Answers and Winners for the First-Ever HP First Lines Quiz

The results are in for the first ever Herald Press first lines quiz. (See this post for the questions.) Thanks to all of you who entered your answers to this quiz. The two randomly chosen winners are: Deanna Risser and Elvesta Hochstedler. Congratulations to Deanna and Elvesta! Each will receive a free copy of a Herald Press book that appeared in the quiz.

And now, for all of you who participated and all of you who didn’t: here are the answers to the first lines quiz. No one except MennoMedia staff got all of the answers correct. But several folks got eight or nine out of ten, which isn’t bad at all. See how you did:

1. Mother eyed me critically as I blew my nose and mopped up the drippings in an overworked hankie.





2. Among the cookbooks on the pantry shelf at home there has always been the little hand-written notebook of recipes.

Mennonite Community Cookbook





3. Brass samovars of sweet, milky tea mark the quarter of Peshawar, Pakistan, that has long been called Qissa Khwani, or the “storytellers’ bazaar.”

Making Friends among the Taliban


4. Ever since I was little, I wanted to be big.






5. Cutting back sounds like a dismal prospect. “Let’s splurge, just this once” appeals more to American and Canadian ears.

More-with-Less Cookbook





6. Thirty-seven percent is a comfortable humidity level, a great batting average if you’re a baseball player. If it’s a grade on a test, it is not . . . so great.

Laughter is Sacred Space





7. I actually killed a cactus once. I mean, really: who kills a cactus?

Ordinary Miracles

(This one was a trick question! Ordinary Miracles releases in March…)




8. It was a mismatch from the start–being born with a nature that just did not fit into my Amish culture.

Bonnet Strings





9. “The Anabaptists are back!” announced an American author a few years ago in a book.

The Naked Anabaptist





10. Anna Stutzman sank into her rocking chair as the last rays of the midsummer sun dimmed on the Kansas horizon.

Tobias of the Amish





So no matter how you did, pat yourself on the back if you participated in this first-ever Herald Press first lines quiz. And resolve to increase your score next time by reading more Herald Press books!

ValerieWeaverZercher Valerie Weaver-Zercher is managing editor of Herald Press trade books.





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.