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Ever since left me slack-jawed and inarticulate with its puzzle structure and fearlessly ambitious plots and astonishing humor and humanist compassion and heartbreaking truths -- okay, even before that, when I snapped up and he turned out to be the kind, brilliant, self-effacing person you hope in your heart of hearts that your favorite authors might turn out to be -- David Mitchell has been my model for what writing and writers can be, and I have described myself truthfully if unflatteringly as a slavering fan. Sorry.)But having a favorite writer also means you approach every new work of theirs with an inevitable trepidation: will it hold up?Will you have to love it half-heartedly, out of loyalty, or will it blow you away again?Finally, on the plane to see my family in California for a post-Christmas vacation, I pulled the 8 1/2 by 11 thing out of my bag and started to read. I noted with satisfaction that it was written in third person, a first for Mitchell -- he had noted at a reading I attended that he had always written in first person, since he "wouldn't know where to look" without a single perspective, but that third person sounded like a challenge he should set himself -- and look here, he had.I also noted, as no doubt reviewers will, that one thread of this narrative involves a European (in Jacob de Zoet's case a Dutchman, in Mitchell's case an Irishman) falling in love with a Japanese girl (in de Zoet's case, Orito Aibagawa, a young surgeon in training who has a scar that makes her unmarriageable, but not unbeautiful; in Mitchell's case, his now wife and mother of his children, whom I know nothing more about).It was first published in 1946 as a three-part serial in Argosy Magazine, under the title, "Rider from Nowhere." Houghton Mifflin published it in book form in 1949 under the Shane title.It eventually went into seventy or more editions and sold twelve million copies (in a nation with half of today’s population). It became the watershed novel that changed western fiction into men’s literature featuring the gunman hero.But even I could read the endurance in the lines of that dark figure and the quiet power in his effortless, unthinking adjustment to every movement of the tired horse.

Spooners opened early this June in the Front Range Village shopping center right across the street from the library.I get that same kind of nostalgic feeling at Spooners Frozen Yogurt.