, he has, to his mind, solved the problem of sex rather well.

Disgrace, by J. M. Coetzee


Mike Roberts's picture
Mike Roberts from Kingston, Ontario is reading Julia Cameron February 13, 2017 - 9:24pm

"She had lost track of the road ten minutes earlier."

tishkbob's picture
tishkbob from Texas is reading Nexus by Ramez Naam February 18, 2017 - 9:48am

Love all the answers so far!

The best first line I've ever read - one that guaranteed I wouldn't be able to put the book down until I had answers - was from High-Rise by J.G. Ballard: "Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr. Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months."

It only gets more surreal and disturbing from there.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal February 18, 2017 - 1:58pm

Not sure if this is the best, but I like them. This book kind of has more than one first line...

"I was never going to amount to much anyway, but now, statistically speaking, there's a better chance that some part of me will go on to greatness somewhere in the world. I'd rather be partly great than entirely useless."



"There are places you can go," Ariana tells him, "and a guy as smart as you has a decent chance of surviving to eighteen."

Both come from Unwind, by Neal Shusterman. 

Eric Romm's picture
Eric Romm from I'm from California February 21, 2017 - 3:00am

'A WIDE plain, where the broadening Floss hurries on between its green banks to the sea, and the loving tide, rushing to meet it, checks its passage with an impetuous embrace.' from The Mill On The Floss That is some poetic stuff!

lorettapolaski's picture
lorettapolaski from Indiana is reading The Honest Spy December 1, 2017 - 8:30pm

Ok, this thread is old, but wow, I could read these all over and over for the stir it causes in my middle brain.

treys2214's picture
treys2214 December 11, 2017 - 8:14pm

Albert Camus' opening to The Stranger or the beginning of The Metamorphosis by Kafka.

Ronzermonster's picture
Ronzermonster from Portland, OR is reading Forture Smiles December 23, 2017 - 7:20pm

"Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and razor lay crossed."


 - Ulysses, James Joyce

helpfulsnowman's picture
Community Manager
helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman January 30, 2018 - 6:24pm

Here's one from a Raymond Carver short story:

A man without hands came to the door to sell me a photograph of my house.

How badly would you want to hear the rest if your friend said this?


StephAustin's picture
StephAustin from Phoenix, AZ is reading Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 February 28, 2018 - 10:41am

"People are afraid to merge on the freeways in Los Angeles." 

Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero

WilliamConway's picture
WilliamConway from Vermont is reading American Gods March 1, 2018 - 2:20pm

Knock by Fredric Brown

"The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door..."