This month was all about The Witcher books. I will definitely go through all the books in the series because: 1) I love the characters; 2) I like the writing style and 3) It’s classic D&D with a twist.
Baptism of Fire (The Witcher, #3) by Andrzej Sapkowski, 378p: This book has that vibe of a good old Dungeons and Dragons adventure. It has the best group of characters travelling together: Milva (a hunter and bad-ass archer), Dandelion (the curious and talented bard), Regis (a weird druid), Zoltan Chivay and his group (a resourceful dwarf who is leading other dwarves and gnome) and Cahir from Nilfgaard (although he says he isn’t). It was exciting, it had some gore, violence, but also friendship and happy moments.
Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1) by Andrzej Sapkowski: This the first full length novel of the Witcher series (the previous 2 books are basically a collection of short stories). The story follows the aftermath of the attack on the Kingdom of Cintra by the Nilfgaardian empire. Ciri starts her training as a Witcher but she starts to demonstrate weird powers so Geralt asks for the help of Triss Merigold. They decide that Ciri needs a normal education as well as some magic training, so Yennefer starts training her too. The story and the world building are extremely well done. I couldn’t put it down until the end and then I had to continue reading the next book…
Sword of Destiny (The Witcher, #2) by Andrzej Sapkowski: This one is a darker book where the characters are temporarily separated from each other, and some serious confrontation between the mages/sorceress take place. Everyone is looking for Ciri and she is on the run. And there are donuts in the Witcher’s world! Another read I couldn’t put down that lead me to Book 3 straight away.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman: I finally read the book behind the System 1 / System 2 thinking idea. The research on this book was cited so many times in other books I read before this one so it was good to go to the source. Fascinating with lots of examples.
Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4) by Terry Pratchett: This was a fun read for the Holidays! Terry Pratchett is a genius about criticizing without being offensive or mean about anything. He just slaps the ridiculousness of things in our faces and laughs about it.
A very enjoyable read with a more focused plot. The action is basically in one place, surrounding a group of people and three ships orbiting everything.
A new planet with a breathable atmosphere: who doesn’t want to give it a try? And who owns it? Who can have the right to explore its resources? Who can research it? Who can give it a name? How to use its natural resources to feed everybody? How to build civilization from scratch in a an unknown territory, with unknown fauna and flora?
All these questions are intertwined in this story in a masterful way inspired by the old known power struggles of colonization and its dangers. But in space!
James Holden and the Rocinante crew are sent to try to solve escalating tensions between the original settlers of this new planet and RCE (Royal Charter Energy), a research company who claims the planet’s ownership. On top of the local tensions, bigger issues of an extraterrestrial nature begins to create an impossible life and death situation for everybody.
Naomi and Amos are badass as always, Alex is the best pilot in the universe and Elvi Okoye gives fascinating observations about microbiology.
“Apocalyptic explosions, dead reactors, terrorists, mass murder, death-slugs, and now a blindness plague. This is a terrible planet. We should not have come here.” ― James S.A. Corey, Cibola Burn
One of my favourite books in the series because it has the perfect balance between action, plot and character struggles.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen: I first read this book in 2012 and it changed my life. GTD is a method that helps me organize myself and reflect on my goals, values and purpose. This the 4th time I read this book. Every time I feel like I lost perspective and/or overwhelm dominates me, I go back to this book to make sense of it all. And it helps!
Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1): A nice urban fantasy. It’s got magic and gory murder scenes with a sense of humour. I want to know more about the wizard Harry Dresden.