Is there anything better than curling up with a good book on a cold winter day? Escape into the pages as you absorb every word the author has so painstakingly thought of?
Can you predict how it will all turn out? Will the hero beat his enemies and get the girl? Or is it all in vain as the forces of evil overcome the good and chaos reigns?
That's what books do, don't they? They help us to let our imagination run wild. They put it right in the same situations with our heroes as we fight off the assassin or lovely kiss the heroine as the sun sets behind a beautiful mountain.
And over the centuries, authors have continued to regale us with tales that sometimes are difficult to read and take in; such is their brutality. We have to be thankful that authors of the caliber of Ernest Hemingway, Herman Melville, J.R.R. Tolkien, and many, many others have honed their craft to entertain us!
And when you get to the end of your favorite book and read that last line, a little bit of disappointment sets in. Did it all have to be over so quickly? But to the task at hand. Could you identify a book from its last line or paragraph?
Let's see if you can get 35 out of 35!
Publish on June 26, 1930, "Gone with the Wind" was written by Margaret Mitchell. The title is taken from an Ernest Dowson poem and the novel is basically a coming of age story for Scarlett O'Hara, the main protagonist. "Gone with the Wind" was turned into a Hollywood blockbuster with the same title just a few years later.
Published in 2002, "The Lovely Bones" is written by Alice Sebold. An international bestseller, it tells the story of a young girl, who after she is raped and murdered, watches her family deal with their grief from heaven. A film adaptation followed in 2009, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Mark Wahlberg.
Published in 1902, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is part of the "Sherlock Holmes" series written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This book ranked at 128th in the top 200 books ranked the BBC's "Big Read" in 2003.
Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote "Anne of Green Gables" in 1906. It tells the story of Anne Shirley, an orphan sent to live with two live with a middle-aged brother and sister where she helps out on their farm. It is considered a children's classic with over 50 million copies sold.
A novel by Helen Fielding, "Bridget Jones’s Diary" was published in 1996. It tells the story of Bridget Jones, a single woman living in London, England and revolves mostly around her love life. Following its publication, the book sold two million copies in a decade and was turned into a very successful movie.
There is no doubting that J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time. And it all started with "The Hobbit." Published in 1937, this story brought the world of hobbits, elves, dwarves, dragons, and wizards to life. But Tolkien's Middle Earth was so much more in-depth than a children's tale, which he showed with his later books.
Written by Ernest Hemingway in Cuba in 1951, "The Old Man and the Sea" won the author the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 as well as the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. Essentially, it is a short story, coming in at 127 pages long.
A work of historical fiction, "Memoirs of a Geisha" was written by Arthur Golden and published in 1997. A movie followed in 2005, which was nominated for six Academy Awards. It won three of them, for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design.
Written by George Orwell and published in 1949, "Nineteen Eighty Four" also called "1984" is set in the future. It tells the story of Winston Smith who starts to rebel in a world where everything is controlled by Big Brother and the Thought Police. This novel regularly makes Top 100 lists.
A brilliant children's novel, "Charlotte's Web" was penned by E.B. White and published in 1952. At the turn of the 21st century, the book was recognized by Publishers Weekly as the best selling children's soft cover book of all time. A film version of the book was released in 1973.
A swashbuckling tale of true love, pirates, giants and more, "The Princess Bride" by William Goldman was published in 1973. Loved by many, the book gained even wider appeal when it was turned into a movie in 1987, for which Goldman wrote the screenplay himself.
Published in 1995, "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells is a follow up to a previous work, "Little Altars Everywhere." A film adaptation of the book followed in 2002.
Set in a future England where violence reigns, "A Clockwork Orange" was written by Anthony Burgess and published in 1962. It regularly features on Top 100 English novel lists, including that of Time Magazine. A movie adaption with Malcolm McDowell and directed by Stanley Kubrick was released in 1972.
