Tag: books

George R.R. Martin Kinda, Sorta Reveals Whether His Books Will Match The Show’s End

According to CNN George R.R. Martin has broken his silence on The Winds of Winter. He’s revealed when the next book is coming! Rejoice, everyone! Or…not? As Martin, as usual, was very coy in his statement and revealed things while also not revealing anything at all.

George R.R. Martin confirmed that the next book ‘will be’ complete but refused to say when it can be expected, only that he promises he will finish it, along with A Dream of Spring. Will the ending will be different? He had this to say:

 

“How will it all end? I hear people asking. The same ending as the show? Different? Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.”

 

Cersei rolls her eyes as she sits in a chair
Image via Game of Thrones wiki

Thanks George, that clears that up. George continued in his statement by noting books are a wholly different medium than television and his novels will explore characters in detail that never appeared on the show, such as Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny, Darkstar, Aegon VI, and more. But that’s all he goes into. In any case, it’s safe to assume his books will be quite different than the show’s ending but of course, all we can do is theorize until he finally, finally releases the next book.

Hopefully it’ll be worth the wait!

 

 

Featured Image Via Variety 

Belgium Monks Make Beer History with Recipe from Lost 1700s Book!

According to The Guardian, Father Karel Stautemas, “in the presence of the town’s mayor and 120 journalists and enthusiasts,” made a startling announcement.

 

The 'Aliens' Meme

Image Via Cactus Hugs

The abbey, which Reuters notes has a phoenix emblem ‘with the Latin motto ‘Ardet nec consumitur’, meaning ‘Burned but not destroyed’,” was burned down in 1798 by French secular revolutionaries. As a result, the 12th century recipe was thought to be lost, but turns out the recipe, along with 300 others books, had been smuggled out and hidden within ancient archives.

Thus, Father Karel Stautemas told the awaiting crowd that, after “four years of research into the methods of monks that brewed beer in the Norbertine monastery” they had recreated the beer.

Hooray!

 

Father Karel Stautemas, subprior of Grimbergen Abbey, sips a glass of the rediscovered medieval beer in front of a stained-glass window symbolically depicting the phoenix

Image Via The Daily Mail

It seems that after rediscovering the recipes, the Monks called in some volunteers to read the old Latin and old Dutch, who revealed that the newly-discovered recipe had “details about the original monks’ brewing methods, specifically their use of hops rather than fermented herbs, which put the monks ahead of many of their contemporaries”.

The monks got to work. They did their best to keep the brewing as authentic as possible, such as using “wooden barrels and exploitation of particular local soil”, but changes had to be made. The Monks used only a few selected methods for brewing from the old manuscripts given that, as Master brewer Marc-Antoine Sochon explained to Daily Mail, “[i]n those times, regular beer was a bit tasteless, it was like liquid bread’”.

Who wants to drink liquid bread except for the person sitting to your left, dear reader?

Plus, changes keep in line with tradition, according to Father Stautemas, who said that that the monks of ancient times “kept on innovating” and thus “changed their recipe every ten years”.

 

2016, Abbot Erik de Sutter of Belgium's Grimbergen Abbey tastes a beer

Image Via UK Reuters

And this wasn’t their first rodeo. In 1950s the Order of Canons Regular of Premontre, located at Grimbergen Abbey in Belgium, were approached by local brewer Maes. Since then, the abbey has famously created and worked with commercial brewers to “to use the Grimbergen name and emblem on its ‘abbey beer’.”

The ale won’t be available for mass consumption until the late 2020s, but maybe that’s a good thing. The Daily Mail warns us to “be careful” because “the new ancient brew – at 10.8 per cent alcohol content it’s likely to blow your cassock off.”

