Saturday, January 29, 2011

Getting started in the Fantasy Book Group

Six people journeyed out into the wintry night questing to find our little library in the Village and I am quite pleased with the discussions that sprung up in our little group. We discussed George R.R. Martin and his work, primarily A Game of Thrones, the first in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. We will not meet in February as our hardworking Friends of the Emmet O'Neal Library group will take over our meeting spaces to transform the Library for the Annual Book Sale February 25-27th but we will meet monthly starting in March.

March and April's meetings are devoted to talking about the other three books in ASoIaF (A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows) as well as the series as whole. If you've read this series and love it, no doubt you are as excited as we are about the HBO miniseries adaptation debuting in April of this year!

These books are long, complex, and peopled with many different characters, many of whom get to tell the story from their point of view. Previously, I described the story this way:
The novel is set in the land of Westeros which, with its royal intrigues, calculated sexual affairs, and political maneuverings, is reminiscent of medieval Europe at its most brutal. Deadly human forces opposing the crown are gathering in the lands beyond Westeros and sinister creatures with no such human allegiances are held at bay in the frozen reaches of the north only by the Kingdom’s aging Wall and a ragtag band of elderly men, landless younger sons, and criminals. Coming in at over 700 pages, this hefty tome will keep you reading far into the night discovering how holding the throne in Westeros truly requires power, deceit, and lethal cunning!
I can only just begin to describe the richness and complexity of these novels. Mr. Martin has spent, and continues to spend, a great deal of time making the places and people of this imaginary world come to life in a way that grounds it firmly in an achingly familiar historical reality. If you enjoy sagas, historical fiction, magical realism, court intrigue, espionage, romance, adventure, or thrills and chills, this is definitely a series to put on your to-be-read list!

Why not read it sooner rather than later and join us for the discussion?

Here is our tentative meeting schedule for 2011:

March 24
April 28
May 26
June 23
July 21
August 25
September 22
October 27
November 24
December 22

We brainstormed some titles to read for the rest of the year, but we are always on the lookout for more so comment with suggestions
A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin (I know, I know, it'll be published when it's published, but I'm doing this as a sort of rain dance. I would rather have a great book than a quick one, but're killing us!)

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Swords & Dark Magic edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders

The Cup of the World by John Dickinson

Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan

All of our book groups heartily welcome new members, so please drop by! If you'd like more information, please call (205/445-1117) or email me (!

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