30 Day Book Challenge, Day 27

Today’s challenge: Most surprising plot twist or ending.

It’s almost become a cliché now, but I’m going to go with the execution of Ned Stark toward the end of A Game of Thrones.

I’d read a lot of Big Book Fantasy, and the set up was all there: Ned in trouble for sticking to his principles, about to be executed in public, members of his family in attendance… I thought I knew where this was headed. A last-minute rescue — I mean, as far as I knew, Ned was our main protagonist.

Nope. Off with his head. My expectations were gone.

And sure, now the idea that George R.R. Martin will gleefully slaughter the characters that you care about has grown to the point of self-parody, but at the time? I wasn’t expecting it, and I haven’t been shocked like that since.

30 Day Book Challenge, Day 26

Today’s challenge: A book that changed your opinion about something.

I always refer to this book as “the book that radicalized me.”

Intellectually, I knew that the history we were taught in school was sanitized and, in the words of the old maxim, “told by the winners” — but knowing that, and reading it in black and white, were two different things.

This book is one of the contributing factors to why, despite the conventional wisdom that you grow more conservative as you get older, the exact opposite has happened with me.

30 Day Book Challenge, Day 25

Today’s challenge: A character who you can relate to the most.

Another tough question.

…and, honestly, one that I’m not going to answer.

For one thing: I usually find something to relate to in *every* character, unless that character is VERY BADLY WRITTEN.

For another: “the most” is a qualifier that makes me suspect this list was written by a teenager. Sorry, but I’ve read literally thousands of books so far. I don’t keep a ranking in my head.

(Yeah, OK, this response is a bit salty. I genuinely feel like this list is scraping the bottom of the barrel here towards the end.)