Are you tired of waiting for George RR Martin to release Winds of Winter? Maybe you are looking for a good book to read about the Wars of the Roses? Recently George RR Martin recommended some books he loves for readers waiting for the next Songs of Fire and Ice installment, “The Winds of Winter.”
I’ve assembled George RR Martin’s extensive and fascinating recommendations plus some history books I love in an Amazon store on this site, which I’ve named the “History Behind Game of Thrones Bookstore.” To access the store, go to the Shop menu item immediately above this post.
To be honest, I had a great time putting together the George RR Martin collection. To create the collection, I found lists of books he recommends on his blog as well as in ancient posts on Westeros.org. The fantasy fiction GRRM recommends is really quite impressive. Quite a few of the novels are from the 1950s and 1960s. They range from Arthurian legend-type fantasy to witches to romance to sci-fi. Some of them even looked a bit like Westerns. He also recommends quite a few up-and-coming fantasy writers. Frankly, I’m amazed George finds time to write with all the reading he does!
I’ve also added the Maurice Druon books to the bookstore. George RR Martin says Maurice Druon’s books are the “original Game of Thrones” – which is quite the endorsement! These books have been out-of-print for years and George persuaded his publisher to re-release them. GRRM even wrote a preface for the new edition. Unfortunately, however, the print edition of Maurice Druon’s books is not available in the United States. In fact, it might only be available in the U.K. For people in the U.S., you can get the Druon books for the Kindle edition I believe. The Gaurdian printed a great article GRRM wrote about Druon’s books.
Based on interviews I’ve read with George RR Martin, I beleive he see his Songs of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones) series of books as being a hybrid of genres. He says that the Game of Thrones books draw as much on the tradition of historical fiction as fantasy. While I imagine he is somewhat reluctant to endorse other major novelists, he has said that he sees no reason why his fans wouldn’t like books like Bernard Cornwell and Sharon Kay Penman amongst others.
As many of you are probably aware, I’m a huge Wars of the Roses fan – if you can be such a thing. To be honest, I love the Wars of the Roses so much I probably enjoy reading books about it more than watching TV or reading a novel. The bookstore contains several sections on the non-fiction history books on the Wars of the Roses that I recommend – typically with the books I like the best at the top of the category. Please be aware that I can’t guarantee all of these will be dazzling reads – I find something I like in almost every book. I’m going to try to link some of my reviews to the books to indicate what parts of the book is useful or interesting.
I’m planning to add some Tudor books I like as well – especially since GRRM occasionally draws on The Tudors – for example, with Natalie Dormer/Margaery Tyrell. Unfortunately, I added a ton of recent historical fiction that George RR Martin recommends and then accidentally deleted it, so I’ll re-add those books as well. In the future, I’d like to add books about the Vikings, Crusades, and Dark Ages, etc. since they are all influences on the world that Martin has created.
The way the Amazon stores work is that prices are the same as Amazon and you are still purchasing the books from Amazon with the same level of security. (I don’t see your credit card numbers of anything like that.) Amazon just gives me (or anyone else with an Amazon store) a small commission on the transaction.
When I select the books, I try to pick the books with the lowest prices or that look like they will continue to provide the most saleable items (e.g., not out-of-print editions). In some cases, especially with the older out-of-print fantasy novels, the links may not always have books available. Once you connect to Amazon by clicking on a link in the History Behind Game of Thrones Bookstore, do not feel badly if you browse to another option. (I believe I still get a commission and the commission is only half the reason I created the store up. I also wanted to share good books.)
At any rate, if you are in the market for Game of Thrones DVDs or novels, history books, historical or fantasy novels, please consider making the purchase through the History Behind Game of Thrones Bookstore. The money would help offset the cost of hosting the blog, web design, etc. I’m sure regular blog readers have heard this before on other blogs, but blogging is a very labor intensive activity. I easily spend 40 hours/week on this blog. (Sometimes when you don’t see articles I’m doing research or wrestling with web programming.)
I love working on this blog and I particularly love it when I get comments or a emails – frankly that’s the best! If you enjoy reading this blog, when you are in the market for a new book or DVD, consider purchasing it via the History Behind Game of Thrones Bookstore. It is a great way to show your support. Thanks for your time and for listening to this shameless plug! Hopefully, I’ve managed to make it a little interesting.
By Jamie Adair