I love reading books. I grew up without a television, so books were the only way I could read stories. [Editor’s note: Why does everyone laugh at that sentence? I didn’t have a TV, for all I know you read on those too] Even back in elementary school, I read mostly science fiction and fantasy. I’m not sure if my brain is just wired to like those or if it is because my father read me books like The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet and The Hobbit, while my mom checked out Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain books and the Narnia books from the library for me to read. In fact, my mom was the one to introduce my dad to J. R. R. Tolkien, so she is a great judge of good books too. As I got older my friends showed me more cool books, especially the Wheel of Time series.

These days I am always looking for new awesome books, but it is hard. There are a lot of mediocre books out there. There are a lot of good ones. But the excellent ones are harder to find. The trouble with excellent books is that they are hard acts to follow. It’s hard to get into merely good ones afterwards. I am having this difficulty right now. I am coming off The Way of Kings, and it’s dashed hard to find a book to interest me after reading that. Brandon Sanderson (TWoK’s author) has that skill that makes a book unputdownable. I call it book charisma. It’s like a slightly lesser version of what Robert Jordan had that made Crossroads of Twilight more intriguing to me than other fantasy books in which stuff actually happened. CoT is a long book covering many characters only briefly so it is uneventful, and yet Jordan’s storytelling made me not care. I can see why it annoyed fans who waited a year for it to come out, but now that there are almost 3 books following it, I don’t mind reading though it at all. In fact, if I could have a 200-book version of the Wheel of Time where the plot progressed at the rate it did in CoT, I would be happy. Jordan and Sanderson both have this gift for storytelling that makes their books compelling regardless of the actual events taking place. They are good at having awesome events happen too though. But not all authors, even those who can write exciting stories, have this gift of storytelling. Fortunately, while I was waiting between the latest Wheel of Time book and The Way of Kings, I discovered a third author who is right up there with the best fantasy authors: Patrick Rothfuss. His only epic fantasy book is The Name of the Wind, which came out 3 years ago and is the first in a trilogy. The second is coming out next year, which isn’t nearly soon enough. He has also written a children’s picture book, The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed, which is awesome but much shorter. I hope I can find more great authors, otherwise I will be out of luck in the long intervals between the books I am looking forward to. The awesome upcoming books I know of are, in order of emergence:

  • I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett (September 2010)
  • Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (November 2010)
  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (March 2011)
  • A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Early 2012?)
  • Book 2 of the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson (Late 2012?)

Stay tuned, the next post will be about book collecting and various media. Then I will write some book reviews so that I can convince Pat Rothfuss’s publisher to send me an ARC of The Wise Man’s Fear so I don’t have to wait so long. The book reviews will be separated off into a special blog, Book Warlock. Check it out!

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