It can longer be denied. We are in the grips of winter and, I don’t know about you, but I find this season to be rather romantic. The darker nights, the hot chocolate, the snow. It’s a time for hunkering down, cozying up, and escaping into a good book (secluded cabin and roaring fire optional).

This time of year, the lighter fare known as the summer read no longer holds the same appeal. It’s not sunny escapism I crave, it’s the foggy gloom of Dickensian London.

Whatever you’re reading, sometimes you need to be grabbed right out of the gate, and drawn into the world of the novel. Here is a list of 150 of the most compelling opening lines in literature.

  1. “The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.” – Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus
  2. “It was the happiest moment of my life, though I didn’t know it. Had I known, had I cherished this gift, would everything have turned out differently?” – Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence
  3. “It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.” – Paul Auster, City of Glass
  4. “I was running away. I was running away from England, from my childhood, from the winter, from a sequence of untidy, unattractive love-affairs, from the few sticks of furniture and jumble of over-worn clothes that my London life had collected around me…” – Ian Fleming, The Spy Who Loved Me
  5. “How should a person be? For years I asked it of everyone I met.” – Sheila Heti, How Should a Person Be?
  6. “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm.” – Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind
  7. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” –Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
  8. “Dear Brenda, you cannot possibly understand what your letter means to me, it is as if a flood of strength suffuses my whole body and soul, and I feel that you are near.” – Eric Utne, Brenda, My Darling
  9. “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.” – Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
  10. “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” – Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
  11. “It was love at first sight” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22
  12. “We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  13. “On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about half way
    between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rose-colored hotel.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is The Night
  14. “All children, except one, grow up.” – J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan
  15. “A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which, to look ahead.” – Graham Green, The End of the Affair
  16. “In the town they tell the story of the great pearl—how it was found and how it was lost again.” The PearlJohn Steinbeck
  17. “Call me Ishmael.” – Herman MelvilleMoby-Dick 
  18. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” – Jane AustenPride and Prejudice 
  19. “A screaming comes across the sky.” – Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow 
  20. “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” – Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude 
  21. “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina 
  22. “riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.” – James Joyce, Finnegans Wake 
  23. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” – George Orwell, 1984
  24. “I am an invisible man.” – Ralph EllisonInvisible Man 
  25. “The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?—Do-you-need-advice?—Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard.” – Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts 
  26. “You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.” – Mark TwainAdventures of Huckleberry Finn 
  27. “Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.” –Franz KafkaThe Trial 
  28. “You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler.” – Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler 
  29. “The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.” – Samuel Beckett, Murphy 
  30. “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” – J. D. SalingerThe Catcher in the Rye 
  31. “Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo.” – James JoyceA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 
  32. “This is the saddest story I have ever heard.” – Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier 
  33. “I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;—that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost:—Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader is likely to see me.” Laurence SterneTristram Shandy 
  34. “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.” – James JoyceUlysses 
  35. “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” – Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford 
  36. “One summer afternoon Mrs. Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary.” – Thomas PynchonThe Crying of Lot 49 
  37. “Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.” – William FaulknerThe Sound and the Fury 
  38. “124 was spiteful.” – Toni MorrisonBeloved (1987)
  39. “Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing.” – Miguel de CervantesDon Quixote 
  40. “Mother died today.” – Albert CamusThe Stranger 
  41. “Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu.” – Ha Jin, Waiting 
  42. “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” – William Gibson, Neuromancer 
  43. “I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground 
  44. “Where now? Who now? When now?” – Samuel BeckettThe Unnamable 
  45. “Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard. ‘Stop!’ cried the groaning old man at last, ‘Stop! I did not drag my father beyond this tree.'”- Gertrude Stein, The Making of Americans 
  46. “In a sense, I am Jacob Horner.” – John BarthThe End of the Road 
  47. “It was like so, but wasn’t.” – Richard PowersGalatea 2.2
  48. ” —Money . . . in a voice that rustled.” – William GaddisJ R 
  49. “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” –Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
  50. “All this happened, more or less.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five 
  51. “They shoot the white girl first.” – Toni Morrison, Paradise 
  52. “For a long time, I went to bed early.” – Marcel ProustSwann’s Way 
  53. “The moment one learns English, complications set in.” – Felipe Alfau, Chromos
  54. “Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.” – Anita Brookner, The Debut 
  55. “I was the shadow of the waxwing slain / By the false azure in the windowpane;” – Vladimir NabokovPale Fire 
  56. “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” – Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God 
  57. “I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.” – Edith WhartonEthan Frome 
  58. “Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex’s admonition, against Allen’s angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa’s antipodal ant annexation.”  – Walter AbishAlphabetical Africa 
  59. “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” – C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 
