Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What are you reading, Terri Bogan?

I picked up Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay for two reasons. The first reason is that I have discovered that I like Kay's books a lot. The second reason is that I wanted to participate in an international online book discussion about this particular book.

What if someone took away your memories ... your deepest sense of who you are, where you came from, your history? Tigana is a book about memory. Both personal memories and national memories. Destroy the art and cities. Forbid both written and oral histories. Scatter the people and wait for those with the memories to die. The sad thing is that this doesn't just happen in a fictional work like Tigana, but it has happened throughout history to greater or lesser degrees.

Tigana is an epic fantasy. The world is similar to the one we know; in fact, it resembles medieval Italy. Magic is a part of this world, but it is integrated into everyday reality. It might even be seen as a metaphor for power and control. This work is well paced (important since it is rather long), has many layers and is character driven rather than plot driven. It often made me stop and think, and I cared very much about the main characters. The characters often do hurtful things to others, but it is done out of deep personal pain. It is hard to truly hate them because we see a little bit of ourselves and our own actions and motivations in these characters. And yes, I cried several times.

I would highly recommend Tigana to those looking for thoughtful fantasy that is driven by ideas and characters. If you are looking for a quick read with lots of action, this one won't be for you. Come by and see me if you're looking for something to read. I am a librarian after all!

I've currently got two books on my nightstand. One of them is a young adult fantasy bind up (two novels in one volume) that I'm reading for a fantasy book challenge (Once Upon a Time hosted online by Carl V.) . The bind up includes Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones. If you're interested, I posted a video to my book blog with my "list" of books for the Once Upon a Time reading challenge.

The second book I'm currently reading is The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World by Michael Horton. I'm reading this one in order to write a review to be published in The Christian Librarian.

Terri Bogan is the Reference & Instruction Librarian at Hope. She has been in this role since 1995. She is also an ardent reader and bibliophile and really can't remember when she didn't love reading and books.

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay, Roc Trade, 1990. 688 pages.

Authorized website: Bright Weavings

Purchase this book from the publisher,, Barnes & Noble or Better World Books.

You may also locate this book at your local library by searching

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