Tag: Game of Thrones

Goodreads Choice Awards 2019: Fantasy Picks

For the past eleven years, Goodreads has run an annual reader award, where book lovers can vote on their favorite books based on the categories: Fiction, Mystery & Thriller, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction, Humor, Nonfiction, Memoir & Autobiography, History & Autobiography, Science & Technology, Food & Cookbooks, Graphic Novels & Comics, Poetry, Debut Novel, Young Adult Fiction, Middle Grade & Children’s, and Picture Books. This definitely puts into perspective how much is published every single year, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably excited to add twenty more books to your “to be read” list. This is one of those fantastic occasions where readers are able to decide what books they feel should earn an award, so if you weren’t able to participate in the voting this year, then definitely vote in the 2020 book awards!

One might note that there are two distinct categories for fantasy literature that has been published in this past year. This article will highlight the two winners from the Goodreads’ 2019 Annual Choice Awards, and it will also recognize the four runner-up nominees from both sections. To see both lists in their entirety, check out the 2019 Fantasy list and the 2019 YA Fantasy list.

***BOOK DESCRIPTIONS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***

 

2019 top picks for fantasy

5. The Red Scrolls of Magic by cassandra clare and Wesley Chu

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.”

 

4. The Priory of the orange tree by samantha shannon

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens. The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic. Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.”

 

3. Fire & blood by George R.R. Martin

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.”

 

2. starless sea by Erin Morgenstern

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.”

 

Goodreads 2019 winner: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

“Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.”

 

image via wallpaper flare

 

2019 top picks for YA fantasy

5. Wilder Girls by Rory Power

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.”

 

4. King of Scars by Leigh bardugo

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.”

 

3. Queen of Air and Darkness by cassandra clare

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.”

 

2. Wayward son by Rainbow Rowell

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after… So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch? What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light… That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West. They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…”

 

goodreads 2019 winner: The Wicked king by Holly Black

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

“The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

“After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.”

 

Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!https://c6.patreon.com/becomePatronButton.bundle.js

 

Featured Image Via hdqwalls

The Nerdiest Latte Art for National Espresso Day

If you’re feeling like you need an extra shot of energy today, you have an excuse to drink as much coffee as you want. I mean, if you’re a book lover you’re probably currently curled up in a cafe with coffee and a good book anyway. November 23rd is National Espresso Day!  Espresso is made by using pressurized water and ground coffee to create coffee topped with a foam called crema. Delicious, delicious caffeine…

Latte art is a form of art as delicate and precise as any other art form, and some of the nerdy designs that artists have made are just incredible. Here are 7 of the nerdiest (and coziest) latte art designs.

 

1. 3d pop-up book

 

If you thought a simple leaf or heart design was impressive, look at this beautiful 3D book. You could almost turn the foam pages.

 

Image result for latte art of book"

image via otakumode.com

2. i am iron man

 

This one might make you cry. It’s a rendition of Tony Stark using foam and food coloring to perfectly capture the colors of his suit.

 

image via @belcolno on instagram

3. for the Potterheads

 

This latte version of Harry looks like it came straight from Hogwarts.

 

Image result for harry potter latte art"

 

Or if you prefer a more minimalistic style, this one is cute too

 

 

Image result for harry potter latte art"

image via Calgary’s espresso bar coffee catering latte art love

 

4. it’s always time for a tea — or coffee — party

 

This foam clock melts right out of its coffee mug, Alice in Wonderland style.

 

 

image via boredpanda.com

 

 

 

5. Beware the frozen heart

 

Your heart won’t freeze from this cup of coffee, but you might get a caffeine rush!

 

 

Image result for elsa latte art"

image via Pinterest

6. Dragon latte

 

If you’re still reeling from the Game of Thrones finale, a sip of this latte topped with a fiery dragon might make you feel better.

 

Image result for game of thrones latte art"

image via pinterest

 

7. sleepy Bulbasaur

 

Here’s another amazing 3D foam masterpiece of a Bulbasaur whose coffee wasn’t quite effective enough—it put him to sleep.

 

Image result for pokemon latte art"

image via reddit

 

 

 

 

Featured image via Artpresso Design

 


Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!




5 Reasons You Should Read the ‘Witcher’ Books Before the Show Drops

This highly anticipated Netflix series has been a hot topic in recent months. Whether that anticipation comes from the series being lauded as “The next Game of Thrones by critics, or because it is being met with frustration due to the apparent differences between the television series and the video games, both the Netflix adaptation and the games are the result of Andrzej Sapkowski’s highly acclaimed eight-book series.

