It’s a truth universally acknowledged that writing openings is hard. One might say it is the best of times and the worst of times.
Alright, alright, I’ll stop. But even putting aside wordplay, openings are difficult, whether you’re dealing with fiction or nonfiction. That’s why I thought it’d be fun (and educational) to analyze the openings of my top-rated books to 1) see examples of techniques that hook readers from the first sentences and 2) see that great stories don’t always have the greatest openings.
You know the old saying about quality over quantity? It came to mind as I reviewed my Goodreads list at the end of 2020 and realized I only read 7 books that year (8, if you count a re-read). By bookworm standards, that’s rather paltry. Even by my slow-reading standards, it’s minuscule! But this is the first year—perhaps ever—that all my reads were at least rated four-star. All about perspective, hrm? So, without more delay, here’s an overview of my year in books.