Probably the hardest part about writing a book is how to start a story in the first place. Though there are many advises from professional editors and famous writers themselves, it is still the most crucial part where your literary genius must shine.

It's often said that a book shouldn't be judged by its cover, but what about its opening lines? The beginning of it carries the daunting task of hooking the prospective reader in and has a very brief window of time to do so. And with so many books to read, the competition between them is wast. Having that in mind, we've rounded up the first lines of some of the world's most famous books, and they stand as excellent examples of how a short sentence or two can set the tone for an entire story - and define its legacy for decades to come.

Scroll through each poignant piece of literary genius and most known book quotes below in our list. Be sure to let us know which must-read books have you read. And if you haven't laid your eyes on any of these best books to read, you will definitely pick your next read here.

#1

'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' By Douglas Adams

'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' By Douglas Adams

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Jeremie Guerra 2 years ago

A true must read :) Specially if you want to know the answer to life, universe and everything ^^

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#2

'The Martian' By Andy Weir

'The Martian' By Andy Weir

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John L 2 years ago

Great novel! And yes, it was better than the movie, because you are able to get inside Mark Watney's brain.

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#3

'Fahrenheit 451' By Ray Bradbury

'Fahrenheit 451' By Ray Bradbury

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John L 2 years ago

I'm a huge SciFi reader, but never could get interested in him for some reason. I've always been an H. Beam Piper sort of fellow. ;D

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#4

'1984' By George Orwell

'1984' By George Orwell

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John L 2 years ago

To this day I'm still trying to decide which is most depressing; this one or "Brave New World".

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#5

'Anna Karenina' By Leo Tolstoy

'Anna Karenina' By Leo Tolstoy

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Nancy E 2 years ago

I loved this book & even though I tend to be an optimist, I've read a lot of dark Russian literature

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#6

'The Great Gatsby' By F. Scott Fitzgerald

'The Great Gatsby' By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Wanda Queen 2 years ago

I can think of a few people right now who would do well to remember the same.

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#7

'Middlesex' By Jeffrey Eugenides

'Middlesex' By Jeffrey Eugenides

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Hope Floats 2 years ago

That intro alone would make you want to pick up the book and read on......

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#8

'The Go-Between' By L.P. Hartley

'The Go-Between' By L.P. Hartley

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Nancy E 2 years ago

This grabs & intrigues me

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#9

'The Princess Bride' By William Goldman

'The Princess Bride' By William Goldman

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Andi 2 years ago

Such a fun book!

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#10

'The Crow Road' By Iain Banks

'The Crow Road' By Iain Banks

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Hope Floats 2 years ago

Now there's a start to a story........

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#11

'Pride And Prejudice' By Jane Austen

'Pride And Prejudice' By Jane Austen

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Krish Malhotra 2 years ago

unless he wants a husband.

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#12

'Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone' By J.K. Rowling

'Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone' By J.K. Rowling

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KK 2 years ago

That "thank you very much" sells it and hooked me from the frist sentence.

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#13

'A Tale Of Two Cities' By Charles Dickens

'A Tale Of Two Cities' By Charles Dickens

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Charm Valenzuela 2 years ago

"looking to the LEFT because you never treated me right... Looking to the RIGHT because you left me...looking DOWN because you messed me up... looking UP because you let me down...

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#14

'Peter Pan' By J.M. Barrie

'Peter Pan' By J.M. Barrie

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Hope Floats 2 years ago

J M Barrie hasn't met my brother..............

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#15

'The Metamorphosis' By Franz Kafka

'The Metamorphosis' By Franz Kafka

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Beth Arriaga 2 years ago

This book was, like so many on this list, much better the second time I read them, as an adult and not for an assignment in school!

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#16

'Their Eyes Were Watching God' By Zora Neale Hurston

'Their Eyes Were Watching God' By Zora Neale Hurston

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Nancy E 2 years ago

Profound statement .

