It’s the time of year again: The jalapeno lights are twinkling, the plastic reindeer are mid-run on lawns all over America, and the best gifts…
A Beautiful Note to her Readers - from Kristin Cashore
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013
It’s impossible to express the amazement with which I read these letters. How touched I am by the sensitivity of my readers, by the things they notice and appreciate. By the clever and succinct questions they ask that make me laugh, and sometimes suddenly see the flaws in my own books (which is a good thing!). By the respect they have for the work I’ve done, and the courage they have as they write or parent or go to school or do whatever it is they’re doing in their own lives. By the love they have for my characters. The love my readers have for my characters means so much to me!
One of the things I love about my job is that I have published only three books, but every reader is different and brings something unique to his or her reading. So every time someone reads one of those books, the combination of book and reader creates a unique book, a book that no one else has read or ever could read. I write three books, but with your help, it becomes hundreds and thousands and maybe even hundreds of thousands of books, each one different. We create the books together, which is awesome. Each of us owns our own unique version exclusively, which is a precious thing.
Thank you, readers, for creating my books with me. Thank you for loving them, hating them, getting angry at them, finding solace in them, using them as coasters — thank you for opening them, so that my characters can live in your minds. You are probably not thinking about this when you’re reading — and really, you shouldn’t be, because the author shouldn’t matter — but your reading is an act of generosity that I can never repay.—Kristin Cashore
And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
For more stories about teens dealing with fantastical situations, try these…
Legend by Marie Lu for a unique dystopia with heart-pounding action
Vicious by V.E. Schwab for a story that explores power as curse and gift
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater for beautiful give and take between hero and heroine
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers for a dark twist on the teen assassin
Good jokes, bad sex, and utter confusion, from some of the year’s most enjoyable books.
"Sometimes you just have to launch yourself out into the river of an evening."
—Questlove, Mo’ Meta Blues
"Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them."
—Nicola Griffith, Hild
"Looking in the mirror is always disappointing—it’s strange that something can be always disappointing; you’d imagine that eventually you’d adjust your expectations downward to the point where they’re congruent with reality—but today it’s even more disappointing than usual.”
—Gabriel Roth, The Unknowns
"In a show of defiance, I wet my pants."
—Jack Handey, The Stench of Honolulu
Choose your own adventure! Use the categories below to search through more than 200 standout titles selected by NPR staff and critics. (You can also combine categories!) Then click on the books’ covers to find out why we love them.
I might or might not have already wasted 27 minutes on this…
I never need to find time to read. When people say to me, ‘Oh, yeah, I love reading. I would love to read, but I just don’t have time,’ I’m thinking, ‘How can you not have time?’ I read when I’m drying my hair. I read in the bath. I read when I’m sitting in the bathroom. Pretty much anywhere I can do the job one-handed, I read.
An in-depth analysis that makes you think.
Also, an AWESOME movie. So much better than the first one. By like 1000%. (That’s a math thing that works, right?) It made me reread all the books on Sunday after I saw the movie. Which is also something worth doing.