To Read or Not Read?

Or I’m going to watch the TV show instead.

The new season of Game of Thrones  is set to begin soon(July 16 in the USA) on HBO. And I have been thinking about why I have decided not to read George R.R. Martin’s series A Song of Fire and Ice on which the TV series is based. And this is a controversial admission for me, a confirmed bookworm, to make. But make it I am and I stand by it, too.

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
Courtesy GoodReads

I watched the series for the first time after my cable company offered us a free year of HBO. One cold winter’s night we decided to watch GOT since we had both heard so much about the most recent season. (Anyone heard of The Red Wedding episode? Thought so!) We really enjoyed it and were genuinely shocked by the death of Sean Bean at the end of season 1. (But we should have known since it is Sean Bean. The poor man rarely survives in anything he’s cast.) And I was enthusiastic enough about the series to read the books. So I downloaded the first book onto my Kindle and began to read.

And I liked the first book. There is a lot more to the story there. And there are characters that didn’t make it to the TV adaptation. It is a fun read. So, I downloaded book two to my Kindle. And again, its a good story. I enjoy it, too. So much so that I buy the third book rather than wait for the library copy to become available. And I begin to read. But. At about a 1/4 of the way in I stopped. And I stopped, according to my notes, because I just didn’t care about the book or the story it tells at that moment in time. I’m ready to read something else.

I had spent two months reading nothing but the first three books. I read the books late into the night and curled up in an air conditioned room during the day. I read no other book during this time. And I reached a point where I wanted to read something else. I have so many books that I want to read. So many other stories to become involved in that I put the book on my Kindle shelf and wander off to read something else. I fully intend to return to the book but I never do. Finally, about a year after closing the book I make the decision to not finish the book or read any of the rest of series. I decide to to only watch the TV adaptation.

And I’m okay with this decision. My husband never read the Harry Potter series and only watched the movies. And he is fine with it. He also has no interest in reading the Song of Fire and Ice series, either. The world and his reading life is still going forward. And we both know we are missing characters and story lines by only watching the TV show. And we are fine with it. And we are missing fun details like the trees in the North talking to each other, which my brother Scott tells me is a thing in the books. But I know this detail because he told me. and it makes certain scenes with the trees more interesting. But if I’m interested in some minute detail about the GOT world, there is a wiki where I can read all about it. Or I can ask Scott. Is it cheating? Maybe. But I’m fine with it.

At this point George R.R. Martin has yet to publish book six. But the TV adaptation has gone on. And I like that story lines are coming together and wrapping up in a, at least for me, satisfying way. And yes, I have debates with people (Hi Scott!) about whether or not this is the right way to consume this story. And I may at some point change my mind and read the rest of the series. But as of today I’m planning on just watching the TV show.

Have you ever decided not to read the book but only watch the adaptations? Tell me about it in the comments below.

 

Happy Belated Birthday, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!

Twenty years ago on June 26, 1997 Harry Potter was first published in the UK. And the reading world has not been the same.

This series of books has launched movies, merchandise, and fan fiction. Publishers are on the prowl continually looking for the “new” Harry Potter. Children have grown up with Harry and are there are  now children being introduced for the first time to his wizarding world. But not all fans of J.K. Rowling’s series were children when the series first appeared 20 years ago.

I was in my early 30’s when I first read about Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone  in 1998. I was reading an essay about children’s books since I was always on the look out at the time for good books for my kids to read. At that time both kids were close in age to Harry in that first book. Both kids were readers and I thought they might enjoy this story that had taken the UK by storm. So, the next time I went to the store I bought it for the kids. And they both loved it. Loved it! The pestered me to read it too certain I would enjoy it as much as they did. But I put it off since that summer I was taking classes at the local community college and getting ready for a cross-country move. Harry would have to wait.

By the fall of 1999, we were settled in our new home, getting ready to go back to school, and waiting for the paperback version of the second Harry Potter book to come out. I knew my kids were very excited to read more about Harry’s adventures. They pestered me to read the book too, but I was enrolled in college busy reading the required texts and hadn’t time to read for pleasure at all. So again, Harry would have to wait.

