New books! Glorious new books!
E.M. Forster's short story collection The Obelisk. First sentence: "Ernest was an elementary schoolmaster, and very very small; it was like marrying a doll, Hilda sometimes thought, and one with glass eyes, too."
Willy Vlautin's Lean on Pete. First sentence: "When I woke up that morning it was still pretty early."
J.C. Hallman's In Utopia: Six Kinds of Eden and the Search for a Better Paradise, nonfiction/uncorrected proofs, and The Hospital for Bad Poets, short stories/review copy. First sentences: "Utopia is in a bad way" and "The average man is not what he used to be."
Wendy Burden's memoir Dead End Gene Pool. First sentence: "It's a testament to his libido, if not his character, that Cornelius Vanderbilt died of syphilis instead a apoplexy."
And--squee!-- two copies of David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. I ordered the UK version months ago and received the US ARC after entering a drawing at Random House (I think). First two sentences: 'Miss Kawasemi?' Orito kneels on a stale and sticky futon.
What's your favorite first sentence of the lot?