One question I hate, but get a lot, is "what’s your favorite author?" There are so many ways to answer that question! Some authors I love because of their writing style, some because a particular character came alive and now is stuck in my head, some because the themes hit so close to home…there’s a world of difference between Joyce Carol Oates and Roald Dahl, yet those two belong to my top ten.
Generally, I reread good books. There are some exceptions – some books are beautiful but painful to read, so I will read them once and carry them with me as I move on to other books, thinking about them often. But most of my books are good friends that I come to time and time again. It’s like re-entering a conversation with the characters and I love opening a book somewhere in the middle and feeling like I’m among good friends – you know the kind, those friends with whom you can be silent and just be yourself.
So when one of the authors on my top ten publishes a new book, I first spend about an hour lamenting the fact that I don’t live in the States and thus have to pay ridiculous shipping costs on Amazon instead of walking to my favorite bookstore and spending a wonderful hour browsing the shelves. I love the internet, but it’s not the same. Then I get all excited as the publishing date nears. Hopefully, the last stage is holding that book in my hand, smelling it, and diving right it, discovering that it’s every bit as good as I thought it would be.
I had looked forward to doing that with Joshilyn Jackson’s new book The Girl Who Stopped Swimming. One of the things I wanted to do during my recent vacation in Florida was go into a bookstore (an Indie preferably of course) and buy many books, among which the new paperback version of TGWSS. Unfortunately, the two bookstores I encountered along the way didn’t carry it yet…so I’m still left wondering. (cue for violin music in the background. My life is so sad.) I loved Jackson’s gods in Alabama so much, I’ve lent it to so many people and read it so many times that I could barely sleep the week before her second book Between, Georgia came out.
To console myself, I’ll go back to gods and let Arlene and Aunt Florence fight it out again, with Burr in the background. That might just get me through the wait. But you shouldn’t do the same thing. Visit Joshilyn Jackson’s website to get a taste of her writing and then run (run!) to the nearest bookstore. Or just go directly to Indiebound to order it online if you trust my judgment.