31 May 2008

How do you find new authors? Emails, blogs, and family favorites.

My baby boy turned 14 yesterday. He's so much like me - a little bit geek, a techy toy lover. Quiet, even reserved around strangers (and sometimes around his family and friends). And a budding bibliophile.

I've been lucky enough to find two fantastic books this month to "share" with him. I read a lot, but most of it isn't really something I can recommend to my son. Romances aren't quite his thing. Then a few months ago I signed up for Tor's email list , and every week now I've been getting a nice email from Tor, letting me know that they're new website will be ready soon - and hey, while I wait, I can download a great book and read it for FREE! I've found a few new-to-me authors from Tor through these weekly emails, but my absolute favorite (and the best book I've read this year to date) was Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.

I passed the link on to my son, and he joined up and got the download as well. And loved it every bit as much. Enough that he immediately picked up The Wells of Ascension from the library, and devoured it in one night. We're both eagerly waiting for book 3 to come out - it's preordered from Amazon.

My second great find came via Neil Gaimon's blog. A few days ago he mentioned a book he'd blurbed for Cory Doctorow - "Litle Brother". I love Neil Gaimon, and when I found out that "Little Brother" was released as a free download by Cory Doctorow under the Creative Commons License, and quicker than you can say "ohhh!" I'd clicked the download link. Actually, it took a bit longer than saying "ohhh" - Cory Doctorow has an impressive opinion on the philosophy of free downloads, and he has every format I can imagine of Little Brother available on his website. So it took me a second to decide which one to click. But I am very glad I did - this book is amazing. As different from Mistborn as it could be, but a hell of a fascinating book. And one that I shared with my son, who found the book as "awesome" as I did.

I'm always looking for new authors. As much as I love a new book from an old favorite, I also love the thrill of finding a new author, a new voice to follow down the unknown path. So tell me - have you found any new authors to fall in love with lately? Any books you've loved sharing with your family and friends?
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