2010's opening lines: Mix and match

Can you identify a life from the opening lines of a memoir? Here's your chance to find out.

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    Which opening line is from punk rock icon Patti Smith's memoir, "Just Kids"?
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Below are three excerpts from the first pages of bestselling memoirs by rock stars. Each one was published in 2010. There are also three excerpts from the recent memoirs of well-known people from the world of politics.
 Can you match the intros to the authors? The answers are below.


1. "Why did we stop at the 4-Dice Restaurant in Fordyce, Arkansas for lunch on Independence Day?"

2. "What I remember is the glass. It was a big, solid pane, much bigger than our little rectangles at home, which sat perched one on top of the other. I can still picture that window and the way it seemed to float on the wall without any curtains or wood. Beyond the window was the nursery, where they kept the babies. I don't remember looking at a baby."

3. "At some point in our lives, all of us ultimately arrive at a moment when we are somehow compelled to look back and consciously reflect on the life we have led."

4. "When I was very young, my mother took me for walks in Humboldt Park, along the edges of the Prairie River. I have vague memories, like impressions on glass plates, of an old boathouse, a circular band shell, an arched stone bridge. The narrows of the river emptied into a wide lagoon and I saw upon its surface a singular miracle. A long curving neck rose from a dress of white plumage."

5. "By all accounts, my parents approached the time of my birth with great anticipation. My father was certain that I'd be a boy and had worked out a deal with my mother: if the baby was a girl, she would name her, but a boy would be named John."

6. "It was a simple question. 'Can you remember the last day you didn't have a drink?' "


a. "Me," by Ricky Martin

b. "Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me," by Condoleezza Rice

c. "Just Kids," by Patti Smith

d. "Decision Points," by George W. Bush

e. "Life," by Keith Richards

f. "Spoken from the Heart," by Laura Bush

Randy Dotinga is a freelance writer in San Diego.

Join the Monitor's book discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

1. e (Richards), 2. f (Laura Bush), 3. a (Martin), 4. c (Smith), 5. b (Rice), 6. d (George W. Bush)

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