Tag Archives: george r r martin

Teaser Tuesday

23 Apr

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

Rules
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser

Book: This is embarrassing, but I’m still going on A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin. It’s taking me forever to finish, so here’s another teaser, this time from page 734. I’m up to page 504.

He had never sounded more like a stupid little boy. Sansa touched her lips to the metal, thinking that she would kiss any number of swords sooner than Joffrey.

A Clash of Kings - George R R Martin

A Clash of Kings – George R R Martin

-H-

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Teaser Tuesday

16 Apr

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

Rules
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser

Book: So, I’m STILL reading A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin. It’s taking a while, but to be fair it’s a long book and very involved so can’t rush through it! Last week I was up to page 254, i’m now up to 333, and my teaser is from page 584.

He gave me a potion that made me powerless to move or speak, yet did nothing to dull my senses. With a long hooked blade, he sliced me root and stem, chanting all the while.

A Clash of Kings - George R R Martin

A Clash of Kings – George R R Martin

-H-

WWW Wednesday

10 Apr

W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. 

TO PLAY ALONG, JUST ANSWER THE FOLLOWING THREE (3) QUESTIONS:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

_________________________________________________________________________________

What are you currently reading?

Currently I’m reading A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin, the second book of A Song of Ice & Fire. So far I’m really enjoying it, although sometimes I get pretty confused – thank goodness for the details of the Houses at the end.

A Clash of Kings - George R R Martin

A Clash of Kings – George R R Martin

What did you recently finish reading? 

The last book I finished was Youth by J.M. Coetzee. You’ll find my review here

Youth - J.M. Coetzee

Youth – J.M. Coetzee

What do you think you’ll read next?

The next book on my list is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, which was given to me by my boss for my birthday, and is her favourite book ever – always love a good recommendation so very much looking forward to reading it!

A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these books, although no spoilers please for the ones I haven’t read yet!

-H-

Teaser Tuesday

9 Apr

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

Rules
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser

Book: I’m reading A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin – the second book of A Song of Ice and Fire series. I’m up to page 254, and am loving it so far. But not quite as much as I loved the first one, A Game of ThronesMy teaser is from page 522.

A widow brought the dried corpse of her husband, covered with a crust of silvered leaves; such remnants were believed to have great power, especially if the deceased had been a sorcerer, as this one had. And the Tourmaline Brotherhood pressed on her a crown wrought in the shape of a three-headed dragon; the coils were yellow gold, the wings silver, the heads carved from jade, ivory, and onyx.

A Clash of Kings - George R R Martin

A Clash of Kings – George R R Martin

-H-

Stories Sitting on the Shelf

23 Mar

I know lots of people like seeing other people’s ‘To Read’ lists. My list is over 2000 books long, so instead of sharing that, I like to show you some of the books currently sitting on my shelf to be read. I’m a bit odd, and read books I currently own alphabetically by title. I have about 30 books on the shelf at the moment to read, but here I’ll just show you the next 14 that are coming up. Sorry for the poor quality image!

Stories Sitting on the Shelf

Stories Sitting on the Shelf

A Clash of KingsGeorge R R Martin: Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over and age of enforced peace are dead…victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. Read my review of the first ‘A Song of Ice & Fire’ novel here

A Fine Balance Rohinton MistryWith a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers–a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village–will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.

A Judgement in StoneRuth Rendell: On Valentine’s Day, four members of the Coverdale family–George, Jacqueline, Melinda and Giles–were murdered in the space of 15 minutes. Their housekeeper, Eunice Parchman, shot them, one by one, in the blue light of a televised performance of Don Giovanni. When Detective Chief Superintendent William Vetch arrests Miss Parchman two weeks later, he discovers a second tragedy: the key to the Valentine’s Day massacre hidden within a private humiliation Eunice Parchman has guarded all her life.  A brilliant rendering of character, motive, and the heady discovery of truth, A Judgement in Stone is among Ruth Rendell’s finest psychological thrillers

A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving: John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany is the inspiring modern classic that introduced two of the author’s most unforgettable characters, boys bonded forever in childhood: the stunted Owen Meany, whose life is touched by God, and the orphaned Johnny Wheelwright, whose life is touched by Owen. From the accident that links them to the mystery that follows them–and the martyrdom that parts them–the events of their lives form a tapestry of fate and faith in a novel that is Irving at his irresistible best.

