A reader in Spain, Amy P, posted this note on Goodreads about my miracle novel, The Secrets of Jin-shei:
Cuarta vez que leo este libro y no será la última. Es una historia mágica y preciosa, con unos personajes que se quedan grabados y que te acompañan mucho más allá después de que termines la lectura. Siempre que lo acabo me quedo pensando como habría sido vivir en un mundo así y si sería capaz de afrontar todo lo que conlleva ser parte de un círculo jin-shei.
Fourth time I read this book and will not be the last. It is a magical and beautiful story, with characters that are recorded and accompany you much further after you finish reading. Whenever I am thinking just as it would have been like to live in such a world and if I could handle everything that comes with being part of a jin – shei circle.
It’s been more than ten years since The Secrets of Jin-shei was published (in 13 languages, so far) and distributed around the world. It achieved, to my delight and utter surprise, best seller status in Spain.
And reviews are still trickling in.
This is a novel of 200,000 words which was written at white heat in the space of less than three months. It was in SO MANY WAYS a special book. And to see – and know – that it is still being read and loved all these years later… that it is one of those recurring-favorite books to which devoted readers return again and again for a re-read…that it is loved, and cherished, and treasured…
…all I can say is, to every reader out there who has ever picked up a child of my heart that wanders the world, the story tucked between its covers and waiting to be (re)discovered…
…the writer thanks you.
And every time a reader writes a review like this, an angel gets his wings, and a writer somewhere finds the strength and courage and joy to go on telling the stories that clamor to be told.
BTW, I am currently reading the proofs for Wolf, the second book in The Were Chronicles, coming out in the spring. The cover is not quite as colorful as Random, but it is quite striking.
Jazz’s brother Mal is the star of the second book. He is my favorite character in the series, dark, conflicted and capable of extraordinary things. I hope you like him as much as I do.
All About Madness
At Flavorwire, Emily Temple has selected 50 great novels that deal with a kind of literary madness — obsession and absurdity and hallucination. There is Lolita, of course, Jorge Luis Borges’ Collected Fictions, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. And 46 others.
A novel that gets about as close to the experience of your first, teenage love as print on paper can possibly get (you know: fantasy, sex, obsession, arson).
From madness to crime.
9 Brilliant Books that Will Change How You See True Crime
At Off the Shelf, Caitlin Kleinschmidt admits that she loves true crime. “The greatest examples of the genre provide not only the pleasures of a gripping, whodunit plot, but they are also an examination of complex psychology and civilization when the tranquility of everyday life has been shattered.”
She selects her favorites, including:
When Barrett was brutally murdered a year later by a young black man, Safran “realized this was [his] Truman Capote moment” and hightailed it from Melbourne back to Mississippi.
As he became entwined in the lives of those connected with the murder—white separatist frenemies, oddball neighbors, even the killer himself—the more he discovered how complex the truth about someone’s life—and death—can be. This is a brilliant, haunting, hilarious, unsettling story about race, money, sex, and power in the American South from an outsider’s point of view.
10 Authors Who Wrote Gritty, Realistic Fantasy Before George R.R. Martin
At io9, Charlie Jane Anders takes a look at several other authors, like Ursula K. Le Guin, of course, Mary Gentle, and Michael Moorcock. For example:
Hobb’s novel The Assassin’s Apprentice came out in 1995, a year before A Game of Thrones (and George R.R. Martin actually blurbed it, as Hobb blurbed the first edition of Thrones.) And this story of Fitz, a young bastard who’s looked down on and mistreated by everyone — but who secretly gets trained in the ancient art of the assassin — has some obvious parallels to certain aspects of Martin’s storytelling. In particular, Hobb’s willingness to paint a dark and terrible world where virtue isn’t always rewarded, and where horrors — in this case, the Red Ship Raiders that turn their victims into quasi-zombies — lurk just on the edges of the world
Quote of the day
“Words are valuable and insanely powerful. Words can be used for both good and evil and they should never be used lightly.” ~ Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
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