Books I've been reading

Its been such a long time since I did one of these posts, I guess that just goes to show how little I've been reading! That clearly has to change!

I've been wanting these books for ages! My brother said he got me them for Christmas (2012) however they never turned up, clearly he spent the money on himself. I eventually got them thanks to C, who got them as a early Christmas present last year (I was too eager to wait for Christmas.) I may have mentioned it once or twice on here that I am a huge fan of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' a fantasy novel written by George R.R. Martin, its now a TV show, Game of Thrones, so if you don't like reading I highly recommend watching it, although they have changed quite a few things (some which really grate on me) it is one of the best adaptations of a book I have ever seen. Anyway, inside each of these books is a novella set in the same world but set ninety years before the main events in 'A Song of Ice and Fire.' 'A Tale of Dunk and Egg' follows Egg (Aegon V Targaryen, a Prince of Westoros) and Dunk (who would become a legendary member of the Kingsgaurd.) I'm not going to reveal to much, but if your are 'A Song of Ice and Fire' fan, I highly recommend getting these books just to read about the adventures of Dunk and Egg and learn more about the history of Westoros. 

Dreamsongs Volume ll:

After reading 'A Song of Ice and Fire' George R.R. Martin fast became my favourite author, there is just something about the way he writes that has me savouring everyone word, so Dreamsongs which is a collection of George R.R. Martins work was the perfect book for me to explore more of his work. The book is broken up into different sections, each section starts with George R.R. Martin explaining his work, he talks about his failures, dreams that almost turned into reality but were quickly dashed away in a blink of an eye, we learn about him, his life, friends he made along the way, how stories started and some that were just an idea. It's an interesting read. The first section is called 'A Taste of Tuf' which include the tales 'A Beast for Norm' and 'Gaurdians.' Tuf is a pale, overwieght, vegetarian and a cat-loving man who accidentally became a one man crew of a space ship called Ark, Ark just happens to be a warship with ecological engineering abilities. In both of these stories, Tuf creates creatures for troubled people, these creatures come with a price and sometimes leaves the buyer very dissatisfied, I enjoyed reading about Tuf, I sat thinking to myself this is brilliant. It reminds me of a Star Wars game I had when I was younger, were I had to create a world then fill it with different plants, animals, etc. of course if you introduced to much of something, one thing would go extinct making another plant or creature die out because that was their food source. There are quite a few Tuf short stories, which I now really, really want to read. The second section is called 'The Siren Song of Hollywood' which explores George R.R. Martins time in TV, with a script he wrote for 'The Twilight Zone' and another script called 'Doorways' which would have been his first TV show. The thrid section is 'Doing the Wild Card shuffle' George and some of his friends created a world, each created their own characters, storlines etc, a minor chracter in one story would then become the main in another etc. George describes it as a 'mosaic novel.' He features two of his stories called 'Shell Games' and 'From the Journal of Xavier Desmond' I enjoyed reading them but there was whole lot I didn't understand since I haven't read any of the 'Wild Card' series, personally its not something I would pick up and read, so I don't plan on reading it. The last section is called 'The Heart in Conflict' which covers a wide range of genres, people, aliens, werewolves, there are some good stories here, in particular I enjoyed 'Portraits of his Children' a story about an Author who is so wrapped up in his work that he looses all connections in the real world and his 'real' children are the characters he created in his books. If you are a fan of George R.R. Martin this is a must read! 

Warriors was first published in 2010, its a cross-genre anthology focusing on the idea of War or Warriors. This is the first anthology I've ever read, I've also never really been someone who would read short stories so maybe that why I never picked up an anthology before, but I enjoyed it, its nice to be able to discover new authors especially when you come across a  story from a author you haven't come heard off before and really enjoy their work. The few notable stories for me in this book include 'The Eagle and the Rabbit' by Steven Saylor which is set in the Roman-era, it takes us back to the last days of Ancient Carthage, and the capture of Carthage Men and Women, its told in the viewpoint of a captured man called Hanso who soon becomes the Romans 'pet', in test that will show how far a man can be forced to go if pushed hard enough. Saylor is the author of Roma Sub Rosa series which I am now interested in reading. Another interesting story was 'Defenders of the Frontier' by Robert Silverberg, Surveyor is only one of eleven survivors, stationed at a remote desert fort for over two decades (it was once home to ten thousand soldiers) Over the years, they have lost contact with the outside world, and are not entirely sure if they still have an enemy to fight or a home to return too, they can stay at the fort or leave and go into the unknown. 

Legends II edited by Robert Silverberg.
In the book comes eleven short stories from modern fantasy writers, each set in the world that bought the author world-wide acclaim. 'Homecoming' by Robin Hobb is the first story, Robin Hobb has been on my to read list for a long time, I asked my Mum to buy me some of her books for Christmas, and when I sat down and read this story I was hooked. Luckily for me I did get some Robin Hobb books for Christmas, The Rain Wilds Chronicles, in the short story 'Homecoming' it explains a lot about the back story of some of the places mentioned in The Rain Wild Chronicles. Another story I really enjoyed was 'Beyond Between' by Anne McCaffrey which is a story from 'Dragonriders of Pern' which comprises of 22 novels! There wasn't one story in this book that I didn't enjoy, being a huge fan of fantasy fiction I loved this and it also introduced me to more fantasy writers. 

Heritage of Folly by Catherine Merchant.
Published in 1963 this story follows a Linda Metcalfe, a young agricultural student who moves to the beautiful and wild Northumbrian coast to intern with the Batleys, Ralph who is not pleased with having a female intern is a character Linda has to force to change his attitude whilst dealing with a bitter feud with the neighboring farmers the Cadleys. Like always, although these books aren't to my to my usual taste I enjoy them. Its a simple story, one where you find yourselves connecting to the characters.

I'd love to hear what books you have been reading lately, and yours thought on any of the above.      
  1. I'm determined to get reading the Game of Thrones books. I have the first 4 so maybe I might get round to reading them all before he gets the next one out x

    1. You really should! Let me know what you think when you do get the chance to read them!


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