Personally, I’d take my chances

 

Featured Image Via The Guardian

Why Ned Stark Would Hate What Has Happened To ‘GoT’

*MAJOR GoT Spoilers Follow*

 

 

 

“The straw on the floor stank of urine. There was no window, no bed, not even a slop bucket…” those two lines are taken directly from the beginning of Eddard Stark’s last POV chapter in George R.R. Martin’s A Game Of Thrones. Before he lost his head, our protagonist found himself in a less-than-accommodating cell—jaded, disillusioned and dissatisfied. At first, he cursed all those he believed played a part in putting him there: Littlefinger, Janos Slynt, Cersei, Jaime, Varys and so on. The last name he ends up cursing is his own:

‘Fool,’ he cried to the darkness, ‘thrice-damned blind fool.’

The five stages of grief, in order, are listed as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In his solitude, Ned Stark seems to experience these stages, all but one—bargaining. After an undefined amount of time, he is visited by Varys, who reaffirms his current circumstances. He’s fucked. Ned, in between the stages of denial and anger, wonders why the eunuch did not intervene when his men were being slaughtered. Varys, rationalizing their situation says:

I was unarmed, unarmored, and surrounded by Lannister swords…When I was a young boy, before I was cut, I traveled with a troupe of mummers through the Free Cities. They taught me that each man has a role to play.

 

Image Via Express.co.uk

 

Now, Lord Eddard Stark’s predicament may serve as a quasi-metaphor for the way one feels when their narrative expectations are not met, and it is indeed why I mention it; however, I also bring this particular moment to your attention because of one very important fact: the show did it better. The foundation of the scene in the show may be the same, the water, rock, and cement stirred similarly but solidified in a slightly different manner. The writers of HBO’s adaptation of A Song of Ice and FireGame Of Thrones added a stellar addition to Ned’s series of retorts:

You think my life is some precious thing to me? That I would trade my honour for a few more years of…of what?! You grew up with actors; you learned their craft and you learnt it well. But I grew up with soldiers. I learned how to die a long time ago (addition in bold).

The showrunners built upon an already fantastic exchange with a fist-pump-worthy display of Eddard Stark’s Ned Starkness. As viewers, we all of a sudden became okay with our hero’s death; if Ned Stark were to die, at least he would die with honor. Dignity. The end would feel a little less discombobulating. He will not have died for nothing. We could make peace with the fact that his character would always be viewed as an honorable man, but then it happened—Ned Stark accepted the reality of his circumstances. He admits to the treason he did not commit in order to save his family. Ok. Fine. At least he’ll get to live now and redeem his honor in some other fashion down the road. Nope.

“Ser Iiyn, bring me his head!”

 

Image Via Inverse.com

 

Ned Stark’s execution was made even more powerful due to a worthy bunch of words written by HBO’s finest. In the seasons that followed, GoT seemed to follow this formula; adding things to and subtracting things from George R.R. Martin’s hard work in ways that seemed reasonable. Cinematic. Writers gave Robb Stark more focus, made Catelyn Stark more sympathetic via prayer wheel weaving monologues, and had Arya bring Tywin Lannister cups. The show wisely even cut some of the novels more graphic scenes, because, well—chill, George.

 

Image Via Winteriscoming.net

 

For a while, the show was brilliant, trustworthy—we expected to be awed. It did not compromise. It was surprising to find a fantasy series so relatable and grounded while at the same time obviously immense. A boatload of prophecies and foreshadowing on top of layers upon layers of SEEMINGLY well-rounded character arcs. This all began with the death of Ned Stark, as did the most important thing we learned from Westeros: narrative decisions have consequences.

In K.M. Weiland’s book, Creating Character Arcs (an often referenced book by narrative nerds with too much time on their hands), she defines a character arc as revolving around the lie that a character believes. Over the course of the narrative the character will have to come face to face with this lie and either overcome it or succumb to it—positive and negative character arcs accordingly.

The lie that Ned Stark believes is that his honor is all that matters. What makes Ned’s death so tragic is the fact that he overcomes the lie he believes when he does what is best for his daughters but dies anyway. Although the audience could see this as a negative arc, I choose to see it as a positive character arc, albeit a less victorious one.

