It’s a wonderful thing when you meet a bookshop staff member who’s just as knowledgeable, just as passionate, and just as nerdy about books as you are.
I’ve been given a couple of book recommendations by such people, and in both cases, the recommended authors joined the ranks of my favourite writers.
I’ve always had eclectic reading tastes, but I have one love that I will always return to: fantasy. Several years ago, after a long and unintended hiatus from reading fantasy, and right on the cusp of me seriously pursuing a writing career, I went looking for new fantasy authors. In particular, I was looking for fantasy by female authors in order to inform my own writing.
While browsing the fantasy shelves of a local bookshop, I was asked if I needed assistance, so I sought a recommendation. The assistant said “Well, if you don’t mind it being written by a man, I highly recommend this.” She placed into my hand a copy of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
I devoured it, the return to fantasy was like a homecoming. Like sliding your feet into slippers after a day in uncomfortable shoes. Like warm soup while it rains outside.
I buy anything he writes now. In fact, if he scribbled a bad limerick on a paper napkin I’d probably love it. If you enjoy fantasy, you can’t go wrong with his books. But I will warn you of this: Mr Rothfuss is not a fast writer. If you want a relationship with his series, you’ll have to be devoted, because you’ll be in it for the long haul.
In part 2 of this post, I’ll talk about the second book I’ve had recommended to me in a bookshop. But now it’s your time. What books would you recommend?