The joy of anthologies

I’ve been picking up some Kindle anthologies that were recommended to me based on one of my favorite authors being a contributor.

One plus, of course, is that I usually get a new short story by a favorite author. This is particularly nice since my favorite authors can’t seem to turn out the number of books I need to handle my reading requirements.

What do you mean, a new novel every month is unrealistic? I have quite a few favorite authors to pick up the load, so it’s not like they’d have to write one every four days or something!

Another plus is that I get introduced to writers who can become new favorite authors. I’m kind of fussy about my reading tastes, but it’s happened more than once.

There’s nothing like finding a new author in an anthology (or anywhere) and discovering they’ve written a whole pile of books. It’s like fishing for change in a couch and finding a hundred-dollar bill. It’s particularly great if they have one or two completed series, and you can binge-read it like a Netflix show.

Thank God I discovered Tolkien long after all three books of Lord of the Rings had been published. It was almost a year between the last two books. Imagine closing The Two Towers back then on “Frodo was alive but taken by the enemy.” The wait probably would have killed me.

Magic, Nesbit, Eager, and Lewis

No, not a law firm. It’s like this:

I was looking in my bookstore for a kid’s book under the “E’s” (a whole different story). I didn’t find it, but I did find Edward Eager’s Half Magic. I like to re-read books that were favorites when I was a kid myself, so I picked it up.

While some books in this nostalgia category don’t stand up to the passage of time, I’m happy to say most of them do. Many even deliver entirely new insights and enjoyments to my now (somewhat) adult mind. Half Magic is one of them.

As a bonus, there was a new connection. The children in the book discover a new author at their library, E. Nesbit, and she becomes their favorite (Edward Eager readily acknowledges his debt to this children’s author).

The connection is that I’d just finished C. S. Lewis’s On Stories. In it, Lewis gives many examples of what he considers good writing, and Nesbit is one of them. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never read Nesbit, even as a kid (To be fair, the small libraries I frequented may not have had her work, and until I got to college in the city I don’t think I ever saw books for sale anywhere except at the corner drugstore).

It’s not as odd as the Tolkien-Lewis connection I made today reading The Horse and His Boy (which contains a “prancing pony” named “Bree,”) but it’s a nice one.

Of course, I looked up Kindle versions of Nesbit today. 25 books for $3.95, all in the palm of my hand. Click. Got it. More on Kindle in the next post.