Hello all. I am an avid consumer of books. I find that a good book fuels the creative spark that makes my mind sharp and my dreams vivid. One of the few things that can fuel those fires even more than a good book is a good discussion about those books. So, what exactly qualifies as "a good book"? Tomes have been written, seminars taught, publishing empires made and broken in an attempt to define that very thing. My answer, though admittedly not scholarly, is quite simple.
A good book is one that speaks to you.
(And no, for those literalists out there, I don't mean a magical talking book, though magical talking books do have their uses--See Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.) A good book touches your psyche in some way--it might be as visceral as just giving you a break (a brain candy book). It might be a book that opens your mind to some new idea. It might be a book that makes you laugh, or cry, or both. It might just be a book that kept you company during lunch. Whatever the case, somehow, the words that author put to paper have reached out across time and space and touched you in some way as to make a difference for you. The difference needn't be earth-shattering. A book that is good to you today, might not have been a good book for the person you were last year, or who you become in the next. The key is that it made an impression. I have read several good books that I will not read again. I have read others that I re-read at least once a year. Books that we read as children we sometimes seek out as adults to read and re-read to our own children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews. A good book is a powerful thing. A good discussion is perhaps even more powerful. It gives us a chance to reexamine our thoughts, to re-live a favorite scene, bash a favorite villain, laugh with a favorite class clown. A good discussion can make a good book great.
So, with these musings, I offer you this blog space, and my own rambling thoughts and booktalks about books I am reading. I invite you to share your thoughts, your favorite quotes from your current "good book," suggest other books that we might like (a sort of "if you liked that one, you'll really like this one" kind of thing), and maybe share some of these booktalks with some of your own readers.