The First-Ever Herald Press First Lines Quiz

I had just sat down to work on this blog post when the telephone rang.  “Tomorrow schools will be operating on a two-hour delay,” the school district superintendent’s cheerful recorded voice intoned. He had called the night before, telling me that school was cancelled for that day. Did I mention that tonight we’re under a winter storm warning, with forecasters predicting that tomorrow morning’s commute will be “severely impacted”? While I’m not a fan of verbed nouns, I got the forecasters’ drift.

Just another January in socked-in central Pennsylvania. Between delays and cancellations, it’s enough to drive a parent to distraction. The upside of all of this is that we’ve been reading a lot around my house: books like The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis for all of us, and Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber for me. Both of these books have memorable first lines.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

And Pastrix: “S–t,” I thought to myself, “I’m going to be late for New Testament class.”

These first lines got me thinking about the first lines of Herald Press books. So in the interest of sanity and fun distraction for stir-crazy, snowbound folks like me–and anyone else, no matter where you live–I decided to scrap my plans for a regular blog post and create a little quiz. Here’s how it works: fill out the form below with your best guess as to which first lines from a Herald Press book matches which titles. Submit the form by noon on Monday, February 10, and be entered into a drawing to receive a free Herald Press book. Two winners will be notified and will receive the Herald Press book of their choice that appears on one of the drop-down menus in the quiz (if it’s not out of print). And it doesn’t even matter how well you do on the quiz itself; just submitting the form enters you in the drawing. Check back here on Wednesday, February 12 to find out the right answers. Oh, and going to your bookshelf or using Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature isn’t allowed.

So refrain from cheating and have fun! Check back here on Wednesday, February 12 to find out how you did. Meanwhile, I’ll be opening random books on my shelf to taste delectable first lines–and waiting for our nightly phone call from the superintendent.

ValerieWeaverZercher Valerie Weaver-Zercher, managing editor, Herald Press

P.S.: As always, you can find all Herald Press titles for sale here. And in addition to filling out the form, you can think about this: what’s your favorite opening line from a book? Write it in a comment below.

7 thoughts on “The First-Ever Herald Press First Lines Quiz

  1. Great first sentence from the chapter ” Angler’s Dictionary” in the book Rubber Legs and White Tail-Hairs by Patrick F. McManus: “Wicker Creel: This is a lively folk dance often performed by a fisherman on the occasion of slipping the point of a No. 4 hook under a fingernail.”

  2. I enjoyed this little quiz. So I submitted my answers. But please don’t give me any prizes if I win.

    I also empathize with all parents of young children this winter!

    Lo, the winter will at last be past, the flowers will burst forth, the song of the birds will once again be heard in the land, and all the children will go to school!

  3. Thanks for taking the quiz, Shirley! We’re bracing for more snow around here tomorrow. Maybe I’ll need to have my kids help me make another quiz…

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