21 October 2013

Neil Gaiman on Libraries

Hat tip to John C. Wright for the link: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/15/neil-gaiman-future-libraries-reading-daydreaming. I posted the link on Facebook earlier, for those of you who know me in real life.

This is an excellent article, based on a lecture by Neil Gaiman. In our house, he is known primarily as the author of Crazy Hair,which may be my eldest daughter's favorite book. It brought to mind the books of my childhood and adolescence, some of which I have since revisited, and some which still wait on the shelf, always ready to rekindle our friendship.

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are obvious. If you have only seen the films, you are cheating yourself. Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Black Arrow make a great set of adventure stories. Anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs must be added to the list, though I must confess I have only recently landed on the mysterious world of Barsoom. Watership Down prepared me for my later Redwall excursions.

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are essentials, and made me want to sail the Mississippi myself. Jules Verne is from the same era, and cruising in the Nautilus beneath the sea, or circling the world in eighty days, is a delight.

I read a selection of Christian fiction, of course. Frank Peretti's stories are incredible, and he has written some entertaining selections for children, as well. The Thoene's interested me in the Middle East, an interest that is perhaps stronger now that I have been there. Gilbert Morris wrote the same story a hundred times, most stating that even Christian women craved men who were tall, dark, and handsome. I eventually became quite content with being short, pale, and interesting.

Stephen Lawhead has crossover appeal, I would say, and Christians and pagans alike should find joy in his work.

If you have not yet read Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker books, stop reading this post, and go read them immediately. Patrick McManus has written numerous short story collections, and he keeps writing them. I have laugh wrinkles already, and they are mostly his fault.

It turns out the library is not open at 11:30pm, so I suppose I shall sleep. Keep reading, and keep supporting your library.

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