That’s certainly not what Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer is like. I’d heard about this book via a few writing folk online, and finally, I caved into temptation and purchased a copy. All I can say now is – wow. Mind officially blown!
The aim of Wonderbook is essentially the same as any other writing-related tome – namely to improve your skills as a writer. However, the way it goes about that task is entirely different to anything I’ve ever seen before.
Right from the start, you realise that this book is quite random. Quirky illustrations pop up on virtually every page – some stranger than others. There are a few that are quite mind-boggling, yet when you start to study them closely, you realise there’s meaning, hidden within the odd images. That in itself is a great exercise to get the creative juices flowing.
The content is also broken up with wise words from established authors, such as Neil Gaiman, Ursula le Guin and George R.R Martin. The authors talk openly about different ways to approach writing – and there are some fascinating opinions and ideas in there.
I doubt the book will turn anyone into a bestselling author overnight, because let’s face it, what book can? What I will say is this – it can certainly get even the most lacklustre writer fired up, and there’s plenty of inspiration nestling in it.
It’s also a fascinating, thought-provoking read, and while I was devouring a path through it, I found myself often stopping to think about what had been said, and question my own writing practices in relation to it.
Just to Clarify…
Before you wonder, nope, I didn’t receive any incentive to review this book, no payment, no free copies, nada. I just wanted to share my experiences reading it – as it’s always a great joy when you read something that genuinely helps you as an author.
If you’ve got any recommendations to share, please do via social media! Or, if you’re on Goodreads, you can find me there too (just search for Lucy Banks). I’m quite active on there, and always enjoy swapping reviews and recommendations with others!