Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer reading dances with dragons

It took me two weeks to finish three books for the Seattle library's adult summer reading program this time, because one of them was George RR Martin's A Dance With Dragons. Dance is, of course, a very long book, but that wasn't the issue, or at least not all of it. The first two books I tried to read after finishing it were by authors whose work I've enjoyed in the past, but I just couldn't connect to their stories this time round. I don't think it was the authors' fault. I just needed some space to pull my brain out of Westeros before I could commit to a different book's world. So I finished the nonfiction book I'd been reading on the side, re-read some Bujold, and then found I could connect to a new book with no problems.

1. A Dance With Dragons, by George RR Martin
Genre: Fantasy
Format/source: Kindle, bought

I was completely absorbed by this latest entry in A Song of Ice and Fire as I read it, but now, over a week later, I find myself wishing more had been resolved. I don't want to give spoilers...but surely those two characters everyone thought were going to meet in this book COULD'VE met instead of merely being within yards of each other that one time. And that other character, the one who's probably not dead, at least not permanently, but might be--was that cliffhanger absolutely necessary? To name just the two most obvious cases. Still, whenever Book 6 comes out, I'm going to be pre-ordering and clearing space on my schedule to read it, I guarantee you.

2. The Naked Olympics, by Tony Perrottet
Genre: Nonfiction (history)
Format/source: Kindle, bought

A fun, readable history of the ancient Olympics and the inventive, competitive, exhibitionist Greek culture that invented them.

3. Can't Stand the Heat, by Louisa Edwards
Genre: Contemporary romance
Format/source: Kindle, bought

I've found so many good contemporary romances lately that I think I'm going to have to stop calling it a subgenre I don't read. As a foodie, or at least a foodie wannabe, I enjoyed this romance between a chef and a food critic and plan to seek out the rest of Edwards' work. And maybe try the Pork Belly With Candied Walnuts and Apples recipe she included at the end.

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