I just read a great article on Huff Post with this title and thought it might be fun for Fort book geeks to chime in here.
You Had Me at the First Line--10 First Lines to Hook You*|*Kimberlie I. Leon
The author picked a top 10, and the comments section below the HP article has many great suggestions - the Pride and Prejudice one is definitely one of my picks. Hard to pick a favourite but I'll go with Herman Wouk's Marjorie Morningstar for a start:A first impression goes a long way. That's true with people, and I think it's also true with books. When I'm choosing a new book, once I get past the title and the author, it's the first line--or first few lines--that make the decision for me. It's that handful of words, so carefully, and at times, so powerfully strung together, that hook me (or not) to make a lasting impression and get me reading.
As I started to think more about the power of first lines, I turned to my trusty bookshelf. Pulling out different books and flipping to the first pages, I wanted to remember what it was that got me hooked on a certain book.
Customs of courtship vary greatly in different times and places, but the way things happen to be done here and now always seems the only natural way to do it.