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.

black and white blank challenge connect

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

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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.

Gray

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Summer Meltdown, 2018

Summer sky over Yonago

I seem to have lost my way. No reviews posted for 6 weeks. And worse than that, I have lost my enthusiasm for reading books. Omg!!! I’m not sure why..?

Has this ever happened to you?

I could make excuses such as this year’s exceptionally HOT summer in Japan, (and all across the Northern Hemisphere.) But that sounds too easy. Yes, it’s been boiling hot for what seems like forever yet I’ve got an air conditioner. I can enjoy a cool, dry room at home. Perfect conditions for curling up with a good book. So what went wrong?

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The thing is, I have been reading. Just not as much as before and NOT books. I’ve got back into reading comics. “Oh No!” I hear you cry, “Don’t you know that comics rot your brain?!?” Continue reading

Why I Love Comics #1

“Adults…struggle desperately with fiction, demanding constantly that it conform to the rules of everyday life. Adults foolishly demand to know how Superman can possibly fly, or how Batman can possibly run a multibillion-dollar business empire during the day and fight crime at night, when the answer is obvious even to the smallest child: because it’s not real.”
― Grant MorrisonSupergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

 

“Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.”
― Dr. Seuss

Continue reading

Manchester Trip ’17

Best wishes to all for the festive season!

I am in Manchester, England visiting my dad. It’s very cold with a tiny bit of snow. Eating & drinking too much, and getting  some reading in. 

Here are some recent purchases:

And this is a present from my brother:)

Very excited about the two Leigh Brackett paperbacks! Also delighted to find The Innkeeper’s Song in hardback. 

Ack-Ack Macaque sounds totally bonkers in a good way.

Which book would you read next?

 

Retrospective for Year 2 – Nov. ’16 ~ Nov. ’17

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Daisen Temple, Mt. Daisen (near where I live).

Happy Autumn everyone! It’s the best time of the year for reading (according to Japanese people). What books or comics are you enjoying at the moment?…

I’m in the middle of reading Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust. So far, it has been a very comfortable read and I’m nicely into it.

dust-covers

Now that Hallowe’en is over for another year, I think it’s time for a retrospective post about my second year of blogging about books. Two years, eh? Where did the time go?… I spent some of it reading, but not enough really. I was too often tempted by some of the quality TV drama appearing on Netflix and Amazon Prime, notably Stranger Things, Mister Robot, Fargo, Jessica Jones, American Gods, Luke Cage, and Star Trek Discovery. How about you? Does TV still tempt you, or are you only in it for the books?! Continue reading

RIP XII Challenge

I’m a sucker for a reading challenge, especially when it coincides with one of my own. The last two years in October, I’ve taken my own *All Hallow’s Read challenge (*from an idea by Neil Gaiman). I limit my October reading choices to tales of the supernatural.

Two years ago, I read Richard Matheson’s Hell House and Stephen King’s The Shining. Last year, I chose Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes, Bag of Bones by King, again, and Nightmare Magazine#37: Queers Destroy Horror!

This year, I am joining the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XII Challenge which runs from September 1st to October 31st. Here is a link to the sign-up page. Continue reading

What happened to Summer Reading?

Hello September! Where did the summer go? It’s finally cooling down at night over here on the west side of Japan. Which means autumn is just around the corner, I’m happy to say. I love the heat of the summer over here, but you can take the humidity, please, no really, please take it away! Can you imagine working at a school in 35+ degree-heat with over 70% humidity, without air conditioning? It’s like working in a sauna.

But enough moaning from me. I hope your summer was fantastic. Did you get a lot of summer reading done?..

summer-reading

I didn’t. Continue reading