Welcome to my guest post feature, Rec It Reads! I am thrilled to host a new Blogger/Bookstagrammer/Booktuber each week! This feature will run every Thursday. If you’re interested in participating, sign up below.
As soon as I saw this feature, I knew I had to be included! I love it when someone recs a book to me that I’ve never heard of, or that I would not have otherwise read. And I love it when it is my turn to do that too!
The book I want to tell you about is called Among Others by Jo Walton.
It is a bit of a coming-of-age story, with some magic, fairies and witches thrown in. What it seems to be, to me, is a love story to books.
Our intrepid heroine, Mori, does not look like much on the outside. In fact, she is ostracized at her boarding school, because the hot thing there is to play sports. And due to an injury she suffered recently, she can’t do that. So she spends her sports time in the library, and makes the acquaintance of the librarian (who doesn’t love an awesome librarian, right?) who tells her about a book club in town that she might find interesting, after she’s read everything in the school library (and who has not had that problem?).
The story is written in a series of diary entries by Mori, whose story we learn in pieces throughout the book. Her story is compelling and at times heart-wrenching. It’s first love, it’s finding your place, it’s finding your way back home. And in the end, the best kind of magic, for Mori and for the reader, comes from the books.
My favorite quote of all time is contained in Among Others: “If you love books enough, books will love you back.” Books become Mori’s salvation, not the least because they help her meet people that she can relate to. And I’m sure many of you out there can relate to that (you are, after all, reading a book blog).
Not only do you get a great story in this lovely book, but you get a great reading list too. I copied out a 75-title booklist from this one. It is a lot of science fiction, but there’s also some fantasy, history, and poetry, too.
As Mori says, “It doesn’t matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.”
If you’ve never heard of Jo Walton, this is a perfect introduction to her. She is a smart, relatable writer, every bit as good as her countrymen Neil Gaiman or J.K. Rowling (yes, I said it). Someone you’d like to sit and have tea with, right? I think Among Others is one of the least-sung great books out there. I found out about it from an article in The Guardian. I think you will love it.
I reviewed this for the review site MN Reads back in 2012, run by the too-cool-for-school Jodi Chromey.
You can find me all over:
About the Book
by Jo Walton
Startling, unusual, and yet irresistibly readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.
Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled–and her twin sister dead.
Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England–a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off…
Combining elements of autobiography with flights of imagination in the manner of novels like Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude, this is potentially a breakout book for an author whose genius has already been hailed by peers like Kelly Link, Sarah Weinman, and Ursula K. Le Guin.
Thanks, Linda! Make sure to follow her on all his platforms!
Are you interested in participating? Fill out the form and I will be contact with you once a week opens up!