A Tale of Two CitiesCharles Dickens: After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

All Quiet on the Western FrontErich Maria Remarque: Paul Bäumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other–if only he can come out of the war alive.

The Book ThiefMarcus ZusakNarrated by Death, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever they are to be found.

Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant Daniel TammetThis unique first-person account offers a window into the mind of a high-functioning, 27-year-old British autistic savant with Asperger’s syndrome. Tammet’s ability to think abstractly, deviate from routine, and empathize, interact and communicate with others is impaired, yet he’s capable of incredible feats of memorization and mental calculation. Besides being able to effortlessly multiply and divide huge sums in his head with the speed and accuracy of a computer, Tammet, the subject of the 2005 documentary Brainman, learned Icelandic in a single week and recited the number pi up to the 22,514th digit, breaking the European record. He also experiences synesthesia, an unusual neurological syndrome that enables him to experience numbers and words as “shapes, colors, textures and motions.” Tammet traces his life from a frustrating, withdrawn childhood and adolescence to his adult achievements, which include teaching in Lithuania, achieving financial independence with an educational Web site and sustaining a long-term romantic relationship. As one of only about 50 people living today with synesthesia and autism, Tammet’s condition is intriguing to researchers; his ability to express himself clearly and with a surprisingly engaging tone (given his symptoms) makes for an account that will intrigue others as well.

Breakfast at Tiffany’sTruman Capote: In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany’s; her poignancy, wit, and naïveté continue to charm.

The Bride Stripped BareNikki GemmellA woman disappears, leaving behind an incendiary diary chronicling a journey of sexual awakening. To all who knew her, she was the good wife: happy, devoted, content. But the diary reveals a secret self, one who’s discovered that her new marriage contains mysteries of its own. She has discovered a forgotten Elizabethan manuscript that dares to speak of what women truly desire, and inspired by its revelations, she tastes for the first time the intoxicating power of knowing what she wants and how to get it. The question is: How long can she sustain a perilous double life?

The Bridge to Holy Cross – Paullina Simons: The Bridge to Holy Cross is a powerful story of love and hope — a passionate and epic love story from the Russian-born author of The Bronze Horseman. The world at war …two people in love. Tatiana is eighteen years old and pregnant when she miraculously escapes war-torn Leningrad to the West, believing herself to be a widow. Her husband, Major Alexander Belov, a decorated hero of the Soviet Union, has been arrested by Stalin’s infamous secret police and is awaiting imminent death as a traitor and a spy. Tatiana begins her new life in America. In wartime New York City she finds work, friends and a life beyond her dreams. However, her grief is inescapable and she keeps hearing Alexander calling out to her. Meanwhile, Alexander faces the greatest danger he’s ever known. An American trapped in Russia since adolescence, he has been serving in the Red Army and posing as a Soviet citizen to protect himself. For him, Russia’s war is not over, and both victory and defeat will mean certain death. As the Second World War moves into its final violent phase, Tatiana and Alexander are surrounded by the ghosts of their past and each other. They must struggle against destiny and despair as they find themselves in the fight of their lives. A master of the historical epic, Paullina Simons takes us on a journey across continents, time, and the entire breadth of human emotion, to create a heartrendingly beautiful love story that will live on long after the final page is turned. Read my review of the first Tatiana & Alexander book here.

Cocaine BluesKerry Greenwood: This is where it all started! The first classic Phryne Fisher mystery, featuring our delectable heroine, cocaine, communism and adventure. Phryne leaves the tedium of English high society for Melbourne, Australia, and never looks back. The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honorable Phryne Fisher–she of the green-grey eyes, diamant garters and outfits that should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions–is rapidly tiring of the tedium of arranging flowers, making polite conversations with retired colonels, and dancing with weak-chinned men. Instead, Phryne decides it might be rather amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia.

The Colour of MagicTerry PratchettOn a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious buy inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist ifyou believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…

Cross StitchDiana Gabaldon: In 1945, Claire is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon in Scotland. Innocently, she walks through a stone circle in the Highlands, and finds herself in a violent skirmish taking place in 1743. Suddenly she is a Sassenach, an outlander, in a country torn by war and by clan feuds. A wartime nurse, Claire can deal with the bloody wounds that face her. But it is harder to deal with the knowledge that she is in Jacobite Scotland and the carnage of Culloden is looming. Marooned amid the passion and violence, the superstition, the shifting allegiances and the fervent loyalties, Claire is in danger from Jacobites and Redcoats – and from the shock of her own desire for James Fraser, a gallant and courageous young Scots warrior. Jamie shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire, and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

I think that this is an exciting mix of books, and I’m looking forward to reading (and reviewing) them all! If you’ve read any of these, I’d love to hear your thoughts – although please don’t spoil them for me!

