Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

In 2015

First Lines


  1.  “She is the one who goes On,/when others remain behind.
  2. By nature she wasn’t a solitary person, and yet Charlotte couldn’t help but relish the peace and quiet that descended on the constituency office after her colleagues had gone home.
  3. Is today a good day to die?
  4. Shahla stood by our front door, the bright green metal rusting on the edges.
  5. Standing onstage at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, surrounded by cast members and some of the crew, many of whom I’ve not seen in years, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and nostalgia.
  6. The old man’s head was covered in mantises.
  7. You, Neil Patrick Harris, are born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 15, 1973, at what you’re pretty sure is St. Joseph’s Hospital, although it’s hard to be certain as the whole experience leaves you a little blurry.
  8. There is a pile of clothing on the side of the train tracks.
  9. As many of you know, I am a comedian who, with the immeasurable assistance of my wife, Jeannie, wrote a book called Dad is Fat, which chronicled my life as the father of five young children in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City.
  10. Once upon a time, a wicked troll created a powerful mirror.
  11. ‘Mayfield and Son Funeral Home.’
  12. I was dying, and I wasn’t afraid.
  13. Underneath the letter she had left a pile of recipe cards.
  14. Three days.
  15. I’m pretty much f*@ked.
  16. I hate First Friday.
  17. There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson, a crime that occurred directly on top of the sidewalk of Piney Creek Road, the same sidewalk our parents had once hopefully carved their initials into, years before, as residents of the first street in the Woodland Hills subdivision to have houses on each lot.
  18. His words hung there, in the darkness between our voices.
  19. “The first time I saw Nica after she died was at Jamie Amory’s Fourth of July party.”
  20. I don’t remember ever having a mother.
  21. The city embraces me.
  22. hello i am sorry to bother you but i need your assistance
  23. Mammy once told me that all flowers are beautiful, but some are more beautiful than others.
  24. It would be nice to make it through alive, Quin thought.
  25. Atlanta was exploding right on schedule.
  26. It is a wood-paneled room of sumptuous size – the abbots of Perton have always done themselves well.
  27. If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.
  28. Louis Creed, who had lost his father at three and who had never known a grandfather, never expected to find a father as he entered his middle age, but that was exactly what happened…although he called this man a friend, as a grown man must do when he finds the man who should have been his father relatively late in life.
  29. If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger.
  30. “I don’t make to-do lists, but if I did, today’s would have gone something like this: 1. get drunk, 2. get laid, 3. go surfing (not necessarily in that order).
  31. My name is Danny Orchard.
  32. My fingers were going numb, my bound wrists worn raw by the ropes, but I twisted again, hard this time.
  33. The headstone was modest and hewn of black granite, granite being one of the few things never in short supply in Glenurquhart, even during the present difficulty.
  34. I did not cause the madness, the deaths, or the rest of the tragedies any more than I painted the paintings.
  35. He’d stopped trying to bring her back.
  36. the boy is beautiful.
  37. It’s time to say good-bye.
  38. The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone bicycled down the country lane.
  39. We went wild that hot night.
  40. At dusk they pour from the sky.
  41. Damn woman is always moving his things.
  42. She knows there is something wrong with the baby.
  43. There were times in each day when Ben believed a happier life waited only for them to claim it.
  44. For a long time, when I was a girl, I was a very good girl.
  45. Lord Haden, prince of the Underrealm, has ceased to exist.
  46. Dead.
  47. Life is hard.
  48. In the second-floor storage room where we never go, someone has wound the music box.
  49. It is as if she has always known that one day it would come to this.
  50. The sensible beige pantsuit was mocking me.
  51. Do you ever wonder, dear Mother and Father, what kind of toothpaste angels use in heaven?
  52. There are certain things the mind cannot comprehend.
  53. The pretty young associate editor crossed her bare legs nervously, allowing her right foot to bounce up and down.
  54. In one way, at least, our lives really are like movies.
  55. My father has this really great story about the day he met my mother, a story he never gets tired of telling.
  56. Later, in weaker moments, Lovell Hall reminded himself of the logical fallacy that young scientists so often committed: Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
  57. I shouldn’t be reading the notes.
  58. As she approached the traffic light, Jamie Anderson prayed it would stay green.
  59. Our chairs are placed precisely two yards apart.
