All my intentions to avoid diving right into George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series went right out the window about a week after I finished the first book, A Game of Thrones. I caught a rebroadcast of the first three episodes of the HBO Game of Thrones series (the new season based on second book, A Clash of Kings, starts on April 17, 2012) and then saw the paperback of A Clash of Kings at our local non-big-box bookstore and just went for it. Got to support independent bookstores, right? I couldn’t help it. I wanted to find out what happened next to Tyrion and Arya and Daenerys and Bran and Jon Snow and those amazing direwolves and ravens. That large pile of to-read books that have been haunting me all summer would just have to wait.