Warning, this is going to be something of a fan girl post.
The View From the Cheap Seats is, if you didn't know, a collection of nonfiction essays by Gaiman - some you may have seen before and some you may not (it includes speeches, introductions, etc). And no, essays aren't normally what I review, but it's Gaiman and he's brilliant and he has brilliant things to say. Seriously. I've had the pleasure of attending multiple local events he's participated in (one of the perks of living in a place that has a phenomenal indie bookstore selection) and am not really joking when I say I'd probably read his grocery list if he were to publish it online. Of course, if you don't know Gaiman at all, let me tell you that even his grocery list would likely be eerie and whimsical and wonderful.
Gaiman is an advocate for literature in every form. He's a huge supporter of libraries, bookstores, other authors, and readers and much of The View From the Cheap Seats is focused on that advocacy in one way or another. Beginning with his Intro and intro into the "Some Things I Believe" section, all the way through "A Slip of the Keyboard: Terry Pratchett" - an emotionally tough piece to read all things considered - he reinforces his own passion for fiction and inevitably instills the same in the reader.
The book is divided into sections including the above mentioned "Some Things I Believe" (which features his Newbery speech and one of my favorite overall pieces "Ghosts in the Machine: Some Hallowe'en Thoughts"), "Some People I have Known," "Introductions and Musings: Science Fiction," "Films and Movies and Me," "On Comics and Some of the People Who Make Them," "Introductions and Contradictions," "Music and the People Who Make It," "On Stardust and Fairy Tales," "Make Good Art" (with just the one piece entitled the same), and "The View From the Cheap Seats: Real Things."
Gaiman talks of author whose work he enjoys and respects (guaranteed to make you seek out some of these folks work if you haven't read them already), issues close to his heart (beyond reading and literacy), his work, his family, and everything in between. And again, while this may seem like an odd choice for me as a reader (because you very rarely see anything non fiction, much less essay, here - though I do read them) The View From the Cheap Seats is highly enjoyable.
Whether you're a Gaiman fan or not (and if you're not, I assume you just haven't read him), as long as you're a reader I guarantee you'll find something to appreciate in The View From the Cheap Seats!
To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.
For more on Neil Gaiman and his work you can visit his website here. You can also like him on Facebook and follow him on Tumblr and Twitter.
Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble