In my sophomore year of high school, I had an assignment to write to a famous person and ask them if there was a book they read in their childhood that they particularly enjoyed. I chose Christopher Paolini because he was my favorite author at the time, and why would an author not respond to something like that?
Here is his letter.
November 12, 2007
One of my favorite books is “Dune,” by Frank Herbert: In an ancient galactic empire, people warp space and time with the help of spice. Battles, prophecy, giant sand worms, and fearsome villains clash between it’s covers. It’s one of the greatest adventure/hero/coming-of-age epics and the only book I’ve read more then five times…although “Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card, and “A Wizard of Earthsea,” by Ursula K. LeGuin, are close seconds. You should read those too. And after that, “A Wrinkle in Time,” by Madelein L’Engle; then “Magician,” by Raymond E. Feist; then “Hatchet,” by Gary Paulson; then “Mossflower,” by Brian Jacques; and then…why stop? Keep going!
May your swords stay sharp!
Christopher Paolini, Author of “Eragon” and “Eldest”
Of all the books he mentioned, I like “Hatchet” and “Mossflower” very much. “Mossflower,” now that I think about it, might be my favorite fantasy novel of all time, because it has animals, not humans. I tried to read “Dune,” but found it excruciatingly boring, so boring that I don’t even know what it was about. He sums it up pretty well, but the opening scene is like “WTF?” Maybe sometime I’ll try it again. Hopefully, becoming an English teacher will mean my swords have stayed sharp by his standards. That might be the best fantasy-nerd line ever written. He also mailed me a picture of himself reading “Dune” (scared you for a minute there, huh?) and a drawing of a decorated sword with my name on the blade. Real smooth, Prince Charming.