I am now on the fifth book of the George R.R. Martin series, A Song of Ice and Fire. This, I think, is an amazing accomplishment for someone who can't remember if Liberia is in the Caribbean or Africa, or neither, and whose children suffer being called by the names of their siblings, cousins and pets.
These books have a mammoth cast of characters, a whole entirely new hierarchical system, and a huge and diverse set of communities, not to mention the cultural quirks that go along with these. And yet, I persevere. And reasonably well.
About 10 years ago, I decided not to follow any more book series. Robertson Davies did it really well, P.D. James, Elizabeth George and Julia Spenser Churchill make compelling cases for ongoing stories about multi-layered individuals and their acquaintances. I keep up with them all, and added Charles Todd and a wonderful Canadian author, Louise Penny.
I never intended to add George R.R., just as I never intended watching A Game of Thrones on TV. Fifteen minutes into the first episode, I turned it off, repelled by what looked like gratuitous sex and violence, sometimes both at once. I felt pretty virtuous.
I can't explain how I got from there to the fifth book in the series.