High Five for Friday!

Five Recent Reads:

1. A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings (in progress), George R. R. Martin. I bought Game of Thrones at Chamblin’s a long time ago and am finally getting around to reading it. I find it very enjoyable, with some minor annoyances. On the one hand, it occasionally feels derivative and borrowed – especially from Lewis and Tolkien, with a dash of Stephen King’s chill. For example, the Dothraki remind me forcefully of the Calormenes in Lewis’ A Horse and His Boy. On the other hand, I love the Narnia series and the Ring trilogy, so it’s no problem for me to read stories from a land that feels familiar. When I finished the first book, I immediately wanted to get the second one – but I didn’t want it enough to pay for it. The library had a kindle version I’m reading now.

2. A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness. My reading tastes run to the lighter side, but this was alllllmost too light for me. I’ve heard it described as “Twilight for Grownups,” and I agree with that. It was a quick read, predictable yet entertaining. I borrowed it from the library, and will probably do the same with the sequels (because, naturally, it’s a trilogy).

3. The Whole Damn Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling. I re-read these books in preparation for our trip to Universal Studios. I was once again amazed by how rich a world Rowling has created. We also re-watched all the movies, which are great, but they can’t hold a candle to the books. There’s just so much MORE in the books. More story, more characters, more depth and breadth. I don’t re-read many books, but I am already looking forward to reading these again with Hazel.

4. The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith. This book was chosen for one of the book clubs to which I belong. Robert Galbraith is a pen name for J.K. Rowling – it was a Very Rowling December. This book is definitely for adults, as it deals with a model’s suicide-that-may-be-murder. It’s almost as though, having secured a place for her “children’s” books alongside C.S. Lewis, she is elbowing in for her berth among Britain’s great mystery writers like Agatha Christie, P.D. James, and Arthur Conan Doyle. She’s succeeding, too.

5. Every Soul a Star, Wendy Mass & Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli. Tyler and I read these for his school’s SPUR (students & parents unplugged & reading) group. I enjoyed the former more than the latter, but both were good choices for the middle-school-age reader. Because they are for younger people, the message can be a bit heavy-handed.

My Goodreads goal for 2015 is to read 24 books. This should be easy!


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