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My Recent Reads

  • Cross Country by James Patterson (2008)

    Cross country  for reads

  • Freedom is my Religion by Pat Condell (2012)

    Freedom is my religion for reads

  • The Reversal by Michael Connelly (2010)

    Reversal for reads

  • The Night Time Guy by Tony Kenrick (1979)

    Night time guy for reads

  • The Guardians by John Grisham (2019)

    Guardians for reads

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October 03, 2007


Chelle Y.

So, Hugh Laurie wrote a book? I did not know that! My son sees me watching "House"and say, "There's Stuart Little's daddy!" :)

I always feel so dumb coming to your blog.


“P.S. Your Cat Is Dead”? That title wouldn't really appeal to me...
Great book related TT as always!
hanks for visiting my Tolkien quotes TT.

AF Wife

I didn't see it was the best of times... ;)

Great idea for T13!

Thomma Lyn

Hi, Nicholas! I thoroughly enjoyed your book T13, and ha, I did a book T13, too, this week! I agree, any novel by Dickens is a sure winner. And you've introduced me to some new books that scream to be put on my To-Read list!

Happy T13 to you!

Robin from Israel

I've got a header from Cindi up this week too.

I liked the opening sentence from PS Your Cat Is Dead the best. I admit, I'm now intrigued. I wonder if my library's got it.

Robin from Israel

Wait a minute, I'm back again - I missed the last one! I didn't realize you'd written a book! Do tell...

Mark Caldwell

I tend to lean towards St. Trinians rather than St Custards but I do still enjoy Searle's books.

Interesting TT :-)


OMG. Hugh Laurie wrote a book. Wow. I so have to read it. :-)

And, I'm totally checking out your book, and the one about the first lady.

Thanks again for the wonderful book list!


I didn't realize that Hugh Laurie was an author. You picked some pretty good opening lines. I esp. liked the opening to the Buckley book. By the way, there is nothing wrong with pimping your own work.

Mary Emken

I bought your book ,The Story Of Elijah, quite awhile ago. The suspence keeped the pages turning. It is a perfect thriller especially page 201. You have a gift for writing. I didn't expect it to end the way it did though. Can't wait to read your next book.


I like Philip Roth's and yours the best!

Secret Agent Mama

As always, an interesting and inspiring list!!


Wonderful, wonderful TT!! Truly inspired -- I really enjoyed it. And I loved your first line of your book -- I shall have to pick it up and read the rest!
Happy TT and thanks for visiting mine!

Susan Helene Gottfried

I really liked the one Buckley book I read, but just can't get into Adrian Mole. Not for lack of trying, though.

Happy TT, Nicholas!


Hubby got the Night of Generals and the Hard Times! Thanks for sharing all of this:D I should check your book for him too:) TFS!
Happy TT!

nononsense girl

Happy TT Nicholas, you are my bookworm friend. :)

Mine's up , 13 things I'm grateful for.. :)


A very literate TT. Who knew that Hugh Laurie was also a published author?

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend, Christine


Had NO idea about Hugh! Wow, imagine that! Great list!

Jenny McB

I'm not sure if I read the first page, will have to think about this next time at the library.
Your book sounds good, based on others' comments.


Congrats on writing a book!! Great idea for a TT. Thanks for visiting.


Man, you sure have read alot of books...I bet you're an expert conversationalist:) Great list although I havent read any of them. Happy TT and thanks for stopping by.


Hugh has a book?!?! Thanks for the tip!


The opening line I'll never forget came from Tom Robbins' 'Still Life With Woodpecker'.
"If this typewriter can't do it, then f**k it, it can't be done." Great book. :)


I've been meaning to pick up Hugh Laurie's book for ages. Everyone who's read it seems to have really enjoyed it.


Sure like I didn't have enough reading to do... Now there are 13 more books on my list! Great TT


When I did some archival research at the University of Maine, I read an unpublished article by Stephen King called 'Great Hookers I Have Known'. It's about the difficulty of writing first lines that act as 'hooks' for readers. He makes a very good point that short fiction really excels at the 'hooker'. I think my favourite would have to be from Poe's The Tell Tale Heart: 'True! - nervous - very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?' I love how that manic voice is established from the very start.
Oh, and wouldn't Gradgrind turn anyone to home education?
A really great TT (as always), and thanks for visiting my TT!


If I need any ideas for a good book to read, I know where to go. :o) Thanks!

