So I am rolling in fantasy novels right now … which is typical of my reading. I will go through a phase or an author where I read little else, then move on.
My fixation with the fantasy genre started … well it started with The Hobbit, but that was many years ago. More recently, it started with The Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Working in a library, it was hard not to notice how many users were interested in the series (both the videorecordings and the old-fashioned dead tree editions).
So I dug into those fairly obsessively, while reading Potters, Harry, Nos. 1 & 2 to the boys for bedtime stories.
Meanwhile, I moved onto Tarzan (strictly not fantasy, but close enough), re-reading J.R.R. Tolkien to make sure it was OK for Callum to read; then finding read-alikes for Tolkien and Martin.
But right now, I have about 1,500 pages of fantasy novels sitting at home, waiting to be read. First I spotted that the library was weeding out an old, old copy of H. Rider Haggard’s adventure novels that hasn’t circulated in a few years, so I snagged it off of the free books cart; then a hold I placed came in on The Name of the Wind, a book that the adult services librarian recommended to me as a way to minimize my Game of Thrones jones.
Haggard has been on my to-read list since I was six or seven. Someone left a copy at the house (probably one of the cowboys who helped out at the ranch in Hazleton during the summers). I picked it up to read it, but my
folks thought it was too risque. Though I was barred from the illicit fruits within, the cover burned itself into my memory.
I know what you’re thinking, but it was the cover on the right, not the one on the left. Still, I wasn’t prevented from reading much. Besides She, the list of banned reading in our house pretty much encompassed the pulp detective magazines one of my uncles used to have lying around when we visited.
Having read hundreds of pulp detective stories since then, She is the last of the to-reads on that list. I’m not expecting much, but it did get me thinking about covers; what works and what doesn’t.
I had heard good things about both The Name of the Wind and its author, Patrick Rothfuss, but a glance at the cover made me think it wasn’t the book for me (and yes, I know, book, cover, judging, etc., etc.). I mean look at it … it looks like a bodice-ripper for a medieval cosplay fan club.
I’ll update my Goodreads account when I finish reading it, let you know how it comes out. In the meantime, I think I’ll invest in some plain brown paper and some tape so I can read it without scarring the children.