This week I’ve got a few book release dates for you, because I know you’ll want to read pretty much every book on this list. These are all of the ones I could find, so don’t ask for any more please.
The audiobook and physical book “debate” has been around since audio books came around. Some people say only succesful people listen to audio books, others listen to it because of a physical impairment, or because they don’t have time to sit down and read a book.
How do you prefer to read your books?
James Tate Hill wrote a great article about audiobooks, and defends their use for “normal” people.
A century before A GAME OF THRONES, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros…
Author: George R.R. Martin
Continueing with the Game of Thrones theme that has been so popular lately, for whatever reason, this week I decided I’d review A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, a prequel “series” to the main storyline.
Having read the main series before I got a hold of this, I had a basic understanding of some of the characters in the book.
What I really enjoy about the supplementary Game of Thrones books is that there is usually some really nice artwork to look at while you read. There is some artwork in this one, but not as much as I would prefer, and msot of it is sketches.
I read it probably three years ago now, and I still remember some of the moments in the book because of how cool they are. I remember tjere was one about Duncan, or Dunc, who is the main character of the book, and he is tried for a crime, which causes a trial by combat.
After the combat, which his team had one, multiple royal family members and Kingsguard members were left dead, all because they defended the innocence of some random guy, who was really a sorry excuse for a knight. His main feature was just finding Egg, and guiding him around the world and keeping him out of trouble.
Dunc and Egg make a wonderful pair, and become life-long friends because of the events in this book. Ser Duncan is not only a knight in name, but also one in deed. This is something increasingly rare in the seven kingdoms. There are few true knights and even fewer when the events of A Song of Ice and Fire take place.
Dunc is a strong and honorable knight, but isn’t all that smart. They call him “thick as a castle wall,” but that’s where Egg comes into play.
Egg is still a boy, though he has a fully developed mind that even the Maesters shall envy. He tempers Ser Duncan’s wrath, guiding him to choose the best course of action. Indeed he has the mind that Duncan lacks. However, for all his intelligence, he still has a whole world to see and understand; he still needs to develop his wisdom.
By being Duncan’s squire, he gets to see honour and decency; he begins to understand how people work, and how best to defeat them; he learns that it can be achieved through words as well as deeds.
The two embark on some interesting adventures. Their first (The Hedge Knight ) is by far my favourite. It depicts the pair’s first meeting, and they discover how important them coming together was. Dunc changes the fate of the Seven Kingdoms. The two only met by chance. Their actions lead to the altercation of who is to be the next King. So, it’s all rather far reaching stuff. The second story ( The Sworn Sword) didn’t quite work for me and felt a little flat in all. The third ( The Mystery Knight) made up for it, though, with its character defining moments.
Overall they are all a short read, but nontheless are fun to read, and if you are a Game of Thrones fan, they are a necessity.
As any good reader knows, every books can go through a lot of wear and tear during their lives. Some people go out of their way to keep a book in good condition, others don’t really care, I mean how much damage can really be done to a book right?
It’s just some pieces of paper stuck together, and I’m not gonna throw it in a fire or anything so it should be fine (though I do know some people who use old books as firewood and I do not agree!).
Personally, I would say I’m the type that doesn’t worry about what damage can be done to a book, because I just want to enjoy reading the book.
It’s also pretty hard to avoid ruining the book at least a little bit, in my opinion. Hardcover books are a bit safer because they keep themselves open more than paperbacks, but sometimes I notice that there is an oily fingerprint on the bottom corner of the page, or the cover is faded or ripped a bit from being carried in my backpack all day long.
Plus hardcovers usually have a sleeve, which hides the damage done to the book itself, so I tend to worry a bit less when it comes to those.
Paperbacks are much worse. Just carrying them to and from school I’ve spilled water on them, been splashed by cars, or had covers rip and pages fold when something else in my bag squished it.
Honestly, even after all of that I don’t care. I don’t want to ruin my experience of reading a book just because I don’t want it to get dirty or ruined.
If a book was ruined beyond repair or pages get torn out, then I might be a bit upset, but that would be pretty difficult to do, so I don’t worry about that too much.
Now maybe I am going a bit crazy, and people aren’t these perfect book keepers I assume they are, but I have proof of at least one person who is! I know someone who will not and can not ruin a book. It’s impossible. Destiny has forbidden it.
