I can say nothing except that I couldn’t put the book down even though I was tired, and some random bad movie was on tv, and Yut had turned off his computress(!). Sunshine caught me so well that I never even got my hot chocolate.

I think most people who’ve read Robin McKinley before probably read Beauty. It was assigned reading for me in 8th grade, I think? It was and is my favorite retelling of Beauty and the Beast. She’s done a lot of retelling of familiar ideas or stories over the years; it’s always good stuff, but I think Sunshine was just amazing. It’s a vampire story, basically. God, I don’t even know how much to say about it. It’s so readable and good and I just don’t want to ruin it for anyone:)

Gah! I have to stop this — Jesus Christ, I am incomprehensible. This is complete gibberish. I’m sorry. The book isn’t though:) It’s quite the opposite of my writing:p

But before I stop, I have to thank The Other Change of Hobbit bookstore. Last October, I wandered in one evening and said to the person sitting behind the desk that day, “Hi, it’s been a long time since I read anything really good. I want to feel that feeling when a book was just brilliant and touching and whatever. What were the best books you’ve read this year?” (I am not making this up, that is approximately what I said.) I think she was taken aback a bit, but despite my nebulous description of what I was looking for, she tried her best, recommending Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold and Sunshine amongst others. Since one of Yut’s co-workers had also raved about Bujold, and I’d read one of her books previously (Curse of Chalion, also amazing), I bought Cordelia’s Honor that day. In the last few months of 2004, I bought and read every single one of Bujold’s books, except The Spirit Ring which I borrowed from the library. I didn’t like it as much, but sometimes, it’s just not the right moment for a certain book, so maybe some day I’ll go back to it. I became a fixture every week at the Other Change of Hobbit. I’d ask whoever was behind the desk which book to get next if I’d just finished <whatever> (most of her books happen in one universe, you don’t have to read them in any order, but I wanted to read them chronologically in the timeline of the universe even though that’s not the order she wrote them in), and the person would know who I was talking about and approximately which book I needed.

This is why a small bookstore (this one happens to be a science fiction and fantasy bookstore) will always be better than a place like Barnes & Noble or Borders. I would never be able walk into a big megastore and say something like what I said to the person at the Other Change of Hobbit and hope for anything but incredulousness. Even supposing I had a series or author in mind, I doubt they would’ve known exactly where her books were and which one I should get next.

Actually, I can hardly ever get any help at Barnes except if I get lucky or if I know the exact title or author. In contrast, I’ve walked into the Other Change of Hobbit, and said something like, “I can’t remember the author or the title, but I know it was a fantasy series with maybe five books and the titles in the series all had to do with chess terms like pawn or castle or whatever,” and they told me the author (David Eddings), the series (The Belgariad), the first book (Pawn of Prophecy), and showed me exactly where it was on the shelves. I love little book stores, especially this one. When the next Bujold book (Hallowed Hunt maybe?) comes out, or when Harry Potter and the Mudblood Prince comes out, I am so there!

Also, I am going to work through the rest of her recommendations:)


  1. So I went out and got Sunshine, and 3 Bujold books.
    I also borrowed Kiln People by David Brin this weekend and it’s quite the page turner. I was about to buy the entire Uplift Saga by Brin too but it’s a lot. Did you read it? Like it?

  2. Kiln People was pretty good, actually. The Uplift series was definitely really good! I think the whole series, although it’s been a while since I last read them. He also wrote the Postman which was much better than the movie. Guess that’s not saying v. much.

    For Bujold, if you feel like fantasy, then Curse of Chalion is really good. Its sequel is up for the Hugo and was nom’d for the Nebula too I think. Or maybe won? Sunshine is good too of course. Otherwise, if you feel more like science fiction, then any of her Vorkosigan books are good. I started with Cordelia’s Honor. So versatile:D

  3. Went back and got the Uplift series. I was supposed to stop buying books cuz they’re such a pain to move/pack. What are you doing to me?!

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