Comments 4

My Favourite First Sentences

Hi! Instead of doing a book review today I  wanted to try something different, so I have. I watched a great video by a booktuber who goes by the name booksandquills where she reads some of her favourite first sentences from books. I thought I’d give this a go, so here’s my list of some of my favourite sentences. I’ll post the video by  booksandquills at the end of this post.


  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd

‘The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.’


  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole ages 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

‘These are my New Year’s resolutions:

  1.  I will help the blind across the road.
  2. I will hang my trousers up.
  3. I will put the sleeves back on my records.
  4. I will not start smoking.
  5. I will stop squeezing my spots.
  6. I will be kind to the dog.
  7. I will help the poor and ignorant.
  8. After hearing the disgusting noises from down-stairs last night, I have also vowed never to drink alcohol.

My father got the dog drunk on cherry brandy at the party last night. If the RSPCA hear about it he could get done. Eight days have gone by since Christmas Day but my mother still hasn’t worn the green lurex apron I bought her for Christmas! She will get bathcubes next year.


  • Mort by Terry Pratchett

‘THIS IS THE BRIGHT CANDLELIT room where the liftetimers are stored – shelf upon shelf of them, squat hourglasses, one for every living person, pouring their fine sand from the future into the past. The accumulated hiss of the falling grains makes the room roar like the sea.’


  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman

‘Shadow had done three years in prison. He was big enough, and looked don’t-fuck-with-me enough that his biggest problem was killing time.’


  • Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

‘It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.’


  • Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (YES, AGAIN!)

‘It was a nice day. All the days had been nice. There had been rather more than seven of them so far, and the rain hadn’t been invented yet. But clouds massing east of Eden suggested that the first thunderstorm was on its way, and it was going to be a big one.’


Would any list be complete without…

  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.’


I hope you enjoyed this list and if you haven’t read some of these books then hopefully  these little snippets from some of my favourites will entice you into reading them.


Follow me on Twitter: @ByfordsBooks


The video which inspired me to this.



  1. Ashley says

    The Hobbit always deserves a spot on a “favourite first line” list! I teach this book to my middle school students, and they always comment on the almost mystical quality evoked by the line you quoted. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How about this one?

    “Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17__ and go back to the time when my father kept the Admiral Benbow inn and the brown old seaman with the sabre cut first took up his lodging under our roof.”

    Ninety words that read like poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

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