Top Ten Tuesday (61): Beginnings/Endings in Books


Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is

Top Ten Beginnings/Endings in Books

I’ve split my list so that the first five cover beginnings and the second five cover endings.

1. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”  The portal to a world of beauty and imagination.

2. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis: “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb and he almost deserved it.”  Oh, poor Eustace.

3. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: I won’t quote the line in its entirety both because it is long and because it is well-known.  I think I love it because I cannot imagine many authors getting away with writing an opening like that today.

4. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: In J. R. R. Tolkien’s version, the opening reads “When the siege and the assault had ceased at Troy.”  It’s music.

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  Everyone swoons over Austen, but we should take a moment to acknowledge her biting wit.

6. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri: Everybody reads the Inferno, but I think each book gets better and better.

7. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien: I appreciate Tolkien’s understanding that no victory is won without a price.

8. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: I think it’s hard for readers to appreciate the beauty of this book and its elegant structure without getting to the end. And what an end–it takes my breath away with its beauty and makes me want to weep.

9. The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare: So, so beautiful.  Why are Shakespeare’s romances overlooked?

10. The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis: Worth all the pain that precedes it.

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday (61): Beginnings/Endings in Books

  1. Lianne @ says:

    Love your list! The opening and closing sentences to A Tale of Two Cities are just iconic and wonderful. And yay for LOTR & The Hobbit; I only did opening sentences this week and The Hobbit definitely made my list xD So did P&P

    I’m thinking of slowly reading through Shakespeare’s plays next year; I’ve only read about 4-5/the ones assigned at school and I’ve been meaning to read more 🙂

    My TTT


    • Krysta says:

      I’m glad you liked it! And so glad you added The Hobbit, too! In fact, I love the whole opening paragraph. It was kind of hard for me to stop at only the first sentence, but I wanted to keep the list relatively short and snappy. 😉

      That’s a great plan! I always feel like I should have read more Shakespeare. I love him so much and I can’t understand how I got through school without being required to read his collected works. 😀


    • Krysta says:

      It’s always fantastic to have other Lewis/Tolkien fans stop by! And I am a huge fan of both Austen and Dickens, so, yes, yes you need to. 😉


  2. Books, Tea & Me says:

    I love the first line of The Hobbit and the ending of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King — even though I cried like a baby while reading the book and watching the movie. Great picks!


  3. Quinn says:

    Yes, yes, yes, I love Austen’s wittiness. The first paragraph of P&P is probably my favorite opening sequences ever. It shows Austen’s humor, sets up the story, and also sets the tone of the story.


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