It wasn’t until the third book in the series was published that I read the books. The film version was coming out and I try to read the books before I see the movie, if at all possible. So, finally, that summer of 2001, I belatedly sat down and read Harry’s story. And I loved it. I finished the first book in a day and moved on to the second, then the third. I was hooked. Later, when the fourth book came out, we all went to the Harry Potter book release party at the local B&N. (I miss those book release parties. They were such fun.) After we bought the book, like a good mom, I gave it to one of the kids to read. In the car. On the way home. In the dark.  And “encouraged” her to stay up all night and read it. Because her brother and I needed our turn! After she finished it, the boy took his turn. But he stopped at some point to play video games. So, while he played video games, I read. I suppose I could have bought two books or books for all of us, but money was tight in those days so all three of us shared the books.

At some point J.K. Rowling slowed down a bit and needed more time to write Harry’s story. But my kids didn’t slow down. They grew up and became older than Harry. By the time the final book was published both kids were grown and gone. And they bought their own copies of Harry Potter to read.

But we three can still argue about Harry Potter when they come home. Their dad, who has not read any of the books, has seen all of the movies and can follow our discussions. Harry was such a part of their young adulthood that realizing how many years ago it all started is shocking to me. It’s shocking because the kids who read Harry Potter are now adults. My kids are adults. Harry, Hermione, and Ron are adults, too. How can that be?

Have you fond memories of reading Harry Potter for the first time? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Friday 56, #37

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate!

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky on Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here is my contribution:

The Art of Fielding

This is at the 56% mark on my Kindle:

This description of the professor is so good. It completely reinforces my belief that feather boas should be worn every damn day.    #lifegoals #readmyowndamnbooks #BookRiotReadHarder2017

Have you read this book? What did you think of it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to leave a link to your Friday56, too. Happy Reading, y’all.

June 2017 Wrap-Up

June Stats:

Total books read: 11

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean If Wishes Were Earls by Elizabeth Boyle Have You Any Rogues? by Elizabeth Boyle And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake by Elizabeth Boyle The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane by Elizabeth Boyle Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel, #3)

An Interrupted Tapestry by Madeline Hunter

Number of pages: 3,714

Written by Men: 2 (or is it 1 since I read 2 books by the same guy?)

Written by Women: 9

Diverse Authors: 1

Nonfiction: 0

Fiction: 10

Paperback: 1

Hardback: 0

Library books: 10

eBooks/Kindle: 10

Audio books: 0

Rereads: 2

DNF: 0

Favorite book of June:

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. Interesting that a reread is my favorite read of the month.

Challenges to date:

Goodreads: 59/75

Book Riot Read Harder 2017: 5/24 (I’m so behind for this challenge.)

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 1

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Purchased/Acquired in June:

Of Beast and Beauty Beast Plus One If I Run The Red Umbrella The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories My Name is Not Easy

These are all free audio books from this website. There are about six weeks left to get these free audio books.

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things Daughter of Time (After Cilmeri, #0.5)

And here are the two Kindle books. One I bought on sale and the other free. (So do kindle and audio books count as purchases? And if so have I totally screwed up my #ReadMyOwndDamnBookschallenge?)

My Quickie Book Reviews:

Vampire in the Lemon Grove

The Invisible Library

A Murder in Time

Across the Web:

I’m a huge fan of Tom and Lorenzo Fabulous and Opinionated  It’s a dedicated to fashion and read carpets, but they also do some wonderful analysis and critiques of tv shows and movies based on the costuming. If you are a fan of Mad Men, read their analysis of it via the costumes. Its amazing. They also do a smaller version of this for American Gods the TV show based on the Neil Gaiman novel.  Click here, here, and here to read their wrap up costume posts for the season.

In the Blogisphere:

This is a fun post about Favorite Female Book Characters.

And a lovely discussion about what writers do to themselves.

