Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

Author: George R.R. Martin
Year: 1996
Publisher: Bantam Books

Yeah, I finally read it. I also figure if you don't know what this book is about then you've been living in a cave somewhere for the past year; so, absolutely no descriptions from me. I will say that it took the book a while to get going and that I needed that appendix of the great multitude of characters in this book but that, once the book got to going, I loved it. 

The Snowman

Author: Jo Nesbo
Year: 2011
Publisher: Knopf 

Mothers are disappearing and left behind in their place are snowmen - the only clue that a serial killer is at work. Detective Harry Hole is convinced that the killer is playing a game with him because of a letter left for him.

This is a Scandinavian serial killer mystery by Jo Nesbo who is hailed as the next Steig Larrson. I can't comment on the comparisons to Larsson as I have got to be the only person left who hasn't read his Dragon Tattoo books (it is in my TBR stack). But, I can say this is a very good mystery. Nesbo's hero, Harry Hole, is tough, gritty, damaged goods who reminded me a lot of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch. Could be because they share the same name but I don't think it is. I think the characters are very similar.

This book was quite scary for a murder mystery and I felt that Nesbo dared to go further than many American authors would. And I liked it.

Water for Elephants

Author: Sara Gruen
Year: 1996
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

When he is 21 years old, Jacob Jankowski walks out of college in the middle of his veterinary final exams and joins the circus. It's not a pretty life. This story takes place during the Depression and the circus Jacob joins is not a top caliber circus. Animals go without food, workers without money and sometimes "disappear" during the night. 

I almost stopped reading this book before I got into the heart of the story because the first 75 pages was not at all what I expected and was much more explicit that I was prepared for. Once the Gruen got into the actual story, it was a beautiful story. The details of circus life were amazing - not necessarily pretty or something that made me want to run out and join the circus - but amazing.