First Sentences

“Ever since my mom died, I cry in H Mart.” Michelle Zauner, Crying in H Mart.

“Thomas Wazhashk removed his thermos from his armpit and set it on the steel desk alongside his scuffed briefcase.” Louise Erdrich, The Night Watchman.

“The dead would be moved for Disneyland.” Erich Schwartzell, Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy.

“She can feel hope, like the Christmas lights on fade in Pound Saver.” Susie Steiner, Missing, Presumed.

“On 18 December 1912 Arthur Smith Woodward and Charles Dawson announced to a great and expectant scientific audience the epoch-making discovery of a remote ancestral form of man—The Dawn Man of Piltdown.” J.S. Weiner, The Piltdown Forgery.

“Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely?” E.C. Bentley, Trent’s Last Case.

“When you imagine the founder of home economics, who do you see?” Danielle Dreilinger, The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live.

“Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch-hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage. . . .” Jane Austen, Persuasion.

“As a young woman with modest means and few prospects, Ruth Middleton transformed her life by moving north.” Tiya Miles, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake.

“On a Tuesday I came home from school to an empty house, watched the evening news, and then took two Equanil caplets lifted from my mother.” Rosalie Knecht, Who is Vera Kelly? (A Vera Kelly Story).

“Louis Bean spent eighteen months in Vietnam.” Kathleen Belew, Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America.

“She was born peculiar, or so she thought.” Jim Harrison, The Farmer’s Daughter.

“For ten thousand years, a cave on the northern tip of Prince of Wales Island in Alaska served a resting place for the remains of an ancient man.” Jennifer Raff, Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas.

“I would like to say a few things about my first husband, William.” Elizabeth Strout, Oh William!

“Right now, in a classroom somewhere in the world, a student is mouthing off to her math teacher.” Jordan Ellenberg, How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking.