Monday, August 10, 2015

Four books


My Kindle cracked from side to side,
With a heavy heart I put it aside,
For now, I return to books unread,
Till a new one arrives in its stead.

Here's what I finished over the past month:

A GAME OF THRONES by George R. R. Martin

I'm nine years late to the party, but Book 1 of Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy was still a fun read. I took it slow and steady, watching the corresponding episodes of the TV adaptation after every few chapters. The TV series is fantastic, but they do leave stuff out while fitting 700-plus pages into 10 episodes. I believe reading the book does enhance the experience. But be prepared for some surprises. Martin killed off one of the main characters towards the end of Book 1. And it felt as if Harry Potter had died in the first book. GoT addicts warn me there are major shocks ahead, and I’m intrigued enough to continue. I'll go slow, and hopefully Martin will be done with the sixth instalment by the time I catch up.

by Stephen Fry
Volume two of the British actor's autobiography is just as engaging as the first. This one describes his early years at Cambridge, his theatre collaborations with Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie (Dr. House), and his foray into television. Sounds boring? Ah well, if only I could be as funny and witty as Fry - the P.G.Wodehouse of his generation. Up next, Fry's best-selling novels.

MIDDLESEX by Jeffrey Eugenides
This Pulitzer-winning work is ostensibly about its protagonist, an intersex male of Greek descent. But this sweeping novel also traces the lives of three generations of the Stephanides family, and their dark secret. Some critics found it verbose, but I feel "Middlesex" would’ve lost much of its appeal had the author stuck with the slim fictional account he initially set out to write. Highly recommended.

MUERTE EN VALENCIA by Loreto de Miguel and Alba Santos
Detective Pepe Rey has a new love and a new case. While celebrating the traditional fallas in Valencia, a theatre actor is found dead with a dagger through his heart. In this 40-page novella, part of a series for those learning Spanish, there is enough mystery to keep one hooked until the end.

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