Ryan’s Books – Month One


October 6, 2012 by jiejie768

Edit: We have enrolled in the amazon.com affiliate program. You can now click on the links to buy these books via Amazon. Full disclosure: We get a small kickback if enough people do this. Just trying to make a year of not getting paid to work work for us. Thanks!

Hey guys, Ryan here. Traveling, especially the way we are doing it, affords one plenty of time to kick back and get some reading done. Meg and I have decided to attempt to read 52 books apiece over the 52 weeks starting with our Sept. 8, 2012, departure from the U.S. (Hat tip to Keegan and Jenny for inspiring the idea). Click here for the full list of what we’ve read so far.

In addition to keeping the list, I will try and provide a monthly (or so) update of what I’ve read with a quick capsule summary/review. Meg says she will not do this.

Ryan’s books and assorted thoughts from the first month:

1.”A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3)” by George R.R. Martin (Book 3 in the “Song of Ice and Fire” (“Game of Thrones”) series)
Tough to share to much here as anyone interested in this book is already reading this/read this/or will read this soon. But so far, this was my favorite installment by a wide margin. I liked the first two books, but struggled to stay motivated while reading them and was often daunted by their 900+ pages. With this one, though, I could hardly put it down and blew through the 1,100+ pages in about two weeks. I’m waiting for Book 4 (“A Feast for Crows”) to return with Aunt GeGe in a week or so.

2. “Necromancing the Stone“by Lish McBride (sequel to Hold Me Closer, Necromancer“, a funny teen series by a Seattle writer)
A worthy sequel to the zany “Hold Me Closer Necromancer.” This series is flawed and probably aimed at teens, but provides a solid send-up of whole supernatural teen romance genre while still essentially being a part of it. The story focuses on a college dropout who discovers he is in fact a Necromancer and follows his adventures as he picks up a werewolf girlfriend and joins a local council responsible for monitoring supernatural beings in the Pacific Northwest. Plus, it takes place in Seattle. It’s a quick read and worth it for fans of young adult fiction; though you should definitely start with “Hold Me Closer Necromancer.”

3. “The Trinity Game“by Sean Chercover
I really enjoyed this book and read it about two or three days. It features a Catholic priest responsible for debunking or confirming miracle claims around the world — he’s kind of like a secret agent for the Vatican’s equivalent of the CIA. The story centers on him returning to the US to debunk a conman evangelical preacher who’s allegedly predicting the future whilst speaking in tongues during his weekly TV sermon. The catch? The preacher is the priest’s estranged uncle who raised him through age 13 before he left home and took up residence in a Catholic orphanage leading to his present profession. Fans of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon books (“DaVinci Code” “Angels and Demons”) will find a lot to like as this book is a fast-paced thriller with rapid-fire twists and turns and plenty of intrigue (By which I mean: Dad, you should read this book).

4. “Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. One Step at a Time.” by Ed Stafford
This nonfiction book chronicles the author’s unbelievable 860-day journey to walk the entire length of the Amazon River — from its furthest source in the Andes Mountains of Peru, to the mouth at the Atlantic Ocean in Brazil. He actually starts the journey, entirely on foot, in the Pacific Ocean. The feat he accomplished is staggering and the book was a quick and worthy read which offered plenty of fascinating insights into the many and varied indigenous cultures found along the Amazon through Peru, Colombia and Brazil. That said, the writing isn’t as strong as the adventure, and I often felt it lacked detail I was looking for and Stafford frequently repeats himself. Still though, took me about five days to read and it’s certainly provided plenty to think about given my current place of residence.

On the docket in the coming weeks:

Don’t Put Me In, Coach: My Incredible NCAA Journey from the End of the Bench to the End of the Bench“by Mark Titus – Grantland.com college hoops writer Mark Titus chronicles his four-year career as a walk-on at the end of the bench for the highly-rated Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Casual Vacancy” by JK Rowling – The first non-Harry Potter entry into the JK Rowling canon. I’m equal parts nervous and excited about this murder-mystery and “very adult” novel.

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)” by George RR Martin – The fourth book in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series. This one will be tough to tackle as these books are long and dense and severely inhibit the book-a-week pace we are trying to keep.

Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal” by JK Rowling – This is the first book in the Harry Potter series and, obviously, I’ve read it many, many times before. The reason I’m allowing myself to add it my 52-book quest is that this will be the first time I’ve attempted to read it in Spanish.

“Meg Anderson and Ryan Johnston are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.”

6 thoughts on “Ryan’s Books – Month One

  1. Pattipeg says:

    Just bought “Trinity Game” for my husband. Appreciate your comments–keep them coming.

  2. Aunt Pat says:

    Thanks Ryan! I’m going to pick up three from your list 🙂 Book reviewer in the future? Meg, why aren’t you doing this??

    • jiejie768 says:

      When I said I wasn’t going to do it, it was when Ryan was just adding extended comments to the list. I might do a book round up at some point.

  3. Pam says:

    Good list. I’ve got Casual Vacancy on my pile of books to read, but a bit less time. Let me know when you get to that one!

  4. […] I loved the first book in this series, but thought this one was just okay. It didn’t grab me the same way. Honestly, after reading it nearly a month ago, I barely remember anything about it. See Ryan’s review, I guess… […]

  5. […] Click here for Month 1 of Ryan’s books Click here for Month 2 of Ryan’s books Click here for Month 1.5 of Meg’s books Click here for Month 2.5 of Meg’s books Click here for the complete list of books we have read to date […]

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