I got a particularly nice tip at the day job this morning. I had a few free hours between deliveries, so I did a few of my favorite things: ate at Chipotle, got coffee at Elixr, and went book shopping with a bit of that hard-earned cash. Here’s what I got.
John Green – Paper Towns
This is to be my first John Green novel, and two chapters in I’m already intrigued. I was actually trying to find Looking for Alaska, but the problem with an author’s books being all over store displays is that it can actually be harder to find them when you’re looking for something particular. I’ve intentionally not read the back of the book in hopes of having as few expectations as possible going into it, and I’m eager to see how the story takes shape. I can say already, though, that Green’s prose is far better than anything I’ve read recently in YA and is full of why-didn’t-I-think-of-that turns of phrase.
Kristin Cashore – Graceling
I’ve read a good bit of popular YA speculative fiction recently that I haven’t liked nearly as much as I’d hoped I would. I try not to be tactless in talking about such books, especially given that there’s a big overlap between their fans and my own target audience. But suffice to say I’m looking for a woman writer in contemporary YA who I can really get behind. A friend recommended this novel to me, and I’m hoping it’ll become a new love.
Neil Gaiman – American Gods
Many of my friends are hardcore Gaiman fans. I recently read Neverwhere and liked it but wasn’t blown away; I’ve heard American Gods is a better display of his prowess. It breaks my short book rule for the summer, but that’s what rules are for, right? If it’s as good as people keep telling me, I’ll whip through it.
William Gibson – Neuromancer
As a slow reader, I can’t help but have some pretty big holes in my survey of a given genre. After reading Dune a couple years ago and Hitchhiker’s Guide last month (both at the urging of good friends), the next authors on my path to sci-fi competence are Asimov, Philip K. Dick, and most immanently Gibson. I’ve been meaning to get to his most celebrated novel since reading “Burning Chrome” years ago, and this summer I’ll finally have at it.
Before the summer ends I’m also hoping to read Slaughter-House Five, more Douglas Adams, more David Mitchell, and maybe more by the above authors if any of these novels really floor me. Beyond that (if my slow slow reading pace takes me beyond that), I’d love suggestions!