The Gal Herself

Fun topic! James M. Cain wrote my favorite first line in The Postman Always Rings Twice: "They threw me off the hay truck about noon."


I've been thinking of how important that first line or first two sentences really are in a book. We rarely notice them, but they pull us in all the same.

Thanks for including your own as well. Perhaps on my next TT I'll throw out a few of my own first lines and see what others think. :)



someone said they feel dumber coming to your blog well I feel smarert:>How about "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" Catchy start?

Elle Fredrix

Never feel guilty for pimping your book! And I think your first line is fabulous.


Thanks Nicholas for your list of books to read.It gives me a list I could buy my son-in-law for Christmas..He is a hard one to buy for..Thanks for visiting my place . Baba


I am sorry, I don't know why so many pages printed up. Baba


well, well, well, what have we here?! Nice idea, Nick! "The night of the generals" caught my attention. I had to read the Dickens novel in high school, and yeah, I was looking for that "best of times, worst of times" line. It was dry novel then, maybe I should consider rereading it.
Pimping your own novel! What else is blogging for?
Have a great weekend!

Denise Patrick

Great list!!

Thanks for visiting my TT!


I so love first lines. I keep meaning to do a list like this.


Great list again. I would have the same problem reading the Hugh Laurie book. I never really considered how people choose books when perusing the isles of a book store. I guess it is because I am not an author and most of the books I have purchased are by referral. I will admit I do most of my book reading to the kids for home school purposes, but we have read some great historical fiction in the process. Happy TT.

Morgan St. John

Number one has the most intriguing first lines...

I'm definitely going to find How to be Topp...

And, of course you're pimping yourself, don't we all? :D


I didn't know you have written a book!! love your inventive ideas for a TT, very original.

Nancy Bond

Like so many others, now I have to try to read Hugh Laurie's book. :) This is a terrific idea for a TT list!


What a great idea. I think I will borrow it at some point. So, did your character narrative the rest of the book from heaven or hell?

Open Grove Claudia

AH HA!! A list with a couple books that I have actually read! Yippee!!

I feel like I discovered a continent or something major like that!


Once again, a wonderful list that brings back that little nagging voice in my head..."what kind of example are you setting for your little readers when you've been reading the same book for 5 years now?" Coupled with the new nag you placed there last week..."you don't have to read chapters upon chapters like your pre-kid years, just 15 mins a day, even a couple pages, is a start" :-)

I'm a horror fan, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, but your book sounds intriguing...I'll have to put it on my list when I finally listen to the nagging :-)


I loved The Plot Against America!

I recently re-read The Outsiders because it had captured the fancy of the fifth graders last year. I had read it many times many years ago. When I read the first line:
"When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home."
I was immediately transported back to my pre-adolescent world where The Outsiders was the greatest thing I had ever read.


Adding more to my to-read list...I've got to stop visiting here ;)

J. Lynne

I added your book to my wishlist. The description sounds intriguing. Though I may have to stop coming to your TTs because my list keeps getting longer. ;)


I love "... the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French". Your own intro is very intriguing! Happy TT.

Sandra Schwab

Happy TT13, Nicholas! I haven't read any of the books you listed (not even Bleak House, bad me), but they certainly sound intriguing.

My favourite first sentence is from Dorothy Dunnett's The Disorderly Knights: "On the day that is grannie was killed by the English, Sir William Scott the Younger of Buccleuch was at Melrose Abbey, marrying his aunt." *g*


Interesting first lines. I haven't read any of these, but I may have to check a few of them out.

Thanks for visiting my TT!


Some of those look very interesting - but it seems that no matter how fast I read my "to read" pile keeps growing ;-)
Happy TT13 :P


I sooo have to pick up the The Gun Seller! I had no idea he had even written a book. Personally I would be hearing the voice of Prinny in Black Adder ... :) Happy TT


Oh my gosh, I love watching HOUSE, and then I didn't realize he was in 'Stuart Little', and now he has a novel. I'm going to have to pick this one up.
Thanks for stopping by.
Happy TT!

Mathew James Didier

Egads! MEMORIES!!!!

I read "How To Be Topp" many, Many, MANY years ago! My goodness... I'm pretty sure it was when Sonny was still Cher's husband, dinosaurs roamed the Earth, Colonel Saunders was enlisted... a long time ago...


I read the Dickens one at school.


