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100 Best First Lines of Novels

I loved this list. Not only was it nice to revisit some of my own favorite first lines, but I found my appetite whetted by some unfamiliar ones.

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Inside a dog’s world

An excerpt from a new book by Alexandra Horowitz. The hidden gem of this take on the psychology of dogs is that it brings more insight into human nature than dogginess. Examining the animal psyche in contrast with our response to it is an enlightening journey into the human condition.

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Last Grandson of an Emperor

Because he considered himself a citizen of the Ottoman Empire, he refused to carry the passport of any country. Instead, he traveled with a certificate devised by his lawyer.

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Remembrances of Things Proust

Greatness inspires greatness. Love inspires love. And truth demands the truth. A strikingly beautiful memoir of a great artist, reviewed the way I wish more books were.

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Letters of Note

A fascinating new site devoted to letters, notes and other correspondence of historical or cultural significance. Initial entries include a letter from FDR to the commissioner of baseball, the Lindbergh ransom note and an achingly beautiful note written by Churchill, to be delivered to his wife in the event of his death.