Josh's latest video
made me think about my absolute favorite thing that has ever happened to me while I was reading a book.
I'd be reluctant to say that I have a favorite author, but were I forced to choose I would choose David James Duncan.
He hasn't written many novels, but the ones he has written are outstanding. The first book of his I ever read was The River Why
. I read it one year after the summer camp counselor I had a big fat crush on recommended it. A few years later I read another of Duncan's novels The Brother's K
. This might just be the best book I've ever read, I love it.
Well, if it's possible I fell in love a little with one of the characters, Everett. It is a long book, but the kind of book that makes you feel lonely once you've finished it. I have read it many, many times, that's just my way.
So I'd read the book over, and over, and over, each time discovering something new about the story or the characters, when I decided to branch out and see what else Duncan had in store for me. His only book that I'd not read was a compilation of short stories and writings called River Teeth
. Not my usual fare, I decided to buy it anyway.
So one morning, with a fresh, hot cup of coffee and Kitty curled up on my lap, I dove in. I liked some stories more than others, but I liked one story best.
There it was buried in the back of the book, a little treasure. A short story about Everett, my favorite character from my favorite book, and the story of his time in jail (three years for dodging the draft) while his father died. I cried when I read it, and not only because it was a little sad, but also because it felt like it had been written just for me, because each time I finished my favorite book, I missed the characters. (It wasn't written for me, I know, I'm a little
obsessive about my books but I'm not crazy.)
It was a wonderful surprise. And I thought of it because I'm Josh's opposite world twin with regard to reading. He won't read a second book by the author of a book he really enjoyed. I not only reread books I love until they fall apart, but I snatch up every thing the author has ever written that I can get my hands on and devour them as well.