I've just finished a book by a talented author - Joanne Harris.  When I say that she's talented, I don't mean it in a J.K. Rowling sort of way, weaving her interesting plots here and then surprisingly there.  Of course I don't want to demean the talents of J.K. Rowling, for I read the Harry Potter series with the best of them, gripped and compulsive about the process, sad when I came to the last of the books because that little world was now closed to me again for a time.  That's indisputably talent and uppercase T talent, even, I think. 

But here, I'm talking about talented in a word craft sort of way.  Joanne Harris (of Chocolat fame) writes books that find me sort of stilled at the end of the reading of them.  She writes paragraphs that make me want to go immediately to a keyboard and write for myself, sure that there is something good and deep and important looming up inside of me, needing to make it's way out into the world.  With her, writing seems lofty and noble, even.  With her, the reading of her writing seems lofty and noble.  You feel at the end of one of her books (or at least at the end of Chocolat and Five Quarters of the Orange) that you've been changed in some small, hard-to-define way.  But you feel quite certain of that change, nonetheless, though you can't quite identify it. 

In short, if you fancy yourself a reader, go out and do what you can to pick up a copy of either Chocolat or Five Quarters of the Orange.  I suspect that you'll be very happy you did.  As for me, I just picked up Blackberry Wine at a used book store and I feel a looming anticipation for when I can re-enter the artistic machinations of this woman's talented mind once more. 

Can you recommend any fantastic books you've read lately?  I'd love to hear all about it.

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