Tag: Christmas

Olga Tokarczuk – Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead | Review

Title: Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Author: Olga Tokarczuk

Category: Fiction

Page Count: 272

Rating: 4.5/5

This is potentially a late entry into my list of favourite books of the year, and so I’m definitely glad that I picked it up. I think I heard about it from BookTube, although I can’t remember where I first saw it. I mentioned it to my girlfriend in passing and then she grabbed me a copy for Christmas, and it turned out that Charlie Heathcote was reading it at the same time, so we did a buddy read.

It’s a Polish book that’s been translated, a sort of noir-ish literary fiction murder mystery, and it has some deep takes on life and philosophy that we can all learn from. It’s one of those rare books with a delicious mouth feel where for me at least, it was just a pleasure to read all of the way through. I didn’t want it to stop, but I guess eventually and inevitably, it had to.

If you’re looking for philosophical fiction with a poetic feel, you’re in luck. It also scores a few diversity points if that’s your thing, being written by a woman and originally in Polish. But those are all little bonuses, the icing on a delicious cake that I’m super glad I heard about.

I have no idea whether Charlie liked it as much as I did, but I’m sure he’ll be posting about it on Goodreads and on his BookTube channel, so you can find out there. Enjoy!

Learn more about Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.

Andrzej Sapkowski – Sword of Destiny | Review

Title: Sword of Destiny

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 394

Rating: 4/5

It’s been six months or so now since I read the first Witcher book, and while I did enjoy it, there was also something about it that kind of held me back from fully committing. But it was one of those books that really stuck with me, and I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about it. By the time that the Netflix adaptation came out, I’d realised that I wanted to carry on with the series. Then I got an Amazon voucher for Christmas, and the rest is history.

This second book is also a collection of short stories, and indeed the first novel is the next one, book three in the series. I’m not sure how I’ll feel about that, and I guess I’ll see when I get there. I’ve read enough short stories now that I just sort of associate them with Sapkowski, and so it might be weird to go from short stories to a full-length novel. I guess we’ll see.

But the short stories are a great little introduction to the world of the witcher, not least because they tend to be set in different locations and with different creatures, so we can get more of a sense of a full world being built. We get to learn more about the Witcher, too. Better still, it’s never explicitly spelled out for us and we don’t have to suffer through extended flashbacks and other overused literary devices. We get to know the Witcher through the things he says and the actions he takes.

That combines with the fact that he’s a pretty unique sort of anti-hero, a flawed but fully three-dimensional character who it’s a pleasure to read about, even though he himself isn’t always the most pleasant of people. But what do you expect? He’s a witcher.

Overall then, I preferred this book to the first one even though I suspect that the two of them are pretty equal when it comes to quality. It’s just that I was in a much better place for this one. I was looking forward to it and then when I finally picked it up, I didn’t feel disappointed. Now I’m looking forward to getting to the next one. I’d definitely recommend the series.

Learn more about Sword of Destiny.