But until then, and despite my busy schedule, I've done a tiny bit of reading here and there. Let me catch you up.
After a minor personal disaster a few weeks ago, I called in sick on a Monday. I went on a hike, commiserated with a friendly bartender over gin and tonics, wandered around a Home Depot, and eventually found my way to the poetry section of a Border's Books. The store was big and mostly empty. Even the shelves were weirdly bare. After flipping bored-ly through Neruda and Cummings, I picked up a slim book because it had a neat picture of a black bear on it, and then I sat in a chair and I read the whole thing.
I like poetry. I like it a lot, actually. But I came to the game late. That is, I have about a decade of serious prose reading under my belt now, but it wasn't until I was a junior in college that I realized that poetry was actually pretty OK, too. As a result, I don't really have the terminology to talk about poetry. The jargon, or whatever. ("Oh yes, the sonic qualities of stanza two! How evocative!") But Billy Collins is fun. He's funny sometimes, too. Which is nice. He just has a really accessible voice, and writes poems I really like? Read some of his stuff! This book was very good.
Also, afterward I wrote a Billy Collins-ish poem of my own. (You can laugh. It's supposed to be kind of funny!)
The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
This is the second book in a Fantasy Trilogy called The Kingkiller Trilogy. These books are a big deal in the Fantasy world. People like them a lot. The books are about Kvothe, who is a really cool guy. That's basically it, actually. He's a guy who is just really cool, and he is now tending bar at a tavern and telling the story of his cool life.
I read the first book, called The Name of the Wind, last year. I enjoyed it! I mean, sure, the characters were terrible and silly and the world wasn't super compelling. But the pacing was just incredible. That man knows how to get you from one scene to the next, knows how to make the stakes seem realistic and interesting, and knows how to make the book feel... meaty, despite it's speed.
But this time I was skipping pages. One of the two big problems with High Fantasy novels (more on other one in a second) is that they tend to be bloated and sluggish. They get too caught up in the details of their made-up world, or something. Anyway, they just tend to be big, fat, slow awful things.
And the other reason they are lame is best exemplified by The Wise Man's Fear. Kvothe is ridiculous. He is too cool. He is cool to the point that I felt embarrassed for the author. He's just... literally the best at everything there is. The best swordsman, the best magician, the smartest student, the hardest worker, the best actor, the best singer, the best bartender. These are all actual things that he is the best at. What? Okay, okay. How about this: He has sex for the first time ever with a supernatural sex demon. He is so good at having sex that instead of killing him (which is what usually happens?) the sex demon is compelled to send him out into the world to tell everyone how good he is at having sex. Yes. Really.
That's your character Patrick Rothfuss! Ooops!
See you soon, everybody!