Saturday, February 22, 2014

Book #23: The Right Book Always Arrives at Exactly the Right Time.

I like to put books in an order that's meaningful to me, and so far I've grouped the 100ish books assigned to me into the following sub-groups.

  • Books that have Book in the title.
  • Books that have been made into a movie/TV series.
  • Books that have Shoe, Shop, Fun in the title and/or are bright pink-yellow-peach and/or have a woman shopping on the cover.
  • Books by people who have been on Saturday Night Live.
  • Books by James Patterson (fat ones).
  • Books by James Patterson (not as fat ones).
  • Books with Witch, Wizard and/or Magic in the Title.
  • Books by Nicholas Sparks.
  • Books by the guy who wrote "The Fault in Our Stars."
  • Books with Zombie and/or Galaxy in the title.
  • Books by John Grisham and/or Stephen King. 
  • Books with cryptic titles that look a little intimidating.
I pick book #23 to read after #22 for two reasons.

1) Both books were brought to me by people who aren't in my class, who had no reason to give me a book other than the sheer joy of book-sharing.

2) Both books had "book" in the title.

If you liked Da Vinci code, if you like computer code, if you like books that fold you into a puzzle and take you through a maze, you'll love this book.

"Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" (by Robin Sloan) didn't make me cry. It didn't make me laugh. No one died, there was no rape, no abortion, no Holocaust.  

Page by page I followed the calm detective narrator through carefully constructed labyrinth from unemployment through deciphering a century-old riddle. 

At the end of his spiritual, physical, magical knowledge-seeking journey he comes to a realization. All books, all people, all stories fade from our mind, from our lives.  In between that the right book, the right person, the right lesson always arrives at exactly the right time.

Lovely, smart, wise, fun. As satisfying as the Alchemist, but in a different, Google connected world populated with crypto-nerds who effortlessly command minions of computers.

Definitely a book I am thankful for and would read again when I have the time to tackle it with a highlighter and take notes on delicious quotes. 

After finishing this book I want to read the next one in my stack, but I don't. I have papers to grade, laundry to do, and a lot of books and stories to remember and forget.