“A Clash of Kings” by George R.R. Martin

A Clash of KingsFor weeks now I’ve been trying to write my thoughts on this book but haven’t been able to do so until now. I read A Clash of Kings back in October. It took me two months to complete it. Why? Well, I wasn’t gripped by the story as I was when I first read it.

I’m currently rereading the Song of Ice and Fire series; it’s my way of dealing with the slow publishing process for the books. I’ve decided to reread a book every few months until (hopefully) the next in the series is published. My plan is that by the time another book is published, I would have completed all the books leading up to it.

It’s the first time I’m rereading these books so I didn’t hope for much. Because of that I was surprised to find myself anticipating the turn of every page when rereading A Game of Thrones. I thought the same would happen with A Clash of Kings but no such luck. I wasn’t hypnotized by the words or fascinated by the unfolding of events. I was still interested, yes, but I didn’t miss the story when I broke from it to do other things. So it took a while for me to complete this book and I didn’t read as closely as I wanted to. Still, I noticed more this time than I did on my first read. That’s one of the many reasons why I enjoy rereading books.

Spoilers abound beyond this point.

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Exploring My Bookshelves: The Hound

“Exploring My Bookshelves” is a weekly meme created by Victoria at Addlepates and Book Nerds. Since Victoria was on summer vacation, Shannon at For the Love of Words created her own topics, which I followed along with. Now they will both host the meme in alternating months. Visit either blog for the list of topics.

This week’s topic:

Book buddies (things that keep your books company)

I have just one and it’s…

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Book Haul #2: Commas, a Circus, the Hound, and Others

I did a bit of traveling in Pennsylvania during the last week of March to Pittsburgh, for work, and to Philadelphia, a belated birthday gift to myself. Apart from the time away from home and the fun I had, what’s awesome about these two trips is that I GOT NEW BOOKS!! Here they are:

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris
Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris

First up is Mary Norris’ Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, which I acquired at the annual American Copy Editors Society conference that was held in Pittsburgh. I’ve wanted this book ever since I first read of it and, being the book lover that I am, I annoyed everyone around me by constantly talking about it.

I was elated when I saw on the conference’s program that Norris was a speaker for one of the sessions, and I became even more excited when we were told that 40 early release copies would be signed and available for purchase after the session (this was in late March and the book was published on April 6). You bet I was one of the first ones in line to get a copy. I was so overjoyed, I didn’t know what to say to Norris when I met her other than that I’ve enjoyed reading her articles. As is characteristic of her, she signed my book with a pencil. I didn’t see what type it was but I bet it was a No. 1 pencil.

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Wishes for my TBR Pile: 5 Books I Want to Buy

I’m super excited because I came home to find two 20%-off coupons from Barnes & Noble waiting for me in the mail. I can’t wait for the weekend so I can get to shopping. The following are books I’m eager to add to my TBR list. I’ll be honest here and state that most likely these books will be bought and placed on my bookshelf, where it will sit and collect dust for a few months before I actually read them. But I am a book-lover, a bibliophile at heart, so I can’t pass up an opportunity to collect more books. Though I am on a book-buying ban, I shall lift it for the weekend because—coupons!! Possible purchases might include:

The World of Ice & Fire

The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (Bantam, Oct. 28, 2014)

“This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones. In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site Westeros.org—perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator.”

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“A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin

I've always liked this cover best.
I’ve always liked this cover best.

Reading a book for the first time is filled with moments of wonder. If the story is gripping, you spend most of the time wide-eyed, reading quickly, as if the words already set in the book could somehow escape you. Approaching that book a second time does not dim the wonder but neither does the wonder consume you as on the first read. Things you glazed over in your excitement to know what happens next begin to emerge.

Such was the case a few weeks ago when I read A Game of Thrones a second time. I was surprised at myself that I missed the blatant foreshadowing at the beginning of the story—the direwolf dead with the horn of a stag broken in its throat. Martin even referred back to that scene a few times thereafter and still I failed to notice it. I was too mesmerized then. Too curious and reading too quickly to pay much attention to details.

This isn’t surprising to anyone who has read the books in George Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, or watched the television show on HBO. The story centers on various characters spread across the kingdoms of Westeros and its neighboring lands. It is filled with twists and numerous cliff-hangers that will keep you both hooked and frustrated with GRRM since the character perspectives tend to switch from chapter to chapter.

Although I knew the ending and what would happen to the characters later in the series, I still anticipated the turn of every page. Again, I found myself staying up late, wide awake, and reading quickly to satiate my curiosity and desire for a happy ending though I knew better. I did not expect this of myself. I thought my second time through would be much calmer, as it usually is, but I was wrong.

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