All Things, All at Once, Lee K. Abbott The Box Man, Kobo Abe Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe The Children’s Hospital, Chris Adrian A Death in the Family, James Agee Man In His Time, Brian W. Aldiss The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Sherman Alexie Bastard Out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison My Life in Heavy Metal, Steve Almond Telegrams of the Soul, Peter Altenburg Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson Dora Flor and Her Two Husbands, Jorge Amado Elect Mr Robinson for a Better World, Donald Antrim The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood The Rector of Justin, Louis Auchincloss Obabakoak, Bernardo Axtaga The Music of Chance, Paul Auster Red Cavalry Stories, Isaac Babel The Mezzanine, Nicholson Baker Going to Meet the Man, James Baldwin The Sweet Hereafter, Russell Banks The Smallest People in the World, Keith Banner Nightwood, Djuna Barnes A History of the World in 8 1/2 Chapters, Julian Barnes 60 Stories, Donald Barthelme The Lives of Rocks, Rick Bass The Stories of Richard Bausch First Light, Charles Baxter The Lost Ones, Samuel Beckett The Collectors, Matt Bell Mr Sammler’s Planet, Saul Bellow Town Smokes, Pinckney Benedict 25th Hour, David Benioff Correction, Thomas Bernhard 2666, Roberto Bolano Labyrinths, Borges The Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles After the Plague, TC Boyle Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury On the Yard, Malcolm Braly Rumors of Rain, Andre Brink Things That Fall from the Sky, Kevin Brockmeier Fay, Larry Brown A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess Scorch Atlas, Blake Butler The Postman Always Rings Twice, James M Cain Tobacco Road, Erskine Caldwell If On A Winter’s Night a Traveler, Italo Calvino American Salvage, Bonnie Jo Campbell The Palace Thief, Ethan Canin Hard Rain Falling, Don Carpenter The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter Where I’m Calling From, Raymond Carver Spartina, John Casey The Professor’s House, Willa Cather The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon The Big SLeep, Raymond Chandler Collected Stories, Eileen Chang Among the Missing, Dan Chaon Farewell I’m Bound to Leave You, Fred Chappell The Stories of John Cheever Falconer, John Cheever Awakening, Kate Chopin “Gusev,” Anton Chekhov Oh Baby, Kim Chinquee House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros We’re in Trouble, Christopher Coake Disgrace, J M Coetzee Witz, Joshua Cohen Diary of a Rapist, Evan S Connell Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad Hopscotch, Julio Cortazar Bargains in the Real World, Elizabeth Cox The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane A Feast of Snakes, Harry Crews The Passage, Justin Cronin Flesh and Blood, Michael Cunningham The Green Age of Asher Witherow, M Allen Cunningham House of Leaves, Mark Danieliewski The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat In the Gloaming, Alice Elliott Dark The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis The Circus in Winter, Cathy Day Great Jones Street, Don DeLillo Mao II, Don DeLillo Underworld, Don DeLillo Drown, Junot Diaz The Man in the High Castle, Philip K Dick Play It As It Lays, Joan Didion Interstate, Stephen Dixon I. and End of I., Stephen Dixon City of God, E L Doctorow The Shell Collector, Anthony Doerr The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky Clown Girl, Monica Drake Selected Stories, Andre Dubus House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus III Geek Love, Katherine Dunn The Lover, Marguerite Duras Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco Permutation City, Greg Egan How the Water Feels, Paul Eggers The Magic Kingdom, Stanley Elkin Happy Baby, Stephen Elliott Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison The Black Dahlia, James Ellroy Silence, Shusaku Endo For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, Nathan Englander The Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich Altmann’s Tongue, Brian Evenson The Wavering Knife, Brian Evenson Erasure, Percival Everett Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides A Fan’s Notes, Frederick Exley Sabbath Night in the Church of the Piranha, Edward Falco As I Lay Dying, Faulkner Absalom! Absalom!, Faulkner The Short Stories of F Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald The Good Soldier, Ford Madox Ford The Sportswriter, Richard Ford Independence Day, Richard Ford The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles Poachers, Tom Franklin The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen The Recognitions, Wm. Gaddis Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill The Stories of Mavis Gallant as much Gabriel Garcia-Marquez as possible, starting with Chronicle of a Death Foretold Grendel, John Gardner In the Heart of the Heart of the Country, Wm Gass Welding with Children, Tim Gautreaux I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down, Wm. Gay Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol The House of Breath, Wm Goyen Museum of the Weird, Amelia Gray The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene Hunger, Knut Hamsun Adverbs, Daniel Handler Airships, Barry Hannah Bats Out of Hell, Barry Hannah Legends of the Fall, Jim Harrison “Rollerball Murder,” Wm Harrison The Lime Twig, John Hawkes The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein The Pacific, Mark Helprin some stories from Hemingway The Complete Works of Marvin K Mooney, Christopher Higgs High Fidelity, Nick Hornby The Cider House Rules, John Irving The Lottery, Shirley Jackson Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson All Aunt Hagar’s Children, Edward P Jones all of Kafka The Master of Go, Yasunari Kawabata The Last Temptation of