If I live to be three hundred I will probably still have books I want to read and haven’t gotten to. I have over a thousand eBooks and a well loved two book shelves that I am particularly picky about because of space constraints. Still, there are thousands of books that I want to read- or would if I knew about them- and more coming out all the time. You have the classics that you swear you’ll get through eventually and your just-for-fun books. You have the books that make you weep, and the books that make you think. How is a gal with limited time and even more limited funds supposed to pick one? I will admit there are times where the cover has been so breathe-taking, so compelling, that I could not resist. Then there’s the times when the blurb won the day- looking at the description on Goodreads or Amazon, I could not resist. Other times I will be on the fence forever, poring over book reviews and Litsy, waffling on the merits of a book, until I read the first page.
That’s what I want to talk about today- times where the first page swayed me in favor of the book. Some of these were read-for-reviews I was skeptical of, and some are books that I kept telling myself that I did not need…. and yet they won. I am going to put the cover, lines, and link to my reviews below for each of these gems.
‘Florida Keys: 2017
This is a story about a wise man named Milo.
It begins the day he got eaten by a shark…..’
Wait… what? I had to read this.
‘At the time I first realized I might be fictional, my weekdays were spent at a publicly funded institution on the north side of Indianapolis called White River High School where I was required to eat lunch at a particular time between 12:47 and 1:14 pm by forces so much larger than myself I couldn’t even begin to identify them…’
And now I knew that my narrator and tour guide for this ride was a bit OCD, nutty and oddly hilarious. Hot damn, I’m in!
Oh, I had told myself all the normal things a bibliophile does. I already spent too much on books, it isn’t really in the budget. I can borrow it at the library if I just wait for the 58 people in line in front of me to be done (this, by the way is no exaggeration, but my place in line when I tried to put the eBook on hold before it came out). I already had books, etc. Then I perused the book isle at work- usually safe as they never have any of the can’t-live-without books…. and there it was- fairly cheap and signed no less! I opened to the first page and was nearly late coming back from my 15 minute break! I rationalized the purchase as this obviously being a “to-share” book and I would need a hard copy eventually- can’t share eBooks or Audible. I was right- it’s fantastic, and it’s loaned out with at least two people waiting their turn.
‘My name is Apollo. I used to be a god. In my four thousand six hundred and twelve years, I have done many things. I inflicted a plague on the Greeks that besieged Troy. I blessed Babe Ruth with three home runs in game four of the 1926 world series. I visited my wrath upon Britney Spears at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards.
But in all my immortal life, I never before crash landed in a dumpster.’
I waffled on this series forever- let’s face it, Apollo is not my favorite character and I could not see this being on of my have-to-have series. And yet I read that in a Walmart and started grinning. Why not? The next book was the same for me and if I don’t know if I want to continue next year, the first page will no doubt bring me back again. I do, after all, love Riordan’s writing style and world building.
This is just a few of the books where page one made all the difference. Are there books like this for you? What are your favorite starters?