What’s My Line?

Do You Judge A Book By It's Opening Line?
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What’s My Line?

We’re always hearing that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but what about the opening line? Is that enough to draw you in? Personally, I’m a sucker for “the hook”, the one-liner that doesn’t necessarily explain the story but leaves you wanting more.

Some of the following are classic hooks. You may have heard the opening line, but can you name the book? Answers below.

  1. “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” 
  2. “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
  3. “You better not never tell nobody but God.” 
  4. “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.” 
  5. “It was a pleasure to burn.” 
  6. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking 13.” 
  7. “It was the day my grandmother exploded.” 
  8. “Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife Shuyu.” 
  9. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” 
  10.  “I was 12 years old the first time I walked on water.”

How many hooked you? Don’t forget to add them to your reading list, or better yet, go out and buy your copy now. You can also pick up a new read in our very own Brookstore, here.




  1. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  3. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
  4. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
  5. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
  6. 1984, George Orwell
  7. The Crow Road, Iain Banks
  8. Waiting, Ha Jin
  9. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  10. Mr Vertigo, Paul Auster


Jacqui Hodges

With 30 years of general management experience in the global insurance industry and having lived in 4 countries, Jacqui now spends her time between London and New York where she continues to pursue her passion for writing, food, books and travel.

A Reiki practitioner, yogi and huge animal advocate, her home isn’t complete without a furbaby or three. In addition to being a BooknBrunch contributor, she writes for  industry publications.

Favourite book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Favourite brunch dish: avocado toast with tomato and chilli


Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton (304 pages)


I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn (320 pages)