Book a Week: Week 2, Book 1

I've continued The Witcher insanity by heading into Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski. I read some articles regarding the best order to read the books in order to keep up with the TV series. They all said read the short stories first, and I have done that. But the surprise was the suggestion to read the last book next. I have to assume it has the most to do with the current season, and the least to do with what seems to be a developing story with the Blood of Elves. So far I'm enjoying it, but it is a strange book for sure. We meet up with Dandelion and Geralt in a small kingdom, and there we meet Coral, who I actually remember from the games. But the story starts with Geralt being arrested and put on trial, with actual trial lawyers like you would see on TV. It's very strange, because I can't remember a mention of this kind of thing before. Also, I've encountered what I think is the very first mention of a date, in that of July 1, 1245. I'll have to do some digging to see what was happening in our time line then.

“What a woman has a natural right to,” replied Coral, dryly, “cannot – ipso facto – be immoral.”

“The crux is mutual understanding and respect. One mus even differ with grace.”

“Physicians who don't know magic ought to be banned from practising,” drawled the sorceress, putting in the stitches. “Lecture at universities, why not? Sew up corpses after post-mortems, by all means. But the shouldn't be allowed to touch living patients.”

Bonus points for the usage of plafond, cabotage (1), calpac, bootee, proviso, bast (2), skint, physick (n), campanile, disquisition, baksheesh, naiant, imbroglio, furbelow, rapaciously, confraters, tristesse, peregrinations, dissemble (1), mogote, deshabille, cresset, and buffer.

Book a Week: Week 1, Book 0

I decided to start the year as 0 since I was still reading Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski. Out of the three books I've read so far, I think I like this one best. It has the most interesting stories. It also has the best interactions of Ciri and Geralt. I also really enjoyed the section with Geralt's mother. I've been enjoying The Witcher TV servies. Some people have been complaining about it skipping around. I think the books really helped me prepare for that. Since I recently read the stories, I know what's going on and I'm used to it.

“Very well, very well. You won't be a princess. You'll become a hamster and live in a burrow.”

“The sword of destiny has two blades. You are one of them.”

“No,” she interrupted, “I do not take anything. I just take people by the hand. So that no one will be alone in that moment. Alone in the fog...”

Bonus points for the usage of equerry, cresset, cormorant, sough, and flacon.

Book a Week: 2019 in Review

It's been another rough year for reading. I had the same issues with moving again, and this time I bought a house to boot. The house needed renovations, so it's been a stressful year. I didn't get in as much reading as I would have liked. However, I was able to read more things I've been wanting to read. At least that was a bonus. I finished out the year with 27 books, my lowest score since I started. As in years past, the scripts aren't counted toward my averages.

The Breakdown:
Good: 78%
Eh: 11%
Bad: 11%

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Recap of 2019:

I had no goals for this year, and I'm glad for it. I needed the freedom to just read. I started The Witcher series, something I've been wanting to do for a few years. Same thing for Good Omens. Funny how a TV series can push you into reading. I finished Snuff, a book that had been languishing. I started but didn't finish Manners and Morals of Victorian America. I also downsized my personal library. Some books were released back into circulation so that I could make room for Geralt of Rivia.

Quote of the Year:

“It's not that I'm not social. I'm social enough. But the tools you guys create actually manufacture unnaturally extreme social needs. No one needs the level of contact you're purveying. It improves nothing. It's not nourishing. It's like snack food.” - The Circle by Dave Eggers

With the introduction of social media, it's a very different world now than say 20 years ago. I can't imagine growing up as a kid in this time. It's hard enough as an adult.

Expectations for 2020:

I'm now living closer to a library than I ever have. It's a few blocks down the street. I've only been in it once since I moved. I need a long, good day to hang out there. I guess I'll have to rebuild my reading list based on what they have. So, that's my only goal I'll set on myself. The house still needs more renovations, and I need to give myself some breathing room. The benefit is that I might be able to spend time recreating the reading list and getting a new perspective on what I want to read.

Here's to new adventures in reading in 2020!

Book a Week: Weeks 49-52, Book 27

More of The Witcher in Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski. This was the book I was supposed to read second. It's full of short stories. I'm just barely halfway finished, so I won't reach it by the end of the year. This is might be a first of carrying something over into the new year. I'm enjoying the stories for sure. All of these were new for me so far.

