Monday, June 20, 2011

Return Books by....

I had an interesting experience this weekend: I gave up books I loved. It wasn't a particularly difficult thing; they weren't mine, after all. A dear relative has been one of the most helpful fellow readers, introducing me to Christopher Moore and John Connolly, who have become two of my favorite authors. She's done it again by letting me read her copy of World Made by Hand, by James Howard Kuntsler. Many years ago, she also introduced me to Michael Chabon.

If you're familiar with these authors, you'll recognize that they are three completely different types of writers. Moore writes farce and satire, Connolly has the suspenseful crime thriller (with a dose of paranormal) down pat, Kuntsler may be better known for his nonfiction writing, and Chabon is simply one of the greatest literary novelists writing today.

This weekend, I returned several Connolly novels — almost exclusively the Charlie Parker series (plus Bad Men, which has a couple Parker cameos). I suppose what was odd about this experience is that these were books I would be willing to read many times over. Indeed, I have.

But they're not my books. I've bought other Connolly books since — the later ones in the Parker series — but the ones I handed back to their rightful owner were a little different. Because, in a way, they own me. I became engrossed in the stories and characters. In a strange way, I felt enmeshed within the pages.

I know I have nothing to fear. These books are not only widely available, but I know these stories now. They're part of me.

Are there any books you would refuse to return?

6 comments:

Caroline Hagood said...

I recently fell in love with Chabon!

Matt Sinclair said...

If I could have any contemporary writer's career, it would be his.

catwoods said...

Jonathon Stroud~ The Bartimaeus Trilogy.

River God by Wilbur Smith

Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry

And anything Jack London. Loved him and Jules Verne as a kid. Still do.

Matt Sinclair said...

I love that you love Jack London and Jules Verne, Cat! From what I've read, London wasn't exactly a nice guy, but he wrote some brilliant stories. Say what you will about his politics, he created wonderful stories of survival. And Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea captivated me as a kid. I still remember my dad reading it to me!

cherie said...

I don't know...I like hoarding books. :D

Matt Sinclair said...

I know what you mean, Cherie. I have stacks and bookshelves all over my house -- also full boxes and the occasional stray book lingering by a chair or sofa. They're everywhere!