A true classic, "A Tale of Two Cities" was written by Charles Dickens and was published in 1859. It starts with one of the most recognized sentences in literature, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
Irish author Bram Stoker saw his novel, "Dracula," published in 1897. It took some time for it to be a success but never brought Stoker significant amounts of money. Of course, "Dracula" lead to a host of movies, and by 2009, 217 different films featuring the vampire Count had been made.
As with most classic novels, "The Color Purple" led to a Hollywood blockbuster. The book itself was published in 1982. Written by Alice Walker, it won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction the very next year.
"Brokeback Mountain" was originally published in 1997 as a short story by Annie Proulx. She extended it in 1999 where it was published in a collection of her short stories. This publication was nominated as a finalist in the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction category in 2000. Adapted for the screen, the movie "Brokeback Mountain" starred Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Written by Louisa May Alcott, "Little Women" was first published in the 1860s and in two separate volumes. Loosely based on the lives of the author and her three sisters, it follows them as they grow up into women. Both volumes were a massive success, which led to another book, "Good Wives."
Can you believe that it was almost 120 years ago that L. Frank Baum dreamt up "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz?" It tells the story of Dorothy, whisked away to the Land of Oz where she meets a range of characters. Interestingly, in further publications, it is simply known as "The Wizard of Oz."
Published in 2005, "The Book Thief" comes from the pen of Australian author, Markus Zusak. Not only did a film adaptation follow in 2013, but the book was such a success, it was translated into several languages. The book is set in Nazi Germany before World War II.
One of the earliest novels to focus on issues facing women, "The Awakening" was published in 1899. It was written by Kate Chopin and although not banned, it was heavily censored as it was thought to be immoral.
Published in 1996, "The Beach" is set in Thailand and tells the story of a backpacker's search for an isolated beach, away from the tourist trappings of the country. In 2000, Danny Boyle directed the film adaptation which starred Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Harry Potter series was an incredible success for author J.K. Rowling and turned her into a multi-millionaire. Each book in the series also became a Hollywood blockbuster starring Daniel Radcliffe.
Horror stories do not get much older than Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," first published in 1818 when she was just 20 years old. Although it is a horror, many experts believe it also contains many science fiction angles, one of the earliest examples of this.
Richard Adams, the author of "Watership Down," saw his first novel rejected by many publishing houses. But he persevered and eventually, in 1976, his story about a group of rabbits was published. It lead to an animated film as well as a TV series.
Now a successful TV series, "The Handmaid's Tale" was written by Margaret Atwood and published in 1985. It was nominated for a range of awards including a Booker Award.
A tale of revenge, "Moby Dick" was published in 1851. Now recognized as a classic, it was a relative failure after it was published and even out of print when Melville died.
First published in 2003, "The Kite Runner" is set in Afghanistan and focuses on a young boy, Amir, as he grows up through the Russian invasion and other tumultuous events in Afghanistan's history. It was written by Khaled Hosseini.
A story of migrant farm workers set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, "Of Mice and Men" was published in 1937. It was written by John Steinbeck and was based on his experiences growing up.
Released in 2003, "The Devil Wears Prada" was written by Lauren Weisberger. It was a massive seller and was on the New York Times best seller list for sixth months. Naturally, a film adaptation followed, starring Meryl Streep.
Written by the prolific Stephen King, "The Green Mile" was published in 1996 and tells the story of a prison warder and an inmate. It was first released in six volumes but eventually was made into a full book. A movie adaptation with Tom Hanks was released in 1999.
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Jeffrey Eugenides was first published in 2002. Over four million copies have been sold worldwide. The novel is loosely based on the author's life or characters in it.
A book that deals with the topic of AIDS as well as the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, "A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali" was published in 2000. It is the first novel of author Gil Courtemanche.
It took Joseph Heller eight years to write "Catch 22." A satire, this novel often uses a third person viewpoint in the writing. It is considered by many literary experts to be a true classic of 20th-century novel writing. "Catch 22" is set in World War II.
Written by William Golding, "Lord of the Flies" tells the story of a group of children who are are stranded on an uninhabited island and how their behavior changes without adult supervision as they try to govern themselves. It regularly features on Top 100 novel lists including those of Time magazine and the BBC.