. . . and A Book!

River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay Guess what’s coming in April? That’s right – another masterpiece by Canada’s BEST writer ever! I have read all his work and regularly re-read all of them, as there is always more to be found in their depths. I’m glad I don’t have to choose which world to inhabit permanently, as I’d be hard put to it to choose . . .

It’s been about two years since the last one (Under Heaven), so I’ve been suffering from withdrawal symptoms and have re-read most of them several times. (good thing I have a lot of favourite authors, isn’t it?) I’ve already reserved a copy of River of Stars at our local indie bookstore, which I love dearly (Audrey’s Books, if you are passing through Edmonton and need a book fix). That one will be a gift, so I have also put the title on hold at our library; I can only hope they will be purchasing this.

The library has downsized their books so drastically that I can no longer find most of the books I love (and love to re-read); whole sets of my favourite authors are no longer to be found. When this started, I would start to cry every time I went to the library (at least once a week in those days), as I saw the shelves with bigger and bigger spaces and then being taken down altogether. I miss my old favourites so much! Now I only go when Mum needs new reading material and mostly I read what I take out for her.

If you haven’t had the joy of discovering Kay’s work, I hope you will check them out soon. For me, “The Lions of Al-Rassan” stands as the greatest book about love, but not sentimental, Hollywood ‘love’; the real thing; with it’s hard choices, challenging recognitions, rewards, sacrifices and work. I could go on, but I won’t. This is a writer for thinkers. Ok, I’m stopping now. Except to say: if you do read some of his work, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it . . . oh, and I’m adding a link to the Bright Weavings website, in case any of you devour books at the same speed . . . I suppose I should apologize in advance for all ensuing addictions, but I won’t . . . better than chocolate, and that’s saying a lot!

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2 thoughts on “. . . and A Book!

    • Thanks, Karen. I think what’s happening is that they are moving to e-books, but that won’t work for me; for lots of reasons: I like the feel, smell and look of an actual book; I ‘do’ judge books by their cover. I love walking down the aisles to see what calls to me, saying ‘read ME, read ME!!’; I already have eye damage from years of working on computers and I just can’t see staring into a bright light every day for hours at a time. I’m still on the computer, obviously, but I don’t want to read on it, or on a hand-held; the idea of reading on a machine is so soul-deadening to me; I love especially to read before going to sleep, first thing in the morning and any time I wake up in the night (most nights), and if I fall asleep and the book falls on me, no harm done (usually!), but having a hard little ‘reader’ fall on my face is not my cup of tea. All that said, I would use a reader if I went on a several-month trip, as there’s no way I could pack enough books to last me that long.

      As to Kay, he is just amazing. Check out his website (he doesn’t do it himself, except for his journal about whatever he is currently writing; I’m grateful for that, as I want him to write more and soon!) I have a link to it on the blog now. His works are used as texts in New Zealand universities, I understand. He is never included, that I know of, in the list of authors considered for prizes such as the Man Booker Prize, as he is often classified as ‘fantasy’, but really, aren’t all novels fantasy? What he does is deeply research a particular area and era, then create his own world with cultures that are similar; if you know history, you will see so much more than just the story. For instance, ‘Tigana’ was based on Italy and its surroundings around the time of the Borgias. So you know to expect complex plotting and characters; he always surprises me, always! and I read a LOT and all too often can see where an author is heading with their plot. But not with Kay! I don’t know what you normally read, so it’s hard to recommend a particular book or set; but if you like a good love story (not sentimental, real love! with choices to be made and a recognition of what might have been, had things been different; love that is between husband and wife; between friends; parents and children; love for country and ruler; and more . . . and always the questions: ‘what happens when one love comes into conflict with another?’ and ‘how do we resolve this?’) then I highly recommend my own favourite, “The Lions of Al-Rassan”. It is set in a country analogous to Spain when there was conflict between the northern peoples and the Moors of northern Africa; the third set of people are similar to the ‘wandering Jews’. One of the main characters is a woman physician who uses what were then standard practises. I won’t say more about the story, but I will say this: don’t start it if you are working on anything with a deadline! or else expect to go sleepless . . . If you do get hold of one of his books (and if your library doesn’t have them, either order through your local bookstore or you will find them online, likely even on the second-hand book sites. Let me know what you think, no matter which you read.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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