Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books (July 30)

I’ve been looking forward to this one for ages! THANK YOU THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH.

 Beginnings and endings of books can be major factors in whether or not one will continue reading or evne like the book when it ends. Like a first and last impression – a first, because it’s your first time coming in contact with said book, and a last because once you finish it you’ll never be able to experience that “first read” again. From this point on it’ll only be rereads. There’s something so wonderful about a good ending. It can make the difference between an okay book and a really amazing one. They don’t have to be powerful. Sometimes even just a simple one can do the trick. 

Some of these are even quotes I’ve memorized. I’ll mark those with an asterisk (*). For example, the first and last Potter sentences. I know the very first sentence in the series and the very last. Very proud of the fact.

July 30: Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books 

  1. *But it wasn’t, and we weren’t: Mysterious Skin, Scott Heim. One of the most powerful sentences I’ve ever read, especially for a book ending. It’s on my list in my post about potential literary tattoo ideas. I remember finishing the book and just being… astounded at such a simple and honest ending for such a complicated novel.
  2. *Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four. Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, JK Rowling. I just really like this one for some reason. It’s a very simple, very exact sentence that perfectly sums up the essence of the Durlseys and, in doing so, does a perfect job of explaining the very core of the difference between them and Harry, and why their lives don’t really work very well together. 
  3. *All was well: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling. Again, Rowling does an amazing job of summarizing. It’s funny how the last sentence to an extremely long, twisted, messy tangled plot is just three short words. It sounds as if nothing ever happened. It’s the perfect way to end a close to ten year journey – and a generation. The childhood of so many people. Rowling is telling us how in the end, when everything was cleared up, they all kept on living and enjoying the world. People died, friendships were destroyed, hearts were broken – but in the end, it was okay.
  4. This book begins with a plane crash: Beauty Queens, Libba Bray. This is just the first sentence in a hilarious opening that appears before the first chapter. It’s so straightforward. I love it. Lemme give you the next few as well. We do not want you to worry about this. According to the US Department of Unnecessary Statistics, your chances of dying in a car crash are about one in half a million. Whereas your chances of losing your bathing suit bottoms to a strong tide are two to one. So, all in all, it’s safer to fly than to go to the beach.
  5. The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World: Going Bovine, Libba Bray. The lovely Bray yet again. Although really the best sentences are in the Acknowledgments that appear on the first page. I fell in love with her through those, even before the real story started. EVERY SINGLE REVIEW FOR THIS BOOK RECOMMENDS READING THEM. In them she thanks everyone she’s ever kissed or punched and anyone who has ever kissed or punched her. She thanks the guy who once validated her parking ticket and a homeless lady who said her hair looked like a dandelion with pieces blown away. Just… go read it. Even just that, without the book.
  6. There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler’s mind: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Douglas Adams. If I remember correctly, this was definitely the weirdest book in the series. It seemed sort of out of place. It really didn’t have much of a point, so this sentence excused it from the “pointless books” section, and gave it a perfectly good reason for being redundant – it was just that. Pointless. Even Adams thought so. The book is a romance, and very different from the others. According to Wikipedia “Adams’ editor Sonny Mehta moved in with the author to ensure that the book met its (extended) deadline. As a result, Adams later stated that he was not entirely happy with the book, which includes several jarring authorial intrusions, which fellow author Neil Gaiman described as “patronising and unfair”. Makes sense. There was something I sort of didn’t like about it either. But this ending made me forgive him.
  7. The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This had made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams. Classic Adams. These are the kind of sentences that made me fall in love with him. Intelligent humor.
  8. That evening it was dark early, which was normal for the time of year. It was cold and windy, which was normal. It started to rain, which was particularly normal. A spacecraft landed, which was not: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Douglas Adams. Same exact reason as the previous one. Adams’ writing style is just… fabulous. And it’s these quotes that showcase it in the best way possible.
  9. The afternoon my parents died, I was out shoplifting with Irene Klauson: The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Emily M. Danforth. No reason for this one. There’s something very alarming, yet also very calming in this one.
  10. The ending of The Fault in Our Stars, John Green. I’d like to meet the person who couldn’t have sworn this book was going to end midsenten
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2 responses

  1. I love that you have Libba Bray on here! Those are the only two novels I haven’t read by her, but I really, really want to! And I LOVE that half of the Douglas Adams books made it on here! I completely agree with your feelings on book #6. I actually use #7 as a subheading in my blog haha

  2. So happy to see the Libba Bray love here! Have you read The Diviners? I am thinking about rereading it soon. Thanks for sharing~Megan

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