 

Image Via Amazon.com

 

Given Joffrey’s character and subsequent reaction, Ned’s fate still makes sense. Seven seasons later, the show itself does not… and the internet is on fire. It is ablaze with the type of heat that can only come from incomprehensible madness or one very pissed off fan base—and the latter is an understatement. A lot of people hate the latest season of Game of Thrones. It feels rushed, contrived, inconclusive, and chaotic. Scorpions are being fired while Tyrion’s demonstrably gigantic brain suffers through a severe case of constipation simply to move the plot along.

 

Image result for tyrion crossbow
Image Via Gamespot.com

 

Get off the privy!

 

The consequences of this unsatisfactory season: fans with a proclivity for overreacting. Reddit ninjas have bombed Google so that Dan Weiss and David Benioff (sorry guys) are the first faces one sees when they google “bad writing.” A petition has already been made begging HBO to fix this season (yesterday it had something like 16,000 signatures, now, 300,000+). Hell, I wrote an article about lowering my expectations for this season, and I’m still pissed off. All this hate stems from a handful of disjointed character arcs mixed in with broken promises.

When a story plants a seed of ominous information or foreshadows something, it essentially bargains with its audience. For all the “prince that was promised” prophecies and not-so-long-night allusions, winter came and went without so much as a single case of frostbite.  And the character arcs. Oh, the arcs. Jon believes the same lie as Ned and apparently hasn’t learned shit from dying as his already questionable intelligence seems to fade. Jaime believes all that matters in the world is him and his sister—if the past few seasons were any indication, he grows to learn that this is not the case. So why the fuck would he regress? And of course, Dany’s lie is that she is the fateful ruler (no matter what). All that genocide might even make sense for her if we could have actually witnessed the decline of her sanity in an earned way.

 

Image Via Gameofthronesseason.com

 

And the clever-ish white to black wardrobe progression doesn’t make it any more convincing…

 

Am I writing this article to appeal to the vast army of dissatisfied customers? Absolutely. It’s a popular idea at the moment and the audience matters. Sure there’s been fan service—quirky love triangles, warm and fuzzy reunions. No one can deny that the series’ writing has gone downhill since its departure from George R.R. Martin’s source material; rock without water and cement is just rock. We were actually fine with the rock, but why the rush? The compromising gravel? If the true Warden of the North refused to compromise until right at the very end, then neither should any writer.

Put your heart and soul into that text—type until the keys break, write until the ink bleeds. The whole world is watching—a worthy cast and crew is at your disposal; a disappointing ending is forgivable, but a disappointing season? If writers don’t pay attention to their audience, then an honorable man who once sat in the dark pondering the future of his world really did die for nothing.

 

Image Via Aminoapps.com

 

Woah, you’re going to ruin your sword, bro…

 

And now, the majority of us story-obsessed free folk are jaded, disillusioned and dissatisfied—cursing the showrunners and all those believed to have played a part in putting us in said position. Episodes one and two found us in a state of denial: ” they’re just setting up all the pieces.” Episode three brought the anger: “Why can’t I see anything? That’s it for the Night King?” After episodes four and five, we became depressed, on the verge of bargaining with the ways in which book adaptations should be accepted right before we lose our heads.

In the darkness of disappointment, we curse our own expectations.

“Fool, thrice-damned blind fool.”

At least there’s no straw on the floor stinking of urine.

 

 

 

Side note: 

I went into work this past Monday and one of my coworkers mentioned how all he saw on his phone when he awoke that morning was GoT backlash. “If people are this upset by a television show they shouldn’t be watching it,” he said.

Maybe he’s right… at the end of the day, Eddard lowered his head, said a prayer and made his peace with the end…

Nah. 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Popculture.com

Would You Still Name Your Child Daenerys?