They wrap their book in a soft cloth cover when they aren’t reading it, and they have a special pocket on their bag dedicated to nothing but the book. Nothing bends, rips, or even touches it except the cover.
I’ve even seen them handle the book pretty nonchalantly and it’s like the Book Gods won’t let their books be ruined. There’s a small force field or something around the book that prevents any harmful materials from entering.
They can’t even ruin the spine of a paperback book! How is that possible?
A 800+ page book and they don’t have one single crease mark on the spine? I call bullshit.
It’s either some sort of witchcraft or they only carry around books and don’t actually read them.
Either way, that’s not my life. I’ve yet to ruin a book beyond repair (but I have come pretty damn close) and that’s all I care about.
As long as the book has two covers, legible words on the pages, and the pages are all there, I will read it, though I’m pretty sure I have read a book with no front or back covers before.
To get to the point of this post… the book that I have ruined the most.
This book has been through it all. I spilled water on it, put oily fingerprints on the pages, dropped food on the pages, squished bugs between its pages, dropped it in dirt, and even dropped it down a two-story building by accident.
The worst thing that happened to it was actually when I first started reading it though. I was on a boat with my girlfriend and her family, and I had brought the book along for the day because it was a nice summer day and I didn’t want to swim…so I figured I’d stay on the boat, enjoy the sun, and read.
It was going well. I had crushed through 75, maybe 100 pages in an hour or so and we started heading back to shore because it was getting late and we were getting hungry.
My girlfriend and I were sitting at the front of the boat, and were getting splashed a bit by some of the waves, so I threw my book and phone under my hoodie and put it at our feet.
WELL that turned out to be a big mistake because not a few minutes later, a HUGE wave came and splashed the boat, leaving the entire floor covered in 4-5 inches of water for a good 30 seconds.
Worried about my phone, I quickly grabbed it and put it somewhere more dry, but as I did my book started floating to the back of the boat.
I was devastated, but there were more important things to worry about.
When we finally made it back to shore, the cover had been basically torn off, paged bent beyond repair, and some of the words wee smudged, BUT all in all it was still a book, and I ended up finishing it a few weeks later when I was on the boat again…clearly not learning from my previous mistakes.
What’s the worst you’ve ever dont to a book? Let me know in the comments.
So we all know we are less than a week away from the biggest battle in cinematic history, but everyone was still waiting on the edge of their seats during this episode because they don’t want to miss a minute of it.
The episode started with Jaime being put in front of Sansa, Daenerys and Jon, and they would decide on his fate.
Daenerys is pretty gung ho about havign his head. I mean Jaime was the one that killed her father, and it was Jaime’s family that helped lead to the death of her brothers and sisters.
If you think about it though, Daenerys’ family was overthrown by a lot of the houses she is now working with, and she seems to have forgiven them. I guess it might come down to the fact that Jon and Sansa are the children, where Jaime and the Lannisters were directly involved.
Anyways, Jaime was put on “trial” and it looked like it wasn’t going well. Sansa was ready to kill him, Daenerys is still ready to kill him, and Jon doesn’t really give a shit.
Jaime says he wants to fight for the living. Despite everying he has done for his family, the threat of the undead army destroying the world is bigger than any threat Cersei might have.
Bran could have said something, to condemn Jaime, and he does say something.
“The things we do for love” is his sentence, but he doesn’t utter a word about being pushed out of a window, because I think he knows that Jaime is needed for the final battles to come agaisnt the Night King and his sister Cersei.
Jaime hasn’t actually done anything wrong legally, other than pushing Bran. He was pardoned for killing The Mad King, and was at war with the Starks when he attacked Ned. Daenerys is sort of being petty in her strong belief that Jaime needs to die.
It’s actually Brienne who stands up to the plate, and she says how honourable Jaime is and how Sansa owes her life to Jaime’s decisions. This ultimately sways Sansa, and Jon doesn’t seem to care, he just needs bodies to fight the coming threat, so Jaime is let off the hook.
Jaime being let off the hook is the last straw in the Daenerys’ opinions of Tyrion, but this is also the first instance where we see Jin giving her the cold shoulder because of what Sam told him at the end of the last episode.