Christ, Nikos Kazantzakis all of Imre Kertesz’s novellas Pacazo, Roy Kesey Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid Different Seasons, Stephen King Carrie, Stephen King Hearts in Atlantis, Stephen King The Stand, Stephen King The Shining, Stephen King Steps, Jerzy Koszinski The Orange Eats Creeps, Grace Krilanovich The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Kundera The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Kundera From Old Notebooks, Evan Lavender-Smith Independent People, Halldor Laxness Mystic River, Dennis Lehane Rum Punch, Elmore Leonard a couple of J T LeRoy books The Fifth Child, Doris Lessing The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem The Year of A Thousand Good Prayers, Yiyun Li Richard Yates, Tao Lin Stories in the Worst Way, Gary Lutz Cairo Trilogy, Naghub Mahfouz some Bernard Malamud novels A Death in Venice, Thomas Mann In Country, Bobbie Ann Mason My Life in CIA, Harry Mathews All of Cormac McCarthy, starting with Child of God The Cement Garden, Ian McEwan The Collected Stories of Leonard Michaels at least one novel from James A. Michener “Lust,” Susan Minot about three weeks in Mishima Hue and Cry, James Alan McPherson The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven, Rick Moody “People Like That,” Lorrie Moore Beloved, Toni Morrison Friend of My Youth, Alice Munro Open Secrets, Alice Munro Hateship, Loveship, Alice Munro The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami The Man Without Qualities, Robert Musil A House for Mr Biswas, Naipaul Pale Fire, Nabokov Lolita, Nabokov The Assignation, Joyce Carol Oates In the Lake of the Woods, Tim O’Brien The Violent Bear It Away, Flannery O’Connor Kentucky Straight, Chris Offutt “I Stand Here Ironing,” Tillie Olsen The Shawl, Cynthia Ozick Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk The Collected Stories of Grace Paley The Stories of Breece D’J Pancake Refresh, Refresh, Benjamin Percy The Devil in the Hills, Cesare Pevase Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Katherine Anne Porter at least one Charles Portis novel  Knockemstiff, Donald Ray Pollock The Collected Stories of J F Powers Clockers, Richard Price Close Range, Annie Proulx Mason & Dixon, Thomas Pynchon An Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice Charity, Mark Richard Sabbath’s Theater, Philip Roth American Pastoral, Philip Roth Mating, Norman Rush The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie some Salinger A Sport and a Pastime, James Salter some Saramago The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, George Saunders The Reader, Bernhard Schlink all of Christine Schutt except the newest novel a couple of Sebald novels Collected Stories, Isaac Bashevis Singer A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Solzhenitsyn Sophie’s Choice, Wm. Styron “The Old Forest,” Peter Taylor Girls in the Grass, Melanie Rae Thon some Tolstoy and Tolkien A Bit on the Side, Wm Trevor at least one Anne Tyler novel, swear to god Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut Breakfast of Champions, Vonnegut The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, Brady Udall some Deb Olin Unferth stories Rabbit Tetralogy, John Updike What the World . . ., Laura van den Berg The Bear Bryant Funeral Train, Brad Vice The William T. Vollman Reader Oblivion, David Foster Wallace Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, David Foster Wallace All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren “Against Specificity,” Douglas Watson some Eudora Welty stories The Intuitionist, Colson Whitehead Exciteability, Diane Williams The Quick & the Dead, Joy Williams Stoner, John Williams “The Farmer’s Daughters,” Wm Carlos Williams “Bullet in the Brain, ” Tobias Wolff some Virginia Woolf novels some Daniel Woodrell Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates
So this was released today, the sequel to The Name of the Wind. You can buy it right now. You should. If you have an ipad or a kindle or a nook, you can literally be reading this in a matter of minutes.
I was loaned the Name of the Wind a couple of months after its release by a member of the D&D group I played with. It was good times. We were all professionals, we drank coffee or beer while we played, as opposed to the little debbie snack cakes (strawberry shortcake rolls were my particularly insidious vice) and mountain dew of those summer days of AD&D youth. Activists and teachers and publishing people living in the fading dream of the Brooklyn renaissance that our too-slowly rising salaries afforded us in Greenpoint. I never got that book back to the owner unfortunately. He stopped being able to make the games. Then he moved.
But man am I happy I still have that copy. I've had 4 or 5 other copies over the years as well, Rothfuss joining Tolkien and Vonnegut and Winterson in the pantheon of writers who I can't help but pick up multiple copies of. And the book was a stunner. Literally, like One Hundred Years of Solitude or The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, when I finished The Name of the Wind I have only the vaguest recollection of where I was, as if I had been shot through with light and separated from my mind while the vast, sleepy realms of thought and the deepest reaches of my awareness churned far from my waking consciousness. It was like a magic spell.
It was as if the book had channeled a wormhall into my brain that I could only access by separating from myself. I am convinced Grant Morrison does this kind of thing, implanting alien thought into your mind through language, and Warren Ellis is very forward in putting his disease textually.
And of course, it all feels as good as it sounds, hence the allure. A book like this is a drug. It takes root in you, and begins to change you from the inside out.