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Time for the second round of what I’m reading. This is already becoming difficult as I started this post on Tuesday, the day after posting the first in this series, and I already had four articles to share. I will try to limit the number of articles posted here, those who want to see more of what I’m reading can follow me on Twitter, where I frequently share the articles I enjoy. This past week has included…

The book

  • This has been quite a busy week, so I’m still on the same book as last week, ‘The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla’.  It’s getting to that exciting part where I have to force myself to put it down so I can get some sleep.

Articles

  • My flatmate alerted me to this beautiful article from Poetry Magazine about the Island of Lampedusa, which many African asylum seekers travel to, by boat, as a way into Europe. The author manages to represent the perspectives and positions of all involved in a very honest and respectful manner. Also, the author references The Leopard, one of my favourite books, several times, as well as Dr Who, one of my favourite shows! It is quite a long article, but I strongly encourage you to read to the end.
  • This is an interesting post by author Jennifer Weiner on whether or not the New York Times book reviewers are sexist.  Here is a response on Salon.com.
  • Can you be feminist and care about fashion? Ms Magazine explores.
  • Beautiful illustrations of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale on The Guardian (sample shown above).
  • Add some spice to your cooking with some help from Monica Bhide. I have tried any of these yet, but have every intention of doing so some time in the next year.
  • And here is an article from last year by my favourite Guardian angry man, Charlie Brooker, on aspect ratio.  As he says ‘There are only two kinds of people in this world: those who don’t have any problem with watching things that are randomly stretched or squashed, and decent human beings who still have standards’.

Blog/site of the week

  • A little while ago I discovered the work of photographer Joel Robison. It’s a lot of fun and very creative. Check out his work on Flickr.
  • Downtown from behind is a tumblr with a fabulous photographic series of cyclists from behind on various New York streets.
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I recently finished the fifth and most recent instalment of the excellent series A Song of Ice and Fire. Some of you may be familiar with the HBO television series Game of Thrones, which is named after the first book. I highly highly recommend it! I have loved the books so far, and am seriously considering starting them all over again. The TV series is also particularly excellent. I mean, it has Sean Bean, how could it not be fantastic? I’ve also developed a bit of a crush on Kit Harington, who plays my crush in the book, John Snow.

But what really stands out for me are the women. The women in the books are amazing. Ranging from young children, to old women, they are so strong! Even sensitive, naive, and vain Sansa. And I promise you will all fall in love with young and feisty Arya. And Daenerys Targaryen!!! Ok, I’ll stop now.

The book doesn’t wash over the violence and exploitation women faced in medieval times and today. The story is very brutal, at times I was completely overwhelmed and had to walk away and have a cup of tea to compose myself. But after five minutes I was curled up on the couch with my new friends again.

If, like me, you like having a sound track for your books, I recommend Bon Iver’s self titled album. It fit perfectly for me. The only problem is, whenever I listen to the album (like right now), I want to pick up the book and start again.

And for those of you who say ‘oh, I don’t read fantasy…’ Get over yourselves, it’s brilliant. Have you ever read a fantasy novel? Probably not. You’re just stereotyping.

Note: It contains a lot of violence and some graphic sex scenes, so don’t read it or watch the series if that will make you uncomfortable.

Note: If you have read fantasy (or science fiction for that matter) and genuinely don’t like it, then please ignore my comment above. It was directed at those (usually women) who dismiss the entire genre without ever having read it, based only on their own bias.

I have stolen this from one of my favourite websites Brain Pickings and you can find the original post here. I plan to attempt this but I think it will take a little while. Has anyone read any of these books? What are your thoughts? Any you would add or remove?

While we’re talking books, can anyone recommend some good classic sci-fi novels? i.e. real old school ones.