  60. “He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.” – Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  61. “It was the day my grandmother exploded.” – Iain M. Banks, The Crow Road 
  62. “I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.” – Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex 
  63. “Elmer Gantry was drunk.” – Sinclair LewisElmer Gantry 
  64. “We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.” – Louise ErdrichTracks 
  65. “It was a pleasure to burn.” – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 
  66. “Having placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes’ chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression.” –Flann O’BrienAt Swim-Two-Birds 
  67. “I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho’ not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call’d me.” – Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  68. “In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street.”- David Markson, Wittgenstein’s Mistress 
  69. “Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress” – George Eliot, Middlemarch 
  70. “What if this young woman, who writes such bad poems, in competition with her husband, whose poems are equally bad, should stretch her remarkably long and well-made legs out before you, so that her skirt slips up to the tops of her stockings?” – Gilbert SorrentinoImaginative Qualities of Actual Things 
  71. “I have never begun a novel with more misgiving.” – W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge 
  72. “Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.” – Anne Tyler, Back When We Were Grownups 
  73. “The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up.” – G. K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill 
  74. “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.” – F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby (1925)
  75. “You better not never tell nobody but God.” – Alice WalkerThe Color Purple
  76. “‘To be born again,’ sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, ‘first you have to die.'” – Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses 
  77. “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” – Sylvia PlathThe Bell Jar 
  78. “Most really pretty girls have pretty ugly feet, and so does Mindy Metalman, Lenore notices, all of a sudden.” – David Foster Wallace, The Broom of the System 
  79. “If I am out of my mind, it’s all right with me, thought Moses Herzog.” – Saul BellowHerzog 
  80. “Francis Marion Tarwater’s uncle had been dead for only half a day when the boy got too drunk to finish digging his grave and a Negro named Buford Munson, who had come to get a jug filled, had to finish it and drag the body from the breakfast table where it was still sitting and bury it in a decent and Christian way, with the sign of its Saviour at the head of the grave and enough dirt on top to keep the dogs from digging it up.” – Flannery O’ConnorThe Violent Bear it Away 
  81. “Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there’s a peephole in the door, and my keeper’s eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me.” –Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum 
  82. “When Dick Gibson was a little boy he was not Dick Gibson.” – Stanley Elkin, The Dick Gibson Show 
  83. “Hiram Clegg, together with his wife Emma and four friends of the faith from Randolph Junction, were summoned by the Spirit and Mrs. Clara Collins, widow of the beloved Nazarene preacher Ely Collins, to West Condon on the weekend of the eighteenth and nineteenth of April, there to await the End of the World.” – Robert CooverThe Origin of the Brunists 
  84. “She waited, Kate Croy, for her father to come in, but he kept her unconscionably, and there were moments at which she showed herself, in the glass over the mantel, a face positively pale with the irritation that had brought her to the point of going away without sight of him.” – Henry JamesThe Wings of the Dove 
  85. “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.” – Ernest HemingwayA Farewell to Arms (1929)
  86. “”Take my camel, dear,” said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass.” – Rose Macaulay, The Towers of Trebizond
  87. “He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull.” – Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim 
  88. “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”  – L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between 
  89. “On my naming day when I come 12 I gone front spear and kilt a wyld boar he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs any how there hadnt ben none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to see none agen.” – Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker 
  90. “Justice?—You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law.” – William GaddisA Frolic of His Own 
  91. “Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash.” – J. G. Ballard, Crash
  92. “I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” – Dodie SmithI Capture the Castle
  93. “‘When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,’ Papa would say, ‘she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.'” – Katherine Dunn, Geek Love 
  94. “In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talented, and yet more talented than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and string-taut with similes stretched to the snapping-point.” – John BarthThe Sot-Weed Factor
  95. “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 of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.” – James Crumley, The Last Good Kiss 
  96. “It was just noon that Sunday morning when the sheriff reached the jail with Lucas Beauchamp though the whole town (the whole county too for that matter) had known since the night before that Lucas had killed a white man.” – William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust
  97. “I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as ‘Claudius the Idiot,’ or ‘That Claudius,’ or ‘Claudius the Stammerer,’ or ‘Clau-Clau-Claudius’ or at best as ‘Poor Uncle Claudius,’ am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the ‘golden predicament’ from which I have never since become disentangled.” – Robert GravesI, Claudius 
  98. “Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I’ve come to learn, is women.” – Charles Johnson, Middle Passage 
  99. “I am an American, Chicago born — Chicago, that somber city — and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent.” –Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March 
  100. “The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist; austere towers of steel and cement and limestone, sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver rods.” – Sinclair LewisBabbitt 
  101. “I will tell you in a few words who I am: lover of the hummingbird that darts to the flower beyond the rotted sill where my feet are propped; lover of bright needlepoint and the bright stitching fingers of humorless old ladies bent to their sweet and infamous designs; lover of parasols made from the same puffy stuff as a young girl’s underdrawers; still lover of that small naval boat which somehow survived the distressing years of my life between her decks or in her pilothouse; and also lover of poor dear black Sonny, my mess boy, fellow victim and confidant, and of my wife and child. But most of all, lover of my harmless and sanguine self.” – John Hawkes, Second Skin 
