Take My Camel, Dear : Favourite 1st Lines

Over the years I’ve fallen about laughing, been heart-broken, smiled, been intrigued, and rolled my eyes at the opening lines of books I’ve read.   Some are memorable like Jane Austen and a man ‘must be in want of a wife’, others are breath-taking like Dickens’ ‘it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’  And some who shall remain nameless were just plain bloody awful!

The following are just four of my many favourites; two quite recent and two from my past. The books are each very different from the other, cover very different genres, and I have loved each and every one of them.

Spread your reading wings and give them a try, and remember:

Kingsolver quote small


I knew it was time to move on when a tramp peed on my Uggs

Tamsyn Afterlife

Hilarious opener, and I can’t imagine many would want to miss this Teen novel by a great author.

My So-Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray

Lucy Shaw is 15 years old and trapped in the men’s toilets in Carnaby Street in London – for eternity – no-one can see or hear her. Trying to come to terms with her own death, she also suffers from dreadful loneliness – until Jeremy enters the loo.

I laughed, my heart ached, but this book was unputdownable. I’ve read it twice and each time it was in one sitting.

Fabulous – read it now.

Best offers :  Here   99p Kindle edition


“Take my camel, dear,” said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass.


Go on admit it – you’re intrigued. A camel?

Yes, a camel.

The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay

This high comedy and partly autobiographical novel, is about the experiences of an amusing group of people travelling from Istanbul to Trebizond. Dorothea ffoulkes-Corbett (Aunt Dot), a high church Anglican, is determined to emancipate the women of Turkey via conversion to Anglicanism and popularising the bathing hat. Her niece Laurie, our narrator, is far more interested in pursuing pleasure.

Read this many moons ago but the line just stuck with me and of course the book. I will admit it’s not everyone cup of tea, but I highly recommend it, so why not give it a go? Some cheap offers on Amazon, so it won’t break the bank.

And you can always donate the book to charity…..

Just read it, why don’t you..

Best offers: Here   paperback from £3.05 with free delivery

I celebrated my fifteenth birthday by burying my headmaster and emptying my bladder on the freshly turned earth. Best birthday present a boy could have.


I never knew how much I loved post-apocalyptic books until I met the author Scott Andrew at an event I organised. As he talked, I flipped this one open, and was instantly hooked. I have now read all the St Mark’s books in the Afterblight series.

School’s Out  (The Afterblight Chronicles) by Scott K. Andrews 

Some sort of virus or disease has wiped out most of the world’s population, or at least all those who are not Blood Type O Neg.  As you can imagine, mobs run rampant, and those left collect into a variety groups, imposing their own law and order. Lee Keegan has no choice but to stay at St Mark’s, his boarding school, where he and Jane Crowther one of the school’s Matrons, do what they can to protect the children inside with them. Others in the school start to behave like the bullies they are.  It’s a post-apocalyptic nightmare, where the worst excesses of mankind run riot.

I have also read quite a few of the other book. The series , which is written by several different authors, and I can see at least two sitting waiting for my return. If you liked the Hunger Games, Maze-Runner, Divergent series’, then its worth giving the Scott K Andrew Afterblight books a read.

Read read read

Best offers : Here £2.39 Kindle edition

There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.

Dawn Treader

Do I really need to say anything about CS Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia? Though I will make the point that the first book in the series ISN’T The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. That’s a very common misconception.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

A king and some unexpected companions embark on a voyage that will take them beyond all known lands. As they sail farther and farther from charted waters, they discover that their quest is more than they imagined and that the world’s end is only the beginning.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the fifth book in the series, and is as magical, fantastical, wonderous, and unforgettable as all the others. What I can tell you is that it can be read as a stand-alone, so there is no reason for you not to read it, is there? And if you like it then you should carry on the magical journey in the sixth book!

Go On. Read it.

Best offers : Here  £2.99 Kindle edition

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