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#17

'A Frolic Of His Own' By William Gaddis

'A Frolic Of His Own' By William Gaddis

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Charm Valenzuela 2 years ago

...and the law is a flaw

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#18

'Howl's Moving Castle' By Diana Wynne Jones

'Howl's Moving Castle' By Diana Wynne Jones

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Raluca Neacsu 2 years ago

Ive read this! I really really enjoyed it. The only similarity to the film is at the beginning, the introduction. The book itself is simply a whole new world. Its hard to explain but the best i can do is say it was simply the best, it made me feel like a child again

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#19

'Slaughterhouse-Five' By Kurt Vonnegut

'Slaughterhouse-Five' By Kurt Vonnegut

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CultOfBambi 2 years ago

Mind-bending brilliance.

#20

'The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe' By Douglas Adams

'The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe' By Douglas Adams

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Lyndsay B 2 years ago

"This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."

#21

'The Hobbit' By J.R.R. Tolkien

'The Hobbit' By J.R.R. Tolkien

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Evie Heaven 2 years ago

Cannot stand what they made in the movies from this series.

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#22

'The Catcher In The Rye' By J.D. Salinger

'The Catcher In The Rye' By J.D. Salinger

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Master Markus 2 years ago

This book was one I hated when I was a teenager, but then laughed about when I was an adult.

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#23

'Back When We Were Grownups' By Anne Tyler

'Back When We Were Grownups' By Anne Tyler

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Nadine Hughey 2 years ago

I love Anne Tyler, in spite of the lumps in the throat!

#24

'Waiting' By Ha Jin

'Waiting' By Ha Jin

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Master Markus 2 years ago

That just sounds kind of silly.

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#25

'Alice's Adventures In Wonderland' By Lewis Carroll

'Alice's Adventures In Wonderland' By Lewis Carroll

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Master Markus 2 years ago

I have a big volume of all of the Wonderland stories and poems, they've been some of my favourites since childhood.

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#26

'The Color Purple' By Alice Walker

'The Color Purple' By Alice Walker

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Hope Floats 2 years ago

I loved this book and the film..So memorable and moving...Loved Whoopi Goldberg's character ( Celie ) in this...

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#27

'Lolita' By Vladimir Nabokov

'Lolita' By Vladimir Nabokov

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Adriana E. Henricy 2 years ago

Its so amazing how people believe its about love when its about pedophilia and abuse :/

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#28

'One Hundred Years Of Solitude' By Gabriel García Márquez

'One Hundred Years Of Solitude' By Gabriel García Márquez

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Beth Arriaga 2 years ago

Love in Time of Cholera by him was even better - amazing author

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#29

'Middle Passage' By Charles R. Johnson

'Middle Passage' By Charles R. Johnson

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Sick Boy 2 years ago

I'm prone to believe that.

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#30

'Scaramouche: A Romance Of The French Revolution' By Rafael Sabatini

'Scaramouche: A Romance Of The French Revolution' By Rafael Sabatini

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Master Markus 2 years ago

Now that IS intriguing.

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#31

'Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale' By Herman Melville

'Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale' By Herman Melville

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Sick Boy 2 years ago

Should've started with: "Call me crazy, but this book is brimming with descriptions that mask the simplistic storyline."

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#32

'Chromos' By Felipe Alfau

'Chromos' By Felipe Alfau

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HauntedForests 2 years ago

With so many rules that apply to grammar and pronunciation, absolutely.

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#33

'Tracks' By Robyn Davidson

'Tracks' By Robyn Davidson

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Dawn Lemirand-Poepping 1 week ago

Are you sure this isn't the first line to Tracks by Louise Erdrich?

#34

'David Copperfield' By Charles Dickens

'David Copperfield' By Charles Dickens

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Sick Boy 2 years ago

Ladies and gentlemen, Charles "the Destitute Porn" Dickens...

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#35

'Notes From Underground' By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

'Notes From Underground' By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Nancy E 2 years ago

Ah, more Russian literature.....

