What Pat Read: January & February Edition


WARNING! NO COMEDY OR ENTERTAINMENT LIES AHEAD

WARNING! SHAMELESS PROMOTION, ON THE OTHER HAND, DOES LIE AHEAD

          As one-half of the  world-acclaimed WithTwoBrians.com’s writing staff, I consider it my solemn responsibility to educate, enlighten and entertain our adoring readers.  As a part of this public service, I have decided to provide you, adoring readers, with a regularly updated list of books that I have read or listened to (I am an avid fan of audio books).  Since I am not technically a licensed book critic (at least not until those jerk at the licensing committee get their heads out of their assess), I will not make any claims or overt judgements about these books.  That being said, I will say that I enjoyed these books and there is the remote possibility that you will too... or not.
          Before you begin, I think it is only fair to warn you that all of these books are fantasy themed.  Consider yourself warned.

A Feast for Crows - Book Four of A Song of Ice and Fire
by George R.R. Martin
          In all honesty, I would love to write about the entire Song of Ice and Fire series in this little article but unfortunately I am limited to writing about the last book in the series.  I recently listened to all of the books in the series but sadly I completed them before January and thus I am shackled by my the name of my article.  For the purposes of this section of the article, assume that I am writing about the entire series.
          As a part of my grueling daily commute (one hour in each direction), I listen to a lot of audio books. When picking books to listen to, two separate criteria tend to guide my selections.  First, I tend to look for books that I have already read in a physical format.  Second, I tend to look for books of enormous length if at all possible.  I do the former because I know they are good and I find that listening to them provides a new and interesting perspective.  I do the latter because I want to gouge every penny out of audible.com’s subscription service.  Also, did I mention two hours in a car everyday (including Saturday)?That’s a lot of reading/listening time.
          For both criteria, A Feast for Crows definitely fits.  The book comes in at an unbelievable 200 31 hours of enjoyable content.  Moreover, I read the book a couple of years ago in the hard backed edition that I discovered when I moved into my apartment in Japan.
          As I stated earlier, I am not officially liscensed to offer entertainment reviews so I cannot honestly recommend the book to you.  But I will say this, if you happened to discover the book in your possession (possibly propping up a table leg that is 4 inches too short) and you happened to read it, you might possibly enjoy it thoroughly... or not...
 

The Magic Kingdom of Landover Volume 1: Magic Kingdom For Sale SOLD!
by Terry Brooks
          Again in the case of this book and series, I am somewhat hampered by the title of my article.  I can only honestly discuss the first book in the series but, in defiance of my own naming system, I will discuss the entire series at the same time.
          The Magic Kingdom of Landover series was one of the first fantasy novels that I ever read.  As a 14 year old budding nerd, the series was ideally suited to my sensibilities.  The books presented a slightly joking view of fantasy worlds that took some of the edge and nerdiness off of reading about them.  If I had jumped into fantasy with a more hard-nosed fantasy series, I am not sure that I would have been able to keep reading fantasy books.  
           Unfortunately, this book does not exactly meet my standard criteria for judging audio books.  It is a relatively short book at about 14 hours.  But I have read the book in a paper format and despite its brevity, it was a very enjoyable reading experience.  
           The story is aimed at a slightly younger audience and I believe it is ideal for an audience of junior and senior high school students.  
            If you have never read the series, I will not recommend that you pick it up but I will also not recommend that you don’t pick up the series either...huh...
 

The Eye of the World - Book One of The Wheel of Time
by Robert Jordan
          When the Wheel of Time series was first conceived, Robert Jordan’s only terrifying thought must have been on the complete an utter destruction of free time and trees for all eternity.  The first book in the series, The Eye of the World, is 29 hours and it is the shortest one in the series.  Moreover, the series currently has 13 books in it (with one more to come in the future).  But again, it is not my main purpose to discuss the entire series but rather just the books that I read in January and February.
          With regard to my previously stated criteria, The Eye of the World passes with flying colors.  It is a book that I have read in a physical format and it is incredibly long.  It’s length is only enhanced by the overwhelming knowledge that I have 12 more to go before I am done.  I am thoroughly satisfied that my ears will be full of book for the next couple of months at the very least.
           As an additional surprise, the book is co-read by two excellent readers.  The parts of the book focusing on a female character are read by the female narrator and the parts of the book focusing on a male character are read by a male narrator.  The net result is a very dynamic experience that gives a much stronger feel for the characters than some of the other audio books I have read.  Additionally, this split narration helps to prevent some of the more absurd voices that I have listened to in other books. This is a welcome respite.  
           Again, because of licensing issues and outstanding death threats, I will not offer a review of the book but I will offer some advice to any and all readers.  Go out immediately to your local book store or the Internet and pay serious consideration to the possibility of purchasing and reading this book. Or whatever. It’s your choice really.  I am not legally allowed to compel you to do anything.


If you enjoyed reading this rambling and completely unhelpful nonsense, tune in for the next edition of What Pat Read.  It will be arriving on the Internet whenever I feel like it.  Back off.