the Little Red Reviewer

Grinning like a Fool

Posted on: March 2, 2011

A few days ago I got an e-mail from my favorite public library:

The material you’ve requested is ready for pick up: How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, by Charles Yu.

So I went and picked it up, grinning like a fool the whole time. Yesterday I read the first half of the book. It’s a fast-ish read, much stream of consciousness, social commentary, funny little digs at companies, good stuff. It’s also very, very depressing at times. To the point where half way through, I had to put it down. That’s gonna be an awkward book review to write. How do you say “this book was freaking depressing!” and make it sound like a compliment?

So I picked up Jasper Kent’s Thirteen Years Later instead. I always love me some suspense and scary bad guys. Got about 50 pages into it last night and early this morning. And as to be expected, it’s very good.  No pun intended, but it sucks you right in.

Then, this morning I got one of the best e-mails I’ve ever gotten.

Better than Cory Doctorow’s response to my drunken fanletter, and almost better than Scott Lynch’s response to my drunken fanletter/love letter. BTW, awesome audio interview with Scott Lynch here. The man has a lovely voice, I wonder if he’s ever contemplated a career as a newscaster? 

Back to this mornings awesome e-mail. It was from my favorite Public Library. It read:

 The material you’ve requested is ready for pick up: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. 

And I thought I had a stupid grin on my face when I got the Charles Yu. It’s nothing compared to what I look like right now. This is nearly a “I just got laid” kind of grin. In about four hours I’ll be ditching work. I will not pass go, I will not collect 200 dollars. I will go directly to the library.

My afternoon errands may not get run.  Dinner may not get made.  Laundry will certainly not be taken care of this evening.

Suffice to say, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me for a few days. I feel like I’m about to go on a book honeymoon.

 Am I a shitty fan because I didn’t slap down some cash for the hardback of Wise Man’s Fear? Hardbacks always give me sticker shock and then shoulder & wrist cramps. My local indie bookstore has copies for sale. I may be a book whore, but I am a cheap-ass book whore.

 And I requested this book at two libraries. I’m sure the second library will send me a similar e-mail in the next week or so. This is a good thing. It means this book will be on the “new” shelf at two libraries who may not have thought to purchase it. I feel like I am single handedly introducing Patrick Rothfuss to my entire community. Ok, not single handedly, but you know what I mean.

12 Responses to "Grinning like a Fool"

Aw. I don’t think you’re a bad fan, but I know what you mean and I definitely look at it the way you do. Most of my book-buying involves me getting a stack of paperbacks and not even glancing at hardcover books.

When I get libraries to order books they weren’t ordering or ever going to get, I look at it like that’s almost like purchasing a book and then lending it to a bunch of people I know only maybe this way I’m making sure someone who would never have even glanced at the book picks it up.

I don’t know if it makes authors happy but I don’t really think it actively hurts authors. Besides, when you read a lot, sometimes you just honestly can’t buy all the books you can read.


Glad you got it from the library without waiting, Andrea! Even though I work in a bookstore, I’m a big fan of libraries. And we’re doing fine with the copies I ordered – two of the people who reserved it came in before noon the day it came out.


John, I’m actually shocked the library got it so fast. I expected to wait another week at least.


I know the feeling about the hardback price shock. I have been waiting for Lois McMaster Bujold’s latest Miles Adventure to come out and once it did it was over $40! For a book? I still bought it, but went to Amazon where it was a more reasonable $25US and had to wait for delivery, but I am like you, my reading being so voracious that I could never buy the amount of books I read. My library is my best friend. In fact I am a member of three different library groups just so that if a book isn’t at one it may be at another.
Have fun reading Patrick Rothfuss. We will look forward to the review


$40??? are you serious? not special edition? not signed? not some kind of Subteranean Press limited edition? rediculous.

carrying multiple library cards is a beautiful, wonderful thing!


Aww man, I’m so jealous. I really miss being able to get books from libraries. It’s just too expensive for me to buy all the books that I want to read. I have started getting out ebooks from my mother’s library in the US but some books, like The Wise Man’s Fear, I rather read in book form. Though if it does become available as an ebook at the library I certainly wouldn’t pass up on getting it out.


I hope you read the rest of Yu’s book. It is well worth finishing, some poignant stuff there.

I’m about a quarter of the way through Name of the Wind and went and bought a copy of Wise Man’s Fear when it came out on Tuesday. Need to keep pushing on so I can read Wise with the friend who so desperately wanted me to give Rothfuss a try. Good stuff thus far.


Simcha – when it comes to library accessibility, I am beyond spoiled. A huge plus for e-readers, you can get library books on e-reader from anywhere.

Carl – I did finish Yu’s book, and the end made up for a lot of the depressing bits. with the Rothfuss you’re doing it the right way, reading the two books one right after the other. I read NoTW last year, and I’m kicking myself for not doing a re-read. WMF picks up hours after the first one ends, with zero tool tips.


Great, and I agree, the ending made up for a lot. I’m actually glad to hear there isn’t a lot of recap in book two…but then I’m going to be longing for that recap once book three FINALLY comes out. LOL!


it’s not that there isn’t a lot of recap, there is ZERO recap. I was thinking about it, Kvothe was talking to Chronicler just yesterday. how much couldh’ve the guy forgotten over night? n


it’s not that there isn’t a lot of recap, there is ZERO recap. I was thinking about it, Kvothe was talking to Chronicler just yesterday. how much couldh’ve the guy forgotten over night?


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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