  102. “He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.” – Raphael Sabatini, Scaramouche 
  103. “Psychics can see the color of time it’s blue.” – Ronald Sukenick, Blown Away 
  104. “In the town, there were two mutes and they were always together.” – Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter 
  105. “I have no reason not to answer the door so I answer the door.” – Dave Eggers, What Is the What
  106. “Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space.” – Margaret AtwoodCat’s Eye 
  107. “He — for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it — was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters.” –Virginia WoolfOrlando 
  108. “High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969, two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour.” – David Lodge, Changing Places
  109. “They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.’ – Jean RhysWide Sargasso Sea 
  110. “The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.” -Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage 
  111. “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.” – Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
  112. “Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French.” PG Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkin
  113. “It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.” – Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers
  114. “The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.” – Donna Tartt, The Secret History
  115. “Squire Trelawnay, Dr Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17 — and go back to the time when my father kept the Admiral Benbow inn and the brown old seaman with the sabre cut first took up his lodging under our roof.” – Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
  116. “Hale knew, before he had been in Brighton three hours, that they meant to murder him.” Graham Greene, Brighton Rock
  117. “Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends. The question of self-pity.” –  Joan Didion, The Year Of Magical Thinking.
  118. “If this typewriter can’t do it, then f*** it, it can’t be done.” – Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker
  119. “The first time I saw Catherine she was wearing a vivid crimson dress and was nervously leafing through a magazine in my waiting room. She was visibly out of breath.” – Dr. Brian Weiss, Many Lives, Many Masters
  120. “Like most people I lived for a long time with my mother and father. My father liked to watch the wrestling, my mother liked to wrestle: it didn’t matter what. She was in the white corner and that was that.” – Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
  121. “All stories are love stories.” – Robert McWilliam Wilson, Eureka Street
  122. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” – Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
  123. “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.” – Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  124. “It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears’ house. Its eyes were closed.” – Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
  125. “Clare: It’s hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he’s okay. It’s hard to be the one who stays.” – Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Travellers Wife
  126. “When Mr Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventyifirst birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.” – J.R.R. Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  127. “But, you may say, we asked you to speak about women and fiction.” – Virginia Woolfe, A Room of One’s Own
  128. “At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.” – Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life Of Bees
  129. “Tap-dancing child abuser. That’s what The Sunday New York Times from March 8, 1993, had called Vivi.” – Rebeca Wells, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
  130. “Someone was looking at me, a disturbing sensation if you’re dead.” – Laura Whitcomb, A Certain Slant of Light
  131. “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.” – Jane Austen, Emma
  132. “You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  133. “The final dying sounds of their dress rehearsal left the Laurel Players with nothing to do but stand there, silent and helpless, blinking out over the footlights of an empty auditorium.” – Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road
  134. “It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.” – Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
  135. “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” – C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  136. “As the Manager of the Performance sits before the curtain on the boards, and, looks into the Fair, a feeling of profound melancholy comes over him in his survey of the bustling place.” – William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
  137. “The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
  138. “‘What’s it going to be then, eh?'” – Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
  139. “It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.” – Roald Dahl, Matilda
  140. “The play — for which Briony had designed the posters, programs and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its side, and lined the collection box in red crêpe paper — was written by her in a two-day tempest of composition, causing her to miss a breakfast and a lunch.” – Ian McEwan, Atonement
  141. “Novalee Nation, seventeen, seven months pregnant, thirty-seven pounds overweight – and superstitious about sevens – shifted uncomfortably in the seat of the old Plymouth and ran her hands down the curve of her belly.” – Billie Letts, Where the Heart Is
  142. “If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.” – Lemony Snicket, Daniel Handler,A Series of Unfortunate Events
  143. “This is a tale of a meeting of two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
  144. “If you’re going to read this, don’t bother.” – Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
  145. “This time there would be no witnesses.” – Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
  146. “Amergo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the men who had so cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonor her.” – Mario Puzo, The Godfather
  147. “Nick Naylor had been called many things since becoming the chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, but until now no one had actually compared him to Satan.” – Christopher Buckley, Thank You for Smoking: A Novel
  148. “A screaming comes across the sky.” – Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
  149. “At dusk they pour form the sky” –  Anthony Doerr, All The Light We Cannot See
  150. “Marley was dead, to begin with.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol