Books I wish I’d read when I was younger #1

My commute to work involves a 15 minute walk, followed by a 23 minute train ride. I’ll have my nose stuck in a book while on the train, but for the walk it’s usually podcasts I’ll be listening to. I don’t subscribe to a great deal of them, maybe ten, tops, of which four or five I’ll regularly listen to. One of those is SF Squeecast (SF fans, go listen, it’s fantastic!).

Anyway, I was listening to the current episode on the walk to the station the other day, the topic of conversation for this episode being about books we wish we had read when we were younger. A couple of days before, I had finished Brandon Sanderson’s epic tome of a book, The Way of Kings, and listening to that episode I realised something…

I really wish I’d read fantasy books as a kid.

I mean, sure, I read a few during my teens, mostly some Forgotten Realms books as I was big into playing Neverwinter Nights at the time, but none of the classics or the fan favourites, and nothing that could really be considered ‘epic fantasy’. And I don’t just mean Tolkein (I think I would have been bored to tears with a Tolkein’s books as a kid—I still am as an adult. Believe me, I’ve tried!). No, I mean authors like Ursula K. Le Guin, Robin Hobb, Robert Jordan, and Raymond E. Feist, authors that wrote books which contain huge fantasy worlds, fully realised characters and unique ideas that I think would have influenced my young mind in a way that would have made me a different person entirely.

It took reading The Way of Kings and absolutely adoring it to come to the realisation that I really do love fantasy as a genre, but the books just need to be the right ones. Then again, I guess that goes for books in any genre, even my beloved science fiction. I just wish I’d had someone to suggest some great fantasy books to me when I was a kid. Hell, speculative fiction books in general. I suppose missing out on them as a kid has one advantage: I now have a whole bunch of them to look forward to as an adult.

My ‘to read’ list just became about three times as long.

A new blank page

What has it been? A year and a half? My habits of abandoning my blogs are becoming well-known at this point. It occurs to me that this blog stopped dead in its tracks almost precisely a year and a half ago when I began a new job and started university at pretty much the same time. Life got busy. Ha, no, busy doesn’t even cut the mustard. Life got fracking insane. It still is. But at least I’ve (somewhat) learnt to balance things a bit better. Or pretend do. Something like that.

The reality is that I need to force myself to start writing again after a looooong hiatus, and writing regular blog posts is one way of doing that. I also wanted to begin again with a clean slate, so most of the old shitty blog posts are gone (and saying shitty is being kind, trust me), though I did keep the NaNoWriMo ones as that will be continuing trend. I’ve learnt my lesson, so I’m not going to promise anything this time around. But I will say this: this space here is intended to document my writing journey and to share some interesting bits and pieces that I stumble across regarding writing, reading, books, authors, publishing, etc… With a bit of randomness thrown in for good measure.

I’m taking some time off study next semester to just write and read and learn my craft, so I won’t be able to make excuses about not having the time. I’m enrolled in a single unit at uni, which involves a writing project, and that’s it. So my life will consist of working, writing, and reading over the next six months (and playing Dragon Age Inquisition when it comes out, and taking a week’s holidays in order to finish it, and I’m not ashamed to admit that, dammit).

Anyway… Here’s to new beginnings, the clean slate, the blank page… And let’s stop with this soppy crap now, eh? I’m off to finish reading Brandon Sanderson’s brilliant and epic doorstop of a book, The Way of Kings.