Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The power of literature

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, all dark and stormy nights. And The Star's book reviewers get to read about it all. I like to think that we have the greatest jobs ever (that's because we like to read, and we get to do it for a small living, or at least free books).
We get to read some amazing new stuff -- talented new voices or satisfying recent additions from established titans in fiction, fascinating true stories of real-life adventures, in-depth analyses of current important issues. We also sometimes slog through some dreck that makes us wonder how an editor could have possibly decided to invest in it. Believe me, it's a real mystery sometimes.
That means that The Star's readers get to hear about what's really good. There are so many great books out there, and so little time to read them (I have four daughters at home -- three in school and one infant, so I am busy but still fit in plenty of reading time), that it's nice to know what's really worth your time.
Several of us, for instance, feel it is definitely worth any reader's time to read all the Harry Potter books. Shawn Ryan very enthusiastically reviewed The Deathly Hallows; I myself even dressed up as Rita Skeeter for the Books-a-Million HP party.
Recently we had two books about schools and teaching reviewed by a schoolteacher and a superintendent; they were recommended as great reading for anyone in education or concerned about education. We've had some good new fiction and some interesting current-events topics. This weekend we'll have some short stories and two Southern novels reviewed. They come highly recommended.
So here's to great books. They transport us to other times and places and dark and stormy nights that are so real you can feel the rain pouring down your hair and dripping past your lashes into your eyes. Grab an umbrella, if necessary, and enjoy your book. Trust us to give you some ideas of what to read.