After the trial is over we see Jaime and Bran talking under the weirdwood tree, and Bran says something interesting. Jaime asks why he didn’t say anything, Bran basically says there was no point because of what needed to be done. Jaime asks if they can speak about it after the coming battle, and Bran says what if there is no after? (sorry for my butchering I deleted my recording of it by accident).
This is making me think that Bran is going to die. I think Bran 100% knows what is going on after this battle, and he is moving pieces into place to get things to happen properly. HIm telling Jaime there might not be an after is either hinting at his own death or the death of Jaime. I don’t think it’ll be Jaime’s death because I think his story line will end with his sister.
We cut over to Gendry being Gendry and making some dragonglass weapons for the battle to come before Arya swoops in and shows how truly bad ass she is. This was a hint at their relationship to come, and it was pretty clear to me when they finally did the horizontal tango later on in the episode.
I think it was about time for them to get together. They were friends since the earlier seasons, and Arya is pretty bad ass, and Gendry is a snack! The two of them together is my favourite couple in the series and I think they might actually end up together at the end of the day. FINGERS CROSSED!
I was a little shocked that we got to see Arya “naked”. I thought it was a bit surprising, and it didn’t really seem to fit in the scene, but at the same time I think it did add to the scene at the end of it all. They’re both young, like eachother, and Arya wants to try it out before she dies.
Jaime and Tyrion get to have a little bit of a funny conversation about the coming battles, and how Tyrion wouldn’t mind coming back from the dead to kill Cersei. With her prophecy saying her younger brother will kill her, and Tyrion saying he wants to kill her, joking or not, I think Jaime will be the one to kill her in the end. Tyrion is too kind of a soul to even kill the sister that he loves.
Jaime sort of ignores Tyrion to go and talk to Brienne who is training soldiers in the yard. They watch over Pod, who has become GOALS, and talk about how far he has come sicne he first set out with Brienne.
They had a nice moment together where Jaime offers his sword to Brienne to fight, and Brienne accepts it willingly. This was one of the nicer moments between the two of them, but the best moment comes a bit later.
Jorah has a meeting with Daenerys, and admits that Tyrion is the better Hand of the Queen. He could pribably have taken the job easily, but I think he realizes he isn’t the best fit, that Tyrion is a smart man who learns from his mistakes to help her.
Danny has a little talk with Sansa moments later, and the sass between the two of them is crazy. Sansa is the smarter of the two, in my opinion, and Daenerys wants to be her friend. Sansa warms up a bit, before stating that she and the North don’t plan on bending the knee when Daenerys takes the throne.
Luckily the two of them are saved by Theon coming home. Theon has gone through a hell of a lot over the last few seasons, but he has finally come back to help the Starks, and Sansa starts to cry. I think she loves him as a brother, and knows she wouldn’t be alive withtout him. It was a very heartbreaking scene but it was great to Sansa break apart for a moment when she saw Theon.
We cut out to the courtyard again and Gilly and Davos are doing a good job at controlling the regular townsfolk and guiding them into the coming events. They are two characters that I think are forgotten about pretty easily, which is unfortunate because Gilly is really living her best life. She has a kid, learning to read, and has just become a strong character that is ready for what is to come.
Davos also gets the scene with the girl who has a scar on her face, and I think it was a nice throwback for him, and for the audience to see how he interacts with the young helpless children in the realm. It adds to his character, and I really appreciate his positivity even though he has lost all of the children he has ever cared about.
Jon sees Edd coming into the yard, and goes to hug him before Tormud tackles him and gives him a big bear hug. LOL. He also asks after Brienne which was a good laugh in a rather dramatic episode.
All of the main characters meet for a war council, where we find out some pretty important information for the battle that is coming.
The Night King is after Bran, because he wants the world to experience an endless night, and killing Bran would be like destroying the memory of the world.
We finally get to fiogure out the intentions of the Night King, which is just about what I expected from him. I think we all knew Bran would be important, but now we have our confirmation.
Davos states is perfectly, and says that death is being forgotten. Death isn’t when you are killed, it’s when nobody remembers you or your stories any more.
Bran, who I assume knows what will happen, says he will wait in the weirwood for the Night King to come. The army of the living realize they don’t really stand a chance against the dead, and they plan to draw out the Night King and kill him, which will hopefully kill all the White Walkers.
