Top Ten Tuesday- Immediate Gratification

This week The Broke and the Bookish ask us to list the top ten best beginnings or endings of books. I'm going with the idea of best beginnings in the sense that within a page or two I knew that I was reading something damn special. Here are my impressions of the first page or two of some of my favorites:

1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie- Solid contemporary literature + narrative voice + overall style

2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot- Deeply personal story + biology

3. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood- Perfect level of confusion + dramatics (guns?)

4. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby- A list of worst breakups + character introduction (what's Rob's problem with this girl Laura, anyway?)

5. Underworld by Don DeLillo- Baseball + awe inspiring prose

6. The Selected Works of TS Spivet be Reif Larsen- Quirky character + fun with marginalia

7. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie- Indian politics + magical realism + captivating narrator

8. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides- Hermaphrodites + Calliope (the best name ever)

9. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer- Hilariously broken English + endearing narrator 

10. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole- Outrageous character description (oh, Ignatius) + somewhat formal prose 

What made your list?


  1. Hehe, I actually started chuckling on this end as I remember the start to Everything is Illuminated; the broken English was quite hilarious =D

    The opening to Midnight's Children was very captivating as I recall :) Have you seen the movie adaptation for it?

    My TTT

  2. None of these made my list, but several of these could have. I love A Confederacy of Dunces and High Fidelity.

    And good news for me: I just bought Underworld at a used book sale and now can't wait to check out the opening pages.

  3. I'm intrigued by Everything is Illuminated!

  4. I'm so happy to see that Americanah made your list. Half of a Yellow Sun was an amazing read for me, and I have Americanah awaiting me in my huge TBR.

    Here's my list of Best First Lines.

  5. Lonesome Dove.

    I bought it for a dollar because it was such an iconic title, but I figured it was just some western. Within the first page I was hooked and in love.

    1. I'm not generally a fan of Westerns, but I really love that book.