Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Overly Enthusiastic, Perhaps

I was just leaving the Circulation Desk, and one of our staffers was just about to take over for me, when she said, casually, "Didn't I see you reading 'Ysabel?' I just finished reading it." Turns out Ysabel was her first GGKay novel. Well, you know how exciting that is, when someone's reading GGK for the first time. I was, perhaps, a shade overly enthusiastic in my response, given that this person doesn't really have any context for that which is Jenn, beyond a certain friendliness and a few circ desk shifts. There may have been just the slightest bit of squealing involved.

She had moved from Ysabel to Last Light of the Sun, and claimed to be enjoying it. I got into our catalog with her and talked about the pros and cons for various reading order scenarios. I was shocked and saddened to discover we own The Darkest Road, but not The Summer Tree or The Wandering Fire. I spent some time on my lunch hour making her a list, sorting them into varying intensities of fabulousness. The Tapestry listed as the penultimate work, Tigana and Lions and Ysabel as "Life Altering," Song for Arbonne as "Excellent" and the others as "The Other Stuff."

It's a bit of a puzzle, as I'm sure you see. Normally, with new Kay people, I suggest an Arbonne, followed by either Lions or Tigana. Then, assuming they won't be offended by fantasy, of course there is the Tapestry, and now I'd suggest one wait until after that for Ysabel. Then I leave it up to folks to try or skip Sailing to Serantium and Last Light, as they feel best. She's read Ysabel, but not the Tapestry. She's reading Last Light. Next, should I encourage her to treat herself to one of the tastiest morsels, or should she work her way from least amazing to most mind boggling, since she's on the path. She says she'd read them all, but I'd hate to lose her to the second book of Sarantium, you know?


Goodyear said...

I usually start newbies off with Lions, unless they indicate some love for the Arthur cycle; then it's off to Fionavar directly. Tigana gets the most mixed reviews from people I've turned loose on Kay, don't know why?


Jim Tschen Emmons said...

Wait, wait, your library has _The Darkest Road_, but not _The Summer Tree_ or _The Wandering Fire_?!!! Uh, bad, that's like starting with _Return of the King_ and then later reading _Fellowship of the Ring_!!! Oh Jenn, who are your collection planners and how can I get in touch with them?


P.S. Congrats to Goodyear and Joy on their latest beastie!

jean said...

Ysabel was life changing for you, eh? Interesting. I would probably have ranked it below Arbonne but above the Sarantium stuff.

I had some difficulty with the contemporary technology bits mixed in with the ancient mythology lore. Does that count as being anachronistic?

Though I also tripped over it when I first started with The Summer Tree, but quickly got over it when I devoured the rest of the book. Perhaps I need another read of Ysabel to reach the same conclusion.