Jon says he won’t leave Bran alone in the weirwood, but Theon volunteers to protect him with the Ironborn. It was nice seeing Theon trying to pay for his past mistakes with Bran, and Bran and Jon accepting Theon’s determination in protecting Bran.
As the meeting concludes, Jon gives Daenerys the cold shoulder, AGAIN, and I think the entire audience knew that the confrontation would come. I mean we knew the truth, and I don’t think Jon wants to tell her because he only wants to survive this coming battle, but inevitably tells her in the crypts, to which she replies
“You are the last male heir to the iron throne”
Now note she says last male heir, not the last heir. I think the news really opened up her mind to a lot of different possibilities. She slept with her nephew, she’s in love with him, and she’s not the rightful heir anymore.
I think she’s confused and angry that her life goal has just been criushed, but we don’t get to see it happen because of what comes next.
Before that though, we get to see Sam, Jon, and Edd finally meet up again. The first time since season 5 that they were all together.
It was a bit sad hearing them talk about Grenn and Pyp. They were best friends over the years of being Sworn Brothers, and I appreciate the callback they had. They would have been a big help in the coming battle, but basically the last of the three Night’s Watch will defend the realms of men like they swore to do years ago.
I’m going to skip over my favourite scene for a minute, and mention the Hound briefly. The battle against the undead is literally his worst nightmare. There will be fire everywhere. Literally burning bodies everywhere he looks. I’m not sure he has overcome that fear, and I am interested to see how he handles it all when it comes. I think he will fight through it and do what needs to be done, but being Game of Thrones we can never be too sure. Maybe he will wield a flaming sword and kill a few White Walkers or something.
Now my favourite scene of the episode. Tormud, Brienne, Jaime, Tyrion, Davos, and Pod sit around the fire, looking to keep warm for the night. They laugh, get drunk, share some stories, and overall it is a lovely scene. There are two moments that really drive this scene home for me.
The first is Pod singing. He has a surprisingly nice voice, and a montage of scenes play overtop of it. He sings a song that has a pretty interesting tie in to the story if you know the truth to it all, but I won’t get into that here.
The scene that almost brought me to tearswas Brienne being knighted. It had been a dream of hers for years, and when Jaime finally knighted her she was happier than any other character had been in the show. Despite White Walkers, the Night King, imminent death, and a creepy ginger man a few feet away from her, she managed a smile so big that it put that scene into my Top 5 favourite scenes of the series for sure. It was so nice seeing someone experience true happiness, and honestly I’m not even doing it justice. You need to see it for yourself to see how beautiufl it really is.
The episode ends with the army of the dead within eyeshot of Winterfell, and boy oh boy is this battle going to be amazing!!!!!
What do you guys think will happen with the rest of the season? Will your character live or die? Let me know in the comments.
So to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect from this book when I started it. The genre wasn’t really in my wheelhouse, so I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not. After finishing the 7 chapters that are out, I have to say I did enjoy it.
Exploit Me comes out on a weekly basis, so I am excited to read the story as it comes along because I did enjoy it.
It wasn’t my facourite book in the world, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hit home a little bit for me.
I’ve never lived through what Charm writes about, but I don’t think you need to have to be able to take something away from reading this.
The main character is going through many issues, and her world seems to be spiraling around her. Things are getting worse and worse for her, and we get a peak into her mind about how she deals with it.
It’s a little heartbreaking, seeing a character struggle with no end in sight. Usually theres an answer to the problem, or somebody who can come save the day, but as we read Exploit Me, these realities are becoming more and more distant.
If you’re expecting a story with a happy ending, I can’t tell you that it’ll turn out that way. So far, up to Chapter 7, it’s rough. It’s tough to read about a character that is struggling with so many aspects of her life.
I’ve been involved with people who struggle with their self-worth, and the little bit I know about it makes me aware that it isn’t easy.
To wake up every day fighting against yourself and the world. It’s not an easy job, but people do it. People do it day in and day out, fighting.
I’m excited to see where the rest of this story goes. The chapters are relatively short, and you could probably read the whole thing in under an hour if you started right now, and I do recommend reading it.
You can find it by clicking this link.