First lines quiz #9 – EW’s New Classics edition


~ I will post the first sentences of ten books. (I skip any beginning quotations or prefaces. If I think more than one sentence is necessary, I’ll post two.)
~ You guess the titles and authors and leave your guesses in the comments.
~ You don’t have to guess on all ten; guess on the ones you know.
~ I’ll update the post by putting the lines in bold and adding titles and authors when someone gets one correct.
~ Have fun!

All of today’s choices come from Entertainment Weekly’s lists of the 100 best books from 1983 to 2008.

1. Standing among the tan, excited post-Christmas crowd at the Southwest Florida Regional Airport, Rabbit Angstrom has a funny sudden feeling that what he has come to meet, what’s floating in unseen about to land, is not his son Nelson and daughter-in-law Pru and their two children but something more ominous and intimately his: his own death, shaped vaguely like an airplane.Rabbit at Rest, John Updike – guessed by Sandy

2. When Augustus came out on the porch the blue pigs were eating a rattlesnake – not a very big one.Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry – stumped you on this one!

3. At the first gesture of morning, flies began stirring.Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier – stumped you on this one, too!

4. The book was thick and black and covered with dust.Possession, A.S. Byatt – guessed by Susi

5. 124 was spiteful.Beloved, Toni Morrison – guessed by Jackie

6. First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey.The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien – guessed by Sandy

7. My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie.The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold – guessed by JoAnn

8. The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it “the Riddle House,” even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling – guessed by Kristi

9. Tonight, I find myself here in a guest house in the city of Salisbury.Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro – guessed by Raidergirl

10. We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood – guessed by Zia

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14 Responses to First lines quiz #9 – EW’s New Classics edition

  1. Zia says:

    10) The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

  2. JoAnn
    Twitter: lakesidemusing

    7 – The Lovely Bones?

  3. 5 is Beloved. The number of mentions of 124 in that book amazes me!

  4. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    The first one is one of the John Updike Rabbit series, but I don’t know which one. #6 is The Things They Carried? And #7 is Lovely Bones, but JoAnn got that one!

  5. CarrieK
    Twitter: booksandmovies

    Zia, JoAnn, Jackie, and Sandy – you’re all correct! I’ve updated those titles.

  6. Sherrie says:

    Hi Carrie,
    Didn’t see anywhere to post this so am doing it here. I have finished another book for the Essays Challenge. Dog Years by Mark Doty. You can see my review at my place, Just Books. Have a great day!


  7. Kristi says:


    #8 is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

    It still surprises me how many I recognize!

  8. The only one I knew was The Lovely Bones, but someone beat me to it!

  9. stacybuckeye says:

    Well, I knew Lovely Bones and Harry Potter, but I’ve been beaten to the comment section.

  10. CarrieK
    Twitter: booksandmovies

    Yes, Kristi – it is Goblet of Fire.

    Avis and Stacy – I’m going to add hints to the remaining titles soon, so maybe some more will ring a bell!

  11. CarrieK
    Twitter: booksandmovies

    Okay, everyone – I added some clues. Keep guessing!

  12. Susi says:

    No. 4 is Byatt’s Possession, methinks. :)

  13. raidergirl3 says:

    #9 Remains of the Day by Kazou Ishiguro. Great Book!!

  14. CarrieK
    Twitter: booksandmovies

    Susi and Raidergirl – yes, you’re both correct!

    The two that stumped you all were #2, Lonesome Dove, and #3, Cold Mountain. Thanks for playing, everyone!