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Kaethe

Kaethe

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What Makes This Book So Great - Jo Walton

What Makes This Book So Great - Jo Walton

This fulfills that same sweet spot as Hornby's writing for The Believer and Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris: I really enjoy reading what a devoted reader has to say about reading. (Forgive the recursion, please) In this case, Walton is an astoundingly prolific readers, and surely she is the most prolific re-reader the modern world has ever known. Her tastes aren't exactly mine, although there is enough overlap to make some of these reviews into "I must read this now" urgency. But even the titles I won't be adding to the List make for interesting thought. As a writer, Walton is able to explain what makes books work for her, as well as why they fail. So there's an informed look at mechanics (but not a primary focus; you don't have to want to write to appreciate her commentary) Further, as this past year has seen a lot of discussion of diversity in SFF as a genre and as a community, her take on intersectionality and on the sad disappointments of much classic work is insightful and heartfelt. We all love things we know have problems, whether from nostalgia or other reasons, and professional reviews don't usually address the issue.

So, really, this collection of Walton's is rather like reading a whole slew of reviews by one of my online reviewer friends, including occasional discursions into where, when, and how one reads. Fun stuff.

Library copy