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

In 2019

First Lines

  1. One would think being treated like a daft old Betty by a police officer with mustard on his lapel would top Violet’s all-time list of humiliations.
  2. They, of all people, should have known better than to be in the cemetery as the sun set and night claimed the world.
  3. Malorie stands in the kitchen, thinking.
  4. Once we had a father, but our father dies without our noticing.
  5. I don’t actively want to die.
  6. My lids fluttered open, but the floodlights blinded me for a moment.
  7. A lot of women want the world to see them a certain way.
  8. She lies sprawled among the dead who carpet the frozen mud flats, time slipping past, her thoughts dissolving.
  9. At first, they blame the air.
  10. My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter.
  11. Somebody’s telling lies in here, and it’s making it hard to eat.
  12. ‘We gotta turn around, Charlie.’
  13. Where does one begin?
  14. Veronyka gathered the bones of the dead.
  15. Mrs. Tiffen could play the bouzouki.
  16. When we talk about evil we tend to turn our attention to Hitler.
  17. A hundred and fifty years before, when the parochial disagreements between Earth and Mars had been on the verge of war, the Belt had been a far horizon of tremendous mineral wealth beyond viable economic reach, and the outer planets had been beyond even the most unrealistic corporate dream.
  18. Goldengrove devoured my sister every time I closed my eyes.
  19. Every year, when the long days of summer began their inevitable decline into fall, the winds of Aalwell changed direction.
  20. The island appeared first as an inky smudge on the horizon, beaded with pinholes of light against the greying sky.
  21. The Earth trembles.
  22. ‘My lady.‘”
  23. It’s been raining for the past three months.
  24. I think about it a lot, how it all happened, how we came to be here.
  25. The rain was falling sideways in the Marsh.
  26. No boy had ever failed an Inspection.
  27. Nice southern girls did not make money baking penis cakes.
  28. Dogs were with us from the very beginning.
  29. All she cared about was that the pain had been taken away.
  30. Call tells me he sees a star and that makes me laugh.
  31. The cement mixing drum turned.
  32. When the letter came, I was out in the fields, binding up my last sheaf of wheat with hands that were shaking so much I could hardly tie the knot.
  33. Nadia once told me that she was kept awake at night by the idea that she would read about the end of the world on a phone notification.
  34. The sun and moon shine alike during snowstorms.
  35. The calming echo of a holy chant filtered down from the sanctuary and into the cellars.
  36. Two headlights.
  37. I had my recurring dream last night.
  38. ‘You were supposed to be on watch.’
  39. From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.
  40. I’m gonna miss the Draft.
  41. The first time Legend appeared in Tella’s dreams, he looked as if he’d just stepped out of one of the stories people told about him.
  42. In the kitchen of a grand mansion, a girl sat clutching a knife.
  43. I glance at my creation and smile: behold the dining room table.
  44. ‘What do you mean, you don’t know how to steal?’ I asked my two new besties who sat next to me on the hard plastic seat of the ancient, shock-less bus.
  45. Lost letters have only one hope for survival.
  46. Somebody is lying in this courtroom.
  47. Barry Sutton pulls over into the fire lane at the main entrance of the Poe Building, an Art Deco tower glowing white in the illumination of its exterior sconces.
  48. ‘Just a kiss?’
  49. Let me call her Sylvia.
  50. The great war was over, but everyone knew another war was coming and it drove the city a little mad.
  51. ‘There.’ Jared Lee, the first of my two and a half friends, pointed past the stubby line of waste-treatment plants.
  52. The beck is frozen into silence.
  53. On second thoughts, throwing myself out the window of a skyscraper may not have been the best idea.
  54. The day of the first assassination attempt started out like any other.
  55. She wakes a little after midnight, too hot and with the sheets tangled round her legs.
  56. Shana stood there looking at her little sister’s empty bed, and her first thought was: Nessie ran away again.
  57. On the way home from the hospital, she asked him if he wanted her to stay.
  58. The Earth was behind me, but I could still feel it.
  59. It was July 5, 2003, and Edith Magnusson’s day hadn’t been too bad, so far.
  60. The Game was Roux’s idea.
  61. Everything hissed.
  62. Dear Mr. Wrexham, I know you don’t know me but please, please, please you have to help me
  63. Some teachers have a calling.
  64. Down and down.
  65. ‘To ensure the good of every Grace Lorayan, we, your Council, have unanimously voted to relinquish control of the island to His Majesty Asentzio Elazar Vega Gallego, King of the Pious God-Blessed Nation of Argrid, Eminence of the Eternal Church.’
  66. By the time the front door closed, the car was parked outside Claire Arden’s home, waiting for her.
  67. My toenail has blackened, and I have to pull to get it off.
  68. ‘Miss Armstrong? Miss Armstrong, can you hear me?’
  69. Ghosts didn’t have much substance.
  70. Here’s the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of a daughter of a queen and my mama never let me forget it.
  71. Rósa sits in the baðstofa of the croft that newly belongs to her and her mamma.
  72. On her last night as a warmblood, Phoebe Taylor had been a good daughter.
  73. Margot Cary wanted an ice cream sandwich and a beef quesadilla, but she wanted even more to stop throwing up every time she smelled sunscreen.
  74. The morning had dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer.
  75. Every year, the five tribes of Heka gather for the Blood Moon Festival, and I tell myself that this will be my year.
  76. There’s something haunting about a body touched by magic.
  77. Seagulls circled over our boat, which made me think of Row.
  78. In the moonlit room overlooking the City of Faith, a priest knelt before Ephyra and begged for his life.
  79. When I was seven, I found a door.
  80. Lethe! If we look for her, if we run up the stairs, cast open her door and look in her bed, she is not there.
  81. This wasn’t Lee Yeon-Ji’s first time in a jail cell, but unless the executioner changed their mind, it was looking to be her last.
  82. When she was newbuilt and still fragile, and her fresh-woven skin was soft and shiny from creation, Crier’s father told her, ‘Always check their eyes.’
  83. His throat was raw from screaming prayers into the wind.
  84. Almost everybody called her Eve.
  85. At Winterfell they had called her ‘Arya Horseface’ and she’d thought nothing could be worse, but that was before the orphan boy Lommy Greenhands had named her ‘Lumpyhead.’
  86. The young woman woke in total darkness with cold stone under her, and her questing hands felt stone above and to the sides.
  87. New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead.
  88. On the farm where she’d been born, Fallon Swift learned how to plant and grow and harvest, to respect and use the land.
  89. A storm raged.
  90. There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl on the cusp of womanhood.
  91. Am I dreaming?
  92. It is decided I will wear red.
  93. It was close to midnight, and Zhang Guo Xing was thinking of going home.
  94. Never waste a full moon, Nora, even in winter, my grandmother used to say.
  95. He comes over on Thursday of every week.
  96. I do not speak with the tongues of angels, nor have my prayers ever moved mountains.
  97. Not long ago, my husband was at a bar in Chicago.
  98. Astrid awoke to find that her bedroom was filled with a strange, warm light.
  99. Apparently being anointed Sun Queen did nothing to diminish the pain of monthly bleeding.
  100. Morning is our favorite time to fly.
  101. Do you ever wonder how you survived certain seasons of life because they were so busy that you could hardly breathe?
  102. The boy was beautiful.