Words on Words: An interview with 2013
The Weekly Top 2
We're going to start out the new year with an exclusive Weekly Top 2 interview with none other than The Year 2013 herself!
Kenny: Happy New Year and congratulations on your appointment!
The Year 2013: Happy New Year to you Kenny.
Kenny: As I was preparing my questions it occurred to me that you Years are constantly being asked to reveal aspects of the future. How do you determine what you can and cannot reveal?
The Year 2013: Your question reaches to the heart of our craft. You see The Council of Years has a term which all its members train themselves to use with precision, sophros.
Kenny: You don't say! What is sophros?
The Year 2013: It is the art of maintaining the balance between free will and fate. These concepts are not mutually exclusive. They are intertwined. If you look at the Greek Tragedies, for example, you will find that Fate is a rock perched delicately on a cliff which, once dislodged, will roll remorseless to the bottom of the slope. Yet it requires an act of will to dislodge it.
Kenny: You don't say.
The Year 2013: I do indeed. The art of sophros is to reveal that which clarifies the choices upon which the action of fatalism hinge.
Kenny: So you only reveal what will help people make the choices that will determine their fate?
The Year 2013: Right in one.
Kenny: Wow, so what can you share with us regrading The Year 2013 in the world of books. Can you tell us what will happen with the DOJ lawsuit against many of the major publishers?
The Year 2013: You are probably wondering if the Department of Justice will come to its senses and realize it has the whole Agency Plan issue backwards and is prosecuting the businesses it should be defending and defending the businesses it should be prosecuting?
Kenny: I am!
The Year 2012: Unfortunately all I can tell you is that John Sargent of Macmillan will win an important award, but whether that will be an award of recognition or a legal judgment I cannot say.
Kenny: Rats! Well is there anything provocative you can disclose?
The Year 2013: Well you asked me about sophros and I can tell you that one book coming out actually was reviewed by the Council of Years and its author called in to testify before us.
Kenny: Really. Which book was that?
The Year 2013: It was the third book in the Goblin Wars trilogy by Kersten Hamilton, When The Stars Threw Down Their Spears. The Council was concerned that it revealed too much about the secret workings of the universe and would disrupt the sophros in its readers.
Kenny: Amazing. And what happened?
The Year 2013: Well, it came to light during discussion that Hamilton had exercised remarkable restraint and judgment in her disclosures, and that her knowledge of that which it is perilous to know was fairly won. After discussion it was determined that the book was in keeping with sophros, that it would clarify choices not determine them.
Kenny: I see, well this sounds like a must read if there ever was one.
The Year 2013: Oh absolutely. It's not the only book which drew our attention, however, Patick Carman's Pulse and Joelle Charbonneau's The Testing are both books dealing with the future which have strong roots in real probability. The Council was also pleased by the reprint of Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen's Diary of a Man in Despair.
Kenny: I know that as part of your training you closely scrutinize the Year before you take office. Can you share with us your thoughts on the best books of 2012?
The Year 2013: Certainly! I look for books which accentuate a particular experience, for example Year Zero was the funniest book of the year, and The Dog Stars the most moving. The Twelve was the most fun, and Gone Girl the creepiest. Those stand out to me.
Kenny: Great choices! What about in non-fiction.
The Year 2013: To me the real standout was Midnight in Peking. It captured a vanished world, solved an unsolved mystery, and was a gripping read, well told, and masterfully constructed.
Kenny: Totally agree. How about kids books?
The Year 2012: For picture books, Black Dog was my favorite. The illustarions are beautiful, intricate, and varied. It explores the meaning of fear in a really marvelous way, so understandable to a child, and so positive. For 8 to 12 year olds I'd have to admit that I have a weakness for canine tear jerkers and A Dog Called Homeless was a great one. It is also a very authentic handling of some important issues to children. In terms of Middle Grade, The Peculiar is truly exceptional, in fact it is a hard book to define by age or genre, Real magic has a way of doing that to a book. And for Young Adult I liked The Diviners, by Libba Bray, it not only captured the Twenties but I think it allowed modern teenagers to see that other time periods really shared their sensibilities and perspectives.
Kenny: Thanks Year 2013! I appreciate your spending some time with us and sharing your thoughts.
The Year 2012: It was my pleasure Kenny, have a wonderful year.
1) When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears
Published by: Clarion Books
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780547739649)
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780062085764)
3) The Testing
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780547959108)
4) Diary of a Man in Despair
Friedrich Reck; Richard Evans; Paul Rubens
Published by: NYRB Classics
Edition: Paperback (ISBN #9781590175866)
5) Year Zero
Published by: Del Rey
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780345534415)
6) The Dog Stars
Published by: Knopf
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780307959942)
7) Gone Girl
Published by: Crown
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780307588364)
8) Midnight in Peking
Published by: Penguin Books
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780143121008)
9) Black Dog
Published by: Templar
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780763660970)
10) A Dog Called Homeless
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780062122209)
11) The Peculiar
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780062195180)
12) The Diviners
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780316126113)
13) The Twelve (Book Two of The Passage Trilogy)
Published by: Ballantine Books
Edition: Hardcover (ISBN #9780345504982)