Tag Archives: george r. R. Martin

A Year of Reading Recap – 2012


What would the New Year be without a look back at the old one? Here’s a recap of my year of reading 2012.

I’ve had the opportunity to read so many wonderful books this year. I surpassed my reading goal of 75 and reached an all time high of 117. 1Q84 was the longest book I read, 945 pages. I think that made the all-time high also. I gave mostly 3 and 4 stars with only 14 making the 5 star distinction, which makes me think I’m a bit too picky and hard to please. I had two books that were so terrible I couldn’t finish them and I’m still cursing about wasting my time on them.

I read more memoirs this year than ever. People are truly interesting and in some cases their stories are stranger than fiction. I cried more this year than ever too. Some of the stories were just so heartbreaking. I’m pretty sure I blubbered through more of The Art of Racing in the Rain than I’m willing to fess up to. Dogs dying in books seemed to be a common theme this year. I seriously cannot take anymore of that!

I had a zombie run and it was a great one. Zombies are the new vampires. Super cool! If I were giving an award for best cover it would go to My Life as a White Trash Zombie. As Steven Martin said in Father of the Bride, “Bitchin!” That cover earns the Bitchin award. (if there were such a thing) Patrick Ness is my favorite author of 2012. Reading his book has inspired both my children and me.

Historical fiction is still my favorite genre. Mixing fiction in with a history lesson makes learning fun even at my age.

Out of the 117 books I’ve read this year, here’s my top 10 favorites:

1. Wilderness: A Novel by Lance Weller
2. Chaos Walking: A Trilogy by Patrick Ness
3. The Wild Girl by Jim Fergus
4. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
5. Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo
6. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
7. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
8. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
9. The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon’s Court by by Michelle Moran
10. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

My goals for 2013 are much the same. I’m upping my reading goal to 100. I think I can manage it without feeling too pressured. I’m going to do my best not to purchase books this year. I have probably 75 on my bookshelf waiting to be read and they deserve my love and attention. “Try” is the main word here.

I’m going to give a State Challenge a go and will be book blogging my way through the US. I hope you’ll join me along the way! Every book is an adventure and it’s so much more fun when you’re along!

I wish each of you a New Year filled with joy, happiness and many, many great books!

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!


Book Review: Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons

Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with DragonsBeyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons by James Lowder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beyond the Wall is a wonderful companion read that allows the reader to view the remarkable series of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and its striking cast of characters in new ways.

It delves into our concept of good and evil and discusses how no clear line is drawn between the two in the world of Westeros and beyond. Most of the characters aren’t clearly good or purely evil. The essays discuss how we’re able to look past some of the character’s misgivings and not others. It offers insight into what certain characters are thinking and why.

The world this series takes place in is a brutal one not totally unlike our own. A few of the essays discuss the role of women in the books. How their strengths and weaknesses are exploited and the dependence on men for both.

I thought one of the most interesting essays was Daniel Abraham’s essay about adapting the graphic novel. Having to bring to life in pictures something each reader probably conjures differently and trying to decipher what small introduction or scene from the book are insignificant now, but may play a greater roll in the unfinished novels yet to come, seems no small feat.

This book would lead to great book club discussions of how characters react to the terrible situations they are put in and the moral implications of those actions.

The significance, or lack there of, of the direwolves, how magic is placed in the novels and what part it plays are also topics discussed in this book.

If you’re a fan of this wonderfully epic book series or hooked the HBO version, I think you will really enjoy this in-depth look into the world and characters George R. R. Martin has created. Be forewarned though, it does contain spoilers.

View all my reviews

This book was provided for review by Netgalley.

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