Book Truths: Which book do you keep going back to?
There's nothing we readers like more than discussing the books that we've read. Love them or loathe them, we want to pull them apart, put them back together and keep them in neat little piles in our minds, ready for discussion whenever a situation arises.
We know that you love to discuss books just as much as we do - and that's why we've created a whole new place for you to tell us about the books that you've read!
Book Truths is a space for you to tell us all about the books that you love, the books that you loathe and all the books in between. What's your favourite opening line ever? What's the strangest book you've ever read? What book should have been made into a film but hasn't been?
Each month, we'll set a prompt for you, like the examples above, and you can answer the question in 150 words or more. We'll pick three of our favourites and each one will win a book selected by the Scottish Book Trust team. You don't have to be a great writer or to have read hundreds of books; simply tell us what you think in at least 150 words, and we'll look forward to reading your thoughts! Below are examples of what we're looking for.
Next month, we want you to answer this question:
Which book do you keep going back to?
Simply answer this question in at least 150 words, and we'll pick three of our favourites to win a book each. The book will be chosen by the judging team.
To submit your Book Truth, please email email@example.com
You can submit one entry per month. Please read the terms and conditions carefully before entering.
Entries for this month are open until Wednesday 15 April (midnight). Entries received after the deadline may not be accepted.
Due to the high volume of entries received we are unable to give feedback.
Three winners will be picked by the Scottish Book Trust team and each will receive a book picked by the team.
If you have any questions about the competition, please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
What's your favourite opening line?
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
“The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.”
This is the first line from Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls, and what’s not to love about this opening? You don’t want to know my thoughts about this beautiful line, you just want to read it again, wonder, and then read the book. And the book doesn’t disappoint – it’s every bit as enchanting and powerful as its beginning. I’ve never thought about personal demons as things that ‘show up’ until I read this line and realised that yeah, that’s what they do – they don’t come crashing into people’s lives with a fanfare, they just show up and hang around until we face them.
Chris Leslie, Schools Resource Developer
Lolita - Vladimir Nabakov
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta.”
There aren’t many first lines that tickle the back of your neck and make goosebumps appear on the skin of your arms. This opening line, however, does more than hook you in. This line sings in your ear. It makes you feel feelings that you’d tried to forget, or ones that you ended up losing. It makes you ache with the knowledge of what it means to have another person existing as your very soul – and it makes you say the name of the protagonist’s girl, as you tap your tongue on the tip of your teeth to say that name: Lo-lee-ta.
That line is a 3-sentence love poem; a song. Say it out loud and you’ll hear that it has music. It is a micro-story, crafted to perfection. Turn back to the first page of Lolita when you’ve finished the last and you’ll realise that all the information about the protagonist is there, presented on a plate as soon as the book is opened. His sin. His fire. His dark, awful soul.
Heather Parry, Website Editor
Slaugherhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
"All this happened, more or less."
Kurt Vonnegut’s novels deal with the often blurry line between reality and what we perceive as reality, and Slaughterhouse-Five is the best (and most-loved) example of that. This opening line is so fantastic because it sets up the whole novel as something that is real but at the same time not quite real – which is exactly how his characters experience what happens to them.
It’s difficult to write about post-traumatic stress, the atrocities of war, time travel and metaphysics in a way that’s not too heavy, but Vonnegut manages to do that. Sometimes reality is hard to accept, and sometimes fantasy is easier to hide in. For Vonnegut, this is okay – and the opening line of Slaughter-House Five is his attempt to tell you that it’s alright to hide in non-reality sometimes.
Claire Marchant-Collier, Writer Development Coordinator