Work, writing, and church are all going better now. Which means reading is down. Nevertheless, I ought to post about the last couple of books I read.
The Eye of the World
by Robert Jordan
Published by Tor Fantasy, 1990
My good friend Helena has been raving about the Wheel of Time series for pretty much as long as I've known her. I've actually tried to pick it up before, but I could never find the first book at any library. I assumed this was because they were so incredibly popular. Turns out, the Houston Public Library does not have the first book in the WoT series, so I ILL'ed it from Richmond, TX.
Very long, fantastic novel. I thoroughly enjoyed just about every element of it. The characters are clearly its strongest point, in my opinion, and the characters are generally the most important part of any story, fiction or non, in my mind. The book is amazingly clean, especially for a fantasy novel. I've become so accustomed to reading crass language or explicit sex scenes that I was a little discombobulated to pick up a GOOD novel for grown-up people with none of that. So, A+, late Robert Jordan.
Interestingly, there was nothing about this book that made my jaw absolutely drop. It was just a remarkably solid effort the whole way through. I found no glaring weaknesses and very few weaknesses at all. It's long (670 pages, and they are DENSE pages) but constantly engaging, and things happen at a pretty quick pace, which is also a plus for me.
If you're looking for a good epic fantasy adventure that you can commit a sizable amount of time to, Eye of the World looks to be a pretty good place to start. (I'd probably be able to write in better detail, but I actually finished this book something like three weeks ago)
The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh
by A. A. Milne
Collects Winnie-the-Pooh and The House on Pooh Corner
Dutton Children's Books, 1994
(Original books published 1926 & 1928)
Yes, these pages are large type and some of them have pictures, but with Eye of the World ahead of it, I'm pretty sure it all evens out ;-)
I'm playing Winnie-the-Pooh in a children's play right now and picked this up as research. Turns out, it is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. It's so charming and innocent yet chocked full of child-like wit and whimsy. You can really sense the love between the narrator and his own son, Christopher Robin, in the voice and the action of each individual story. As a father who makes up stories about zoo bears for his own son every night before bed, I freely admit that I started to tear up over the end of Pooh Corner, where Christopher Robin takes Pooh to a special place where they can always play and explore together, "no matter what happens" as life goes on.
Really, this book is just wonderful. The characters, the stories, the language, the miscommunications, the hijinks...I really think this one would've been a beloved classic even without Disney's help. (That said, I really like the early Disney cartoons and think they stayed very true to the intent of the author. But that's another blog)