Books That Hooked You With Their Opening Paragraph

Last night, I realized I had left my current book in my car. Already in my pajamas, I was too lazy to leave my apartment and trek in the rain for it. I did want any book hoarder would do. I grabbed a new book to start reading. I’m can’t just lay in bed with reading a few pages. No matter how tired I am. It seems like a waste if I don’t.  My home is quiet. My head is finally quiet after a long day.

The closest book to me (without having to get out of bed) was The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma. I was not sure if I really wanted to invest in a new book while in the middle of another. I know, I know. I’m a promiscuous reader. I’m usually reading 2-3 books in tandem. Let’s just say my brain was tired, ok?

Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma

I remember reading a review of it on The Relentless Reader and thought, “That sounds like an interesting novel.” I couldn’t remember what the book was about. Just that it sounded like a good read. I grabbed the book and propped up my pillows at the right angle for reading a hardback. You know what I’m talking about right? Hardbacks are bigger and heavier so the in-bed reading position is different compared to a paperback. It’s harder to read laying on my side with a hardback.

Usually I don’t pay extra attention to the opening lines of a book. However in The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, the very first line in the opening paragraph  of The Author’s Note hooked me and reeled me in:

I’ve lost every book I’ve ever written. I lost the first one here in Terminal B, where I became a writer, twenty-eight years ago, in the after-school hours and on vacations while I waited for my mother to return from doling out honey-roasted peanuts at eighteen thousand feet.

Does that make you want to read more? As soon as I finished reading the Author’s Note, I knew I was in trouble. Since it was 1AM, I forced myself to set the book down or I would be even more sleep deprived than usual.

I promised myself that if I got all my work done today, then I would pick up the The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards again.

Have you read any great opening paragraphs lately? What book was it from?

And if you’ve read The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, no spoilers please! I promise to read fast so we can talk about it!

I received a review copy of the book. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.


  1. May 9, 2013
    • May 9, 2013