Monday, May 12, 2014

What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton

What Makes This Book So Great? by Jo Walton --- 446 pages

This collection of short essays were originally published as blog entries on between 2008 and 2011. The then new science fiction web site asked British-born Canadian Jo Walton to blog about her habit of reading and re-reading older science fiction and fantasy. Drawing on her omnivorous consumption of all kinds of books, from classics and cult favorites to books that vanished into (deserved) oblivion and titles that should have won awards and didn't, the book includes 125 of Walton's blog posts that generated lively discussions online.

Walton's generally brief and pithy comments on her favorite and occasionally unfavorite books and authors are intelligent, frequently provocative and always enthusiastic about the sheer joy that books and reading can bring to our lives. I particularly enjoyed her description of how repeated re-readings of favorite books and series of books connect with the reader's own life experiences to trigger insights that change the way one responds to the story.

And of course it doesn't hurt that we share a common regard --- not to say passion --- for certain authors!

Click HERE to check out another review of Walton's book --- and look for some of her own science fiction: her award-winning debut novel Tooth and Claw, the Small Change trilogy and her 2012 Hugo and Nebula Award winner, Among Others.

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