Butterflyblue

月曜日, 2月 28, 2005

Reading...

    I'm beginning to become addicted to George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series. I just finished the first book, "A Game of Thrones". It had considerable charm, and according to reviews I've seen the next two are even better. The fourth book in the series comes out March 7.
    I'm also reading a long fantasy series in Japanese, but it's a secret for now, since I'm reading it pretty slowly and I don't know when I'll finish.
    I also read Ishmael, a philosophical treatise featuring a talking gorilla; a compelling read, although after a few days had passed I found that the urgency of the message was receeding in my mind. The author divided human societies into two groups, the "Leavers" and the "Takers". Almost all civilizations in recent history have been "Takers," consumers who are destroying the earth for the sake of our own short-sighted advantange. The book urges us to look to "Leaver" societies for the solutions to today's problems. But how? Perhaps the later books in the series provide more answers about how we can stop seeing enviornmental destruction as progress.

7 Comments:

  • At 2:17 午後, Anonymous 匿名 said…

    The George R.R. Martin series is perhaps one of my favorite fantasy series, in that he pays such lovely attention to the political dynamic, and has absolutely no hesitation in doing terrible terrible things to likable characters.

    I got into the Ishmael series (it was required reading in my high school), but feel that I must warn you that the first one is probably the most thought-provoking of the bunch.

    Good luck on your reading in Japanese-the closest I ever came to doing that was reading metroid comics...

    Michael / Phoenix Hawk

     
  • At 1:46 午後, Blogger butterflyblue said…

    Thanks Michael. What are you reading now, may I ask?

    Yes, this series is awesome. I wasn't upset at all that a certain person died in the first book. I even saw it coming because his behavior was so stupid (especially going to the queen with what he knew). His honor blinded him to the dishonor of others.

    My favorite characters are probably Jon Snow and Tyrion, the Imp. I'll be sad if anything bad happens to them. They are on different sides of the war, but that doesn't trouble me at all.

    I had doubts about starting this series because I read that it was based on the War of the Roses, a subject that doesn't exactly excite my enthusiasm. However, George R.R. Martin really brought his characters to life, and through them we can enjoy the rich pagentry of intrigue and warfare.

    I think it's funny (though perhaps realistic for the time) how quickly the children are expected to grow up in this series. Early in the first book, Ned Stark says something about his son Rickon, and his wife says, "He's only three," and Ned says "He won't be three forever. And winter is coming." Or something like that. It made me laugh at the time, but as the book went on I noticed that all the other child-characters were forced to grow up fast too, and they usually act a few years older than their chronological age. There is one scene where Joffrey (age 13) is talking to Sansa (age 11) and it's a pretty adult conversation - something like "I'll get you with child as soon as you're able, and if the child is stupid I'll kill you both and remarry" or something like that. Harsh stuff.

     
  • At 5:16 午前, Anonymous 匿名 said…

    Probably the last great book I read was 'The Curious incident of the dog in the nighttime', which was a book about an autistic child who tries to solve the case of a murdered dog. It's a fascinating read, and the POV is just amazing (one example is in the superstitious behavior of the character, who determines whether a day is lucky or not by counting the yellow and red cars that go by as he rides the bus to school).

    Yikes, that's a blocky paragraph. Other series...well, I recently finished the Fool's Errand series by Robin Hobb (Hobb is one of the most entertaining and underrated fantasy authors in my opinion, but she's gotten more popular lately). I can't do the book justice though, maybe amazon can describe it better then I can...

    The Imp has to be my favorite character in the series, (and I'll let it lie at that for now, until you read some of the other books).

    Actually, I played the board game version of a Game of Thrones the other day, and was pleasantly impressed-it's quite a good tactical game, with just enough political strategies to keep it interesting.

    Michael / Phoenix Hawk

     
  • At 1:59 午前, Blogger butterflyblue said…

    I'm interested in the board game - actually the fact that it has its own board game was a factor that tempted me into reading it. I haven't had a chance to play it yet, but it looks beautiful. Apparently you can play it online at http://www.agotonline.com/ - a beta version.

    The Imp is clever and witty, a welcome change from the mostly-somber Stark family characters. I like Bran and Arya Stark well enough, but they're still too young yet to know what kind of adults they will be. The first book introduced some promising areas of development for both of them, Bran with his three-eyed raven (I love that) and Arya with her "dancing" lessons.

    I looked up the Curious Incident book on Amazon - thanks! I knew I could count on you for an interesting recommendation! The reviews are glowing - of course they often are on Amazon - but the fact that autistics say the book "got it right" is a key point.

     
  • At 5:11 午前, Anonymous 匿名 said…

    Another recommendation I'd have is Jonathen Strange and Mr. Norrell...it's a rather dry-semi satirical take on the idea of magic, as viewed through the lives of two English Magicians in the Napaelonanic (sp?) era.

    Guns, Germs, and Steel is also an excellent read, a study of how continents developed civilizations the way they did.

    That's it for book recs at the moment, I'm afraid.

    And yes, the board game rocks, though it is a little unbalanced in some places.

    Michael / Phoenix Hawk

     
  • At 1:36 午後, Blogger butterflyblue said…

    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is already on one of my Amazon wish lists, and I've read Guns Germs and Steel. Yes, it's quite thought-provoking, and I put it on my favorite nonfiction list somewhere in this blog (last summer).
    We had a game meeting last night at Monica's apartment. I won Puerto Rico, then while Monica and Chris played cribbage, the rest of us played the LOTR board game, and we won. On the train ride back to Sannomiya Chris tried to sell me on the idea of giving Cosmic Encounter another try. We also talked about the Game of Thrones game - Chris has played it too, and liked it.

     
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