     “I think,” Dandelion said, trembling slightly, :that down there in the depths, at the very bottom of this bloody ocean, crouches a huge monster, a fat, scaly beast, a toad with horns on its vile head. And from time to time it drawn water into its belly, and with the water everything that lives and can be eaten: fish, seals, turtles – everything. And then, having devoured its prey, it pukes up the water and we have the tide. What do you think about that?”
     “I think you're a fool. Yennefer once told me that the moon causes the tides,”
Dandelion cackled.
     “What bloody rubbish! What does the moon have to do with the sea? Only dogs howl at the moon. She was having you on, Geralt, the little liar of yours, she put on over on you.”

Bonus points for the usage of biretta, snug (n.), decurion, pallet (1), bint, hierophant, oakum, provender, scree, potage, cochineal, barbican, lamia, inviolable, kilim, fry (n., 2), feign, palliasse, short shrift, and the phrase “the tide has turned.”

Book a Week: Weeks 44-48, Book 26

The Witcher series continues with Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski. This is the first book that is an entire novel to itself. We see our friends again. This time we're dealing with Ciri and her education and training, both as a witcher and a sorcerer. The book brings in historical and political information. Not really remembering the countries and rulers, I had a small difficulty trying to connect them back to the game. I remembered the names but not the significance. I was hoping I would run into more people I remembered from the game, but I've come to realize that they take place after the books, like sequels. Still, this was an interesting start to what will be a long journey. The books are bleak, and there are no easy answers.

In the meantime, I realized I started with the wrong book first. So many people said to start with The Last Wish, but it seems that Sword of Destiny was actually the first. So I might go back and read that now. It's also a collection of short stories.

"We are all children of Mother Earth." The grey-haired druid's voice resounded in the silence. "We are children of Mother Nature. And though we do not respect our mother, though we often worry her and cause her pain, though we break her heart, she loves us. Love us all."

"I waited here, in the tavern - it wasn't fitting, after all, for me to follow you into that haven of dubious delight and certain gonorrhoea."

"The sword. On your back. Why have you got the sword on your back"
"Because someone stole my oar."

Bonus points for the usage of goliard, arcade (2a), peccadilloes, malodorous, gorget, cadaverously (2a), soporific, galliass, and trice (n).

Halloween Movie Madness: Days 22-31

There were a whole ton of movies watched in the past few days. So I'm including them all in one big post.

It: Chapter Two
Pet Semetary
The Curse of La Llorona
Unfriended: Dark Web

A new thing we learned about is Crypt TV on Youtube. It's a free web channel where you can watch brand new content. The content tends to be on the shorter side, but that just means you get to the good parts faster. I highly recommend it.

Book a Week: Weeks 39-43, Book 25

I read The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. This is the first book in The Witcher series. I have loved playing the video games, and I'm anxious to see the new series. I wanted to make myself more familiar with the actual source material, so I ordered all of the books. That's eight in all. This is an interesting first book because it's a collection of short stories that are loosely connected. It was fun to read about these characters I already knew. Some of the stories were in the games, but some were new to me. I especially liked how fairly tales were explained through the true histories of the events. I'm looking forward to the next book.

"Shut up, Civril. Immediately."
Civril stopped laughing. Immediately.

They fell, shattering the stair balustrade and, with a deafening crash, landed on the table. The table had the right not to withstand the blow, and it didn't.

Bonus points for the usage of castellan, congress (2) , scarpered, investiture (2), and voivode.

Halloween Movie Madness: Days 19-21

We had a busy couple of days. We decided to watch quite a few movies. We started with The Conjuring 2. The main reason we watched this was to get to the next movie, The Nun. C2 just felt like one long preview for the other movie. They were both okay. Nothing terribly new or exciting there.

Then we watched a really interesting movie called One Cut of the Dead. It's a Japanese zombie movie. The first part is all in one take about 35 minutes long. Then we go into the backstory of the movie, which then leads us into the final act of watching them make the one cut movie from the beginning. It really has a unique flavor, even if it's not really on the horror side. But it's worth the watch just for the novelty of it all.

I finished up Monday night with some Supernatural. I'm in season five, and it looks like we're about to wake the Horseman of Death.

It's a little harder to watch movies right now. Gregg's schedule is different, and so I would have normally been watching them around 7pm. Now I'm not starting until after 8pm, and I like to get to bed early. So I have to watch shorter movies.

Halloween Movie Madness: Days 17-18

Today I'm watching Hollow Man.  I wanted to see it when it first came out, but I just never did. It's been languishing on my list every year. So this is the year. I'm hopeful because it's directed by Paul Verhoeven. He did some of my favorite movies like Robocop, Total Recall, and Starship Troopers. It star Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Shue. It's like a modern take on The Invisible Man, a book I love. I have to say I'm surprised by how good the effects look. Maybe that's just me. I really liked the movie.