Friday, June 18, 2010
In Which I Get A Little Bit Lucky
I never win anything. Never, ever.
Well, I take that back. When I was an employee of the U.S. House of Representatives, I won so much that I stopped letting my name be entered into doorprize drawings, because when you're a House employee, you have all sorts of ethics reports you have to fill out, and all sorts of hoops to jump through.
But before that? One 12-pack of Peppermint Patties. In junior high. Since I left government work? A delightful book awarded by Harley May. And that's just because she likes me. (I think.)
So imagine my surprise when yesterday, I won something on Twitter -- and not just anything on Twitter, but a most fab book ... a Joshilyn Jackson book, BACKSTREET SAINTS, courtesy of @GCPeditor on Twitter.
I have a confession about Joshilyn Jackson. I really dragged my feet about her first book GODS IN ALABAMA. Everybody said it was great. Everybody said I HAD to read it. So of course I didn't.
I'm contrary that way.
I DID pick it up several times in Barnes & Noble. But every time, I'd say to myself, Eh, if everybody's reading it, I'll wait.
So one day, many moons later, I found an audiobook edition of GODS IN ALABAMA in my library. I was hooked from the moment I heard a real southern accent, none of this Hollyweird version of what they think we sound like.
But it was the words that really hooked me. Jackson's voice, the way she saw things that I'd seen a million times, but saw to the core of them, got me. I loved that book. I loved that book so much that I went out and bought me a copy of my very own.
How is it that I so nearly missed such a stellar author? Why didn't I give her a chance? Why was I so resistant to other reader's suggestions?
I guess it was because I didn't think any book could live up to that much advance billing. I'd read other books that had let me down.
But Jackson's book made me do two things: 1) whisper, "please, please, please don't let me down!" as I drove the long way home and parked in the garage to finish listening to the audio version, and 2) make me seriously wonder if I had any business anywhere NEAR a keyboard.
She didn't, and after a very sweet reply to my gushing e-mail of praise for her book, I got over my keyboard phobia.
So that brings me to my third thing I learned: if someone recommends a good book to you, read it. Give it a chance. After all, what have you got to lose?