We’ve had a blustery, snowy and rainy winter here in Nashville. Unusual for the South, but so good for curling up around a good book with a giant mug of tea. Here’s what I’ve been into this month:
Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while now and finally have just put it on my phone to listen to. Game of Thrones is an epic medieval fantasy that has won just about every spec fiction award there is. The Publisher’s Weekly review describes it well:
“In a world where the approaching winter will last four decades, kings and queens, knights and renegades struggle for control of a throne. Some fight with sword and mace, others with magic and poison. Beyond the Wall to the north, meanwhile, the Others are preparing their army of the dead to march south as the warmth of summer drains from the land.”
Even if you’re not a fantasy or genre fan, check it out. It is absolutely impeccable in the timing and characters. I’m so excited for the new HBO series to come out. The trailers look like the production values are high, and hopefully the direction is great.
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Another one I’ve had on my list for a hot minute. The Windup Girl is also a Hugo and Nebula award winner. Windup takes place in a post-oil industry Bangkok, where energy is a commodity and the world is trying to survive by reverse engineering food that had been over engineered and therefore destroyed by mutating viruses. It centers around four characters, Anderson Lake, a calorie man working undercover as a manufacturer. Jaidee, the government’s tiger, who fights Western encroachment on the country while trying to stay one step ahead of the world’s viruses, and Emiko, the windup girl, a Japanese engineered assistant, discarded and hanging by the hope that there are people like her somewhere free from servitude, and Hock Seng, a refugee of civil war in China always waiting for the next blow. Windup took a long time to get started, but once it did, elephant trampling, brothel scandals, and political intrigue quickly escalated. Unfortunately, it kind of fizzled near the middle, but picked up again. The book reads a little like the waves that threaten to overtake Thailand in the world. I am absolutely entranced by the futuristic world Bacigalupi has created that hits very close to home. My only regret about reading this book in winter is the sweltering heat that is constantly mentioned in Windup doesn’t hit my the way it should while I’m on my couch wearing a sweater and covered in blankets.
Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby by Allyson Beatrice. I was excited to read this memoir of Buffy fans on message boards and their conventions, but found this book to fall completely flat. It was published back when snarky was in, and it reeks of it. It is an interesting time capsule of a time when the internet was ruled by message board commenting, but the author’s anecdotes just didn’t really reach me. It felt alternately condescending in a “you had to be there to understand us” kind of way and also insulting to general fans and the world of fandom. Maybe I really misread the author’s intention, but I had to stop reading a few chapters in.
So, what are you reading this winter?