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Never Read Passively

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The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers
Ayn Rand, Tore Boeckmann, Leonard Peikoff
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco
David Mitchell
To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon, Daniel J. Boorstin, Gian Battista Piranesi, Hans-Friedrich Mueller
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Perfect Wrong Note - Learning to Trust Your Musical Self
William Westney
The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli
The Varieties of Religious Experience
William James
Twenty Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy
G. Lee Bowie, Robert C. Solomon

The Way of Kings

The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson Wow. Brandon Sanderson is incredibly creative. The world he builds in The Way of Kings is phenomenal. This is the first book I've read by him and if it's any indication of his work, he has a fabulous talent for creating conflict in imaginary worlds. I love how he gradually weaves his characters and plots together in ways that raise interesting moral and philosophical issues but still move the story along in intricate and unexpected directions. In that way, The Way of Kings is excellent.My only qualm with the book is that Sanderson, like most other novelists I've read whose name is printed larger than the title of the book, doesn't shine as a stylist. There are too many long, and sometimes boring, flashbacks. Everything is shown explicitly. An example that stands out in my mind is that when someone is killed by shard, their eyes burn out. We're told this every time someone is killed by shard. Sanderson doesn't trust the reader to visualize what's happening. The same is true of the "spren" that appear every time someone is in pain or sick or excited or experiencing any strong emotion. It's not enough to show a character sitting on the ground panting in exhaustion, we have to see the fatigue fairies emerging just to drive home the point that yep, the character is really tired. Also, people aren't kind, they're "kindly." And in a fantasy world you can't really say what's an anachronism and what isn't, but there are many times where the language feels like it's from Earth, year 2010 then in the next sentence back to the old-style used throughout the rest of the book.Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. A lot. I devoured the 1000+ pages and looked forward to reading it at every opportunity. It just seemed like such a shame that what could have been an excellent book with some additional editing was instead just a good book.[Edited to tone down my whining.]