A Game of Thrones | Summer Reading

This past weekend, my wife and I got together with my coworker, Debbie, and her husband, Bruce, to play board games and eat pizza. Our guests met while working together at Baker Book House (in fact, back when they started, I was the store trainer and trained them how to be good employees), but due to a company policy against married people working together, one of them had to find another job. Of course, Bruce ended up finding a job in another local, indie bookstore.

Now, my wife and Debbie are part of a book club that is primarily made up of people with some connection to Baker Book House (employees, friends of employees, spouses of employees, you get the idea). I’m not going to say that I am jealous of their group, but I’m jealous of their group. True, I am part of a men’s Bible study that reads books and the Bible together. True, I am part of a writer’s group that gets together to discuss our own books and occasionally other books that pass in front of us. But neither of those are really a book club.

Our first book club book

So, Bruce and I decided to start our own reading club. Our first book is going to be George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. Though the book has been made into a faithful film adaptation by HBO, neither Bruce nor I have seen it, which is all to the good, as I am a firm believer in reading the book first when a filmed version is being made. This may make me a purist or a book snob, but I don’t care. Those names don’t bother me.”But when will you fit the reading in?” asked my wife, and rightfully so.

You see, my wife is pregnant and nearing the July due date and we are already parents of an adorable and energetic one-and-a-half year old. We also both work full-time and I do this writing thing when I have a moment or two to spare. Throw in family obligations and a small social life with friends and we already have a lot on our plate.

“I’ll find some time,” was my hopeful response.

Here’s the plan: Bruce and I are going to start now and read about 100 pages per week (it isn’t really that much). The book is a bit over 800 pages, so it will take about two months to finish. We’re going to meet up some time in August to discuss the book. We don’t know the date or the place yet. We’ll figure that out when the time gets closer.

Here’s the offer: If you want to be part of our book club, just mention your desire in the comments and read the book with us. Need the book? Get it here. If you are in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area in August and feel like being part of the discussion, you’re welcome to join us. I’m thinking that we’ll meet up in a public location anyway.

Here’ the challenge: What should the book club be called? We exist to balance the fact that our wives are part of a ladies book club which reads memoirs and pop fiction. I’m guessing that this book club that Bruce and I are starting is going to focus more on Fantasy/Sci-Fi or other more male-dominated genres or titles. Now, that doesn’t mean that we are excluding ladies from reading with us, it is just to define the type of books that we are going to read. If you have a book club name idea, leave that in the comments too.

14 thoughts on “A Game of Thrones | Summer Reading

  1. Good idea of a club. I read the first book after watching the first season of the show, so it was a slow read. I read the second fine, and enjoyed that a lot, and I’m now making my way through the third. I won’t spoil anything but will offer that they are enjoyable, if not a little overstuffed with two many names (I struggle remembering names as it is). Have fun.

      • It only really has spoilers for the first book too so you can play it and it won’t spoil the rest of the series for you!

        Only thing I’d warn is that it takes quite a few hours (and can cause arguments 😉 ) so make sure you have some snacks and beers around 😛

  2. I wish I lived in the area! Have played the game, seen the series, and read all the books, and would gladly join the book club, especially to discuss the analogies and false analogies between English/European history in the War of the Roses as a basis for Game of Thrones, together with the different characterizations of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christianity and Islam… lots of good stuff to chew on!

  3. I may be up for this as things settle with the house and the family. I have wanted to read it so it would be great to have the accountability. 100 pages a week is not too hard either. Great idea.

  4. Awesome books, I found myself waiting with baited breath until the next came out every time. I think he’s a fantastic writer, one of my fantasy favorites along with Feist. However, I must say that I find it almost odd that I liked them so much when one of the appeals of fantasy to me is the rosy way things always turn out, I love the escape from real life. Game of Thrones is almost the opposite, while a truly fantastic story it is so based in the realities of sin, the way we all work towards our own advantage, and how we unknowingly make poor decisions because we always lack complete information as to truly be a bleak and at times depressing read. I also struggle with remembering names and these books are just oozing characters all over the place. To be able to get me past all three of these obstacles and still have me say they are one of my favorite fantasy series shows you how talented he is as a writer and how captivating his characters and stories are.
    My book review now over, I think your group should be called Balancing Act 😉

    • Thanks for the mini-review. I think authors who throw thing after thing at their characters do so to reveal the types of people they are. It is a good way to help us relate to the characters and compels us to find out what happens to them next. I don’t think it is entirely sadistic on our part as a reader to enjoy reading about tragic things happening to characters we like (I’m still trying to decide if I’m a sadist for writing such things). Thanks for the comment!

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