Tales From A Hungry Life

May 29, 2014

Great Opening Lines

by Maria Schulz

A pick up line is a curious thing. If it’s done right, it can be romantic, intriguing, and amusing. If it’s done wrong, it can be painful, embarrassing and boring. Sometimes, the only way to get through them is to have a drink. Here are some examples:

It helps if you drink up

It helps if you drink up

“Have I died? Because you look like an angel.”

“It’s a good thing I have a library card, because I’m totally checking you out!”

“That must be jam, because jelly don’t shake like that.”

“Do your legs hurt? Because you’ve been running through my dreams all night!”

“You’re so beautiful I forgot my pick up line.”

“I’m no photographer, but I can picture us together.”

A great pick up line makes you stop for a minute and really listen to what the other person has to say. I have experienced pick up lines in my day, although mine are usually just the opening lines to a great book. When an author gets it right, they can grab your heart and mind. Sometimes, the line is so good that it becomes one of those things you will never forget.

The American Book Review actually compiled 100 Best Lines. It’s fun to read through to see if your favorites are on there; some of mine were, but not all of them.

I love a good book, so I have a few favorites of my own. Here’s my list…

Also a great movie (which was banned)

Also a great movie (which was banned)

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.” –Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

I wrote about this book in my post, Summer Reading. There’s something about my Catholic school upbringing that draws me to books that are on the banned list. Although I didn’t understand the book completely the first time I read it (I had to keep a dictionary by my side), it just gets better and better over time.

“I heard the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.” –Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Loved the movie too.

Loved the movie too.

Sorry if this gives you flashbacks to High School English, but Ethan Frome is one of my all-time favorites. I can still hear Mr. Brodsky asking, “what’s the significance of the empty pickle jar?”

“Call me Ishmael.”—Moby Dick by Herman Melville

I didn’t love this book, but “Call me Ishmael!” is one of my favorite lines to blurt out at random times.

Ooooh...a secret

Ooooh…a secret

“It was all because of the Berlin Wall. If it weren’t for the Berlin Wall, Celia wouldn’t have found the letter, and then she wouldn’t be sitting here, at the kitchen table, willing herself not to tear it open.” The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.

Ooooh….what’s in the letter? I’ve got to know!

“I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem. As with so many scientific breakthroughs, the answer was obvious in retrospect. But had it not been for a series of unlikely events, it is doubtful I would have discovered it.” The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I thought this book was hysterical. As soon as I heard about the “Wife Problem,” I was hooked.

The Rosie Project

“On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at 5:30 in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on.” –Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Wow. I bet he would’ve slept in if he’d have known.

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

“Here is what I know.

My name is Budo.

I have been alive for five years.

Five years is a very long time for someone like me to be alive.

Max gave me my name.

Max is the only human person who can see me.

Max’s parents call me an imaginary friend.

I love Max’s teacher, Mrs. Gosk.

I do not like Max’s other teacher, Mrs. Patterson.

I am not imaginary.”

Memoirs of An Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks

You had me at “My name is Budo.”

“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a bit of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.”—The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

This person sounds a lot like every teenager I know…except maybe for the preoccupation with death. Why is she thinking so much about death? Tell me more!


“Later, when memory was all she had to sustain her, she would come to cherish it: Old Honolulu, as it was then, as it would never be again.”—Molokai by Alan Brennert

Why does she only have memory to sustain her? What happened? I have to know.

“She’s waking up.”—The Last Letter to Your Lover by Jo Jo Moyes

the last letter from your lover

Why is she asleep? Again, I have to know.

“They say that God answers all prayers. So why is my father’s house burning to the ground?” –Tales From a Hungry Life: A Memoir with Recipes by Maria Schulz


Now available on amazon.com

Now available on amazon.com

Wait…there was a fire? What happened? Did anyone get hurt? Yes, I wrote, rewrote, and then rewrote my opening line again. My goal was to place the reader right there beside me, as my childhood home burned.

I hope my pickup line works!


Grilled Pizza with Proscuitto, Arugula and Lemon

Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Lemon Photo: Anna Williams; Styling: Pam Morris

Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Lemon
Photo: Anna Williams; Styling: Pam Morris

This recipe is perfect for a quick, delicious, and easy family dinner or for your next book club meeting.

So…what’s the best pickup line you ever heard? Which opening line made you hungry for more? Does your book club love to eat (mine does)? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!



  1. I wish I could remember the opening line to any book and quote like you, but I can not. What I can do is remember one pick up line that impressed me but turned out to be not what I expected. I was in Elephas and this guy comes up to me and says, ” I saw you on the dance floor and want to buy you a drink but I need to talk to my friend. Here’s money, order yourself something” He hands me a wad of money. So I thought, ooooh he’s rich!! Now, I don’t know if he thought I was a big drinker or not but I should’ve yelled, ” drinks for everyone! It’s from that fool talking to his friend!”. I did not keep his money and looking back and after dating him for 2 years I realize now it must’ve been all singles.

    Comment by Suzanne — May 29, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Reply

  2. Did it hurt?
    When you fell from heaven.

    Comment by Paula — May 29, 2014 @ 9:23 am | Reply

  3. Even truer today: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

    Comment by thedailypeeve — May 29, 2014 @ 9:31 am | Reply

  4. Some of Maya Angelou’s greatest lines as chosen by The Guardian could work as pick up lines…or openers for that matter. 🙂

    Comment by Doreen Moran — May 29, 2014 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

  5. Not being an avid reader most of this post left me with the feeling that I should have been. But I wasn’t and won’t ever be. However This is not to say I don’t remember quotes. “But we’ll always Have Paris.”. This is the reverse of a pick-up line more what I would term a break up line. My best pick up line when I was young(er) and bar hopping was simply, “Hi my name is Lou and I’d love to get to know you. Let’s have a drink and see where it leads.” some responses were great other’s not so but at least there wasn’t a lot of time wasted before we both stayed or moved on. The best break-up line used by a cad so long ago, “I love you but have no future and you deserve the best which I clearly am not so we have to stop seeing each other.” Everyone goes away feeling good the girl isn’t rejected and the guy is free of any encumberances.

    Comment by Bglou — May 29, 2014 @ 1:42 pm | Reply

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