6 October 2012

Awesome Sauce

Being that it is Thanksgiving weekend, I've decided to mark the event by highlighting a few books that  merit a big ole' awesome sticker slapped onto their covers.  I don't know about your family but we don't sit around the turkey expressing our thankfulness to one another.  Frankly, we eat, we drink, we argue about politics and then dream about turkey sandwiches.  In fact the turkey sandwich is such a hit in my Norwegian side of the family that you sit down for dinner at 1 in the afternoon for the sole purpose of then having turkey buns at 6p.m.  on the same day.  Okay, it may have more to do with the prairie/farming history my family tree is rooted to but I digress.  Actually I seem to have digressed a lot.  If only we could skip right to pumpkin pie and turkey buns....I think I just went cross-eyed from anticipation.

Thanksgiving is big here in North America.  So is being awesome.  Hence my combination of the two.  You know we all have books we have read that are great.  We love them.  We read them over and over again.  But then there are books that are for some reason straight up amazing, awesome if you will.  The odd thing about these books is that you may never read them again.  The book's hold on you is brief, a weekend or two even a month (how long does it take you to read a book for goodness sakes?). But during that time you are transfixed, glazed over, zombie-like as you immerse yourself in the world found in those pages.

To give some context to what I mean when I type the word awesome,  please keep this in mind.

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline  It goes without saying that this book is awesome, wicked in fact.  Stupid ass great.    If you spent your childhood fighting over the Atari controller, believe neon to be a colour, and, feels an intimate connection to Zelda then you must read this book.  Ready Player One is a homage to our gaming childhood.  Plus the book has that world within a world, within a world element to it that I just love. 


American Gods, Neil Gainman  Most of us have been introduced to something that Gainman has either written, produced, scripted or created.   If  Burton, Depp and Gainman were locked in a room together, and told that the person who created the weirdest, darkest piece of creativity would survive I am  unclear to who that would be.  I am quite aware that Depp does not write. This is my blog and my post and I like to keep a small part of my brain thinking about Depp at all times.

American Gods is an old tale of religion wrapped into an all American road trip.  We follow Shadow an ex-con released from prison after three years of incarceration.  As he struggles with his wife's tragic death and seemingly adultery he meets Mr. Wednesday,  a self-proclaimed aging God that accompanies him on his journey.    Way back I had (Canadian Lit) to read Fifth Business by Robertson Daves. It wasn't until I read American Gods that I found a book so wonderfully rammed with symbolism as Fifth Business.  (Yes, that is a good thing.)

Wicked, Gregory Maguire  Technically not a SF book but at the time I was locked to this book and feel the need to acknowledge my old obsession.    I am betting that you have read this one so I won't bore you with the details.  If for some unknown reason you missed the bandwagon that was Wicked, it is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West.  Guess what she was greatly underrepresented and misunderstood.