Links Luau #4

Whew, the Bout of Books read a thon is wrapped up today and so that means we all have lots of free time to go check out community links right? Right?! :D

Books Soulmates wrote a genre breakdown post that I found very helpful since if you couldn’t tell by my “Genre-ish” section in reviews, genres confuse me!!

I found a Discworld Reading Guide which is awesome since I’ve been wanting to start on this set of books for a while but haven’t known where to start :D

Finally and best there is a giveaway at Biblitropic for The Testament of Jessie Lamb!! This is a post-apocalyptic book about a young heroine and her scientist father and I really want to read it!

-A
Anya from About The Story More Links to Enjoy:
Links Luau #1
Links Luau #2
Links Luau #3

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Bout of Books Day 5.1

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Whoops, I missed a day it appears :(. I went on a day trip out of town yesterday so I just didn’t have much time I’m afraid. I made progress with my audiobook though and got some new books from the library! I just got Beggars and Choosers by Nancy Kress and Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin on audio! I also am very happy to be able to say that I got my first unsolicited review copy and have started on that as well! I don’t think I’ll be meeting my goal to finish another book though :(.


That’s all I really got today since today was a date day and while I did a lot of reading at the Minnesota History Museum today, that doesn’t really count for book progress ;-). How’s everyone else’s finishing stretch going?

-AAnya from About The Story

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Four Stars: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin is the first in the A Song of Ice and Fire series and is the story of adventure, family and intrigue in a world were winters last for years, dragons fly, nobels fight and White Walkers stalk the night; it’s also not for the faint of heart

There is a lot of hype around this series that is now an HBO series as well, and it’s honestly well deserved. Martin weaves many perspectives together to create an intricate and captivating plot. That plot also unfortunately involves a lot of sexual violence, which has brought a fair amount of criticism to the series. If you go into the book knowing that that is the case, however, it can be an excellent read and I look forward to the rest.

Goodreads
Title: A Game of Thrones
Author: George R. R. Martin
Pages: ~800 pages (paperback, first in series)
Genre-ish: Adult Fantasy, through and through
Rating: ★★★★ – Really great story, jarring flaws for some
Setting: A Game of Thrones is set in a world where summers and winters last for years, and the most recent summer has been the longest in a while, meaning that the coming winter could last decades. It is a world of kings, queens and all the intrigue that comes with court, as well as dragons (though they have been long absent from the land) and white walkers (though they are just ghost stories… right?).
Premise: The recent rebellion has left King Robert on the throne with a treacherous wife and exiled the children of the former king. Robert has asked his dearest friend Ned to come to court to be his right hand and rule the kingdom that Robert has no interest in. Robert’s wife has other plans, however, and as A Game of Thrones says, “In the game of thrones, you win or you die.”

Strengths:

  • A very intricate plot that is woven throughout the book
  • The setting is a nice twist on traditional fantasy, with the extinct dragons (but skulls to show their existance) and years-long seasons, oh and direwolves
  • Well developed characters that all have their own strengths and weaknesses and reasons for their actions
  • Large world and the spread out characters and perspectives allows for a lot of world building

Weaknesses:

  • As many critics of the series have pointed out, there is a lot of incest, rape, statutory rape (by our definition of adult), molesting and violence towards women; as someone who has stopped reading a trilogy because of sexual violence, I didn’t find that it broke the book, just a bit excessive, but you’ve been warned.
  • Most of the characters are in a grey area, so it’s hard to really pick out the “good guys” and “villains” past the few obvious ones, so A Game of Thrones is definitely not an easy read.
  • I’m still trying to figure out how it could be possible for a planet to have erratic and extremely lengthened seasons from an astronomical perspective and it’s just not working for me; I realize this is fantasy and dragons aren’t real either, but the seasons just don’t fall under the same “it’s fantasy” excuse to me….
  • I’m personally not a fan of multiple perspectives, because I find the character switches jarring, but that’s just me :)

Summary:
This series is turning out to be very controversial, and I don’t especially agree with a lot of the criticism that has been thrown onto what I found to be a rather enjoyable plot. I don’t find the violence overly disturbing or detailed (though if Martin could stop using the word “nipple” so much I’d be happier), and I found that I could still easily enjoy the deep characters and wonderfully woven plot for their own merit. If you think you can handle the  grittier scenes, I really recommend this series, as most people seem to be doing these days.

-A
Anya from About The StorySimilar Stories Reviewed:
Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini – Another rich world filled with political intrigue and dwagons :D
Mistborn by Brandson Sanderson – If you like political intrigue and fantasy, this is your trilogy.

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Bout of Books Day 3.1

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

As I said yesterday, I didn’t get as much reading done yesterday as I would have liked, however, I had today off work! I promised I’d catch up and catch up I did! I finished Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress and participated in the twitter chat and went blog hopping. I’m feeling pretty good ;-).

