Celebrate May Day and Mother’s Day with Great Reads 

First Lines is a series of blog articles posted on around the first of the month. The first line of a story, we’re told, must hook the reader. Implied is that the reader will not buy the book if the first line isn’t great. These entries are from Amazon, my personal library, or other online booksellers. For these two special occasions I’ve collected novels and short reads in a range of genres including women’s literary fiction, LGBTQ+ stories, fairy tales, romantic fantasies, to paranormal and time travel, classics, psychological stories, dystopian, post apocalyptic, and space colonization. Does one of these first lines hook you? Do you want to read more?

Image of the colorful pop-art-style shows a portion of a woman's head and is the cover of The Mothers.

We didn’t believe it when we first heard it because you know how church folk can gossip.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett  

I thought making love to the Sun was the most unendurable pain I would ever experience.

Star Mother by Charlie N. Holmberg

I skipped up the steps to Ava’s house, glaring at them as I went, not trusting that the boards would stay in place. 

Faery Odd-Mother
Witching After Forty Book 8
by Lia Davis and L.A. Boruff

For the tenth time, Kay nervously looks up at the departures hologram as we pass through security.

Hamartia by Raquel Rich

Dr Strauss says I shoud rite down what I think and remembir and evrey thing that happins to me from now on. 

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Hallelujah! One more consultation and I was free. 

Flowers, Felons, & Families 
The Magical Midlife Flower Farm Series Book 1
by Lucia Kuhl 

The full-bellied moon cast a silver sheen across Vateshram Forest, the shadows stark against their illuminated backdrop.

To Bleed a Crystal Bloom,
Crystal Bloom Book One
by Sarah A. Parker 

Are we crazy?” It wasn’t the first time I had asked that, and I doubted it would be the last time before we got to where we were going.

The Morning Flower: The Omte Origins
From the World of the Trylle
by Amanda Hocking 

Set it down there, on the back table I’m using for a workbench,” Mouser said. “What do you think of my new location?

Bits of Flower
EarthCent Metaverse Book 2
by E. M. Foner 

It is a good day.

My room is bright and all my toys are here, even the ones Mother thinks I’ve outgrown.

“Mother, Mother, will you play with Me?” by Seanan McGuire from
Mother of Invention: extraordinary short stories about gender
editors Rivqa Rafael and Tansy Rayner Roberts 

Their treads tucked tight to their bodies, their wings outspread, they headed north in tight formation.

The Mother Code by Carole Stivers

Two men monitored the operation from the safety their ground vehicle on a ridge twelve kilometers from the crater.

Mother of Mars
The Destin Chronicles Book 7
by D.M. Pruden 


There are no affiliate links in this post. I don’t make a cent off of the books listed on this page. Usually these titles are pulled at random. They are here for your enjoyment. And to entice you to buy more books.

Do You Want to Read More?

I have to say, I want to read many of these. Especially Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. It is one of my most memorable reads. I’ve put it on my list to re-read again—soon. 

Did you enjoy this list? Check out previous First Lines posts. Please take a moment to share in the comments below— Which ones spoke to you? Did you buy it?

Read Great Books, Watch Great Films

Read great books, watch great films. If the book has been made into a film, which do you do first? Do you read a book first or watch the movie? It’s an old question that pops up on the internet over and over. Does it matter? I believe it does, but my answer isn’t one or the other. Do both. Read first or watch first is purely an individual choice. My choice depends on the book or the movie.

Split image half is movie tickets and half is a stack of books with a cup of tea on to of it. Read great books-watch great films

Read the Book

photograph of a woman and child in bed, the woman is reading a book to the child--read great book-watch great movies

We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming, our own consciousness in someone else’s mind..

Anna Quindlen

Reading a great book is an experience unlike any other. The author’s words fill your head with sounds and pictures and people. But it’s not just the author’s words that paint those things. Your experiences, your world, inform how you interpret the words.

A book is usually a longer experience than a movie. You experience it in private, unless you are reading aloud to someone. Even then, it’s your life and your dreams coloring how you read the story. Which is why the movie disappoints you.

I’m always frustrated when somebody makes a movie out of a book and they leave the book behind, or the heart of it.

Sean Penn

The book tells the entire story and then some. There are subplots and details and far more story. Sean Penn calls it the heart of the book. Perhaps it is.

A great book needs a strong opening, compelling characters, a story that keeps you engaged from the first page through to the end, dialogue that sounds unique to each character, and a writing style that appeals to the reader. While that’s like movies, it’s not the same.

Watch the Movie

illustration of a reel-to-real movie camera--read great book, watch great movies

Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different.

Stephen King

Stephen King is right. Movies and books are different. As different as two different fruits. Books are based on words—a verbal media. Movies are based on images, moving images.

What makes a good book and what makes a good movie are totally different things.

Seth Grahame-Smith

What makes a good movie includes the script, the characters, the acting, the timing, the sound, and the visuals. All the parts have to work together to create a great storytelling experience.

Filmmaking is a completely imperfect art form that takes years and, over those years, the movie tells you what it is. Mistakes happen, accidents happen, and true great films are the results of those mistakes and the decisions that those directors make during those moments.

Jason Reitman

Read Great Books, Watch Great Films

Mr. Reitman is correct. But, I also have to say that writing books is also an imperfect art form that takes years. In the creation of a film or a book, mistakes are made. Sometimes, those are happy mistakes that result in great books or great films.

You can read the book first, then watch the film. Or watch the film first, then read the book. Either way, it’s very likely that you will find one or the other to be less than. Are you a more visual person? Or are you a more verbal person? Perhaps, like me, you enjoy both. 

I love to read great books, watch great films. Sometimes I read first. Sometimes I watch first. If it’s a great story—it doesn’t matter to me which comes first. Sometimes, I read a book and think I saw a movie. How about you? Do you have a preference? Do you know why? Tell us in the comments.