I heart my … incipit.

List the first sentences of five favourite books so that people can guess the books they come from. After three days, post the answers.

1. Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

2. People usually start life by being born. Not me, though.

3. The primroses were over.

4. The play – for which Briony had designed the posters, programmes, and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its side, and lined the collection box in red crepe paper – was written by her in a two –day tempest of composition, causing her to miss a breakfast and a lunch.

5. My mother did not tell me they were coming.

My all-time favourite book takes the fun out of guessing games – only those under rocks could fail to guess the title!

“When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.”



And rather than wait three days to reveal the answers, click below after you’ve made your guess!


1. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James… My favourite opening line of all time.

2. The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers.

3. Watership Down by Richard Adams.

4. Atonement by Ian McEwan.

5. Girl With a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier.

The Lord of the Rings will always be my favourite book. I grew up with it, and read it more times than I should admit.

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