Last nights episode of Game of Thrones, “The Bells,” was nothing but straight carnage. There were many notable character deaths, and though Daenerys was not among them, she fell out of favor with fans when she made her decision to burn the innocents in Kings Landing, especially displeasing those many fans who have recently named their children Daenerys or Khaleesi.

 

image via wikiofthrones.com (photo credit: hbo)

 

image via eonline (photo credit: hbo)

 

I wish I was making this up, but it’s true. Parents chose the name Daenerys for their babies as many as 3,500 times since the show first aired. Twitter shared their thoughts on what those people must be feeling now after Dany’s fall from grace!

 

 

I think if you still love Daenerys after this episode, and if you still have a desire to name your child by her name, then I suggest you can stick with the name Dany? It’s usual, and there is no trace of reference to the mother of dragons. Or better yet, don’t do it….

 

Featured Image Via gadgets.ndtv.com (Photo credit: hbo)

Bookstr’s Top Nonfiction Picks of the Week!

Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the Internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high-quality recommendations. This week’s nonfiction picks center around the theme of current best-sellers, showcasing what nonfiction books are the biggest hits with audiences! Pick these up to see what everyone is talking about!

 

5. Life will be the Death of me by Chelsea Handler

 

Chelsea sits cross legged on a white couch between two dogs
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Life Will Be The Death Of Me chronicles Chelsea Handler’s tale of self discovery after the election of Donald Trump and the despair she felt afterwards. Faced with self-destruction, Handler makes some big chances to her life instead, becoming more active in her social life, appreciating things she once took for granted, and even becoming politically active. The book showcases a year in her life, from its ups and downs, always witty and earnest. The book asks up to look deep within, showcasing what really matters to us and asking us to focus on that while keeping us laughing.

 

4. Code Name: Lise by Larry Loftis

 

A woman dressed in a British uniform in a dining room
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Code Name: Lise may be nonfiction but it’s a page-turner!  During  World War II, Odette Samson decides to follow in her father’s footsteps, as he was a war hero. Landing in France on a secret mission, meeting Captain Peter Churchill. Fighting together in France, the two grow close and start a romance. But soon, they are captured by the Germans and held in a concentration camp. Enduring torture, the two face despair but never give up and hold onto their love for each other to endure whatever their captors can throw at them.

 

3. Mama’s Last hug by Frans De Waal

 

 

A closeup portrait of a chimpanzee
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Mama’s Last Hug explores the fascinating world of animals and their emotions through the eyes of primatologist Frans De Waal. The book begins with the death of chimp Mama, who shares a tearful last hug with her biologist that goes viral on social media. The story forms the core of Waal’s arguments throughout the book, as he showcases that animals are just as capable of displaying the full range of emotions humans have, such as fear, jealously, and love. The book showcases how differently we can view the world and uses emotional stories to tell its theories, creating a profound moving experience.

 

2. Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting by Anna Quindlen

 

A picture of a multi-colored handprint
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting is a tender and thoughtful read by Anna Quindlen. In the age before blogs, Anna Quindlen wrote about the challenges and joys of family life in her syndicated column. Now, as a grandmother, she’s chronicling her own adventures in this phase of her life. She reflects how she’s no longer the main character of her life but a secondary one, a mentor to her grandson and a supporter of his parents. She provides an illuminating, funny, and thoughtful book, full of observations and showcasing how growing old isn’t so bad.

 

1. The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral life by David Brooks

 

A picture of mountains against a sunny backdrop
Image via Amazon

 

The Second Mountain by David Brooks is a book about helping find a more meaningful existence, especially in today’s world. Brooks looks at several tenants about modern life, including one’s family, spouse, philosophy, faith, and one’s chosen vocation. Both a helpful guideline to how to live a better existence and an engaging social commentary, this book will help you take a good look at your life and see if its really as meaningful as you want it to be. After all, the path to self-discovery starts by looking within.

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon