- A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
- Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom by Stephen R. Platt
- Beijing Coma by Ma Jian
I'm about halfway through the first two and both are good in their own ways. Martin's book is one of the Game of Thrones series (no, I've never seen the HBO show and no intention of doing so) and I have found it to be a very interesting series. His writing style reminds me of James Clavell in how he handles each of the characters and we get any different perspectives. And since Clavell is one of my all-time favorite authors, Martin is currently moving his way up my list of faves.
I'm also about halfway through the Platt's novel which is an engaging recitation of the Taiping Revolution in China and the interaction of the Western powers at that time. Thus far, I have not found it to be a flattering portrayal but, considering the times, that should not be entirely unexpected. Though, I have to admit that I was thinking about this earlier today - how is it that so many ministers spent so much time going to foreign countries to convert the "heathens" and held such low opinions of those same "heathens" yet they were charitable "Christian" souls? Maybe I'm just simple-minded or my opinions on those who convert others to their beliefs do not easily lend themselves to being kind. However, I digress...
I recently saw a review of Beijing Coma and thought it sounded pretty good. Turns out that the local library (though not the branch I normally I visit) has a copy so I've requested it. Hopefully shows up in the next couple of days and that will be something else to enjoy.
I've tried to switch away from the history and social science books that have been more of my interest in recent years to a little more fiction in order to help resuscitate my ability to do more writing on my part. I've got about 5 different short stories going right now (on paper, no less!) and trying to finish at least one (I'm sure Heather is beginning to wonder about this). But I'll get there - have faith (ok, that does sound funny when you consider my religious views at times)!