My name is Kara, and I am a compulsive book-club-joiner.
No, not the ones where you meet up with friends once a month and pretend to talk about a book while drinking wine from a box, but the ones where you get FIVE BOOKS FOR A DOLLAR and then have to buy two more to "fulfill your commitment." I've joined and gotten out of them several times, and they always get me back with that FIVE BOOKS FOR A DOLLAR promise. Seriously. Five books. For a dollar. Who could resist?
So the only problem with these book clubs is that you have to decline that "featured selection" every month or they send it to you automatically. I forget this sometimes. Okay, a LOT. And I get a LOT of books that I didn't mean to order; some are crap and some are pretty good.
Last month I got one such shipment of books and tossed them aside, but came back to them this week when I ran out of reading material. What I found was a book of such wonderful fabulousness that, even though I'm only halfway through it, I have to tell you about it.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. This is nothing I would have picked up on my own. I don't know if you've noticed, over there on the sidebar, but I tend to read a lot of books of the same type. A friend of mine told me that she was looking through the list one day and clicked on the one that sounded the least supernatural and sci-fi-ey, only to find that To Sail Beyond the Sunset is actually a sci-fi classic about time travel.
I don't think I can really tell you what Edgar Sawtelle is about. There's a boy who is normal in every single way except that he can't talk, can't make any sound at all. There's a dog-breeding farm that breeds dogs of no particular type that are all, every single one, extraordinary. There are dogs who can make murderers confess and dogs who can read sign language. There's a perfect little family, and each member has his or her own secrets.
This book is captivating. So much so, that a while ago, I was lying on the couch reading, and came to a scene so heartbreaking that I actually caught my breath, put the book down, sat up, reached for it, then decided I should do something else for awhile, because crying gives me migraines.
I've about reached the halfway point, so I suppose there's still time for the book to start to suck. But what I'm more afraid of is that it's not going to ever start sucking, and when I'm finished with it, I'm going to miss those damn characters like my best friend moved out of town. It's a perilous business, this reading of books, and you don't always come away unscathed.