Friday, August 26, 2011

August Readingfest - OUCH!

As my readingfest frenzy creeps toward its end --September, with the kids back in school should see my back to my quiet writing time-- I finished George R.R. Martin's A Feast for Crows. I'd only read that one once before and I was amazed at how much I'd missed my first time through. It may be that I'd forgotten more than I remembered after six years, but I have a feeling it was more a case of devouring the book and missing subtleties of the plot lines. Having read the first four books now in close succession, the forth felt the weakest, mostly for the simple fact that it was only half of what was going on during that book's timeline.

It's book five, A Dance with Dragons that I have to thank for the fire red sunburn on my back today. Just a couple chapters at the beach...and one more...maybe just one more. Roll over? I can't read on my back! Just one more chapter.

I'll slather myself in aloe and read from the comfort of my couch in air conditioned house from now on. Or acutally remember to apply sun screen. That probably would have been a good idea too. Hmm, staying inside, yeah, that's a safer option, I think.

Book five of A Song of Ice and Fire promises to make up for the partial story of book four by relaying all the character's stories we missed in A Feast for Crows and then concluding by twining them all together again so we can happily lead into book six--which is promised in the opening notes. I just hope it won't be another six year wait. Ahem. I'll try to be patient. Besides, I have another few days of reading until I reach the end and the long wait for the next one begins.

Something I've noticed along the way: weasels. They're everywhere in this series. Particularly in book three, which is filled with them. Rippy McWeasel is not particularly pleased with the way his kind are portrayed in these books. I've told him to be quiet and bide his time. NaNoWriMo will be here soon and his time to shine will come.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August Readingfest

A couple weekends ago we took a long weekend road trip to Chicago. This trip reinforced the facts that I am NOT a big city kinda girl and that my TBR pile has gathered dust for far too long. To keep my daughter busy, we had stopped at the video store to stock up on DVDs for the long ride. As we wandered through the family video section I spy City of Ember and something clicks in the back of my head. Huh, that sounds familiar. Why? Oooooh! I have that book... and its sequel... in my TBR pile... from 2004. Behind much? Umm yeah.

The problem with buying books from a book club blurb is that I occasionally a smidge misled. As I sat watching the movie, I realized, I'd unwittingly purchased two YA books. I'm not a huge YA fan. I know, I know, YA is hugely popular right now, but I like my books dark and twisted or erotic and with plots that keep me guessing. As for the movie of City of Ember, I enjoyed watching it with my eight year old daughter. The effects were disappointing in the main action scene, but otherwise, it was pretty good. After finishing the movie, I vowed to clear these books from my stack.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau was slightly darker than the movie and not filled with the hand holding reminders and explanations that plague some of the YA I've encountered. While I admit I kept waiting for something dark, sinister or twisted to happen, (it didn't) the plot and its ending was still gratifying in it's own simple way. I wish I could share what drove me to purchase the book in the first place, perhaps it was just the post-apocalyptic flavor, but that several years ago so I don't remember exactly. Apparently there are two more books in the series now that I was not aware of until writing this post. If I happen across them, I might have to pick them up as I will be passing these books on to both of my kids (13 & 8) to read. With both a teen girl and a boy as the MCs this book fits a wide audience. If you enjoy YA and have five to six hours you'd like to spend in a book, this one might be for you.

The People of Sparks This sequel picks up right where City of Ember left off, with Lina and Doon experiencing the outside world for the first time in their lives. This book makes you think a little about all the skills and knowledge we (and our children) take for granted. The moral of the story was a shade more in your face than I prefer even in books for kids, but it did have a character twist that I didn't see coming so I must give credit for that. Another quick read and perfect for my kids. Now I just have to keep them off their laptops long enough to pick up a book.

With two books read in two days, I was feeling far too accomplished. I'd waited a long time (too long because the newest of the series is now taunting me from the top of the TBR pile), but I finally allowed myself to sink into the sumptuous feast that is George R.R. Martin's A Clash of Kings. Since I'd just watched Game of Thrones on TV, I didn't need to refresh myself with the first book of A song of Ice and Fire. This was my third time through the early books of this series, but I wanted everything fresh in my head so I could fully enjoy the fifth book when I get to it. The series should have been named A Feast of Words and Characters. If you have not yet allowed yourself the utter pleasure of reading this fantasy masterpiece, indulge yourself. Go on. Do it. Now.