Whatever your taste in books, if you’ve spent much time in a library or bookstore over the past 20 years it’s likely you’ve at least heard of Neil Gaiman. A successful author in a variety of different genres (including science fiction, fantasy, and horror, as well as graphic novels, books for children, and screenplays for television and film), he has been the recipient of numerous awards, most notably the Nebula, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy Awards, as well as the 2009 Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book (which also won the Hugo for best book and Locus award for best YA novel). He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and two of his books (Stardust and Coraline) have been adapted into major motion pictures (we carry both adaptations in the DCPL catalog, and they can be located here, and here, respectively).
The website Shelfari (a literary oriented social networking site which allows members to build a virtual bookshelf to display books they’ve read) recently posted an article on Neil Gaiman and his personal library. The idea was, as stated by the author of the piece, “you can learn a lot about someone by seeing what’s on his or her bookshelf…[so] we thought it would be fun to take a look at what’s on the bookshelves of some of our favorite authors.”
Mr. Gaiman’s home library is impressive, both in terms of quantity and quality. A perusal of his bookshelves reveals a man with an eclectic and varied taste, exactly what one would expect from such a talented and wide-ranging author.
If you are interested in learning more about Neil Gaiman, his website offers a wealth of information about his life, work, and current activities. You can also check out his author profile on Shelfari or follow him on Twitter. And for those who have never read anything by him but are looking for a good place to start, allow me to recommend a couple of my favorites:
The Sandman graphic novel series is, in a word, brilliant. It has been critically acclaimed, being one of very few comics to ever make it onto the NY Times bestseller list as well as have been selected as one of Entertainment Weekly’s “100 best reads from 1983 to 2008“. Although DCPL doesn’t carry the entire series, we do carry the first collection of issues I read, entitled The Doll’s House, which is a fine place to start exploring the series, as well as its follow up installments: Dream Country and Season of Mists.
American Gods was awarded the Hugo and Nebula awards (among others) and tells the story of Shadow, an ex-con who learns upon his release from prison that both his wife and best friend died the previous day in a car accident, leaving him with no one to come home to. Offered a job as a bodyguard by a mysterious man named Wednesday, Shadow travels with him around the country, slowly learning of a weird and dangerous world he never knew existed, and the Gods, old and new, that inhabit it.
Check them both out. You won’t be disappointed.