Saturday, August 6, 2011
Let's consider Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs), a Quirk publication, now in its seventh week on the New York Times bestseller list (I'm 70 pages in and loving the mix of image and story; expect a full report tomorrow). Let's talk about Ruta Sepetys' Between Shades of Gray, a book that led me to the marvelous Tamra Tuller of Philomel, and which, in its very first week, debuted on the New York Times list. Let's talk about The Book Thief, one of my favorite books of all time, still number one on the list, or, for that matter, the award-winning, bestselling The Good Thief, still generating much enthusiasm. Libba Bray didn't do too badly with The Sweet Far Thing or A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rita Williams-Garcia was deservedly rewarded for her basically perfect One Crazy Summer, and I recall—do you as well?—a certain series of historical novels featuring glamorously clad society heroines that rocked the lists for a very long time. (I'm also thinking of the big recent award winners like The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and about the up and coming May B. by Caroline Starr Rose.)
Then there are those adult books, historical novels all, with which we are so familiar—Devil in the White City, The Help, Water for Elephants, The Paris Wife, Loving Frank, so many others—that locked in their places in book clubs and on lists. Struggle isn't a word that I would apply to them.
I believe, in other words, that there is room for those of us out here who have fallen in love with a time and place and have a story to tell. I've been barely able to breathe under a load of corporate work lately. But the first chance I get, I'm returning to William. I left him in a saloon down on Broad Street by name of Norris House. He's been hankering for some dinner. I've got ideas about a multi-media launch. And this kind of fun is worth having.