Last weekend I had the privilege of going to NerdCon: Stories and getting to meet several authors and artists talk about the importance of the story in all forms. I watched the featured guests debate anything from the timeless issue of sock-sock-shoe-shoe or sock-shoe-sock-shoe (the order in which you put on your socks and shoes), to the moral responsibility of the storyteller, and communities built around and through stories. The weekend spanned from ridiculous hilarity to depth of the importance of the story in our lives and culture. Throughout this experience, I was able to meet and talk with a few authors and see several more discuss issues of weight within the writing realm. I’ve read books by many of the authors, but a few authors really surprised me in how much I enjoyed what they had to say; and now I cannot wait to read their books. Here are a few authors who zoomed up my reading list this weekend:
Maureen Johnson was super funny on the various panels she participated in and moderated. Her deadpan humor and insight was great addition every time she was on stage. She has written several young adult books that I’ve had on my “to-read” list for years. After finally seeing her in person, her books have soared up the to-read list and I’m planning to pick up one of her most well-known novels, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, soon. After Ginny’s aunt Peg dies, Ginny sets off on a European adventure guided by the letters left by her aunt. I can’t wait!
The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht won the Orange Prize in 2011 and was nominated for the National Book Award. Obreht published The Tiger’s Wife in her early twenties. Given this information, I should have expected her to be brilliant, and I did, but she still blew me away. The answers she gave to questions during panels showed her ability to think deeply about issues of writing, and creating while also speaking eloquently. Many of her explanations even wowed her fellow panel members and have helped my own thinking about writing. The level of her discourse was reachable, yet insightful, which should hold great things for The Tiger’s Wife. You can bet I’ll be reading this one soon.
I’ve read The Magicians by Lev Grossman and really enjoyed it. I just haven’t gotten around to reading the 2nd and 3rd book in the trilogy (The Magician King, and The Magician’s Land, respectively). I’ve wanted to, but time hasn’t allowed. However, after hearing him speak and so many good things about the other two books in the series, I will be making time! The Magicians trilogy follows a group of friend who attend Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic – think Harry Potter, but college-age. These books are wonderful for anyone who has grown up with Harry Potter, Narnia, or any other similar series, and they are still great for anyone else.
I’m excited to dive into these books after such a marvelous weekend getting to hear them speak. What books are you excited about?