The Joy of Discovering

…especially when it comes to reading.

Hello, everyone. Sorry for the unintended break I took around Thanksgiving, but now I am back.

Don’t we love it when we discover something new? When an astronomer elates at the finding of a new planet; when a zoologist runs across a new species of animal; when readers find a quality author or book overlooked by almost everyone else; when writers trip over a new idea that takes over their thoughts until they get it down on paper, only to see it grow and spread; when a pleasant surprise shows up at your door. These and millions of other moments of discovery help awaken a person to a world that is still full of wonder. Discovery, of course, is a powerful drive, and in many cases is best pursued for its own sake.

In the case of reading, I have discovered a few novels in recent months, through varying circumstances, that have been quickly growing on me. Some have caught the attention of hundreds, or even thousands, of others before I finally got to them. Slow reader that I am, I haven’t finished most of these, but you can bet I will see them through to the end, and keep an eye on the authors for any future books.

China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station is the biggest surprise I’ve had in my recent reading, a quirky and intense novel that deftly blends science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and horror into a sprawling but self-consistent tapestry. I’ve only gotten through 40% of his long, complex, gritty novel, but Mieville has already blown me away. I don’t want this book to end. Oh well. At least when that final page is regretfully turned, like taking the last bite of a feast for kings, there will be a number of other books he has written that I will soon devour. Soon.

Per the recommendation of several friends, I have finally read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. And I can see why it has picked up so much steam. The book is an awesome hybrid of dystopian sci-fi, Lord of the Flies, and even a dash of Ender’s Game. It’s a fast-paced read, especially given its present-tense prose, and it left me with a thirst for more. As soon as possible, I will have my hands around the second book, and I look forward to the movie coming out in March.

I’ve just crossed the halfway point of Hilari Bell’s The Last Knight, one of three books in a series that I won as door prizes a few weeks ago. It did have a bit of a slow start as I recall, but it is still a quality story. It’s kind of a murder mystery for YA fantasy, about a man taking on the calling of knighthood in a fantasy world that has long abandoned the concept, and his reluctant squire who slowly befriends his “lord” and actually wants to stick around. And I look forward to finishing it, and getting through Bell’s other two books.

In the meantime, I’ve got my own novel to build. Which is especially important since I have missed some personal deadlines I set for it. Time is of the essence. See you soon, friends. Whatever words and worlds you craft in your writing, may they never cease. Thanks for your time.

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