15. A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
So, I went on a Song of Ice and Fire binge a couple years ago, but ultimately stopped reading because of my frustration with the violence and the knowledge that everyone would be killed off (or hideously maimed).
Since then, I've been watching the HBO show "Game of Thrones," which, honestly, I like better than the books (and I am the kind of person who almost never says that). But now Season 4 has started, and I don't know what's coming! So to prepare myself, I read the fourth book, and am "up" on half of the upcoming storylines. I'll have to read A Dance with Dragons soon to be fully prepared. And then, well, I'm no worse prepared than anyone else, at least.
The events of the fourth book were fairly in keeping with those of previous books. I know fans complained that there were a lot of new viewpoints and lack of older viewpoints, but honestly, it didn't bother me that much. It just meant I cared less when things took a turn for the worse. Tyrion is the only character I actually care about (though Sansa is getting cooler, as is Samwell), and I didn't have to fear for him here, at least. Actually, I'd say the fourth book was, if anything, slower than its predecessors. I personally like "slower" books, but that's not the fan base GRRM has cultivated, so I'm not surprised they were disapproving.
Anyway *SPOLIER ALERT* so excited that Joffrey is finally dead, and we can move onto, well...