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Yuletide Inspired: First Lines Meme

Reading all these lovely Yuletide book suggestions has made me think of books, books, and favorite books. Thus, this meme ganked from redbrunja some weeks ago:

  1. Pick 10 of your favorite books or series.
  2. Post the first sentence of each book. (If one sentence seems too short, post two or three!)
  3. Let everyone try to guess the titles and authors of your books.

I'll strike off the prompts and credit the guessors as this goes on ... and I'm giving a round 12 lines, because 10 wasn't enough.

ETA: Now with answers to those not guessed!!

  1. Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree. - Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, guessed by hikari_mibu
  2. I shall clasp my hands together and bow to the corners of the world. - Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart, guessed by telophase
  3. Her kiss burnt his forehead. Keyed senses, distracted by the powdery odour of shampoo, didn't at once register that the fire was frozen.  One Foot in the Grave by Peter Dickinson
  4. It was gala night at the Royal Theatre, London.   Thursday's Children by Rumer Godden
  5. July had been blown out like a candle by a biting wind that ushered in a leaden August sky.   My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
  6. Prime Predictor Tae ran-Kaeil was long dead, but he lived in the bellies of his aggressive progeny. - Courtship Rite by Donald Kingsbury, guessed by smillaraaq
  7. Night, near the eastern edge of the walled, sloping grounds of the estate, with these walls, perhaps a quarter-mile from the house itself, at the small stand of trees, under a moonless sky, listening, he stands, absolutely silent.   Eye of Cat by Roger Zelazny
  8. The plump young man with the ginger hair caused something of a sensation as he entered the inn. It was not intentional.   Cyrion by Tanith Lee (actually, the Young Lady guessed this one, looking over my shoulder. She has an LJ, but declined to log in and answer online ...)
  9. The people in this book might be going to have lived a long, long time from now in Northern California. - Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin, guessed by smillaraaq
  10. The [ship's] small galley table was was awash in data printout, paperfaxes ringed and blotched with brown gfi-stains, arrowed, circled, crossed-out, and noted in red and green ink till they were beyond cryptic. - Chanur's Homecoming by C.J. Cherryh, guessed by theloomofmoira
  11. The hills rolled up to the moon on slopes of wind-bent grass, crested, swept down into tangled brier shadows. - God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell, guessed by estara
  12. It began one day in the summer about 30 years ago, and it happened to four children. - Half Magic by Edward Eager, guessed by flemmings

Happy hunting!



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 20th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)
Nr. 11 - God Stalk, P.C. Hodgell

*does the boogaloo*
Oct. 20th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Hah!



(As I said, it was reminding me of favorites!)

Oct. 20th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
#9 has to be Always Coming Home.
Oct. 20th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)

Yes indeed!

Oct. 20th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Oh! And it took a minute for the memory to jell, but #6 is Courtship Rite.
Oct. 20th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)

And another correct answer!

(That opening scene is such a perfect mix of the mythic and the slapstick .... .)

Oct. 20th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
2. Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds. :)
Oct. 20th, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)

Absolutely correct!

Oct. 20th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
I also know Always Coming Home.

#1 is something Discworld, but so many of them start on something resembling that note that I can't remember which.

#10 is really interesting, because I can tell it's Chanur, but I'm halfway through that series. So it's Chanur I haven't read yet.
Oct. 20th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)

You're on the target with your two guesses, but not in the bull's eye.

Chanur is one of my favorite series! I hope you're enjoying it. I got some nice fic for it my first year in Yuletide.

Oct. 20th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
Number 10 is Chanur's Homecoming. :D

I have always liked the way that The Pride started:
"There had been something lose about the station dock all morning..."
Oct. 20th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)

And you're right, of course!

PoC does have a good opening, but I don't like it as much as Homecoming.

(Deleted comment)
Oct. 20th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)

And we have a winner!

Hogfather is certainly one of my top Pratchetts as well.

Oct. 20th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
12 is CS Lewis, Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Oct. 20th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)

Uh oh - no.

Right genre, though. And approximately the right era for the publication date (although not for the story setting).

Oct. 20th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
Edward Eager, Half Magic, and oh look my Puffins from the 70's are falling apart, oh woe, wheeere shall I find anoooother?
Oct. 20th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)

You are correct! (Eager introduced me to Nesbit, reading-wise.)

I usually end up buying used hardbacks from someplace like Abebooks once my paperbacks give up the ghost.

Oct. 21st, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
There are hardbacks? Cool!

(Advantages to growing up in a pseudo-Brit city was that Nesbit-- and Lewis-- were a given of childhood reading, and Eager came later. Not *much* later, but some.)
Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)

If you don't mind sending your dollars to the U.S., there are a number of hardback copies of it right now through Abebooks, some as low as $1.00 US (for an ex-library copy), but most of the respectable ones are around $10.00. (Of course, if you have your heart set on a first edition, it'll cost ya.)

I've had pretty good luck with most of the Abebooks vendors. The books come in the condition advertised, in the time specified, and usually beautifully wrapped up. The site has vendor ratings too.

I tried checking for Canada, but there were only two lovely-sounding very expensive ones.

Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
Oh! A library copy! Like being eight years old again. Thank you!
Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
Heh - you can get it new too ...

There's a 50th anniversary hardback edition available.

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


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