Goals: 

  • Read at least 2 hours every day – Check! And I caught up from yesterday ;-)
  • Read audiobooks whenever driving – didn’t drive today >.> still counts? lol
  • Finish at least two books this week – Finished Beggars in Spain today! 1/2
  • Spend at least one hour (OUTSIDE OF MY BLOG) communicating with the community – I participated in the Challenge today and the twitter chat and went blog hopping :D
  • Find 4 new blogs to follow :D – Done! My list is below :D

4 New Blogs Goal:

I’m very excited to have found all of these in the Book Blogger Directory under the sci-fi/fantasy section since I saw a lot of books I had read and liked reviewed on these blogs. I apparently have weird taste and have had trouble finding bloggers that like what I like, but I’m looking forward to reading the archives on these blogs :D.

Day 3 Challenge: 

Today’s challenge was Re-Title It at Books Devoured and I chose to do Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress since that was what was on my mind!

I think that a more sci-fi title would suit this book better since from the title I had no idea how awesomely sci-fi the plot would be. Therefore I proposed Those Who Never Sleep though I’m sure there are better sci-fi alternates out there ;-). Anyone have any other cool ideas?

How did everyone’s third day go? I’m nervous about the rest of the week since I’m going to be driving and packing for part of the day in a slow moving out process, but I’m definitely going to try for my goals anyway :D.

-AAnya from About The Story

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Bout of Books Day 2.1

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Oof, so work asked me to stay late today, so I didn’t get home until 9:30 pm which has severely cut into my read a thon time. I’m definitely not going to be able to keep up with all my goals today, but I have tomorrow off so I’ll make up for it tomorrow, that counts right? :D

Goals: 

  • Read at least 2 hours every day – not even close… stupid work
  • Read audiobooks whenever driving – done, yey!
  • Finish at least two books this week – still batting zero here…
  • Spend at least one hour (OUTSIDE OF MY BLOG) communicating with the community – I participated in Nyx’s Story Challenge at least :D My comment is below
  • Find 4 new blogs to follow :D – Still looking for more fantasy/sci-fi adult blogs!

Day 2 Challenge comment: 

I posted this story over in the comments on the day two challenge, but I’ll repost here ;-)

All right, so back before anyone knew what the heck Harry Potter was, I received the first book as a birthday gift and set it on my shelf because I had other things that I was reading/doing etc at that age. A few months later I was apparently feeling secretive in the way that young children sometimes do and so I decided that I was going to start reading this book about witches and wizards, but not tell my parents. I definitely knew that there was no reason to keep it a secret, but I apparently just found it fun to go out of my way to hide reading this book. I have no memory of when it went from this fun secret project to “OMG must read more right NAO” but Harry Potter definitely didn’t stay a secret long in my family after that first book ;-)

How’s the second day for everyone? Anyone else get the second day slump? I didn’t mean to D:

-AAnya from About The Story

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Bout of Books Day 1.2

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Updates from Day 1:

  • Read at least 2 hours every day – Pretty close! 1/2 hour off right now, might sneak it in ;-) Spent my time reading Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress on page 277 of 438 and omg I loooooove this book!
  • Read audiobooks whenever driving – As close as I could since I got a Nora Roberts audiobook only after work today :) But now I will!
  • New: Brave the new scary library and GET SOME AUDIOBOOKS NAO!!! >.> – Check! And it was scary >.> So quiet!
  • Finish at least two books this week (gulp… not really close on anything…) – Getting there, might be able to :D
  • Get at least one book from Goodreads to-read list from library -DONE :D Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress has been on the list for a while and it came into the library the other day and I GOT IT! :D
  • Spend at least one hour (OUTSIDE OF MY BLOG) communicating with the community – Pretty much done if you count going through my reader as 10 mins :D Link me if you want to be on my blog hopping list for tomorrow!
  • Find 4 new blogs to follow :D – Still working on this, not that there aren’t lots of awesome blogs, but I’m not very into YA and have trouble finding mostly fantasy/sci-fi adult book blogs, so if you have one please please please link me!!

Woot! Finishing up typing just as the boyfriend comes home from work, go me and my awesome timing! I had a headache when I came home from work today, so didn’t have as much fun on the first day as I would have liked, but I was able to drag my tired butt to the library which I wasn’t sure was going to happen. I’m really happy that I’m actually managing to stick with my goals so far, since I’ve had a lot of trouble with read a thons in the past when real life butts in. How’s everyone else doing? Anyone else succeeding with a read a thon for the first time? *high fives everyone* wooooot!

-AAnya from About The Story

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Bout of Books Day 1.1

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Yey Bout of Books time :D I have to work this morning, but I’m re-posting my goals and slightly adding to them for my own reminder and because the holiday weekend kept me from fully preparing for this :(

Goals: 

  • Read at least 2 hours every day (doesn’t count reading during lunch break because that’s hard to time ;-) )
  • Read audiobooks whenever driving (as soon as you get the stash of them)
  • New: Brave the new scary library and GET SOME AUDIOBOOKS NAO!!! >.>
  • Finish at least two books this week (gulp… not really close on anything…)
  • Get at least one book from Goodreads to-read list from library (DONE :D)
  • Spend at least one hour (OUTSIDE OF MY BLOG) communicating with the community
  • Find 4 new blogs to follow :D

So, the caps-lock sections are mostly new additions to further guide my blogging and reading ;-) and I think I’ll be able to meet all my daily goals today since my boyfriend and I are on opposite work shifts so he won’t be home to distract me! *shoos him away*

How’s everyone’s first day going???

-AAnya from About The Story

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