Category Archives: Books

New Game of Throne Videos & Pictures

With the premiere of Game of Thrones coming ever closer, HBO has released a plethora of videos and pictures to help promote the show.  The latest trailer is below.  I am starting to sound a bit like a broken record here, but another great looking video of the show and keeps me excited for its premiere on April 17th.

Pictured below is one of several new images that HBO has released, this one is of Kings Landing the capitol city of Westeros, the continent this takes place in.

More pictures that HBO has released can be seen at their site Making Game of Thrones

Finally, HBO in connection with Comcast/XfinityTV has released short videos on four main houses, Stark, Lanister, Targaryen, and  Baratheon in the show and the characters from each of those houses.

House Lanister is the family of the Queen and House Baratheon is the family of the King.  House Targaryen is the family of the exiled former royal family. Finally House Stark is the main family that we follow in the books and tv show.

If a Comcast subscriber can see the videos here or a fan has uploaded all of them to youtube here

 

First Full trailer for Game of Thrones & Book 5 news

Several great pieces of news in the George R.R Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire, with finally news of a hard publication date for book five, A Dance With Dragons, set for July 11 2011.  Since I just started reading the series in 2010,  I have not had to wait the 5+ plus years since book four A Feast For Crows was released in October of 2005, it is still great to have a release date for the newest book.

Next we have the first full trailer for HBO’s Game of Thrones adaptation.  Once again the footage looks great and keeps my interest alive for the upcoming show.  The other nice piece of news we have for Game of Thrones is that HBO is going to air a 15 minute sneak preview of it on April 3rd, at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT).  

Stephen King’s New book & it involves JFK

The Premise for Stephen Kings new book:

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas,

President Kennedy died, and the world changed.

If you had the chance to change history, would you?

Would the consequences be worth it?

The premise makes me quite interested given my enjoyment of history and I have always enjoyed thinking about what if scenarios in history. With JFK assignation being one of bigger alternate history story lines.  It will be fun to see how King handles the book and what alternate history his story has/the consequences the tease talks about.

via Stephen King’s 11/22/63 – In Stores November 8th 2011.

Premiere date for Game of Thrones & new photos

At the Television Critics Association winter press tour, the  panel for HBO’s Game of Thrones series gave us some new goodies on the upcoming show.  As I mentioned in the headline, we finally have a premiere date for the show based on George R.R. Martin’s books, which is April 17th.   HBO screened 15 minutes from the series and reports I have read about the footage makes me all the more eager to actually see the show.  There are also some great new promo photos that HBO has released.

For an overall recap of the panel, check out the links below:

TCA Press Tour 2011: ‘Game of Thrones’ will bring winter to April | Los Angeles Times.

Westeros.org TCA recap

New Game of Thrones video & updates

This last Sunday, HBO premiered an  inside look at the upcoming Game Of Thrones TV show before the season finale of Boardwalk Empire.  Game of Thrones is premiering in April of 2011 on HBO.

After watching the Inside Game of Thrones feature, I have to say that I am still quite impressed with what I have seen from the HBO show and what I have read about how they are adapting George R.R. Martin’s book.  From what I have seen it seems like it is shaping up to be a great show.

Also about two weeks ago or so, Entertainment Weekly had a feature on Game of Thrones with some great pictures and a on the set report. Here are two links to the coverage, which includes some great pictures from the show. HBO – Making Game of Thrones – High-Resolution EW Photos. & Exclusive: On the set of ‘Game of Thrones’ | Inside TV | EW.com.

Harry Potter 7 is here & nearing an end.

For me the winter movie season really kicks into gear with this weekends release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1.  I am excited for this one since I have Potter book number seven has been my favorite of the series, so been excited to see what they will do with the first part of the adaption.  For me I liked book 7 more because it had less of the extraneous sub plots that where more prevalent in the previous books.  Also it is certainly a bit different given that most of it is not set in Hogwarts.  I am certainly excited for it when I see it friday.

Also a little sad that we only have one movie left in the Harry Potter series after this one.  I say that since I have grown up with the books and movies.  First started reading the books when I was a freshman or sophomore in high school and have enjoyed the series as books and movies as a whole.  Also been great to see the actors basically grow up during the course of the films, amazing how young they where and how young they look as well when see the first movie now.

A Game of Thrones

I just finished reading ‘A Game of Thrones’ by George R.R. Martin, the first book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. I discovered the series of books once HBO starting making a series of shows of it and it was a type/genre of show that I normally like. I also learned that a friend I knew from college was a big fan of the series and had good things to say about it.

The basic setting for the book is like a medieval/feudal system, with lords and a king and all that you would expect. Throughout the course of the book you follow several noble families and the events surrounding them. The broad over arching story I have heard compared to several times is that of the War of the Roses in England during medieval times. The story is not just a straight medieval adventure, it has a bit of magic and fantasy elements but they are not an over bearing influence, just enough to make the story a bit different and give it a little flair.

