The flip side of the 150 page rule is the quest for the holy grail of books, the book that’s so compelling, you stay up all night to finish it. When that happens to me, it short-circuits all my judgment, which makes it really hard to describe these books. But I can tell you how they make me feel.
It happens so rarely, when I hit that point where I know I can’t stand not to finish a book, I get a catch in my breath and a lump in my throat. I feel as excited to find such a book as I do reading the book itself. I feel like I’ve hooked a fantastic, hard-fighting marlin out of a sea of sardines. More than anything, I feel grateful.
So, pending a more rational account of why I love the books on this very short list so much, I offer my thanks.
Thank you, Susanna Clarke, for writing Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
Thank you, Guy Gavriel Kay, for writing A Song for Arbonne and Lord of Emperors.
Thank you, Lois McMaster Bujold, for writing The Curse of Chalion.
Some day I want to pass on the favor. What books have kept you up all night?