Book List 2011 - Round UP
Mega mega late but I thought I’d just chuck this up as a round up. I’m going to sort 2012 out now :)
(Books I didn’t write about as I forgot)
32. Conn Iggulden - Lord of the Bow
33. George R.R. Martin - A Dance With Dragons
Book List 2011 - Book 31
Conn Iggulden - Wolf Of The Plains
This is the first book from the Conqueror series that follows Genghis Khan’s life from a boy to ruling the majority of the Far-East and Eastern Europe. I’m a sucker for history books that give an insight into other cultures and this book definitely fulfills my thirst for it. The story starts as Temujin, later to be known as Genghis Khan, sees has dad die and then his bondsman, Eulek, take over his fathers clan, the Wolves. The story then follows Temujins through the next 10+ years in his quest to get back his fathers clan. I won’t go into too much details as that would spoil the story but the book is fantastic and I was gripped from beginning to end.
I’ve never been that interested in Genghis Khan, and I don’t know why this is but after reading the first one I’m moving straight onto the next book from the series, Lords of the Bow.
Book List 2011 - Book 30
As you might have guessed, I’m doing a backlog of blogs as I’ve really been slacking on the blogging front. Does anybody actually read it, well whether they do or not it’s good for keeping count of how many books I’ve read this year so far and I’ve hit a nice milestone in 30!
Henning Mankel - The Man From Beijing.
This was recommended to me by Mol’s Dad who is a big fan of the Wallander series that is also written by Mankel. The book start off in Sweden and then follows through different centuries and continents until everything is seamlessly linked. The description of every scene was described really well and the relationship between the characters felt unique and well crafted. Mankel is obviously a great writer otherwise he wouldn’t have had such wide success but I did feel that the story was a little unoriginal although it did take us to a wide variety of places the plot line in brief is simple, although I won’t explain due to spoilers.
Book List 2011 - Book 29
George R.R. Martin - A Feast For Crows
This has been my least favorite book so far from the series, as always I was completely immersed in the book when reading but the omission of many of the lead characters made me not really care about lots of the other people that were being described. I won’t ruin the book for anyone that is going to read it as I’m told it’s still really important to continue with the book even though it may drain you a little as the next book relies heavily on the knowledge you gain from this book.
I look forward to reading the next installment but at the moment I’m waiting for it to come down in price. I wouldn’t pay £25 for a CD let alone a book and also it must weigh nearly 3 Kgs, the thing is HUGE!
Book List 2011 - Book 28
George R.R Martin - A Storm of Swords 2 Blood and Gold
Book 3 of the series part 2. Continuing from where it left of, this was probably the best installment yet. The action came thick and fast and we are given a wider insight into the different kingdoms that have previously been unexplained. Obviously my favorite characters are the Starks but I also like Daenaerys a lot too. In the TV show I didn’t really warm to her, I know it’s hard to compare as that was only book one but as the books go on I’ve started to enjoy her character a lot more.
Book List 2011: Book 26 - 27
George R.R. Martin - A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords 1:Steel and Sorrow
So i’ve got these books in the bag… I’m averaging one a week at the moment and if I carry that on I should get somewhere close to 52 books for the year.
I don’t want to go too much in to detail but the whole series has totally engrossed me and I thoroughly recommend them, although only if you have the time because there so gripping.
Book List 2011: Book 25
George R.R. Martin - The Game of Thrones
There has been loads of hype surrounding this book after the TV show being aired. I thought that the TV show was brilliant and I couldn’t wait until 2012 to find out the next part of the story so I decided to buy all the books a read them all.
The book, like the TV series, was fantastic. The TV series didn’t really miss anything but it was still great to read and get a wider understanding of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. The one thing that the TV show can’t really explain is the sub-plots and how he is setting characters up to for the rest of the series of books, or at least it’s got me thinking who’s going to do what in the next book.
I’m nowhere near my 52 books a year after coming back from traveling but reading books that are 800 pages long with pretty small writing doesn’t help. So what have I done… like I said, I bought all of the books in the series which are all 700 pages +. I could adapt my New Years Resolution to finish all the books before the new year….
Book List 2011: Book 23
Jack Higgins - Luciano’s Luck
I picked this book up at a warehouse clearance in Bristol last year and never got round to it. The book is based during the Second World War and based in Sicily. I had just finished playing Mafia 2 and it has a similar open story.
The Americans are planning an attack on Italy via Sicily and they need the Mafias help to have a successful operation. By securing the Mafia’s co-operation, the peasants will assist the American landing and show no resistance, uniting with the allied forces to push through Sicily and drive the Germans out. The main problem is that Don Luca, the most important man in the Sicilian Mafia, hates Americans. His brother was sent to the electric chair. This is where Luciano comes in. Luciano is the most important Mafia member in America and hold a large influence on Don Luca, the only problem is that he’s in jail. The president of the United States pardons Luciano and Luciano goes to Sicily, via Liverpool to get Don Luca’s granddaughter, who moved away from home when her mother was killed by a car bomb.
The relationship between the characters was brilliant but the most enjoyable thing for me was the insight behind some of the Sicilian customs, the respect and brutality shown when dealing with enemies. The relationship of the mafia and the church. The scene I remember best is Salvatore, a Sicilian mob member who is an informant for the US, kills somebody who has betrayed him. He knocks on the door, grabs the man by the neck, kisses him and then kills him. ‘The Kiss of Death’.
I won’t elaborate anymore, in case someone reads this blogpost and then wants to read the book, but I thought it was fantastic. 8.5/10
You can read more about ‘Lucky Luciano’ here
Books so far:
Book list 2011: Book 22
Gil Scott-Heron - The Vultures
Scott-Heron wrote this book during university and because of it failed to get onto the next year as he spent more time writing his novel than actually doing school work. I think it was definitely worth while. I know Scott-Heron as a musician and poet but not as a novelist and I was pleasantly surprised to see him excel in this craft too. From his writing you can tell he is a poet, the way he manipulates words to excite you.
The book is about the death of a young black male in New York and four peoples stories up to the night he was killed. The book reminded me of Babel and Scott-Heron, in his notes, says that the book would work better as a film than a book. The four characters all know each other and the background provided about them was perfect, not too long or too short. Scott-Heron manages to describe the inner-city mentality of a young black male through these characters from your corner boy drug dealer, to his understudy, to an university educated revolutionist to a free thinking intellect. He covers all the bases and I totally felt like I was part of this small part of New York.
I love his music, so I think that I would have rated anything that I read of his but this was fantastic.
Books so far: