The name of the reading list …

I’ve sort of been swooning over Patrick Rothfuss over the last couple of months, basically ever since my brother gave me a cover_277copy of The Name of the Wind for my birthday in February. Despite my awe over the depth and thoughtfulness of the world Rothfuss succeeded in creating, I was reluctant to begin moving toward the second book in the series.

I have a fairly extensive resume of waiting for the newest episode in a lengthy fantasy novel series. In fact, Robert Jordan’s death when he was poised on the brink of possibly, maybe, eventually finishing the Wheel of Time series just about drove me mad. It’s a pleasurable madness–waiting for the latest in a series you’re desperate to continue–but also incredibly frustrating. Even with an understanding of the lengthy writing, editing, and publishing process, I can’t help but rail in my head against the slowness of writers.

“Get off your lazy ass and finish the third novel in the series!” I find myself ranting. Never mind the fact that The Wise Man’s Fear is 395,000 words and the third book is likely to be even longer. Never mind that the kind of thoughtful, detailed, brilliant writing he’s putting out takes time. Never mind that I recall reading that he’s a dad who probably wants to spend time with his child.

It’s easy to picture words pouring magically from a pen, or keyboard, gushing by the thousands, requiring no editing or direction from their author. It’s easy to picture that even when I know that’s not the case. Even when I know that wringing 1,000 words out of my brain can feel like crushing a sponge beneath an anvil.

So I try to temper my zealous love of literature with logic. I know that Patrick Rothfuss can’t churn out a book per year–at least not of the quality that he’s been producing and I want the quality to remain high. I love that his series boasts both an engaging plot and exquisite writing, even if his protagonist, Kvothe, is an utterly obnoxious braggart much of the time.

So I can’t rush him. Even if I happened to know him, and even if he happened to hold my opinion in high enough esteem that he would listen if I urged him to rush the third book, it would be a mistake.

At the same time, I can’t help but think that if your worst problem is people panting to read your next novel because the series is just so gosh darned good, then maybe your life isn’t so bad. This isn’t, of course, to imply that any author’s worst problem is aggressive fans, but as far as problems go, from the perspective of an independent author with no publishing prospects as yet, it sounds sort of incredible to boast such fans. And I can’t help but think that the author of a character like Kvothe, who swaggers and boasts and seems very conscious of his many talents, would be at least a little bit satisfied to have earned such a following–even if we are the obnoxious, aggressive sort.

That said, I have plenty of other books to read while I wait somewhat patiently for Rothfuss’ third. And if that was ever in any doubt, here’s an updated list of the new books I’ve read so far in 2014. I’m 33 books in, with just 17 to go until I hit my goal of 50, and while I wouldn’t dream of ranking these books, I still plan to provide a more detailed analysis of many at some point.

DragonSpell by Donita K Paul

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Lord of the Rings (Books 1-6) by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Dome of Tubes by M.K. Fowler

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Island by Aldous Huxley

Dune by Frank Herbert

Sure of You by Armistead Maupin

Babycakes by Armistead Maupin

Further Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

More Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Winterdance by Gary Paulsen

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings

Magician’s Gambit by David Eddings

Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings

Enchanter’s End Game by David Eddings

If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino

Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

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Comments

  1. He has a novella coming oit in the next few months? Its in the same world, but a different character

    • I heard about that! I think someone said it was based on the character of Auri and I really do love her so even though I’m generally a fan of enormous fantasy novels, I’m definitely looking forward to reading this.

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