Friday, March 30, 2012

The Answer, My Friend ....

Lately I've noticed a trend in my reading. It began a year ago when I breezed through the 400-plus page novel The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and while anyone who knows me is probably tired of listening to me bluster about how it was the best book I read in 15 years, it certainly began this current trajectory of my fiction reading today. I am now deep into the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, the first book of which is entitled The Name of the Wind: a fantastic account of the formation of a young folklore hero that seizes its own identity despite its slight undercurrent of Harry Potter trappings. A possible next choice from my infinite reading list could be the Dark Tower novels by Stephen King, the latest of which is named The Wind through the Keyhole (Are you starting to catch the draft of where I'm heading?).

There are gusty titles in whichever direction you look. If you are into hard science fiction you may have read Julie Czerneda's prequel to her Trade Pact Universe trilogy, Reap the Wild Wind. If romance is more your speed, Kat Martin's Against the Wind or Christine Feehan's Magic in the Wind might set your heart fluttering. A waft of mystery might be in order for others, in which case readers can wind up enjoying In the Wind by Barbara Fister or a something by Tony Hillerman, who managed to do it twice: Dark Wind and Wailing Wind.

It doesn't stop there, however; it breathes back through the years. A significant contribution to American literature is the play about the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trail (but was also an oblique statement on the McCarthy Trials) Inherit the Wind. And, of course there are the classics The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

Is it the transient nature of wind that attracts authors to incorporate it into their stories and titles: here today but possibly not tomorrow? The wonder of not knowing which way it will blow next? The unseen yet completely real presence of it?

I am unsure, but the one thing I do know is that my friend Bob assures us that the answer is "blowin' in the wind".

Can anyone cast about for any other zephyrous titles?

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