My friends, both at work and in other circles, are kind enough to lend me books on a very regular basis. I know that when they lend me books, it is because that book impressed them, and they want to share the experience with me. This is what good friends do for each other.
That being said, a couple weeks ago, I was thrilled when I returned the last book I had borrowed, because it meant that for the first time in a long time, I was free to begin reading any book of my choosing. Now, I was an English major, and I am a writer, and a writer's best fuel is usually reading, so this means that my Goodreads "To read" list is always about 80 times as long as my "Read" list. There really isn't an end in sight to the list of stories that I want to crack open and devour.
But you have to start somewhere.
So I took a very graciously gifted bookstore gift card, headed down to said bookstore just as giddy as can be, and headed straight for my pre-selected targets.
Target #1 was: anything by Neil Gaiman. He seems to have a sort of mass appeal to the nerd/geek culture, and has admirers and fans among my very favorite authors. I wanted to be in on this. So I picked up The Graveyard Book, as recommended by Patrick Rothfuss (one of my favorite authors and creator of The Kingkiller Chronicles). And I am so glad I did.
Neil Gaiman's writing is not unlike that of the masterful Peter S. Beagle. It's cleverness catches you off guard, and it treats the fantastic as commonplace, which is very hard to pull off. They are writers that will never insult your intelligence by answering your questions. They will make you think about a subject in a totally novel way (no pun intended), and leave you to make sense of it on your own, if there is any sense to be made of it.
The Graveyard Book is about a baby boy whose family is murdered (I'm not telling you anything that can't be found on the back cover...) and wanders into an ancient graveyard, where he is adopted and then raised by a loving and diverse group of ghosts. It was the most original story I've read in a long time - there's only one other book I've read that was even remotely similar to it in premise, and that was by Peter S. Beagle. :) So, I heartily recommend The Graveyard Book. It is a quick read that I didn't want to put down - I finished it in a matter of hours.
Target #2 was: anything by Terry Pratchett, because Patrick Rothfuss, whose judgement I apparently trust without question, says that when he feels like giving up and never writing again, he reads Terry Pratchett. So naturally, I am making it my business to know what this is all about. Making Money is on my nightstand, waiting to be picked up this evening, so stay tuned...