Friday, February 23, 2007

Jack Spratt could eat no fat...and that's Spratt with two T's, not one

One of the things I love about the Borders in Waikele is that they position that trade paperback books right in the front of the entrance. Now, on the one hand, it’s totally a ploy to get people buying books. On the other hand, I chanced upon “The Lie that tells a Truth” there as well as Jasper Fforde’s “The Big Over-Easy.” If you like nursery rhymes and mysteries, then Fforde is for you.

I never would have picked up either book without seeing them as I wandered through the trade paperbacks for the few minutes I have before my writing group.

So when I saw Fforde’s second book in the nursery crime series, it was in hardback and I waited eagerly to see it in the trade paperback section. When I chanced upon “The Fourth Bear” in the library I snatched it up and read it in two or three days.

Fforde is a British writer and if you like mysteries or books that plays with archetypes in a fun way, Fforde is your man. He also has a series called Thursday Next, which I’ve never read, but I’m going to keep an eye out.

I’ve never read mysteries or thrillers, but Fforde has a writing style that’s easy and fast-paced without feeling rushed. Until you get to the end when the climactic scene arrives and all too soon it’s over and you’re left wishing for more. And by you, of course, I mean me, but it’s a good book and he’s a good writer and I urge you to come to the dark side.

I also finished Tough Guide to Fantasyland, which is funny and makes me want to write a story that plays off of some of the more interesting entries (the stereotypes about the Companions on a quest, or the prevalence of Stew, but no grazing cattle or sheep despite much leather and wool, etc.). It was just flat-out a fun book to read, and has inspired ideas and scenes for my pirate-y story SH in as much as it makes me want to write and puts me in that world’s mindframe.

Books are fun. Yay books!

On a completely unrelated, but more important, note, a favored professor of mine at the University of Hawaii Psychology Department passed away earlier this month. I only found out today when I checked my email. Edward Chronicle, it felt strange to think of you as Ed, even though you insisted, but you were a wonderful professor and made me love cognitive psych even more. You will be missed.


Anna said...

Diana Wynne Jones is my favorite author :-) Have you ever read Dark Lord of Derkholm? It's really good and it's sort of a follow-up novel to The Tough Guide.

writtenwyrdd said...

Do read Fforde's The Eyre Affair, the first of a 4-book series. If you like that, you'll get the rest, too. I loved them. The protag has a dodo for a pet and becomes a detective inside the world of books.

If you read Wynn Jones, don't forget Howl's Moving Castle, although I must (for I think the first time) say the movie was actually better.

You might also like the His Dark Materials series (golden Compass, etc.)

Sabrina said...

I haven't read Dark Lord of Derkholm, though afer reading Tough Guide, I want to read more her stuff (anything of hers I have read, would've been a while ago). And welcome, Anna. I hope you like it here.

I've seen Howl's Moving Castle and loved the movie, and read His Dark Materials. I haven't read Fforde's earlier books, but I'm going to keep an eye out for them, maybe lurk around the mystery section of the bookstore. I just really love the way Fforde writes.