Games of Thrones

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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series:     A Song of Ice and Fire
Publisher:    Bantam Spectra
Release Date:    August 6, 1996
Category:   Sci-fi
Setting:   Fantasy Land
Author Website:   http://www.georgerrmartin.com/

About series:

 

This is an epic novel following several ruling families or houses in a fantasy land where summer lasts for decades and winters can last a lifetime. There is a mixture of magic, science fiction, and paranormal.  Plus a dose of romance and plenty of battle scenes to keep the men happy and interested.

 

About this book:

 

A long time ago in this amazing fantasy land, the House of Targaryen ruled. Their animal to call was the dragon which followed them into the battlefield and won them the kingdom. But all the dragons died. And their king was overthrown and the last of the Dragonstones fled across the seas.

 

Now the king is from the House of Baratheon, but he is a drinking womanizing king who let’s others run his kingdom. Mostly working behind the King is his wife’s family from the House of Lannister. The king’s brother-in-law is actually called the kingslayer – which would make me nervous as a king – but he is the one who killed the Targaryen and won them the throne. The king though relies on his best friend who is the head of the House of Stark. This household is the main focus of this book. We are told the story through the eyes of the Stark family whose symbol is a direwolf (a bigger than normal wolf that scares everyone.) The Starks motto is “Winter is coming” and this is a haunting threat that follows us through the book.

 

There are other houses in play as well, such as Lady Stark’s sister who married into the House of Arryn. Their castle is way up in the sky and the loneliness of it has driven Lady Arryn a bit mad and she has brought up her son in her crazy image. She won’t even come to the aid of her father and brother at the House of Tully.

 

It’s the combination of all these other houses which makes this novel truly a masterpiece of woven stories.

 

  • I love the characters and world building of this novel.
  •  I love how the stories intertwine.

 

But this novel is about more than that. There is a paranormal side to this storyline. In this first book, it is all about one house fighting against another, but soon – maybe when ‘winter comes’ – they will need to band together and fight a worse enemy… the zombies.  I hate zombies. I don’t know if I can continue to read the series when the zombies reach the Wall. But in the meantime, I want to see what happens to the Stark children as they travel their own paths. I want to see the evil get their punishments and innocent be protected. And maybe what makes all this so enjoyable is that there is this threat of winter coming hanging over our heads.

 

Learn about other books in this series:

 

About this series on HBO:

The Library: A World History

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The Library: A World HistoryThe Library: A World History by James W.P. Campbell

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher:    University Of Chicago Press
Release Date:    October 14, 2013
Category:   Art, History, Reference 

 

 

About this book:

 

Okay, I admit it. I didn’t read every word of this book but I got it mostly for the pictures. I love books and therefore I’m equally in love with the places that house books. From the ancient stone libraries to the modern steel stacks, libraries help keep the love of books alive and so I frequent my library as much as possible. What I fear most is the book warehouse such as the Bodleian Storage in Swindon, UK that houses the overflow of the Oxford Library. Books stored away where no one can see it is a sad life for a book. A book should be available where people can pull it down off the shelf by inspiration, flip through the pages, and learn just a tidbit before putting it back on the shelf for the next person to discover.

 

I may never be able to see these libraries in real life but some of my favorites from this book are: