Welcome to a little series I’m calling ‘Isolation Updates’. During this distressing and uncertain time, I thought I’d get back to some basic blogging, to have a bit of a focus and keep myself busy, and mainly just to help myself concentrate on the things I enjoy doing.
My first instalment is of course, what I’m currently reading. Although I’m still working, I am working from home, and obviously not leaving the house much otherwise, so I feel like I’ve had quite a bit more time on my hands. I’m happy to say that, in March, this did actually equate into plenty of reading. Most importantly, I managed to get through some bigger books which I’ve been *slightly* scared of picking up.
The crowning achievement in March was getting through The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon. At well over 800 pages – and I have the hardback – this was a beast of a book. However, once I got into it, I absolutely adored this – the world, the characters, the weaving together of the multiple plot strands, were all stunning. Definitely one of those which makes you wonder why you put it off for so long.
Another significantly substantial book which I got through in March was Elantris, by the fantasy master himself Brandon Sanderson. Having never read any Sanderson before, this was completely new to me, and I wasn’t even sure what to expect. Although this only provides a glimpse of Sanderson’s vast created universe, the world is so rich and clearly conveyed that it was completely immersive. The three viewpoints provided are utterly unique and play off one another wonderfully. Sanderson’s writing is dense but by no means impenetrable, and the depth of detail provided just made me love it all the more. Although the overall ending was slightly predictable, the twist before the resolution was not, and the foreshadowing was brilliantly subtle. The ramble above won’t have done this book justice, but I am seriously glad that I took the time to read my first of many Sanderson masterpieces to come.
- I’m Telling the Truth, But I’m Lying – Bassey Ikpi
- Essays from slam poet and mental health campaigner Bassey Ikpi
- Commentary on mental illnesses, race, immigration, family, and performance
- So far: beautifully written, moving, heart wrenching, insightful, tense
- The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson
- First in the Mistborn trilogy
- Set in a land where evil has ruled for a thousand years, and large swathes of the population are essentially enslaved
- Fascinating magic system involving ingesting different metals
- Kelsier, a survivor and a thief, has a grand plan, and for that he needs a crew – enter street urchin and unlikely saviour Vin
- Zen in the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury
- Author of Fahrenheit 451 on creativity and writing
- Essays reflecting on finding ideas, getting started, how his writing feels, and more general recommendations
See you over the next few days for more Isolations Updates 🙂