  60. umber whennn
  61. Perched on the bluff’s edge, the house is in danger.
  62. The first photograph arrives in the mail on the same day that my husband appears on television at the Medal of Honor ceremony.
  63. We’ve only been on the road for an hour but we were almost out of gas.
  64. The first time I see her, she is standing at the Fullerton Station, on the train platform, clutching an infant in her arms.
  65. Asmodeus Saxon-Tang knew the French Napoleon III clock to be an authentic piece with a sound provenance; the same could not be said for the blonde bidding against him.
  66. This is not my bedroom.
  67. There is one mirror in my house.
  68. I wake with his name in my mouth.
  69. I pace in our cell at Erudite headquarters, her words echoing in my mind
  70. The trouble began on the waking I left Mikey with his dad on the Sand for the first time, and went out gathering bark with my uncle Dixon, my brother Johnny, and my sister Starlight.
  71. I probably should start with the blood.
  72. ‘I just don’t think it’s that good,’ said Denise.
  73. Amy’s heart hammers, and her skin is slick with sweat.
  74. I was starring out the classroom window and daydreaming of adventure when I spotted the flying saucer.
  75. I’m the lucky one; or at least that’s what they say.
  76. The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.
  77. A stabbing pain jolts me awake.
  78. Imagine four years.
  79. She isn’t one bit sorry.
  80. I climb the stairs but the door is closed.
  81. I can’t pinpoint the moment I cross over.
  82. The firm close of the door, despite not having been remotely slammed, nevertheless reverberates through the profound emptiness of my house.
  83. I’ve read many more books than you.
  84. Ross Juarez ran down the gully.
  85. The phone.
  86. On the day Claire became a member of the Glass House, somebody stole her laundry.
  87. Sit down, kiddies.
  88. Our story opens where countless stories have ended in the last twenty-six years: with an idiot – in this case, my brother Shaun – deciding it would be a good idea to go out and poke a zombie with a stick to see what happens.
  89. When you strike a match, it burns brighter in the first nanosecond than it will ever burn again.
  90. You pick her up in a bar.
  91. More coffee?
  92. It was a perfect day to rob a bank.
  93. Who is John Galt?
  94. What would happen if the Earth and all terrestrial objects suddenly stopped spinning, but the atmosphere retained its velocity?
  95. In New York, you can get anything delivered.
  96. Almost everyone thought the man and the boy were father and son.
  97. Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest.
  98. Sleeping in the car is cramped.
  99. There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.
  100. My first day on the job coincided with the first day of the Haden Walkout, and I’m not going to lie, that was some awkward timing.
  101. Jeremiah Hamilton’s story is a New York one, but the first act opens some 1,530 miles to the south.
  102. “Before she became the Girl from Nowhere – the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years – she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy.
  103. So here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.
  104. Josephine Montfort stared at the newly mounded grave in front of her and at the wooden cross marking it.
  105. Once, in a time long ago, in a world beyond our own, three goddesses gathered to celebrate the dawn of a new queen.
  106. The treetops curve above the road like an archway, blotting out the moon and stars.
  107. An angry rap shook the motel room door.
  108. The night before Sarah left Illinois for California, a full moon — as plump and promising as a pearl — hung over Steuben Township.
  109. The rain was heavy now and the hem of her dress was splattered with mud.”
  110. The first story I ever heard about immunity was told to me by my father, a doctor, when I was very young.
  111. In 1692, the Massachusetts Bay Colony executed fourteen women, five men, and two dogs for witchcraft.
  112. How did the Marquis de Lafeyette win over the stingiest, crankiest tax protesters in the history of the world?
  113. Richard Chapman presumed there would be a stripper at his brother Philip’s bachelor party.
  114. The strange woman standing on Hope’s main street was so ordinary it was almost scandalous.
  115. The two lights in the upstairs bedroom of the house next door were on a timer.
  116. During the quiet hours after midnight on New Year’s Day, the ghosts of Normandy Falls, manacled like felons to the tomb, temporarily escaped the totalitarian scrutiny of heaven and the moldering prison house of death, and from the forlorn churchyard near the square and the untilled fields in the valley, they assembled under the light of a spectral moon and resolved to haunt those who had denied them love.
  117. Now you know everything.
  118. A good Catholic girl was what they’d said they needed, and, seeing as no one knew otherwise, I was trying my hand at being exactly that.
  119. Languid, lovely, lonely; the swans arched their beautiful necks and turned to gaze at him as he stood rooted to the shore, his feet encased in mud.