Martin manages to handle a large group of characters well and is able to interconnect the different stories with one another eventually once he set things up. Part of how Martin manages those characters is that in each chapter he switches between characters and rotates the chapters among a handful of them, and we see the world through their eyes in each chapter. One Being Lord Edward Stark pictured below. Normally at the end of most chapters I don’t want to leave the character I have been dealing with and start in on the new one. To Martin’s credit I normally end up just getting as interested in the next chapter as I was in the last.

The book is a good mixture of adventure, political intrigue, back stabbing, a bit of war and fighting, and good character growth as the book goes along with the historical/medieval setting I mentioned above. All of those things for me add up to a compelling story and one while it is a larger book, kept me wrapped up and wanting to keep reading until I finished it, which is what a truly good book should do.

In the end if you like a mix of adventure, some fantasy, history and political intrigue you likely will enjoy this book. It is a longer book than I normally read but the story kept me engaged and wanting to read more.  Now off to read the next book in the series  ‘A Clash of Kings’

Here is the official book description behind the cut.

Continue reading A Game of Thrones

The future of books, print or digital?

(c) Andrew Mason on Flickr

The New York Times has an interesting article up on the growing discussion/battle between physical books and e-books on devices like the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad.  The quotes below show one case of this tension, and the growing numbers of e-book device readers in some form.

Auriane and Sebastien de Halleux are at sharp odds over “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” but not about the plot. The problem is that she prefers the book version, while he reads it on his iPad. And in this literary dispute, the couple says, it’s ne’er the twain shall meet.

“She talks about the smell of the paper and the feeling of holding it in your hands,” said Mr. de Halleux, 32, who says he thinks the substance is the same regardless of medium. He added, sounding mildly piqued, “She uses the word ‘real.’ ”

By the end of this year, 10.3 million people are expected to own e-readers in the United States, buying about 100 million e-books, the market research company Forrester predicts. This is up from 3.7 million e-readers and 30 million e-books sold last year.

via Print or Pixels? Publishers Strive to Advance Both – NYTimes.com.

Personally for me it has taken me a long time to come around to reading books on my iPad or more generally reading books on an electronic device.  Since I have gotten the iPad earlier this year I have read parts of books on the device.  I have not read a whole book on it quite yet, but that is because of me losing focus on a book and starting and stopping.  I am not sure if I really will for the foresable future ever give up on physical books, but I certainly think I likely will split where I buy my books between digital and physical books from now on.   In the end I think digital will keep growing but I think for a long time at the very least that there will be a place still for physical books.  From the article and what I have written it is easy to see that in this one area it makes for an interesting discussion on the advancement of technology into this realm of book publishing and reading.

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows trailer

Warner Brothers released a new trailer for Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows part 1 & 2.  From the looks of it the last two movies in the Potter saga should be good or at the very least have some good action set pieces.

I enjoyed book 7 the best, so excited for these two movies the most compared to the other ones.  One aspect that make me like the Deathly Hallows more is that J.K. Rowling really kept the story focused and did not have b and c plot lines that were present in the other books.  She also did a good job of wrapping up for the most part all the questions that she had brought up over the series.

It will be interesting to see how they translate the book into these two movies.  Hopefully they will not have to leave much out of the book since they split it into two parts.  The other big question about the movies is were will they split the book for part 1 of the movie and part 2.

Part 1 comes out November 19th 2010, and Part 2 will be released on July 15th, 2011.

I have included the trailer below, but to view the trailer in HD click one of these links.  YouTube – Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Official HD Trailer. & Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Movie Trailers – iTunes.

Summer reading

The latest books I have read or am in the process of reading this summer (loose definition since I know technically today the 21st is first day of summer) have been Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis  and the book Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth, which just came out this last May.

While Moneyball has been out since 2002, I just got around to reading it and I am glad I did.  If you are unfamiliar with the book Moneyball, the basic premise to me is how Oakland Athletics under general manager Billy Bean came to have a low budget winning teams while putting a much greater reliance on numbers and statistics when evaluating players instead of decades old traditional ways of doing it. Besides the statistical part and sections on scouting etc, there are some good sections that just describe some of the players from the A’s organization.  Lewis gives you a real picture of baseball and what it is really like, from how the baseball draft was run to the art of making deals at the trading deadline and many things in between.  So if you enjoy baseball and have not read this book I would say certainly pick it up.

What I am currently reading is Blood Oath, and what the book is about I will leave to the description I got from the book-

The ultimate secret. The ultimate agent. The President’s vampire.

Zach Barrows is an ambitious young White House staffer whose career takes an unexpected turn when he’s partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the president. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant. Bound by a special blood oath, Cade has spent more than 140 years in service to the president, battling nightmares before they can break into the daylight world of the American dream.

Via: Aamazon.com Blood Oath

While I have not finished Blood Oath yet, I am just a few chapters into it, but so far the book is quite enjoyable.  So far it is a good page turned and more a fluffy action type of a book that still has a good story or at least enough of a story to keep you interested.  This type of book with a mix of action, and a bit of science fiction or fantasy is a good match for me and one of the genre’s of books that I do enjoy.  Wile it has a promising start will just have to read the rest of the book to see how good the book is overall. I will try to post again on what I thought of the overall book once I finish reading it.