Saturday, October 28, 2006
I might have mentioned my love for this book before. This book absolutely blows me away every time I read it, and I cannot wait to read it again. For me it beats Mark Twain, Fyodor Dostoevski, Harlan Ellison, Charles Dickens, Anne Tyler, Alan Moore, and all my other favorite writers. It is my favorite book of all-time and I didn't pick it up for a long time. It kept catching my eye but I didn't (and still don't) like the cover. So I kept putting it back, until one day I read the first couple of pages and couldn't stop, at which point the cover no longer mattered.
I'm not sure what my second favorite book is but it might be "Her Name Was Lola." (And if it's not my second it's definitely in the top five.) It's hard to say what this romantic comedy is about because it's about so many things -- opera, the I Ching, Hindu gods, music, love and destiny. It's heartbreaking and hilarious -- frequently on the same page. And I only picked this up because I liked the cover.
When I was a kid growing up in Richmond, Virginia, my goal was to read every book in the library. It quickly became apparent that was going to be impossible. Now I'm wondering how many magnificent, life-altering books I'm not aware of and wondering what -- if anything -- I can do about it. You can't read all of them and my experience with these two books proves once again that you can't judge a book by its cover. But how else are you supposed to judge it? And what to do about all the great ones that eluding us?