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
Community Member
3 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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Charm Valenzuela
Community Member
3 years ago

nice ;3

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#3

'Fahrenheit 451' By Ray Bradbury

'Fahrenheit 451' By Ray Bradbury

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John L
Community Member
3 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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Krish Malhotra
Community Member
3 years ago

how is it powerful?

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#5

'Anna Karenina' By Leo Tolstoy

'Anna Karenina' By Leo Tolstoy

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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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Master Markus
Community Member
3 years ago

I remember hearing this line, getting interested, and then hearing a summary and being less interested for some reason.

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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
Community Member
3 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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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Fantasy isn't my taste, but, it is for many . That's fine.

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#10

'The Crow Road' By Iain Banks

'The Crow Road' By Iain Banks

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Jeremie Guerra
Community Member
3 years ago

This is the one I'll buy today :)

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#11

'Pride And Prejudice' By Jane Austen

'Pride And Prejudice' By Jane Austen

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Krish Malhotra
Community Member
3 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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Zori the degu
Community Member
3 years ago

Harry Potter!!!!

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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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Pol Macqueron
Community Member
3 years ago

Incredible first lines of an even more incredible book

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#14

'Peter Pan' By J.M. Barrie

'Peter Pan' By J.M. Barrie

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

I loved "Peter Pan" as a child . I just wish the author had written other books based on different characters. All his books were heavy with P.P. & Wendy.

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#15

'The Metamorphosis' By Franz Kafka

'The Metamorphosis' By Franz Kafka

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Beth Arriaga
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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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HauntedForests
Community Member
3 years ago

Yes!! I was wondering when this book would make it on the list!!! I've read it more times than I can count, it's one of my favorites!!!!

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#19

'Slaughterhouse-Five' By Kurt Vonnegut

'Slaughterhouse-Five' By Kurt Vonnegut

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CultOfBambi
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#21

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

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

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Evie Heaven
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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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Sick Boy
Community Member
3 years ago

A triple negation makes it okay?

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#27

'Lolita' By Vladimir Nabokov

'Lolita' By Vladimir Nabokov

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Master Markus
Community Member
3 years ago

I've read it. It's pretty well-written, but I didn't like the turn of the story about halfway in.

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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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Pol Macqueron
Community Member
3 years ago

Ok this should be #1

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#29

'Middle Passage' By Charles R. Johnson

'Middle Passage' By Charles R. Johnson

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Not so !

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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
Community Member
3 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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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

It was OK , but, wasn't a chick book.

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#32

'Chromos' By Felipe Alfau

'Chromos' By Felipe Alfau

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HauntedForests
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
1 year ago

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

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#34

'David Copperfield' By Charles Dickens

'David Copperfield' By Charles Dickens

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Read it long ago . My tastes have changed.

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#35

'Notes From Underground' By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

'Notes From Underground' By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 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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Anna Brandigi
Community Member
3 years ago

Screen-Sho...45-png.jpg Screen-Shot-2017-09-27-at-082025-59cb96eeb7545-png.jpg

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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
Community Member
3 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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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Most readers have enjoyed this,too

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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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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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Master Markus
Community Member
3 years ago

I have heard multiple times that the movie is very boring, so I've not much hope for the book.

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#46

'Murphy' By Samuel Beckett

'Murphy' By Samuel Beckett

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Iapetos
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#51

'The Bell Jar' By Sylvia Plath

'The Bell Jar' By Sylvia Plath

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Nancy E
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 years ago

Read it many moons ago.

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#55

'The Outsiders' By S.E. Hinton

'The Outsiders' By S.E. Hinton

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adoracat
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#59

'To Kill A Mockingbird' By Harper Lee

'To Kill A Mockingbird' By Harper Lee

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Zori the degu
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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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Nancy E
Community Member
3 years ago

Read all of Christie' books. The one illustrated above , saw the play, too entitled 'Ten Little Indians.'

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#62

'Life Of Pi' By Yann Martel

'Life Of Pi' By Yann Martel

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Zori the degu
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 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
Community Member
3 years ago

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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
Community Member
2 years 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
Community Member
3 years ago

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