Descriptions taken from Goodreads, as I obviously haven’t read the books yet!

-H-

#2 A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin

22 Nov

A Song of Ice & Fire – Book 1 of 7

A Game of Thrones - Front Cover

A Game of Thrones – Front Cover

Goodreads rating: 4.42 (286,190 ratings)

My rating: 9/10

Why it’s on the list: Because it’s AWESOME, that’s why… No, it’s on there because I wanted to read the books before watching the TV show. I like to visualise the characters and the settings without the influence of a TV show.

First published: August 6th, 1996 by Bantan Spectra

Genre: Fantasy/Epic

Where do I begin? A Game of Thrones is set in a fantasy world, where seasons can last years, and there are continuing feuds between the Noble Houses of Westeros (family dynasties) – of which there are 9, the guards on The Wall in the North called the Night’s Watch who protect the seven kingdoms from the mystery and terror further North, and the Free City of Pentos in the East. Winterfell, in the North, is where it begins, and throughout the book it switches from different perspectives of different characters. I was as confused as I’m sure you are. Thankfully, in the edition of the book I had, there were maps in the opening pages, and in the back pages were summaries of all the Noble Houses, as well as the sub-houses, and who was who in each.

The North & The South

The North & The South

The Land Beyond the Wall & The Land in the East

The Land Beyond the Wall & The Land in the Eas

Houses Appendix

Houses Appendix

Each chapter is from the perspective of a different character. There are 8 characters whose point of view we get to see, the majority of them part of the Stark family, who rule the North and are based in Winterfell. I found this the best (and only plausible) way that this book could have been written. With the sheer amount of Lords, Ladies, Kings, Queen, Knights (or Sers as they’re called), servants, Maesters and children, it’s hard enough as is to keep up with who’s who and who hates/loves who, that the separation makes it much easier.

A Game of Thrones is such an epic book, that there is no simple way to explain the story without giving too much away, or confusing you into not wanting to read it, but the main themes in it are betrayal, power, family, class systems, coming of age, justice, & gender. Women’s roles in this world are medieval to me, although when I was writing this, I realised that there are plenty of similar goings on in the 21st Century. Girls are betrothed to men they don’t know, baby girls are seen as a disability – boys are the desired child, and so on. However, Catelyn Stark, and her daughter Arya, defy these traditional roles – of course, making them (particularly Arya ) my favourite characters (as you can see by her prominence in the quotes I chose below!). Well, apart from the direwolves, which in my mind are THE CUTEST THINGS EVER!

I will warn you though, there are some disturbing moments in the book, especially some passages involving rape. However, I believe these parts are necessary in the story to give you a sense of a woman’s worth in some of the lands, particularly those to the East.

Notable quotes

“I’m Arya Stark of Winterfell, and if you lay a hand on me my lord father will have both your heads on spikes. If you don’t believe me, fetch Jory Cassel or Vayon Poole from the Tower of the Hand.” She put her hands on her hips. “Now are you going to open the gate, or do you need a clout on the ear to help your hearing?”Arya Stark

“My words lied. My eyes and my arm shouted out the truth, but you were not seeing.”Syrio, Arya Stark’s Sword Teacher

“The Night’s Watch is a sworn brotherhood. We have no families. None of us will ever father sons. Our wife is duty. Our mistress is honor.”Benjen Stark

“Your crimes will be washed away, your debts forgiven. So too you must wash away your former loyalties, put aside your grudges, forget old wrongs and old loves alike. Here you begin anew.”Lord Commander Mormont

“My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”Tyrion Lannister

If she choked on the blood or retched up the flesh, the omens were less favorable; the child might be stillborn, or come forth weak, deformed, or female. – Passage from Daenerys’ chapter

Past reviews

“an absorbing combination of the mythic, the sweepingly historical, and the intensely personal.” – Phyllis Eisenstein, Chicago Sun-Times

Bits & pieces

  • Took Martin 5 years to write A Game of Thrones
  • The series ideas began when Martin was a child, and involved a Turtle kingdom, with Lords, Kings & Knights.

-H-
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