The series follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a man who was subjected to various mutations as a child and, because of this, he can fight creatures that normal humans wouldn’t stand a chance against. Through the Law of Surprise, Geralt adopts his ward Ciri, a young princess with prolific powers. While Geralt is content to remain neutral in the face of great political upheaval, he must become a part of that conflict to see that order is restored to the world.

In the past, the books were adapted into a 90s Polish film and television series that were not met with favorable reviews, so this most recent series not only has the video game fans to contend with, but it also has the previous series’ shortcomings added on for increased pressure.

So why not sit down to watch this series with an idea of what to expect?

 

 

1. The netflix series is an adaptation of the book series

What some game fans don’t realize is that the games take place after the book series. While some of the events, like the Battle of Sodden, are mentioned in the games, you don’t really get a feel for what happened if you haven’t read the books. Triss’s account of what took place at that one battle in Blood of Elves is positively gut-wrenching. The books also help you have a deeper understanding of the turmoil that exists between and in countries like Temeria, Novigrad, and Cintra.

Though there will likely be homages sprinkled throughout the series for the video game fans (I personally hope so), the Netflix series is, at its core, an adaptation of the books. If you’re anything like me, you probably like to read the stories before sitting down to watch the movie or show. Not to say that I’m that one friend who sits there and says “Well, they changed that from the books,” but I most definitely am.

The fact that the Netflix series is a book adaptation does seem to be throwing a few fans for a loop, as Yennefer’s appearance is never remarked upon in the game series, so it has become the cause of some confusion. The books, on the other hand, does explain why Yennefer looks this way.

 

Image via Glamour Fame

 

Regardless, if a person watches the series having already read the books, they’ll probably have a better idea of why certain decisions were made by the team that created this series.

 

2. This series does resemble ‘a game of thrones’ in style and tone

 

Going off of what critics have said, yes, the Witcher does possess certain qualities that were prized in George R.R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire. There are multiple points of view to follow, so when you need a breather from following Geralt around in the narrative, you can read Ciri’s point of view. The same grittiness and violence that you observed in Martin’s work is also present in Sapkowski’s books. The looming threat of war is also present in the Witcher books as well, and you get to witness how it all begins and how it all falls apart (I would suggest starting with Blood of Elves if the movers and shakers facilitating a war behind the scenes interests you).

 

 

3. the political situation in the world is a lot easier to follow

image via pinterest

 

Although the television series hasn’t dropped, one of the faults in the game series was that the political stage of the Witcher universe was very hard to follow and often unclear. Which makes sense, because the political situation was dense and complicated and, if not given the space and breadth to be explained, it definitely felt like walking into an exam unprepared. However, a game has the ability to explore a world in a much more in-depth way than a television series can, so this is a concern that does hold water.

An example of this would be the Scoia’tael, a group of predominantly elvish rebels who regularly commit acts of violence against humans. While the game briefly touches upon their motives and what they ultimately wish to accomplish, it only provides a glimpse at the problem. The books, however, go into great detail about the political and social climate that the non-human races endure, and so the motives of these characters become a lot more transparent.

As mentioned previously, the turmoil between and in countries like Novigrad, Temeria, and Cintra is also expanded upon in the books. If anything, the books go to great lengths to ensure that the readers understands exactly why the royalty and the sorcerer’s lodge commit the acts that they do. So if there is any possibility that the television series will struggle along the same vein as the video games, the books will do an excellent job filling in the blanks.

 

4. We still don’t know how faithful the adaptation will be

For all we know, the Netflix series may remain extremely faithful to Sapkowski’s literary vision, but the fact remains that this is still an adaptation. One of the big reasons that I go into most movie premiers having already read the book is because I want to judge the adaptation by the creative decisions that were made. I want to know what the book was like, and then I want to see what changes were made. Were those changes justified? Why? Do I (gasp) like the movie more than I like the story it was based off of? Or do I feel like adding in something else from the book might have helped? Ultimately, did the adaptation bring something new and interesting to the table?

I intend to watch this series with my hopes high, because I think that Sapkowski’s original books already presented a creative vision with an impressive breadth and magnitude to it, and I think that this adaptation has the potential to do the same. Hopefully this adaptation will provide enough steam for more fantasy books to be made into movies and television series.

 

 

5. The books are really interesting

At the end of the day, you should read a book because it intrigues you—and the Witcher books do exactly that. The references to Slavic folklore, the sword fights, and Geralt and Yennefer acting as parents to Ciri are elements that pulled me into the story and kept me reading. These books have multiple layers of political intrigue, interpersonal relationships, mythology, and did I mention sword fighting? The books, like a lot of fantasy literature, are also able to provide a social commentary through the interactions displayed between the inhabitants of the world.