I learn something new every time I visit your blog. I love "first" lines of books. I often judge a book by its opening lines.

Fantastic idea for a TT


Wow, I haven't read any book you've mentioned up there. LOL. But I'm interested with Hugh Laurie's novel. I wonder what his real accent is.

My Twenty Cents Keeps Moving

Great TT!


I've only read The Plot Against America and I loved it. I do want to read Hugh Laurie's book but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Happy TT. Mine is also about books.


Wow everytime I drop in here I do learn something new...well its so true about how a person buys the book (I never really payed attention to it till date)...yep see the cover pick it up if the title sounds interesting, flip through a few pages, read the back cover and then if it still contains my attention read the first few lines and thats it will make me go to the Pay Here counter or back to browsing!
Happy TT


What a creative TT. Thanks for pointing out Hugh Laurie's book. He is absolutely hilarious, so my curiosity is piqued.


I think I would like to read Hard Times by Charles Dickens

I didn't know you are a published author. Very interesting, great job, I hope to be in that league one day too. :)


Thanks for the visit today. I've lurked here before, as my other self.

I am always a sucker for a good first line!


very interesting info on buying books! happy TT and thanks for stopping by!


Thanks for visiting my TT on October. As much as I read I was sure that I would have read at least one book on your list, but I haven't. I love Dickens so I have added Hard Times to my list of books to read.


Awesome idea for a TT. I think I'm going to steal it.


Great TT! I loved it!


This is such a great idea for a Thursday Thirteen book related post! I just listed some of my favorite books for my TT. This is way more interesting.

I've heard of the Hugh Laurie book. I may have to actually read it.

Dane Bramage

Excellant idea for a T13 and well executed too. Bravo. And thanks for visiting my T13.

Marcia (MeeAugraphie)

I hope I can come up with a good first line for my novels...Loved our idea for a list.


I wish our library had more Wodehouse... I might actually have to spend money on books for myself one of these days. Great list.


So many books, so little time. What!? Hugh Laurie has a book? Another great list (your book included!) and I am so glad you've never used any of those pick up lines. Especially the Spice Girls one. ;-) Have a great weekend.


Hugh Laurie writes? That's the first I've heard of!

"They hanged me on a Tuesday." Sounds like a very good opening to me!


Great list, Nicholas. There are a definite couple there I haven't read and would like to. Yours among them. My all time fav first line is: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed" The Gunslinger -Stephen King Thank you for stopping by both of my TTs. (Your reason for not getting a tattoo is an excellent one for someone who feels that way! ;)


Call me Ishmael.


I really look forward to you Thurdsday Thirteens. Very well written. A brilliant to do a meme based on opening lines. It is so true that if something doesn't grab me in the first few pages I will most likely not continue.

I enjoy the writings of Dickens. I enjoy books with substance and he is an author who has "substance".

I never knew that Hugh Laurie had written a book. Witty? I like witty. I hope I can get a chance to read some of these great books you have listed. My list is really growing.

I have read Night of the Generals but it was way back when I was in high school. I confess I have forgotten what I read.

You have written a book? Fantastic! Your opening line does grab my attention. I will investigate further.

I too am working on a book of my own. It is an alternative reality novel called, "Raknorak". It is very different and fresh. I may change the title. Not sure yet.

Thank you again for sharing your wisdom and viewpoints.

Sophisticated Writer

The best first line among these books is # 13. I swear I'm not flattering or exaggerating. This is one of the best first lines I've ever read. Because of that, Nicholas, you're to help me with a first line for my current complete novel.

And yes I'll buy your book as soon as I have some extra money to spare. I'm broke :(

Accept mission?

Note: Boy! You sure read a lot *gulp and hide away in shame*

Will email you in a while. Thanks for asking about me dear friend :)

Wylie Kinson

Nicholas - you're whoring for comments again, eh? hehehehehe
I read Hugh's book BEFORE I knew who the hell he was. I found an excerpt for it in some obsure British magazine someone left on a plane and bought it as soon as I arrived in London. Glad I did - he has and excellent voice.
And so do you, dude! I can vouch for The Story of Elijah -- a very good read, indeed!!

You best get cracking on next week's TT. Wouldn't want to disappoint your legion of fans ;)


Now this is true dedication to the Thursday Thirteen.

I loved it!
And you're right, you cannot fail with Dickens. I read David Copperfield when I was 11 and never looked back...

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