Rediscover a Sense of Wonder

white teddy bear reading book

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In my last post, I wrote of a “Summer Meltdown” which had left me struggling to read – and especially finish – books. To those who responded, thank you so much for taking the time to read and offer advice or support, I really appreciate it.

The boiling heat of 2018’s summer has finally subsided, and autumn’s cooling touch has brought some welcome relief. BUT I still haven’t reached the end of a book. Wtf?

I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching, trying to find a deeper reason than the summer’s heat knocking everyone out, and I think I’ve discovered what’s been missing.

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Let me ask you a question. What was the last book you read that you truly couldn’t put down? You know, the kind of story in which you become so caught up that you resent the time spent NOT reading it. A book or story that you keep thinking about when you’re not reading it. One which you can’t wait to get back to reading once your work or chores are done.

Isn’t that why we read fiction, whether it be speculative or not? To become so caught up in someone else’s imaginary world(s) that we forget where we are, if only for a brief moment? A book that takes us out of ourselves and puts us into someone else.

'Barcelona, the city of newspaper readers!' (Series)

THAT is what I’ve been missing.

Looking back at my book-review posts since I started this blog, I’ve recommended a lot of stories. After checking my Goodreads page, I’ve found eleven 5 star reviews. Here they are (with links to the reviews on this blog):

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin

The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts

The Overneath by Peter S. Beagle

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

The Best SF & Fantasy of the Year: Volume 11 by Various authors

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm

The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake

Neuromancer by William Gibson


The last book in which I really lost myself was Ursula K. LeGuin’s ‘The Dispossessed’ which I re-read in February this year, six months ago. Since then I’ve read some good stories as well as some not so good ones, putting it politely.


Now, six months isn’t very long, I know, but within that time I guess I’ve been missing that sense of wonder you feel when you lose yourself in a stranger’s words.

So, if you have any recommendations for a story – short or long – that might restore my sense of wonder please leave a comment below.

Thank you.




6 thoughts on “Rediscover a Sense of Wonder

  1. The Last Unicorn (which if I remember right you reviewed and recommended) was very hard to put down. But just before that I was reading Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake the MaddAddam trilogy – wow, A+, I was so immersed in those three books and too sorry when they ended. Another hard to put down series is The Twelve by Justin Cronin. Life of Pi (one of favourite books) I couldn’t put down and have read that numerous times, The Famished Road by Ben Okri is perfect if you’re looking to restore a sense of wonder. I’m currently reading and enjoying Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed The Last Unicorn. It totally blew me away, smashing all my preconceptions of what it would be about.
      I read the first Oryx and Crake a few years back and enjoyed it. I’ll have to pick up the other two based on your rec.
      I’ve read Life of Pi but not any of the others you mentioned. Thanks so much for the recs and your comment. I was really hoping to get a few more responses but I don’t have much of an audience so whattayagonnado?
      I am reading Exit West at the mo, based on Megan AM’s rec and it’s good. I also picked up a copy of Tade Thompson’s Rosewater which has been on my radar for a while. It’s on special offer (kindle) right now.
      I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on Station Eleven, another book I’ve heard a lot about.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi

    I have been having this problem off and on for some time. Sometime I pick up an old favourite but that only puts it off. But I do have a few things you might like, for a little innovative HPL action Kiernan’s Agents of Dreamland and Michael Shea’s Copping Squid (I am reading his collection Demiurge and have liked everything so far), Charles Stross’s A Colder War, which should be free on the web, Brian Hodge’s It’s all the Same Road in the End and On these Blackened Shores of Time have that cosmic feel I associate with wonder. Two short stories by Dan Simmons Muse of Fire and Orphans of the Helix. You like Le Guin so if you have not read it The Lathe of Heaven, one of my favourite novels, not sure about wonder but it always lifts my spirits. Lastly Arthur C Clarke’s novel Rendezvous with Rama (I have not read the others in the series), and his novella A Meeting with Medusa.

    Hopefully something here will appeal to you.
    Happy Reading

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Guy, thanks so much for your considered reply! Yes, I’ve heard good things about Agents of Dreamland. I recommend The Ballad of Black Tom if you haven’t read it yet. Also The Changeling by the same author, Victor LaValle.
      I will see if I can hunt down those short stories you mentioned. I read Rama years ago and loved it back then. Curious to see how it holds up now. I was a big fan of Clarke’s Childhood’s End when I was a teenager. I read Dan Simmons’ Hyperion a while back and loved it.
      Thanks for all your recs. Happy reading to you, too.


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