First Lines Friday: February 18, 2022

Well hello beautiful people! We’ve made it to the end of the week! And I saw Moonfall. It’s a disaster movie about the moon falling to Earth. I called every single thing that happened in that film, it was terrible, and I loved every minute of it. I’m a sucker for disaster movies when they come from space. Not Armageddon. I didn’t really love that one.

But it’s First Lines Friday!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

The Lines:

So start with the voices, then.

When did he first hear them? When he was still little? Benny was always a small boy and slow to develop, as though his cells were reluctant to multiply and take up space in the world.


The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house—a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world. He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.
And he meets his very own Book—a talking thing—who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.

A book about books! When I bought it, I found it in literary fiction, I think it’s more magical realism. But it sounds very interesting. It also was a total cover buy during the giant 50% hardcovers sale Barnes & Noble was having right after Christmas.

Anyone else find a magical realism book in the literary fiction section?

4 thoughts on “First Lines Friday: February 18, 2022

  1. Yay, I actually knew this one!
    I picked this one up a little while back and have yet to finish it, though, I really should.. The writing was beautiful.
    Thanks so much for sharing, Lauren!


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