Kage Baker did love to read.

She was a self-taught reader at the usual preternaturally early age, and voracious into the bargain. She coerced several of our younger siblings into taking out library cards for which they had no desire, but which she then took over. In her prime days of book banditry, she could take out 40 books at once every week.

As she got older, more of her time went into writing than reading. By the time she was a professional writer, reading for pleasure had become a rare personal indulgence. She mainly read for research (though she enjoyed that too) and spent any spare “free” time writing her own stuff. Though she’d re-read Treasure Island at regular intervals. And she read O’Brian’s entire Aubrey-Maturin saga no less than 4 times: it may have been her favourite of all time.

And Terry Pratchett! Kage dropped whatever she was doing to read each new Pratchett novel as it came out. That was not only a reader’s keen pleasure, she said it was almost a religious duty: one learned so much from one of Sir Terry’s books.

So, anyway, she was a book person. Being read to was one of her last delights, as it had been among her first.

I am therefore deciding she will not mind if I take the rest of today off to read. Patrick Rothfuss, that energetic and amazing young man, has finally brought out the second volume in his “Kingslayer Chronicles”. The first one was The Name of the Wind; this is The Wise Man’s Fear. And I have it! It’s huge, it’s engrossing, it’s much later than we all expected, and I am now going to go immerse myself in it like a hot bath.

I loved The Name of the Wind.  I had the privilege of reviewing it in 2007: (, for the online review journal, Green Man Review (which you ought to sample anyway; good stuff is there). So this is going to be a major treat.

So I’m signing off. Everyone go read!

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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6 Responses to Books

  1. Luisa Puig Duchaineau says:

    Thanks for the book recommendations, Kathleen. While I never have enough time, there *always* seems to be enough room on the bookshelves (and, okay, the floor) for more good titles.

    As for Kage’s library scheme: *brilliant* (as of course I should have known). 40 books at a time is a wonderful teasure of reading. My BFF, Linda, and I would skirt the library limitations of ’10 books per visit’ by voraciously reading as many as we could in as few days as possible (while still enjoying the stories, of course). Then we would truck our treasure of titles back to the library *before* the books were due, and then check out another 10 titles each. I like to think that our childhoods were just brimming with text, titles, stories, adventures, and more.

    Ahhh … to be a kid again. Hmmm … think I’ll browse the bookshelves for the rest of the day … oh, and the floors, too, of course …


  2. Maggie Secara says:

    I think I have the SF Book club edition of Name of the Wind still sitting in the bedside table, unopened and unread. I have so little time to read these days, but I guess I’ll have to make the time. What an amazing review!


    • Kate says:

      Maggie – the book hit me like a brick dropped from a tower, that exploded into flower petals and ringing bells over my head. It’s a truly original fantasy, and the young man writes with skill, grace and beauty, He’ll listen to comments from readers, too, and is very gracious. And he writes HUGE, engrossing books! I am happily deep-tangled in The Wise Man’s Fear right now, and may not sleep at all tonight.

      Kage and I met the author, Patrick Rothfyss, at an OdessyCon in Wisconsin: Kage caught everyone’s attention by declaimimg an honor-poem in the style of Homer, in praise pf George R.R. Martin, part of it in Greek! Then we hooked up with Patrick and joined him in an informal panel on pre-industrial sexual mores – where we managed to surprise and educate him somewhat. He was very kind about our taking part of his panel over. But we knew stuff – lots of stuff, lol. We blew the audience away.

      I think any of my friends here would like Patrick Rothfuss’ work, and I most sincerely recommend him.


      • MaggiRos says:

        I downloaded it to the kindle so I don’t kill myself falling asleep with a gigantic hardcover on my chest. It *is* indeed the book that is still sitting in the shadows by the bed. Now all I need is some time!


  3. Valerie says:

    Well, darn, I wish I’d thought of the library card scheme! Though I could only fit about five or six books into my bicycle basket, and got some wholesome exercise riding back and forth to the library every day in summer. I wonder if anybody reads Lester del Rey’s juveniles, or Freddy the Pig any more?


  4. Kate says:

    Luisa – isn’t the floor a formal part of the bookshelves anyway? It sure is in my house. In fact, any flat surface is an honorary bookshelf. And many curved ones.

    Maggie – yep, Patrick’s books are ginormous. They maybe used as part of defensive walls with no problem. And they take a lovely amount of time to read, which is a right treat. I can go through a couple of ordinary books a day, but the second volume of “Kingkiller” will have taken me 3 days by the time I finish it this afternoon. Luxury!

    Valerie – del Rey’s juvenile’s are in print – from Del Rey Books, of course!) but it’s hard to find them in a library anymore. Freddie the Pig (a personal favourite of Kage’s and mine, BTW) is available in reprints from Overlook Press, but again – hard to find in libraries. When our nephew Mike was little, we had to order them from Amazon in order to find them. But we did!


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