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#36

'The Life And Opinions Of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman' By Laurence Sterne

'The Life And Opinions Of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman' By Laurence Sterne

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#37

'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea' By Jules Verne

'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea' By Jules Verne

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John L 2 years ago

I read this in grade school, and was mesmerized by it at the time. I'm almost afraid to give it a go once more, because I may be disappointed.

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#38

'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn' By Mark Twain

'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn' By Mark Twain

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John L 2 years ago

My teacher read both "Tom Sawyer" and this one to the class, and we all loved it. As I grew older, I read them personally, and still can't make up my mind which of the two I like best. It must be the "Rugged Individualism" in Mr. Clemens that I found so appealing, and is probably why I am such an H.Beam Piper follower.

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#39

'Charlotte's Web' By E.B. White

'Charlotte's Web' By E.B. White

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Nancy E 2 years ago

One of my all time favorite children's books. I'm not ashamed to say that I boo-hooed through the movie either.

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#40

'Goodbye To Berlin' By Christopher Isherwood

'Goodbye To Berlin' By Christopher Isherwood

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#41

'Breakfast Of Champions' By Kurt Vonnegut

'Breakfast Of Champions' By Kurt Vonnegut

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Doc Thissen 2 years ago

This book was my introduction to Kurt Vonnegut.

#42

'The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader' By C. S. Lewis

'The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader' By C. S. Lewis

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Elaine Van Zon 2 years ago

This is my favourite of the Narnia books

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#43

'The Trial' By Franz Kafka

'The Trial' By Franz Kafka

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Sick Boy 2 years ago

This is one of those that stood the test of time bloody well.

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#44

'Don Quixote' By Miguel De Cervantes

'Don Quixote' By Miguel De Cervantes

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Nancy E 2 years ago

Ah, who else would tilt at windmills. Good book !

#45

'Gone With The Wind' By Margaret Mitchell

'Gone With The Wind' By Margaret Mitchell

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Nancy E 2 years ago

Loved the book & didn't find it a snooze at all !

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#46

'Murphy' By Samuel Beckett

'Murphy' By Samuel Beckett

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Iapetos 2 years ago

Ah Samuel Beckett, master of insignificance.

#47

'The Stranger' By Albert Camus

'The Stranger' By Albert Camus

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Pol Macqueron 2 years ago

Wait for the rest of it. "Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure." Incredible start!

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#48

'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' By Ken Kesey

'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' By Ken Kesey

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Master Markus 2 years ago

This is a great book. I really do like the movie, but the book is from the perspective of Chief Bromden, whom I consider much more interesting than McMurphy.

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#49

'Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas' By Hunter S. Thompson

'Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas' By Hunter S. Thompson

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#50

'Neuromancer' By William Gibson

'Neuromancer' By William Gibson

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Daria B 2 years ago

One of my all-time favorites. I remember I loved this book from the very first sentence.

#51

'The Bell Jar' By Sylvia Plath

'The Bell Jar' By Sylvia Plath

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Nancy E 2 years ago

Hated this book !!!

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#52

'2001: A Space Odyssey' By Arthur C. Clarke

'2001: A Space Odyssey' By Arthur C. Clarke

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John L 2 years ago

Once upon a time, growing up, I read a short story "The Star". It made such an impression on me that I just had to read more Clarke. I couldn't find 2001 at the time, but did locate "The City and the Stars", and "Rendezvous with Rama". By the time I managed to get a copy of 2001, I was already mesmerized by O'Neil Cylinders, and this work was a little bit of a put-down. His dry English prose may have been the reason why.

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#53

'Paradise' By Toni Morrison

'Paradise' By Toni Morrison

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Roxane Milko 2 years ago

Unlike the most horror movies then

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#54

'Jane Eyre' By Charlotte Brontë

'Jane Eyre' By Charlotte Brontë

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Nancy E 2 years ago

Read it many moons ago.

#55

'The Outsiders' By S.E. Hinton

'The Outsiders' By S.E. Hinton

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adoracat 2 years ago

Sad but good at the same time.

