Book Buzz Episode 15 – Wake & The Book That Wouldn’t Burn

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Air date: Sept. 17, 2023

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The Book That Wouldn't Burn

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Hi, this is Jessica Russell. I’m the Assistant Director of Collection Services at Sno-Isle Libraries. And welcome to Book Buzz.

Today's reading recommendations both explore our relationship to information and what it means to have access to information taken away.

First, we’re going to hear from Angela, library associate from the Camano Island Library, for a sci-fi journey. Go ahead, Angela.


The Aurora Award-winning book by Robert Sawyer titled “Wake,” is book one in the WWW Trilogy.

This book grabbed my attention because of the AI component. The author was very forward thinking when he began writing this in 2010. Back then AI seemed like something in the distant future but now, AI is prevalent in our daily lives.

When the series came out, it was labeled as a teen title. The main character is a teen, but I believe it’s a trilogy that teens and adults alike will enjoy.

Book 1 begins with Caitlin, a young blind girl who has learned to navigate her world and the internet world quite proficiently. A doctor from Japan develops an implant that might help Caitlin regain her sight. What actually happens is, Caitlin can see the world wide web data stream. Very soon she discovers that there is something else in there with her and it’s very intelligent. She dubs it Webmind.

The government also discovers Webmind, and they are determined to make it a national threat and destroy it. Webmind continues to learn and evolve, and Caitlin will defend it from government interference at all costs.

I loved getting to know the characters and stories that were seamlessly woven together. At the end of book 1, I was clamoring for book 2.


Thanks, Angela! AI has always been of interest in science-fiction and I think we’ll see more AI stories in the years to come.

Next, let’s hear from Jason, assistant director of information technology at Sno-Isle Libraries, for a book about books. Take it away, Jason.


“Book That Wouldn't Burn” by Mark Lawrence is a captivating and thought-provoking journey that blends elements of fantasy, mystery, and adventure into an engaging narrative.

The author delivers a tale that explores the power of knowledge, the complexities of human nature, and the unyielding spirit of those who dare to challenge the status quo.

Set in a world where books are not only repositories of knowledge but also symbols of authority, the story follows the protagonist, Elias, as he stumbles upon an ancient tome rumored to possess dangerous secrets.

Elias, as the central character, is both enigmatic and relatable. His journey from a curious individual seeking answers to a symbol of resistance is portrayed with nuance. I found myself drawn to Elias's internal struggles as he grapples with the moral dilemmas that arise from possessing a book deemed dangerous by those in power.

In conclusion, "The Book That Wouldn't Burn" is a commendable addition to any fantasy lover’s shelves. With its intricate world-building, complex characters, and a narrative that delves into themes of knowledge and resilience, the book offers a compelling reading experience.

Fans of Lawrence's previous works and readers who enjoy fantasy laced with philosophical undertones will find much to appreciate in this fiery tale.


Thanks, Jason! Of course, library staff members love books about libraries.

Our recommendations this week are: "Wake” by Robert Sawyer and “The Book That Wouldn't Burn” by Mark Lawrence.

Join us next time, when we’ll explore more great reading recommendations – interesting books you can find at your favorite local bookstore or at your local library.

Until then, I’m Jessica Russell from Sno-Isle Libraries. Thanks for joining us for Book Buzz on KSER.

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