What Makes This Book So Great

Jo Walton
What Makes This Book So Great Cover

What Makes This Book So Great


My first non-fiction book of 2014! And it is a book all about books. The best sort of book ;) I would consider myself a sci-fi & fantasy fan, yet for many years I hadn’t the money to buy books. And even if I did the book shops didn’t really stock a whole heap of sff. I did browse the sff section of my local library on every visit, and often never went anywhere else. But I’ve still missed many, many classics of the genre. So this was a book that has resulted in a few additions to my Mount TBR. It also meant that when Walton warned of spoilers I was reluctant to read on, so although I’m listing this as “read” there are a few paragraphs that I haven’t.

I suppose that I should really say a few words about what this book is about. It’s pretty much a collection of some of Jo Walton’s Tor.com columns. Tor.com is one of those websites I always mean to visit, but I don’t know, I find their RSS feed a bit too much, and yet not enough at the same time. It gives me everything published on the site, and there is a whole heap there. Hence the too much. But the excerpts are too short, I’m never sure if it worth clicking through. Hence, as you may have guessed, the too short.
I wish there was a way to subscribe to just a few columnists. Maybe there is and I just haven’t seen it yet.
Back to the book! This is a collection of Walton’s posts on rereading the classics of sff. Mainly sci-fi, but there are a fair few fantasy as well. There are plenty of authors I’ve read, or heard of and meant to read, and a few I’d never heard of. But she always writes so entertainingly that I had to be very strict about adding to Mount TBR, otherwise I’d have added every single book she mentioned.

If you’re a fan of sff, and like reading about the genre as well as of it, then this is a book for you. It’s a great one to dip in and out of. I used to read a post or two every morning with my breakfast. Perfect way to start the day :)

Also, for those of you who have read the book, I am both a re-reader and an occasional skimmer. You?