So, as of 11:23 last night, I have finished reading the last book in the Game of Thrones series (yes, I know, they have another name, but I can’t remember it right now).
I’m a reader. I devour books. I’ll read any book, in any genre – well, okay, there are a few things I won’t read, but they are very few. Reading this particular series, though? It was a chore. Now, before you jump all over me for saying that, let me explain.
I loved the idea behind the books. The magic, the fantasy world, the dragons, the royalty and all the deception and glamour that goes with it – that all appealed, and still appeals, to me and I loved those parts. What I had a problem with though, is that George R.R. Martin uses 20 words where 5 will work. There were whole paragraphs devoted to introducing, by name and title, characters who appeared nowhere else but in that paragraph. There was at least one chapter in the last book that served no discernible purpose other than to remind us that the character in it still existed. That chapter did absolutely nothing to move his, or the main, story forward. There were lengthy descriptions of every dish served at meals, of what people who did nothing more than walk across the screen were wearing, saying, doing, carrying. I spent a lot of time skimming because I got so sick of reading things that it was easy to tell served no value other than adding to the word count – which is what really confused me, because I don’t see how the author could have thought he needed more words. Frankly, I’m surprised there was no editor saying, “Look, George, you need to cut some words. This is way too long.”
So, reading these books was a real chore for me, and I’m very relieved to be done and able to move on. I’m also very excited because I got some new books for Christmas that I’m super excited to read. Which is why I thought I’d share with you the list of the top 10 books I’m looking forward to reading right now. In no particular order (mainly because I want to read them all and have yet to figure out which one I’ll read first), here they are:
- Revival by Stephen King. Revival is King’s most recent book, released just last month. I first heard about this book earlier this year or late in 2013, and from the first time that I read about it, I was excited to read it.
- Joyland by Stephen King. Joyland came out a few years ago, and initially, it was only released in paperback. At that time, King would only release it in paperback, going back to his childhood when he read paperbacks all the time. King feels that you get something from a physical book that you can’t get from an ereader (I both agree and disagree with him, but that’s for another post). But he did finally release it for ereaders, and I got it for my dad for Christmas (but since he and my mom both have their Kindle’s registered to my account, I get to read it, too).
- Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Are you noticing the pattern here? Doctor Sleep is the sequel to The Shining, a book from more than two decades ago and the subject of two movies (one that King liked and one he didn’t, and one that many people often have a very specific preference as to which movie they liked). Doctor Sleep follows the child, Danny, as an adult.
- Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. Yes, I will read pretty much any book King writes, as a matter of fact. Mr. Mercedes is, I think, a little different from his usual books, based on what I’ve read about it. But I’ve never read a book he wrote that I didn’t like, so I’m very willing to give him a chance here.
- Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners: The White Years. As I have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners books 1-4. The White Years are books 5-8, although only books 5 & 6, The Saint and The King respectively are available right now. But I have both of those books, plus The Virgin is on preorder. These books cover the history that is hinted at in the first books. We learn how characters met, and how other characters in the first books saw the relationships of others.
- Gray Mountain by John Grisham. Grisham is another author that I love to read, and will read just about anything he writes. Gray Mountain appeals to me because it’s about a big city lawyer who finds herself dealing with small town minds, politics and secrets. As someone who’s spent most of her life in a small town and found big city living rather depressing, I enjoy stories where the living is the other way around, and seeing how people from the big city deal with the slower, sometimes closed up way of small towns.
- The City by Dean Koontz. I enjoy Dean Koontz because his books are, in my opinion, unique. While Stephen King delivers horror that is undeniably horrifying, with blood and evil and monsters that are definitely monsters, Koontz is often much more subtle. Sometimes there’s a supernatural element and sometimes his evil is simply the even of man himself. Sometimes his supernatural has a spiritual quality, and isn’t horror at all. Whatever he writes, it always makes you feel, think and want more, and I’m hoping that The City is no exception.
- Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. After Martin’s books, I need a break from the super long fantasy series for a bit, but I do have all 8 books in this series, and later this year (perhaps over the summer), I do plan to read them. My aunt and my cousin have raved about these books, so I am looking forward to them.
- Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting. Walking on Trampolines won’t be out until February, but Netgalley provided me with a free copy to review. The book is about two girls who become friends, coming from very different lives, and follows them from the day they meet through adulthood. In adulthood, it appears one of the characters will do something that is, to quote the description, unforgivable. That grabbed my attention, and has kept my interest in this book high. It will most likely be one of the first books I read.
- The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly. The Great Zoo of China is another one that’s not been released yet, but Netgalley gave me a free copy of it, too. It seems China has found a new species of animal, and has invited a group of VIPs and journalists to see this new animal in what should be an amazing zoo – and they promise that nothing will go wrong and everyone will be safe. And we all know what that means, don’t we?
Okay, so I fibbed. When you total up the books in the series that I listed here, I’ve actually given you way more than just my top 10. But now you know what’s on my reading list over the next few months. Needless to say, my New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day will be spent with a lot of reading time.
What are you planning to read this year? Is there anything you would recommend to readers? Any books that you wish someone had warned you not to read?