“'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; a good head cannot read amiss: in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear.”-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
As an author, I'm so thankful for the existence of "the good reader," and as a reader, I'm grateful for those times when a book snatches me up in its grasp and carries me away. I'm especially appreciative of those rare moments when something an author has written resonates right to my center.
And I'm terribly sorry for those who have forgotten the quiet joy of reading and the respite that it offers from the noisy and demanding world. Too many are so caught up in spoon-fed, electronic entertainments or in fracturing their focus between text messages, e-mails, the Web, and other forms of virtual enslavement. They've forgotten what it is to fix their attention on the pages of a book and allow their imaginations to get so caught up in the thoughts and dreams of characters that meals go uneaten and e-mails go unchecked (oh, the horror!)
So what's the title of the last book that caught you up in its vortex -- the one you would use to show the world's non-readers exactly what they're missing? I'll start off by mentioning The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield. It's a fine, old-fashioned Gothic populated by lonely moors and swirling mists and spooky/shocking family secrets. Wonderful story.