Megan Kass, reference services, answers five questions about books and reading ~
Book you most want to read again for the first time: The first time I read BattleAxe by Sara Douglass was in England when I was travelling as part of a tour group. I read it in a hurry and wasn’t really focusing on the content, so I feel I missed something. When I came back to the US, I discovered that the book was not yet available here, as often Australian novels are published in Europe before America (who knew?). When BattleAxe finally was printed in the US, it was published under the series name The Wayfarer Redemption, rather than the singular title BattleAxe. This marketing ploy left me wary of what else the publishers may have changed, so I have yet to reread it.
A favorite childhood book: My favorite childhood book was Colors in the Dreamweaver’s Loom by Beth Hilgartner. This is a book that has been overlooked for far too long. I found it in this library when I was browsing the shelves, and I admit, I was attracted by the colorful cover. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Beth Hilgartner created a unique alternate universe that bumped into ours in the sequel, The Feast of the Trickster.
Book assigned in school that turned out to be really good: I was forced to read Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko as part of a general humanities class. Most of the books the teacher assigned were the gut wrenching, wrist slitting, depressing kind, so when I picked up Ceremony I was incredibly nervous. It started off slow and like a typical school read, but as the main character, a Native American Vietnam War veteran, developed it became increasingly obvious that his world view was totally alien to my own. What was so great about a different perspective? I couldn’t predict the characters actions or how the plot would unfold. In a world where everything is a remake of something else, it’s always a pleasant surprise when you find a book that can really shock you and change the way you think. It can definitely make you a better person.
Guilty pleasure: I feel guilty admitting I’ve become an addict of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. I watched the TV series and enjoyed it, so I figured I’d give the books a shot. Lo and behold, these books were nothing like what I’ve ever read before. I am a fan of the long winded epic fantasy novels – the more pages and the longer it takes me to read it, the better. Each Dresden File took about a day to read and it was non-stop action from start to finish. My initial review of the series was “fast food”: a book you read quickly, tastes good and you walk away from feeling satisfied. Several of the books were even New York Times Bestsellers – something I normally consider way too mainstream
Book you feel you should read but haven’t yet: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I liked the many movie versions, whether they were accurate reenactments, like the Colin Firth version, or remixes, like Bridget Jones’s Diary, so I really feel I should read the book. I should especially read it if I ever want to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith.