12+ In mid-October 2018, I posted my 200th #bookcovers and #firstsentences photo and quote to Instagram (posting as @tallandtruebooks). The series is an eclectic mix of fiction and nonfiction books, all from my bookshelf.
As I observed in an earlier blog post, First Sentences on Instagram (July 2018), and writing tips article, Writing First Sentences, while I know "you should never judge a book by its cover", I often make exceptions. And after opening a book cover, for me, the first sentence (or paragraph) is generally the best indicator of whether I'll keep turning the pages and enjoy reading a work of fiction or nonfiction.
Belated 200th Celebration
So to celebrate (a little belatedly!) my 200th post, here is another selection of my favourite book covers and first sentences from Instagram.
If a book piques your interest, then click on the cover to browse and buy it on Amazon.com.au — or visit your preferred online or bricks-and-mortar bookshop for a copy!
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression "as pretty as an airport".
Penguin Bloom - The odd little bird who saved a family
Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Greive
Our story is deeply painful to share, but it is also beautiful and true.
The Complete Book of Thunderbirds
Chris Bentley with a foreword by Gerry Anderson
Although to date I have made some 600 episodes of entertainment using puppets, live-action, stop motion and computer-generated images, I am mainly known as the man who made Thunderbirds, and that's OK with me!
The Travels of Marco Polo
Emporers and kings, dukes and marquises, counts, knights, and townsfolk, and all people who wish to know the various races of men and the peculiarities of the various regions of the world, take this book and have it read to you.
The Everything Labrador Retriever Book
Kim Campbell Thornton
It's not often that a dog's name says exactly what it does, but that's so in the case of the Labrador Retriever.
I am Spock
Let's open this book with a couple of shattering confessions right up front: 1. I talk to myself; and 2. I hear voices in my head.
Light and Shadow - Memoirs of a Spy's Son
The first time I set off to cross a national border as a foreign correspondent, I forgot my passport.
Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years
I take up my pen once again to record a momentous time in the affairs of men (and, thank God, because this is intended to be a secret diary, I am not required to add 'and women').
The Courage to Write -- How Writers Transcend Fear
If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it essentially as an act of courage. ~ Cynthia Ozick
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
Doff my hat to Dickens
I doff my top hat to Charles Dickens, his from David Copperfield is a powerful first sentence — perhaps because it resonates with middle-aged me?
Do you have a favourite book cover or first sentence?
© 2018 Robert Fairhead
N.B. This post also appears on my blog, RobertFairhead.com.
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Robert is a writer and editor at Tall And True and blogs on his eponymous website, RobertFairhead.com. He also writes and narrates episodes for the Tall And True Short Reads storytelling podcast, featuring his short stories, blog posts and other writing from Tall And True.
Robert's book reviews and other writing have appeared in print and online media. In 2020, he published his début collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story. In 2021, Robert published his first twelve short stories for the Furious Fiction writing competition, Twelve Furious Months, and in 2022, his second collection of Furious Fictions, Twelve More Furious Months. And in 2023, he published an anthology of his microfiction, Tall And True Microfiction.
Besides writing, Robert's favourite pastimes include reading, watching Aussie Rules football with his son and walking his dog.
He has also enjoyed a one-night stand as a stand-up comic.