I finished reading Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Over the course of a ten week period, I read chapters in the book, watched the corresponding episode of season one of the HBO show with Sharon and then listened to A Cast of Kings podcast about the HBO episode. While I had previously watched season one, Sharon had never seen it before. I got the idea of doing this from the podcast; they did a book club and season one rewatch this fall.
The descriptions of the Vale, River Run and the two major battles in the book are very good. It really highlights challenges of bringing this type of book material to the screen. In particular, in season one, you only see the aftermaths of the battles, not the battles themselves.
It is also interesting how they cast the principal child characters as much older than they are in the book. The casting of Rob and Jon Snow as men in their twenties, rather than teenagers makes it a much different story.
I enjoyed the book. I was pleasantly surprised at how well written it was. I am motivated to read the rest of the books. The only thing that I regret is I was reading a couple of books at the same time during the ten week period. I would read the chapters for the episode and then switch to another book while waiting to watch the episode with Sharon. As a result, I didn't feel like I immersed myself in the book as much as I would have liked. I have never really tried to juggle reading multiple books at the same time.