It's not really a New Year's Resolution or anything, but I have just been flying through a number of books recently. I've had the Kindle for a while now... contradicting my post over a year ago when I said I would always prefer flipping through real books. Don't get me wrong, I still love paperbacks, but the Kindle is amazingly convenient. Anyway, the point is, I love reading, I spend a ton of time on the bus, and I figured I should probably write small blurbs about books I would recommend. This month, I have especially been focusing on books that can be compared to their movie or TV adaptations.
|L: Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games triology | R: George R.R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire.|
I ended 2011 with George R.R. Martin's series, A Song of Ice and Fire, which of course became wildly popular after the HBO produced the TV series for A Game of Thrones. I greatly enjoyed the HBO series and read the books afterward to appreciate some of the smaller details that could not be portrayed as effectively on the screen. There are currently 5 books and the series is expected to be 7 books long. I wouldn't be surprised if the series grew longer though, as the author absolutely adores creating elaborate plots that interweave with one another. The plot itself unfolds in a fantasy world where dragons, giants, and supernatural beings exist and interact with humans. Several individuals compete for reign over the land of Westeros, while others are concerned with the impending threat of Others who dwell in the North. As a warning to my readers, the author has no problem disposing of extremely loveable characters, which makes parts of the series rather difficult to read. I found A Feast for Crows a snore, while I adored A Dance with Dragons (the fifth, not pictured), which featured more of the characters I truly enjoyed. I am excited to see Season 2, scheduled to air in April 2012, especially as it brings in some of the stronger female characters, such as Melisandre and Asha (renamed in the TV version to Yara).
I read The Hunger Games trilogy a year ago when it was recommended by Angela (@yellowrainbootz) and instantly fell in love. The movie premieres March 23, 2012 and you can bet I will be watching it (maybe even on opening weekend). I reread the series at the beginning of the month and it was just as amazing the second time around. I actually enjoyed the series even more the second time, especially the last book, which I thought was a disappointment the first time. The books were written for a young audience, so they are a very easy read, despite its rather morbid theme. Without giving too much away, the story is set in a future version of North America, called Panem, where a corrupt central government, the Capitol, wields power over the rest of the citizens, who live in 12 districts. The Hunger Games are a televised event in which two children are selected from each district to compete to the death. The trilogy follows Katniss Everdeen, the loveable (and occasionally annoyingly naive) main character as she volunteers to take her little sister's place in the Hunger Games. The character development is (heartbreakingly) flawless, and the descriptions of the world in which she lives is vivid. This is one of those books that I cannot put down once I have started reading... never a dull moment and a true page-turner.
I had planned not to write so much about these two series as they have already had so much publicity, but apparently I have quite a bit to say (maybe George R.R. Martin and I have something in common)! Some other great books I've been reading:
- One Day by David Nicholls
- Norweigan Wood and 1Q84, both by Haruki Murakami
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern