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BOOKS (FIRST LINES)
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[ Also see Books Books (Last Lines) Books (Quotes) Quotations ]

1a \'a\ n, pl a's or as \'az\ often cap, often attrib (bef. 12c) 1 a : the 1st letter of the English alphabet b : a representation of this letter c : a speech counterpart of orthographic a 2 : the 6th tone of a C-major scale 3 : a graphic device for reproducing the letter a 4 : one designated a esp. as the 1st in order or class 5 a : a grade rating a student's work as superior in quality b : one graded or rated with an A 6 : something shaped like the letter A
      - Unattributed Author,
        Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th edition)

Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or more umpires.
      - Unattributed Author,
        Official Rules of Baseball, Rule 1.01

Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game.
      - Unattributed Author, The Laws of Cricket

The morning was as dark and cold as city snow could make it--a dingy whirl at the window; a smoky gust through the fire-place; a shadow black as a bear's cave under the table. Nothing in all the cavernous room, loomed really warm or familiar except a glass of stale water, and a vapid, half-eaten grape-fruit.
      - Eleanor Hallowell Abbott,
        Molly Make-Believe [1910] (ch. 1)

Christopher Carson, whose renown as Kit Carson has reached almost every ear in the country was born in Madison county, Kentucky, on the 24th of December, 1809.
      - John S.C. (Stevens Cabot) Abbott,
        Kit Carson, the Pioneer of the West [1874]
         (ch. I),
        (also titled Christopher Carson, familiarly known as Kit Carson)

At about six in the morning of July 3, 1860, while I was watering my petunias, and thinking of nothing in particular, I perceived coming towards me, a tall, beardless, fair-haired young fellow, wearing a German cap and gold-rimmed spectacles.
      - Edmond About, The King of the Mountains [1857]
         (ch. 1)

For reasons which many persons thought ridiculous, Mrs. Lightfoot Lee decided to pass the winter in Washington.
      - Henry Brooks Adams, Democracy [1880]

The new church of St. John's, on Fifth Avenue, was thronged the morning of the last Sunday of October, in the year 1880. Sitting in the gallery, beneath the unfinished frescoes, and looking down the nave, one caught an effect of autumn gardens, a suggestion of chrysanthemums and geraniums, or of October woods, dashed with scarlet oaks and yellow maples.
      - Henry Brooks Adams, Esther [1884] (ch. 1)

We are talking now of summer evenings in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the time that I lived there so successfully disguised to myself as a child.
      - James Agee, A Death in the Family [1938]

Early one morning I, Vadim Maslennikov, set off for school (I was going on seventeen at the time) having forgotten the envelope with the first-semester fees Mother had left me in the dining room the day before.
      - M. Ageyev (a pseudonym--real name unknown),
        Novel with Cocaine

One night, at the latter end of April 1665, the family of a citizen of London carrying on an extensive business as a grocer in Wood Street, Cheapside, were assembled, according to custom, at prayer.
      - William Harrison Ainsworth, Old St. Paul's [1841]

On the 10th of July 1553, about two hours after noon, a loud discharge of ordnance burst from the turrets of Durham House, then the residence of the Duke of Northumberland, grandmaster of the realm, and occupying the site of the modern range of buildings known as the Adelphi; and at the signal, which was immediately answered from every point along the river where a bombard or culverin could be planted-- . . .
      - William Harrison Ainsworth,
        The Tower of London [1840]

In the twentieth year of the reign of the right high and puissant King Henry the Eighth, namely, in 1529, on the twenty-first of April, and on one of the loveliest evenings that ever fell on the loveliest district in England, a fair youth, having somewhat the appearance of a page, was leaning over the terrace-wall on the north side of Windsor Castle, and gazing at the magnificent scene before him.
      - William Harrison Ainsworth, Windsor Castle [1843]

"Please, sir, is this Plumfield?" asked a ragged boy of the man who opened the great gate at which the omnibus left him.
      - Louisa May Alcott, Little Men [1871]

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
  "It's so dreadful to be poor!" sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
    "I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added Amy, with an injured sniff.
      "We've got father and mother and each other," said Beth contentedly, from her corner.
      - Louisa May Alcott, Little Women [1868]

It was the first Tuesday in August. The Nebraska heat rolled in upon one like the engulfing waves of a dry sea,--a thick material substance against which one seemed to push when moving about.
      - Bess Streeter Aldrich, A White Bird Flying [1931]

In 1846 the prairie town of Oak River existed only in a settler's dream.
      - Bess Streeter Aldrich, Miss Bishop [1933]

A long generation ago, back in the twisted twenties when Chicago was still a dangerous city, a mild-mannered youth called Fancy used to tend bar in a dingy speak-easy on the wrong side of Van Buren Street.
      - Nelson Algren,
        The Face on the Barroom Floor [1933],
        a short story from The Neon Wilderness

Southward, two mighty ranges of the Appalachians shouldered their way into the blue distance like tremendous caravans marching across eternity.
      - Hervey Allen, Action at Aquila [1938]

Between the villages of Aubiere and Romagnat in the ancient Province of Auvergne there is an old road that comes suddenly over the top of a high hill. To stand south of this ridge looking up at the highway flowing over the skyline is to receive one of those irrefutable impressions from landscape which requires more than a philosopher to explain. In this case it is undoubtedly, for some reason, one of exalted expectation.
      - Hervey Allen, Anthony Adverse [1933]
         (vol. 1, book 1, ch. 1)

She did not wish any supper and she sank forgetfully back into the stately oak chair.
      - James Lane Allen,
        The Mettle of the Pasture [1903]

The Anglo-Saxon farmers had scarce conquered foothold, stronghold, freehold in the Western wilderness before they became sowers of hemp--with remembrance of Virginia, with remembrance of dear ancestral Britain.
      - James Lane Allen, The Reign of Law [1900]

March 13, 1701.
  The sun completed its route over the Pacific and began to set, reddening the waters around the islands of Japan.
      - John Allyn, The 47 Ronin Story

Night was running ahead of itself.
      - Jorge Amado, Sea of Death [1936]

The writer, an old man with a white moustache, had some difficulty getting into bed.
      - Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio [1919]


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