The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen. Is amazing. Well...I mean...it's really good. I love precocious child protagonists and T.S. is the kind of character you just want to hug and help figure things out. He's too much in his head, too smart for his own good. He maps the world. He maps things like how many bad ears of corn his sister husks, or all of the McDonald's' of a certain area. He maps facial expressions and speech and, at the age of 12, has already had his work printed in prestigious magazines. And then he wins a big award at the Smithsonian. They don't know he's twelve, and he doesn't want to tell his family about it (they'd never understand), so he hops a train and lives like a vagabond, making his way across the United States. Something I love even more than I love precocious children? Hobos. After a terrifying incident, T.S. finally makes his way to D.C. The Smithsonian is confused, but give him the award anyway. But it's about more than that. It's about family, and fitting it, and figuring out what you want. It also made me want to take a train (not the first time I've been stricken with that idea).
Also read another Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys. Not too much to say as Neil Gaiman can really do no wrong. It's set in the same world as American Gods. I LOVED American Gods, and liked this book. His ability to flow so effortlessly between reality and "fantasy" is enviable. His descriptions are vivid, his characters rich. Seriously. The guy is amazing and there is a reason he's in my Top 5.
A few others that I will review briefly: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnston - Travel! Secrets! The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan - Demons! Dancing! Secrets! (I liked the first one better)
I've started The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton. Another writer of perfection. I find myself wanting to highlight every line, fold the corner of every page, because he's incredible. The way he describes people and uses language. They're not just words, it's art for him, and it blows. me. away.
I also have to read House of Breath by William Goyen for school. I should love this book. It has a great title. The first page is interesting, feels a little like Nabakov's Invitation to a Beheading, but I just can't get wrapped up in it. Which might be a good thing. It's easier to study a book you are able to look at objectively. Like, Would I ever be able to truly study Neil Gaiman? No. So. My weekend project is to read this one. And continue to freak out because I'm a writing student. What the crap?!
(Do not judge my blogs. No, really. Do not.)