What is the first sentence from the book you are currently reading?

“Michelangelo Osiris Leary Kusanagi-Jones had been drinking since fourteen hundred.”

Carnival by Elizabeth Bear

“Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians.”

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

“When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.”

The Last Good Kiss, James Crumley

“Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.”

Ulysses, James Joyce

“Beyond the window, water slapped against the pilings of the wooden sidewalk along the canal. Dirk t’Larien looked up and saw a low black barge drift slowly past in the moonlight.”

Dying of the Light by George R.R. Martin

“In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains.”

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

“They call it ‘getting red-pilled’.” — Red Pill, Blue Bill: How to Counteract the Conspiracy Theories that are Killing Us, by David Neiwert

The Inland Sea of Japan was still veiled in darkness when the anchorage at Hashirajima began to awaken.

Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully

“A woman waved me over to the computer she was using.”

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks, by Gina Sheridan

“The main thing to remember in autobiography, I have always thought, is not to let any damned modesty creep in to spoil the story.”

Mr. Campion: Criminologist, by Margery Allingham

“I’m standing at the centermost of the three contestant podiums, which are wider and deeper than they look on TV.”

Prisoner of Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy! by Bob Harris

“The first cattle to set foot in Hawaii didn’t live to see sunset.”

Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, The World’s Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West, by David Wolman and Julian Smith.

Brenden Vetch found the Od School of Magic beneath a cobbler’s shoe on a busy street in the ancient city of Kelior.

Od Magic, by Patricia McKillip

(A re-read, but lordy I need some comfort reading now and there are few writers as fine as McKillip in her use of language.)

“What do you do when you’re not sure?”

Doubt, by John Patrick Shanley

“From the man who at puberty said, “To hell with religion!” and proceeded to ignore its various organized aspects ever since to the man who at fifty is hopelessly and delightfully entangled in the meshes of a highly organized religion, these and all the various types of response to life in between, all are involved in religion.”

On Religious Maturity by M. Belanger

“She liked his car. It was the first time she had been in an electric.”

Fair Warning by Michael Connelly

“I’m Deafblind.”

Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, by Haben Girma

“Ethan died of a burst appendix.”

The Dark Side of Nowhere, by Neal Shusterman

“A woman screams. Shrill and desolate, the brief sound rips through the solemn hush in the corridors of the old federal courthouse.”

The Last Trial, by Scott Turow

In November 1962, at his self-proclaimed “last press conference” following his loss in the California gubernatorial contest, Richard Nixon announced that he was walking out of history.

Nixon Volume II: The Triumph of a Politician 1962-1972 by Stephen Ambrose

“Five thousand years ago, a star-struck night blinked down at them, huddled by twig fires among towering pines and hazel wood.”

Monumental Verses, by J. Patrick Lewis. (Note: This is the first line of the first poem, “Stonehenge”.)