17 of Our Favorite First Lines to Start 2017

January 3 2017

A new year means a fresh start, and a fresh start on a fantastic book is exactly what we are looking forward to. So we’re starting off 2017 with 17 of our favorite first lines from books. Happy New Year! And Happy Reading!

Slaughterhouse-Five
Kurt Vonnegut

The absurdist tale of Billy Pilgrim -- an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden -- and his odyssey through time has become a classic of anti-war fiction and reading lists everywhere.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
by Stephen King

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
Stephen King

For almost a decade, Stephen King fans have been yearning to see this epic series on the big screen, and they’ll finally get their wish with this adaptation, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. It tells the story of the fallen land of Mid-World, through the eyes of a knight whose primary mission is to save his decaying world by reaching the titular tower that stands at the intersection of time and space. This mix of horror, western, and sci-fi will be a must-see. RELEASE DATE: February 17, 2017

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

Keep the Tissues Handy: 5 Stephen King Books That Will Make You Cry

By Aimee Boyer | September 21, 2020

7 Stephen King Novels That Remind Us Why He’s a Master Storyteller

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 20, 2019

Rain, Snow, or Shine: 9 Books to Read For Any Winter Weather Forecast

By Erin Madison | February 28, 2018

13 Stephen King Books for Every Kind of Reader

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2017

Read These Books Before You Watch The Dark Tower Movie

By Chris Gaudio | July 31, 2017

17 of Our Favorite First Lines to Start 2017

By Kerry Fiallo | January 3, 2017

Close
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
by Tom Franklin

The Rutherford girl had been missing for eight days when Larry Ott returned home and found a monster waiting in his house.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Tom Franklin

Seamlessly blending elements of crime and Southern literary fiction, CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER is the powerful and resonant story of two boyhood friends. Torn apart by circumstance, they are brought together again by a terrible crime in a small Mississippi town.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
Rebecca
by Daphne Du Maurier

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurier

I watched the classic Hitchcock film of Daphne Du Maurier’s gothic masterpiece starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine for the first time in years the other night, and in loving it was reminded of how much I also loved the book. Is there a first line of a novel more evocative than “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”? Only Hitchcock could do justice to the moodiness and plot twists of Du Maurier’s genius work.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah

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.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Nightingale
Kristin Hannah

With courage, grace, and powerful insight, Kristin Hannah illuminates an intimate and seldom seen part of World War II. Telling the stories of two sisters separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion, and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in war-torn France, this heartbreakingly beautiful novel celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
A Single Man
by Christopher Isherwood

Waking up begins with saying am and now.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
A Single Man
Christopher Isherwood

Delicately wrenching, mourning and memory, the story of a spouse, newly alone, and the uncertain life now before him. - Scott O'Connor

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
Infinite Jest
by David Foster Wallace

I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace

"I had a friend in college who claimed this was his favorite book, so I bought a copy and planned to read it over a break. I got about 200 pages in, and my head started spinning, so I stopped (though in my defense, I have made other attempts). I’m pretty sure that’s as far as he got, too, considering the only thing we ever talked about were the first 2 chapters. . ." — Julianna

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
The Secret History
by Donna Tartt

The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Secret History
Donna Tartt

If your favorite character is Jonathan Byers

The misunderstood, unhappy kid who yearns for an East Coast college where he can forget his modest upbringing and meet sufficiently interesting friends? Sounds like Richard Papen, the narrator of Donna Tartt’s first novel, THE SECRET HISTORY.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
The Left Hand of Darkness
by Ursula K. Le Guin

I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula K. Le Guin

The very best science fiction creates deeply immersive, textured worlds that at the same time reveal something about the way we live today. More than forty years after its publication, Ursula Le Guin’s novel still challenges our notions of gender and remains a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
Warm Bodies
by Isaac Marion

I am dead, but it’s not so bad.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
Warm Bodies
Isaac Marion

In this unexpected retelling of Romeo and Juliet, R is having a no-life crisis—he is a zombie. And then he meets Julie, a blast of living color in his gray landscape. However, their unlikely bond will cause ripples they can’t imagine, and their hopeless world won’t change without a fight.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
City of Glass
by Paul Auster

It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
City of Glass
Paul Auster

It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
We So Seldom Look on Love
by Barbara Gowdy

In the apartment building across from theirs, six storeys above the ground, a cat walks along a balcony railing.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
We So Seldom Look on Love
Barbara Gowdy

In the apartment building across from theirs, six storeys above the ground, a cat walks along a balcony railing.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
Boy, Snow, Bird
by Helen Oyeyemi

Nobody ever warned me about mirrors, so for many years I was fond of them, and believed them to be trustworthy.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Boy, Snow, Bird
Helen Oyeyemi

This widely acclaimed novel brilliantly recasts the fairy tale Snow White as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity. It boldly confronts the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston

Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
Middlesex
by Jeffrey Eugenides

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.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Middlesex
Jeffrey Eugenides

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
Raising Steam
by Terry Pratchett

It is hard to understand nothing, but the multiverse is full of it.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Raising Steam
Terry Pratchett

It is hard to understand nothing, but the multiverse is full of it.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close
The Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen

I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Sympathizer
Viet Thanh Nguyen

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, this profound, startling, and beautifully crafted spy novel is the story of a man whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. An astute exploration of extreme politics, as well as a moving love story, THE SYMPATHIZER examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year

By Holly Claytor | January 18, 2021

Renew Your Sense of Purpose with This No-Nonsense Advice Book

By Elizabeth Breeden | January 15, 2021

MLK Day Reads: Inspiring Fictional Characters Who Changed Their Worlds

By Sabrina Sánchez | January 14, 2021

Glennon Doyle Recommends: 6 Inspiring Reads for the New Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2021

January eBook Deals: 10 Fantastic Books to Add to Your Digital Library

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 12, 2021

10 Compelling Reads New in Paperback This January

By Alice Martin | January 11, 2021

Close

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.