Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Beginnings in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Favourite Beginnings or Endings in Books

When I saw this week’s topic, I thought that I’d do what I normally do when there’s a dual option. Pick five of each – five beginnings and five endings. The only problem was when I started choosing my favourite beginnings and I got waaayyy past five. Way past ten. But I have narrowed it down to my favourite ten beginnings. And just because I can, two of my favourite endings.

I’ve got a fairly terrible memory. It’s why I write everything down. I often forget character names as  soon as I’ve finished reading a book – it’s why for every book I read I have my own little cheat sheet with important details written down. So I don’t remember many quotes. And I don’t remember all that many beginnings. But the ones that I do remember are from books that have had some kind of profound impact one me.



Pride and Prejudice The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
This is the book that started me seriously reading classic literature. Before that I was a contemporary girl all the way. I think it’s fantastic that the opening line really does encapsulate what the book means to me and is still relevant hundreds of years later.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsFar out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun
Much like the first line, this book is just silly.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. RowlingMr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
I don’t think I ever realized what an impact this series would have on my life when I first read these words. But now, 13 years after I read them for the first time I still adore Harry and his adventures as much as I did when I was 12.

Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #5) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Matilda

Bridget Jones Diary by Helen FieldingI will not drink more than fourteen alcohol units a week.
Possibly my first array into chick-lit but not my last.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS LewisThere was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it
Because sometimes in real life (as in fiction) names do play a part in how we see people.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis CarrollAlice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book’, thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?
Exactly. A book without pictures? What’s the point? 😉

Matilda by Roald Dahl: It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he ors he is wonderful.

The Princess Bride The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) The Sky Is Everywhere

The Princess Bride by William Goldman: This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.
This is my favourite book in all the world, though I have read it a thousand times. Slight exaggeration, perhaps. But seriously.  I love this book. I like it’s humour and it’s bluntness. Life isn’t fair. I think it’s one of the first books that I’ve read where things don’t go the hero’s way just cause he’s handsome and has a good heart. Or that the heroine is called out on her shallow vapidness. And that, no matter who you are, sometimes life sucks. You can be young and in love and still captured by pirates. Or kidnapped by a giant… okay – so maybe it’s not so universally applicable. But it’s still fantastic and I love the opening line.

The Bad Beginning by Lemony SnicketIf you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.
It’s lines like that just make me want to read MORE!

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: Gram is worried about me. It’s not just because my sister Bailey died four weeks ago, or because my mother hasn’t contacted me in sixteen years, or even because suddenly all I think about is sex. She is worried about me because one of her house-plants has spots.
Because a grandmother who thinks her granddaughter’s mental health is reflected in a plant is definitely someone I want to read more about.



Charlotte's Web Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4)

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White: It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.
This book made me cry. I remember reading this line (actually I think I was so little it was my big brother reading it to me) and weeping.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer: And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever.
Okay, so maybe I’m no a Twilight fan. But I liked this line because I thought it perfectly summed up the entire four novels. For me, this series wasn’t about vampires or some evil Italian cult who wuss out of a final battle after all that build up (okay, maybe I’m still a little bitter about how things went down in book 4). It was about love. The kind of love that does best when it’s isolated and all-consuming. In a creepy obsessive way but it works for these two so who am I to judge. But yes. I do like this line because for me – it is Bella and Edward.

Those are my favourite beginnings and a few endings thrown in for good measure! Do you like any of my quotes listed? Have any betters ones? Please share! 😀 Hope you all have a fantastic week!

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  1. I’ve read several of the books you mention in this post, and I appreciated revisiting these beginnings and endings (thank you!). I particularly love Pride and Prejudice, The Princess Bride, and Charlotte’s Web.

  2. I actually adored the last few paragraphs of Breaking Dawn when Edward could finally read Bella’s mind for a few moments; it seemed like the perfect way to end the book. I loved the beginning of Matilda! I read it ages ago, but it’s still my favorite children’s book. Happy reading!

  3. I keep hearing great things about The Sky is Everywhere, I’m adding it to my TBR list. And I’m ashamed to say I never read The Princess Bride (although I loved the movie!). Pride and Prejudice, what a great beginning (and middle and end). Charlotte’s Web–one of my all-time favorite books when I was a child and that ending…I remember just sobbing (every single time I read it). Great list!

  4. Seeing lots of P&P and HP (and for good reason, of course!) but I’m glad to see that someone else put a Twilight book on their list. I’m not much of a fan either, but I really liked the ending of book 2. You make a good point about that line at the end of book 4 summing everything up really well. Great list!

    My TTT

  5. Oh, yes Breaking Dawn makes the list for sure! I never got around to Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I only reading the first couple of stories. I must read the rest!! Great list 🙂

  6. We certainly had Pride & Prejudice in common – and I absolutely agree, it’s an ageless opener! (And I like that you had one of its contemporary adaptations, Bridget Jones’s Diary, on there too – every entry to that journal cracks me up. I forgot that first one!)

    It also makes me sad that I’ve never actually read Voyage of the Dawn Treader, because what a hilarious first line! So is Roald Dahl’s (of course).

    Finally, loved the story about Charlotte’s Web & having it read aloud, and your explanation of why you liked the end of Breaking Dawn. This was such a fun list to read! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Sam @ Mad But Magic

  7. Yay for Harry Potter! I will be reading the series for the first time starting in a week or so— I’m verrrry excited! I also gotta agree with you on Charlotte’s Web. <3

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