Book News: Giant Flip Books In The Wild, Women Authors, The Littlest Bookseller and More

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If You Like Game of Thrones
No one knows when the hell the next Song of Ice and Fire book is coming out, including the author, so here’s some recommended books if you like Westeros.

The Littlest Bookseller
I guess they don’t have any age requirements at this bookstore. Is it cute or just cheap child labor?

Remembering Leonard Cohen
The moving New York Times obituary on the passing of this legend.

NW
A teaser trailer for the BBC’s adaptation of Zadie Smith’s NW.

[read more . . .]

Book News: McBeth and Other Shakespearean Fast Food, 10 Books You Fake it With, Judy Blume Marriage Savior & More!

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Baseball Game of Thrones 
The minor league Yankees team will be doing it Game of Thrones style in the near future.

Why You Should Read Lesbian Fiction 
Whether you’re male or female, there’s a lot that can be learned.

If Shakespeare Plays Were Fast Food Chains 
Some you might be able to guess, others you won’t be able to take a stab at.

[read more . . .]

A Personal Post on HBO’s Game of Thrones

I don’t normally make personal posts about my life and choices on Bookbanter, as I like to keep it mostly about my work, books and writing. But I feel this post needs to be done.

I have been enjoying HBO’s Game of Thrones since its first season. The look of the show is incredible; the detail that goes into the sets and costumes and design is enriching and engrossing. The writers have done a decent job of keeping to the story from the books. Because it’s HBO, they’ve naturally added extra scenes of nudity and sex and even a whole new prostitute character. While this added material hasn’t felt crucial to the story for the most part, because it’s HBO, it’s to be expected. One particular scene comes to mind involving a monologue from Littlefinger gazing out a window, while he has two prostitutes pleasure each other.

Nevertheless, overall I have enjoyed the show and with this new season, because little happens in the concurrent book, they deviated from the story, adding new material that kept the show fresh and interesting.

Except for a couple of particular incidents, unsurprisingly all involving rape.

The first is between Daenerys and Khal Drogo consummating their marriage. In the book, Daenerys is understandably terrified, but Drogo is kind and gentle with her. The TV show chose to make it a disturbing scene of Drogo raping Daenerys.

The second is between Cersei and Jaime Lannister, who are deeply in love with each other, but the writers decided a rape scene between them was necessary.

The third rape scene was in this past Sunday’s episode between Ramsey Snow and Sansa Stark, while Theon/Reek is made to watch, and in fact is the character who is the focus of the scene, as viewers see his reaction with little face-time on the girl being raped. This scene served absolutely no purpose except to abhor viewers. The character of Ramsey had already been established in the previous season with his incessant torture of Theon/Reek, and we already know everything that Sansa has gone through being married to Joffrey. It was so unnecessary.

I didn’t watch the episode, but started hearing about it shortly after it aired, and when I learned what the scene actually was – as I had been somewhat suspecting it in the previous episode – I decided almost immediately I was completely done with the show, and no matter how much they might apologize and admit their error in their terrible decision to do this, they won’t be able to get me back.

Rape seems to be the one conflict male writers turn to when they want to challenge their female characters, and seeing how omnipresent it is becoming both in real life and in entertainment media, it’s a sad telling on our current reality. And I feel the only way to start exposing this as something so very wrong and horrific and to change it is to make a strong and final choice, such as not watching the show anymore, even though there was a lot about about the show I liked.

When I tweeted on Sunday about quitting the show and my reasons for this, I soon received support and other people either doing likewise or those who had been planning to watch the show now choosing never to. There were also other comments and discussions on the events of the episode on social media and the following day The Mary Sue announced its decision to no longer promote the show in this great post.

And over the week there has been more reaction to the episode, from all areas, including TV critics. IO9 made this post addressing the episode. And then there was this fantastic post from Robert Jackson Bennett which I feel is the right note to end this post on.

Book News: Terry Pratchett Remembered, Bookstore Porn, New Yorkers Do It (Read) Anywhere & More!

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Remembering Terry Pratchett
Neil Gaiman on remembering the great fantasy author. BBC’s obituary. Pratchett’s last tweet.

More Game of Thrones
HBO wants the series to continue beyond the books.

Feminist Young Readers 
A selection of great young reader books featuring some great female protagonists.

[read more . . .]

“Game of Thrones: A Pop-up Guide to Westeros” illustrated by Michael Komarck, designed by Matthew Christian Reinhart (Insight Editions, 2014) [REVIEW #800!]

Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros

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It’s that time of year again, deep in the dark of winter, when Christmas is almost upon us; and we sit a fair distance away from the next riveting season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, and even longer from the next book in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. You’re probably thinking in these dark times what possible gift could I be rewarded with that will make everything feel better, what pricey item would make the perfect Christmas present or possibly a worthwhile spending of the Christmas money? Why not take a look at Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros.

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There aren’t many books out there to which nothing bad can be said about them, and this is one of those very rare books. However, there is a dilemma with this beautiful pop-up book, which is that you want to continuously open it and lift every flap and card and pop-up section and study and read and admire; but at the same time you also want to keep everything pristine and mint and unopened to preserve its value and perfection.

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Much as with anything Matthew Reinhart puts his mind and skill to, this is simply an astonishing work of art. One of his more recent popular works of genius is Star Wars: A Pop-up Guide to the Galaxy. The level of detail and work that has gone into this pop-up book knows no bounds.

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Generally, your average pop-up book will have maybe one or two on a page, and sometimes none to continue whatever story it is trying to tell, not so with Game of Thrones. Reinhart pushes the envelope with multiple levels of pop-ups cunningly conceived and designed to defy artistic logic, while other great page-spanning scenes rise up from the paper like Lazarus to dazzle your very eyes.

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In addition to the main pop-up on each page, the smaller sub-pop-up has a little corner cover to be folded into so that it remains firmly locked in place and protected, making it easy to release and open up and admire, and then put back again in safety. This device also makes it easy to know how to open up a pop-up so it doesn’t bend the wrong way and possibly get damaged.

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The book takes you across the scenes and locations of Westeros, showing you the lands and its citadels, giving you information on the people and characters and some of the familiar story pieces you have come to love and hate and perhaps love again.  Whether you’re an addict of the books, the TV show or both, as you slowly and delicately leaf through this incredible book you will no doubt have the Game of Thrones theme song running in your head.

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Originally written on November 23, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.