If you would like to dip your toes into the Witcher universe and give it a shot, I would suggest starting with The Last Wisha short story collection that reveals how Geralt got the nickname ‘The Butcher of Blaviken,’ and how he and Yennefer first met.

 

Featured image via Cnn

 

 


Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!




HBO Tell-All Book Promises a Deep Dive into the Network

With shows like The Sopranos, Westworld, The Wire, Sex and the City, Oz, and Game of Thrones, HBO is one of the most influential cable networks on television. And how the company came to be so big will be the subject of a new book.

Vox reports that journalist James Andrew Miller has started working on an oral history of the company, chronicling the founding of the company in 1972 to its current incarnation now that it is under the wing of AT&T.

 

Image Via Book Soup

 

According to sources familiar with the project, Miller has already interviewed several big-ups in the company for the book, which include businessmen and writers behind some of the network’s biggest hits.

 

 

This isn’t the first time Miller has covered a sprawling history of a company. Previously, Miller covered the history of other companies like ESPN, Saturday Night Live, and the Creative Arts Agency.

Images Via Amazon

 

So far, there is no publication date for the book.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Deadline

Its National Redhead Day! Celebrate The Best Literary Redheads!

Its National Redhead Day, or as its more widely known National Love Your Red Hair Day, celebrates all of you out there with gorgeous locks of flaming hair. This celebration is made to make redheads feel confident and embrace their natural beauty, especially with the unique coloration they are blessed with. To celebrate in our own way, let’s count down some of the best redheads across the literature spectrum and see the abundance of them!

5. Ygritte: ‘A Song of ice and fire’

Image via Seven kingdoms of westeros

Ygritte hails from the gritty world of A Song of Ice and Firethe beloved of Jon Snow. A wildling who lives beyond the Wall, Ygritte is known as one who has been ‘kissed by fire’ and is considered lucky due to her red hair. She certainly lives up to that image, being a warrior who fights alongside the men and runs circles around Jon Snow whenever they’re onscreen together. Her red hair helps define her and certainly makes her stand out among her people.

 

4. Nancy Drew

Image via Wikipedia

Nancy Drew from her own series is an interesting one. While she was always a redhead, as seen the original cover art for her books, she was later rebranded as blonde! But redhead Nancy will always stick in the popular consciousness and being honest, she’s way cooler with red hair than blonde hair (no offense to you blondes out there!) But Nancy Drew is an iconic character, a spirited, adventurous, smart girl who solved mysteries and inspired dozens to follow in her footsteps. Her hair was the icing on the cake for this badass gal.

 

3. Tintin: ‘The adventures of Tintin’

Image via Tintin Wiki

Tintin, the titular hero of the famous Belgium comic The Adventures of Tintinmay not have exactly the best hairstyle to compliment his ginger colors (seriously, what is with that quiff?) but he more than makes up for it with his actions. He’s not a sidekick or a supporting character but the main hero and despite his small stature, he kicks all kinds of ass. Tintin has taken on smugglers, drug kingpins, Al Capone, assassins, pirates, and even supernatural creatures. Tintin may be a little bland personality wise, often be outshines by his supporting cast such as grumbling sea captain Haddock and bumbling professor Calculus. But his red hair makes him stand out and he’s always exciting readers with his next adventure!

 

2. Anne of Green Gables

image via Pininterest

Anne Shirley is a classic heroine. The star of her novel, Anne of Green Gablesno list would be complete without mentioning this spirited young girl. Having grown up in an orphanage and based from family to family, Anne’s life takes an upswing when she moves into Green Gables. Her hair is a focal point of her worries, as her childhood friend and future husband often mocks her by calling her ‘carrots’, to her chagrin. But it bothers her less as she grows older and becomes truly part of her. With no red hair, there would be no Anne Shirley.

 

1. The Weasleys:Harry Potter’

image via Harry Potter wiki

The Weasleys from Harry Potter are everyone’s favorite family. Molly Weasley is the ultimate mother, essentially adopting Harry as a bonus child while managing her very large brood of children. Ron is central to the series’s power trio, being Harry’s best friend, while his sister Ginny ultimately marries Harry at the end of the series. And there was no better identifying marker for the family than their trademark red hair, making them all instantly memorable from hair styles alone.

Happy National Redhead Day! Remember, love your hair and tell us who some of your favorite redheads in literature are!

Featured Image Via Pininterest