You can't go wrong with Pat Rothfuss. The man understands language, story-telling, kindness, and humor. He crafts novels that strike me on a deeper level than most authors ever do. He also knows how to write an excellent book review. Now, I haven't read THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING by Catherynne Valente but I immediately went ahead and added it to my queue after reading this quip from Rothfuss:
"This book is beautiful. The language is lovely without being pretentious. The story is careful and playful and smart. This book made me tear up in places. Not because it is particularly sad. But because sometimes when a story is true and sweet and perfectly shaped, it puts its hand around my heart."
I think that's what all of us want in a good story. That's what makes us into lifelong readers.