Monday, May 16, 2011

Books! Books! Books!

I've discovered some of my favorite authors on complete accident.

Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry. The husband and I cruised to Alaska, and on the ship they had a "take one/leave one" book bin in the ship library. I'd read everything I'd packed by day five of our trip, so I thought I'd dig through there. People who travel to Alaska ought to have interesting reading material just by default (yielding to the adventurer's spirit and all of that jazz). I pulled this book out of the pile and chose it because it featured a big old truck on the cover. Reading this book reminded me how ignorant I am. If you ever need a good kick in the intellectual pants, pick up a Perry book. He's so clever and well written (although it feels more like "well spoken") and down to earth that it's humbling. It was a slow read written in a series of essays about his every day life and the people in it.

The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss. I show this book to people for the first time and their eyes roll back in their heads. It's like an old fashioned hard backed Encyclopedia Britannica. I hand it to anyone, everyone and say, "Just promise me that you'll go fifty pages before bailing out." That's because I know that it takes fifty pages to get deep enough in the quicksand of Kvothe's story that you're a goner. And the sequel Wise Man's Fears that's longer by almost a hundred pages? Well, the waiting list to borrow it out of my high school classroom is five deep and counting. And I think it exceeded the first. Rothfuss has done the unthinkable: he has made fantasy writing accessible to everyone, even people who pooh-pooh fantasy as the red-headed step child of the book store.

So, if anyone has good summer reads to recommend, I'm game.