Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (11)



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice this week is:




Title: 1Q84
Author: Haruki Murakami
Publisher: Knopf
Expected publication date: October 25, 2011

The long-awaited magnum opus from Haruki Murakami, in which this revered and best-selling author gives us a hypnotically addictive, mind-bending ode to George Orwell's 1984.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Clash of Kings



















A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R. Martin
Kindle edition purchased from Amazon.com
Description from Goodreads:

George R.R. Martin writes sword-and-sorcery which concentrates on the swords. A Clash of Kings is the second volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, the sequence which began with A Game of Thrones and will take another four volumes to complete. The Seven Kingdoms are divided by revolt and blood feud; beyond their Northern borders, the men of the Night Watch fight the coming of a great cold and the walking corpses that travel with it; on the other side of the ocean, the last of the Kingdom's deposed ruling house mourns her horseclan husband and rears the dragonets she hatched from his funeral pyre. This is character-driven fantasy—we see most events through the eyes of the sons and daughters of the Stark family, the once and future Kings of the North, whose father's judicial murder started the war. Martin avoids the cosy cheeriness of many epic fantasies in favour of a sense of the squalor and grandeur of high medieval life; there is passion here, and misery and charm.Roz Kaveney

My take:
While I really enjoyed the first  book in this series, I thought the story really took off in this, the second book of the series. We finally get to actually meet some of the important characters only referenced in the first book.  Stannis Baratheon and his family are introduced and we find out what he is really like. Turns out, what people said about him in the first book is pretty much true.  We are also introduced to the red priestess Melisandre, who plays a rather big part in events and seems rather powerful for a religious woman. Theon Greyjoy's family is also introduced and we find out that Theon really is as big of a jerk as he seemed. So many new characters are introduced, that it would be ridiculous to try to recap them all. But since these families are so important, I thought I'd mention them. I thought that Brienne of Tarth was a particularly sympathetic new character and suspect (hope) that she will continue to play an important role in the other books.

Once again, my favorite characters Tyrion, Arya, and Jon Snow. I loved how despite everything Cersei did to thwart him, Tyrion still did his best to fulfill his duty as acting Hand of the King. He was awesome. I liked the character development and he has become the only sympathetic Lannister.  Arya continues to grow up and remain the strong, tough, stubborn daughter of Ned Stark.  Jon Snow continues to be a favorite character as well. I find it interesting and wonderful that the most interesting, sympathetic, empathetic, brave, and intelligent characters in the series are underdogs, minimalized by others in society and sometimes their own families. Jon Snow, the bastard, a title he will live with his whole life, is discounted by much of society and especially by Catelyn Stark. Tyrion Lannister, "The Imp", is looked at in revulsion, disgust, amusement - many different reactions - by everyone, including or especially his own father. Despite how people see him, he continues to try to do what is right according to his own conscience and tries to keep his sister from killing him in the process. Arya, a young girl, is overlooked, bullied, discounted, but she continues to fight and to act as she thinks is best. Despite difficult situations, difficult decisions, and extremely hard conditions, she is a force to be reckoned with.

I am reading the third book in the series, A Storm of Swords, right now. I am very happy with the way each book takes up right where the last one left off.  Again, this is not a cheery, happy, sparkly fantasy world. It is very dirty, violent, and angry. It seems very real in a medieval setting.  I would highly recommend the book for mature readers.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (10)



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


My choice this week is Reamde
Author:  Neal Stephenson
Publication date: September 20, 2011

From publisher Harper Collins:
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Neal Stephenson is continually rocking the literary world with his brazen and brilliant fictional creations—whether he’s reimagining the past (The Baroque Cycle), inventing the future (Snow Crash), or both (Cryptonomicon). With Reamde, this visionary author whose mind-stretching fiction has been enthusiastically compared to the work of Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Kurt Vonnegut, and David Foster Wallace—not to mention William Gibson and Michael Crichton—once again blazes new ground with a high-stakes thriller that will enthrall his loyal audience, science and science fiction, and espionage fiction fans equally. The breathtaking tale of a wealthy tech entrepreneur caught in the very real crossfire of his own online fantasy war game, Reamde is a new high—and a new world—for the remarkable Neal Stephenson.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Follow Friday



It's Friday - my favorite day of the week! Naturally, that means it's time for another Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View. To make Follow Friday more interesting, every week there is a Featured Blog. This week's blogger is Lisa at Read. Breathe. Relax.

The question this week:

 Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?

My answer:  Wow, that is a tough one! I thought my answer would be The Shack by William P. Young, but then I remembered that I couldn't finish it. (I know that lots of people really liked it, but I was supposed to read it for a book club but just couldn't make it through the book.) If I really don't like a book, I just stop reading.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (9)




"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice this week is
Prized (The Birthmarked Trilogy)
Author:  Caragh M. O'Brien
Publication date: November 8, 2011
Prized (The Birthmarked Trilogy)

From Goodreads:
Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?