Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book Cycle and My New Favorite Book




Just when I thought I wouldn't find another book I loved, I found one. This is all part of a cycle--and I know it's a cycle so you would think I could wait it out until it hit the upswing again, but...it can be a long wait at times.

This is how it goes. I find a book I love and want to read again and again. Usually, I find two or three at once (it seems that good books come in groups). This inspires me to read more books in case I've managed to miss other good books. Because I'm still under the thrill of the good book, the fact that I'm reading some not so good books doesn't get me down. I keep thinking back to that good book. Wow. It was amazing. So I skim it again and keep searching for more. Sometimes, I feel so contented by the good book, I don't want or need to read another book for a while because I feel satisfied. I love that feeling.

Time passes. I'm still reading, but I start feeling disgruntled because I haven't found a truly good book. I get annoyed. I dread going to the library because when I do go, I can't seem to see anything but books I've already read, and hated. I go to bookstores, hoping that new releases will provide some comfort. The sense of dread only increases then, because...well, have you looked at the new releases in the young adult section of the bookstore? Disgusting. But, I still go, just in case.

And that's the source of my problem. I don't give up hope. I know there are authors out there who are putting out quality literature. Or, at least, I hope it so strongly that I convince myself it's true.

The next step in this cycle is that I find a really good book. It happens. It always has so far. Sometimes it's not even a new book, it's an old one that I've missed. No matter the means, inevitably, I find another good book.

Waiting for that moment is difficult because the timeline can stretch out indefinitely. And I'm not the best of waiters.

I've been in the dearth section of the cycle for a while now. So, two weeks ago, when I was in Town, I stopped by the library and started pulling books off the shelves. Anything that looked remotely readable. I narrowed the pile down to eight books, and left the rest for next time.

And it turns out that the first one of the eight that I read is...perfect. A gem of a book.

It's...a fairy tale. I think that's the best way to describe it. But, it's not a fairy tale you've ever heard before. There's the romance of a fairy tale (don't let the cover fool you-- it's not a bodice ripper, in fact, it's quite tame), a little adventure...but mostly, I love it because of the ideas it approaches, some of the truths it touches. You can read the synopsis on the front cover and decide if you're willing to give it a go. I hope that if you decide to read it, you enjoy it as much as I did.

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

2 comments:

Carrie Nation said...

I will have to follow your book suggestion. Have you ever read any books by Donna Jo Napoli? Lately I've been cycling through her books, and I've been enjoying them. (Funny story: apparently she's a linguist. I rarely read author biographies, but it's true. There I was reading one of her books, and Linus walked in to see what I was reading. "Hey, I have a book by her too!" he exclaimed.) So far I've read Daughter of Venice, which I really enjoyed, and Beast. You can tell she does her research. Daughter of Venice was historical fiction about a girl in that odd rank of lower-nobility that apparently couldn't marry off all the daughters. Very good. Beast is the most unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast that I've read. She tells it from the perspective of the Beast, starting with how he became a beast. Very well done I thought (although I will warn you that there's a bit about mating lions that's a little weird, but whatever).

Anyway, what I really wanted to say in this comment, several ramblings later, is that next time you get frustrated with young adult literature, you need to abandon the bookstores and the library and sit down and write your own. I think you'd do it very well. And I'm always up for that collaboration we once talked about many moons ago.

jamila said...

Yea!! I love it when you tell me about books I should read. I need to make a list of them. I'm still working on the Montgomery journal, and I LOVE it! And, thanks for calling. As long as I remember, I will call you in the morning.