> The Things You Can Read: Top Ten Tuesday For July 30, 2013

The Things You Can Read welcomes you and thanks you for your readership. We, here at The Things You Can Read, ask your help, if you visit our site regularly, please follow us either via email or Google Friend Connect.  Launched on June 7, 2012, our site has already attracted a great deal of attention.  One of the goals of the site is to feature reviews of Children's Picture Books, Young Adult novels and Adult Literary Fiction/Nonfiction.  A second goal for the blog is to be a resource for teachers of English and writing--with examples of student created writing, writing tips, resource links, and the opportunity to pick the brain of a seasoned English teacher.  To spice things up...every now and then, we'll also include random quotes and thoughts on education and life in general, but our ultimate goal is to reach out into the blogosphere and be a "Book Whisperer" and "Writing Whisperer" to children and adults of all ages.   Thank you for your readership.  Here is to a lifetime filled with reading and writing.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday For July 30, 2013

The only one on my list that I have not read.

The question for July 30 is: Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books (talk about books that started or ended just perfectly or with a bang OR you could do specific opening lines or last lines.  Again, I want to thank Rose City Reader for bringing Top Ten Tuesday to my attention.
I started answering this question with the July Classic Club Question [Click HERE].  I only had 4 opening sentences already chosen for their question, so now I'll have to add to it to make it to TEN.  My answer will focus on beginnings and why I liked them.
1.  "Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were." Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Folks who have never read the book, but only viewed the movie might never realize this important part of Scarlett O'Hara's character.  Vivian Leigh is a beautiful Scarlett, but on the page it was Scarlett's charisma that caused all her men to fall in love with her, which is in part what makes her such an interesting character.   [See Picture Below]

2.  "When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow." To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Most folks don't realize the words spoken in the movie are not the first words of the novel.  This one line is key because everything is leading up to the event that caused Jem to break his arm.  In other words, by the end of the novel the author has taken us full circle all through Harper Lee's choice of her first line.

3.  "Who is John Galt?" Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

An iconic sentence, that many folks may have heard or seen in print, but do they know the meaning?

4.  "When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home."-The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

I love this opening sentence because this sets the tone for The Outsiders.  I read it in 7th grade for the first time, and now I teach the novel four times a year to roughly 100 new 7th grade students.  I related to Ponyboy immediately based on this one sentence the first time I read it.

5.  “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.”-The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar was published in 1963, only a month after its author’s tragic death, and it has been a book I have wanted to read for a very long time based simply on the first sentence.  I haven't taken the plunge yet but it I will very soon.

6.  "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"–Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Why did I like this opening?  Because this statement is just as valid today as it was back when Tolstoy first wrote it.  Every family has their unhappiness even the ones that you think are perfect.  I also got over my fear of tackling Tolstoy when I read this one.

7.  "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."–Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

This just grabs you!  How can you not want to read on?  I've read this one twice.  Once back in 7th grade and again this year.  I loved it just as much as I did the first time.

 8.  “It was a pleasure to burn.”- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Another one that just grabs you.  How can you not want to read on?

9.  “I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.” Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I loved this book and the first sentence sets the stage for what is to come.

10.  "A green hunting cap squeezed the top of a fleshy balloon of a head."-A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

This book made me laugh out loud, and the first sentence says it all about the main character.

Vivian Leigh as Scarlett
Again, I didn't think I could get to ten, but I did.  As I said last week, I'm sure I'll think of something else later, but this will have to do for now.  What are your top ten first lines?  Let us know here at The Things You Can Read.

Happy reading to all! ☮

Happy Reading
The Things You Can Read!
Believe In Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love, and the Power of Books!


  1. Rebecca is such a good classic. I love it.

  2. Yes, it is and I was so glad that it stood the test of time. Sometimes you read something when you are younger and don't like it when you get older.

  3. YES to the opening line of Gone With the Wind! Such an important aspect of her character. The ending line made my list for TTT.

    Fahrenheit 451 is a fantastic choice, didn't even think of that one!


Your Comment is awaiting moderation. It will appear once it has been approved.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...