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#56

'A Clockwork Orange' By Anthony Burgess

'A Clockwork Orange' By Anthony Burgess

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cybersandwitch 2 years ago

Love this book. Had to read it three times to understand it, but well worth it.

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#57

'The End Of The Affair' By Graham Greene

'The End Of The Affair' By Graham Greene

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Elaine Van Zon 2 years ago

This is a great book and Greene is a fabulous author

#58

'City Of Glass' By Douglas Coupland

'City Of Glass' By Douglas Coupland

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Léa Montesse 2 years ago

This is from the Paul Auster book of the same name, not Douglas Copland's!

#59

'To Kill A Mockingbird' By Harper Lee

'To Kill A Mockingbird' By Harper Lee

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Zori the degu 2 years ago

Yup, I was also quite surprised by this first line. I wondered if the book would be interesting to me... Then I read it in a matter of two days.

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#60

'The Hunger Games' By Suzanne Collins

'The Hunger Games' By Suzanne Collins

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CelSlade 2 years ago

I read the entire trilogy back to back over two days. I think I only paused for bodily necessities and to close my eyes and mutter 'No no no!' every now and then. I would highly recommend it!

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#61

'And Then There Were None' By Agatha Christie

'And Then There Were None' By Agatha Christie

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Evie Heaven 2 years ago

She knows how to catch the readers, not only the criminals.

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#62

'Life Of Pi' By Yann Martel

'Life Of Pi' By Yann Martel

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Zori the degu 2 years ago

Another book everyone should read. A sad one, really. But a good read.

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#63

'High-Rise' By J.G. Ballard

'High-Rise' By J.G. Ballard

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Robert Morson 2 years ago

Well, I'm not reading anything that's about a guy who eats dogs.

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#64

'A River Runs Through It' By Norman Maclean

'A River Runs Through It' By Norman Maclean

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Linda Gulley 2 years ago

That sounds terribly dull.

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#65

'The Portrait Of A Lady' By Henry James

'The Portrait Of A Lady' By Henry James

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#66

'I Capture The Castle' By Dodie Smith

'I Capture The Castle' By Dodie Smith

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Sick Boy 2 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Seems a little desperate for attention... the author, that is.

#67

'The Napoleon Of Notting Hill' By G. K. Chesterton

'The Napoleon Of Notting Hill' By G. K. Chesterton

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athornedrose 1 year ago

ok i'm interested now

#68

'Changing Places: A Tale Of Two Campuses' By David Lodge

'Changing Places: A Tale Of Two Campuses' By David Lodge

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Zori the degu 2 years ago

Ok... Probably I should check this one, the first line sounds insane enough for my taste.

#69

'The Invisible Man' By H.G. Wells

'The Invisible Man' By H.G. Wells

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#70

'The Brief History Of The Dead' By Kevin Brockmeier

'The Brief History Of The Dead' By Kevin Brockmeier

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#71

'Oryx And Crake' By Margaret Atwood

'Oryx And Crake' By Margaret Atwood

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Elaine Van Zon 2 years ago

love love love this book.

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#72

'Elmer Gantry' By Sinclair Lewis

'Elmer Gantry' By Sinclair Lewis

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Nancy E 2 years ago

I liked most of Sinclair Lewis's books , even though he was an insecure, &, tortured man. Mark Schorer has the best biography on him.

#73

'The Old Man And The Sea' By Ernest Hemingway

'The Old Man And The Sea' By Ernest Hemingway

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M. M 2 years ago

Never really cared for this one

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#74

'Catch-22' By Joseph Heller

'Catch-22' By Joseph Heller

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John L 2 years ago

It began so well until the "flying into the mountain" part. It was all downhill after that, and I never finished it.

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#75

'The Pearl' By John Steinbeck

'The Pearl' By John Steinbeck

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Nancy E 2 years ago

Love Steinbeck !

#76

'Cat's Eye' By Margaret Atwood

'Cat's Eye' By Margaret Atwood