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday

It’s Tuesday so it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Do visit this fun blog and read all the other lists. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll be sure to add books to your TBR pile. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is: Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far.

I decided to not include re-reads in this list, just book I’ve read for the first time this year. And so, in no particular order are the best books I’ve read this year:

This book is heartbreaking and beautiful. It’s a love letter to Terry Tempest William’s mother and grandmother and to the unloved Great Salt Lake. Read it!

 

 

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante The third book of the Neapolitan Series. I’m putting off reading the forth book because I just don’t want to leave this world.

 

 

 

The Story of a New Name by Elena FerranteThe 2nd book of the Neapolitan series.

 

 

 

The Girls by Emma ClineI’m not sure what it is, but Manson stories seem to be everywhere lately. TV documentaries and podcasts about the murders keep popping up. This book joins that list as a story of young girl joining a Manson like cult in the late 60’s. It’s not a perfect book, but I liked it. It really explores female friendships and relationships in an interesting way. Click here to read my review.

 

The Invisible Library by Genevieve CogmanOh, this is a fun, fun read. I loved this book and the world the writer creates so much.  Click here to read my gushing review.

 

 

 

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLeanI have just consumed romance novels one after the other since the beginning of the new year. And this is one of the best I’ve read. Sarah MacLean is one the best romance writers out there. If you pick up one of hers, you will probably not be disappointed.

 

 

Something About Emmaline by Elizabeth Boyle This is another that I really like. It’s the first of a series (there seems to be a lot interconnected series in the romance genre, isn’t there? )

 

 

 

Like No Other Lover by Julie Anne Long I read this one based on the title alone. It just sings to me for some reason. I like this author quite a bit and I need to read more of here books, I think.

 

 

 

Thumbnails courtesy of GoodReads.

Do You have any thoughts about my TTT list? Have you read any of the books on it? Let me know in the comments below.

Quickie Book Review: A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan #1)

Author: Julie McElwain

Published: April 2016

Length: 320 pages, eBook

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery

Source: Library eBook

My Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

From GoodReads:

A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan, #1)Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates.

While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place – Aldrich Castle – but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.

Mistaken for a lady’s maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there’s some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.

This is the first book in a series.

What I like: I like the premise of this novel. It checks all the boxes for my favorite stories: time travel, Regency England, strong female protagonist. I like that the bulk of the time travel story takes place at a house party. And I like the murder-y, serial killer bits. And I like that the characters we meet in Regency England seem to be good, kind people who take in our main character, Irene, and grow to accept her in their world. And I want Irene to be accepted  because she really inst in her modern world.

What I don’t like: Well. I so wanted to like this book. I checks so many boxes especially my love of the time travel novel. Click here to see my list of favorite time travel novels. But I didn’t really like it. Irene, the protagonist,  is an unpleasant character. And I really don’t have a problem with that, but she really is grating. The mashup between a crime procedural novel and a Regency in the style of Jane Austen is awkward. Irene’s motivations are clear in the modern day section, but the why of time travel for her is muddled. And Irene’s behavior is just too, too modern for the time period. She swears like a sailor constantly and the Regency characters seem to ignore it. And that brings me to the other issue. Irene is first is given a position as a lowly maid but becomes a companion of one of guests at the house party before the book ends. And it happens because she claims to be able to solve the murder. Although I’m glad she is accepted by the Duke and his family, I think she is accepted to easily, if that makes any sense. I want them to be a bit more suspicious of Irene.

Would I recommend it: Yes, but with reservations. I plan on reading the next book in the series, A Twist in Time , soon because I do want to like this story. I’ll give it 100 pages and if it doesn’t work for me……..I’ll DNF it.

Here are other blog posts in which I mentioned this book. Click here and here.

Let me know what you think. Have you read A Murder in Time? Did you like it more than I did? If so, let me know why in the comments below. Happy Reading.

 

Friday 56, #36

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate!

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky on Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here is my contribution:

 

Have you read the Neapolitan Series yet? If you haven’t are you planning to soon? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 so I can visit your blog. Happy Reading!