Music Monday

Music Monday is a meme created by Drew the Tattooed Book Geek where he features a song he likes. Here in the dying embers of November, I’d like to share with you a tune quite outside the usual metal and rock that I typically go for. It’s but one of the several string bands I’ve had running through my head in the past few weeks. It bears a moroseness to it that summarizes the mood around lately.

What My Favorite Characters Would Be Doing in Quarantine (Book Tag)

I was recently tagged by Ola & Piotrek over at the Re-Enchantment of the World to “take 5+ of your favorite characters and imagine what they’d be doing if they were stuck here like us”. The tag, created by Kal at Reader Voracious, and looks interesting enough for me to do, especially considering I haven’t actually finished any books in a while. But that’s all about to change! Just not now.

Three from Jay Posey’s Legend of the Duskwalker

Would be sitting around drinking, waiting for someone to shoot. The mailman, the neighbor from downstairs, the girl he spurned in sixth grade—wouldn’t matter much. Whomsoever broke social distancing. There’d be no internet, calls, or TV on his watch, just drinking and cleaning his guns. Plus maybe a siesta. And he wouldn’t be handling the waiting well.

James Holden from S.A. Corey’s The Expanse

Would’ve announced the cause of the pandemic and whose fault it was to the entire world, then immediately pissed off somewhere and left the world to deal with it however.

Xavier Rodriguez from Nicholas Sansbury Smith’s Hell Divers

&

Artyom from Dmitry Glukhovsky’s Metro

Would have thrown on their radiation suits and gone out to search for supplies. Some people might give them strange looks, but their rifles would probably’ve prevented those people from doing anything about it (though I’ve seen a not-insignificant number of people take their rifles on a walk to the store during this crisis, and for the most part the rest of us just ignore them). They’d also keep a watchful eye out for any mutants or atomic bombs lying around.

Rincewind from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld

Would be in the library fiddling with his Wizzard hat and feeding bananas to the Librarian, who would be incredibly offended but probably willing to humor his friend.

Çeda from Bradley Beaulieu’s Shattered Sands

Would be sneaking out at night and taking drugs. Then roam the desert and fight some trees as her way of social distancing while totally not being high.

Alex Verus from his series written by Benedict Jacka

Would be looking through the futures in which he went out to the store and trying to determine the paths to walk in order to avoid touching anyone. After that he’d probably just make Luna do his shopping for him.

Hope from Jon Skovron’s Empire of Storms

Would be fully engaged in sword practice and combat training. When not training, she would be immersed in meditation. Luckily, her social life wouldn’t suffer. Can’t lose something you’ve never had.

Music Monday – Songs Stuck on Repeat

Music Monday is a meme created by Drew, the Tattooed Book Geek (as far as I know), as a way to share a song that he’s fond of. As I’m not sure how long I really want to run with this, figured I’d start with a week’s worth of my current favs, then maybe tone it down from there.

So, these are the songs that I’ve been playing the most during the COVID crisis and quarantine. This list could’ve been a ton longer, but I figured I’d just make the list manageable, because otherwise it’d be too overwhelming. As it is, I would expect anyone to do pretty what I’d do in this instance—click on one or two songs, listen a minute or so to see if I like them, then like them on Spotify to wait for later. Also, silently judge anyone’s taste in music based on whatever odd links I chose. Feel free to judge me on one or two, as my taste in music is… eclectic.

Monday – Divine – by Ember Falls

A single from 2019, it is my most played song of the last month by far. And probably the year.

Tuesday – Loser – by 3 Doors Down

Off the first album I ever bought, 3 Doors Down’s debut The Better Life, back in 1999. Yeah, it’s not Kryptonite, but I’m sure that’ll be in next week. I’ve played Loser just as much over the past 20 years.

Wednesday – After the Crash – Michael McCann

My favorite ever song from a video game, off my favorite video game soundtrack, from my favorite game of all time—2011’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Thursday – Take the Day – Turisas

I got into Turisas earlier this year, and there’re two songs I’ve pretty much been obsessing over: Stand Up and Fight is one, but especially Take the Day, both from their 2012 Battle Metal.

Friday – 1955 – Hilltop Hoods

This is my breakup song. Not that I broke up with anyone this year, but several friends have. It’s a lively, happy bit of hip hop. Always makes me feel better. 2016 Single version.

Saturday – Raido – Wardruna

A lovely, dark folk ballad. Off their 2016 album, Runaljod – Ragnarok.

Sunday – Masters of Destiny – Delain

I’m usually bingeing something AusHop, something Folk Metal, something Sympthonic, and then something by 3 Doors Down. Delain—along with Within Temptation—are my go to for Symphonic, though both have transitioned past this genre in recent years. This was released as part of their 2019 EP Hunter’s Moon.

I realize the irony here is that there’s a single song from an American on this list. One—3 Doors Down is from Mississippi. Which… right? And in case you were curious: Ember Falls is Finnish, as is Turisas; 7 Mazes is German; Michael McCann’s Canadian; the Hilltop Hoods are native to Adelaide, Australia; Delain is from Zwolle, Netherlands; Wardruna is Norwegian.

TTT: 10 Favorite Books of the Last Ten Years

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme pioneered by The Broke and the Bookish, but which now makes its home at That Artsy Reader Girl. I’m… not much of a meme kinda guy, and I can’t say this is one that I’m likely to continue with, but I did enjoy this week’s theme which features your favorite books published by each year over the last decade. I’m sure some or most of you’ll have seen one of these by now (and will be expecting quite a number of Sanderson books).

2010

The Way of Kings – by Brandon Sanderson

I mean, seriously. This is one of my favorite books of all time, and, considering it’s 1000+ pages, more impressive that I’ve read it 3-4 times. The world of Roshar didn’t rekindle my love of fantasy or anything, but it certainly expanded it.

2011

Ready Player One – by Ernest Cline / Leviathan Wakes – by James S. A. Corey

There were actually a couple years that could’ve commanded a pair of books. This one, I honestly couldn’t decide. I loved both of these to the extent I’ve read them multiple times and still kinda want to reread them now.

2012

Blood Song – by Anthony Ryan

Prior to 2012, my favorite book hands down was Eye of the World. Blood Song made this too close a race to call. While the WoT intro got me back into reading, Vaelin Al Sorna’s adventure (the first part, anyway) is just too good and too exciting. I’ve read Blood Song maybe 4-5 times by now, and am skimming through it this year as well!

2013

Three – by Jay Posey

Ain’t seen this one mentioned yet, but the cyberpunk renegade Three totally makes the aptly named “Three” a must-read. Love the cover, too.

2014

Valor – by John Gwynne

A hard choice in 2014 between two heavyweights, but I gave Pierce Brown the nod in 2016, so Gwynne gets it here. Book #2 of the Faithful and the Fallen is like The Empire Strikes back meets The Two Towers. Besides, I loved the rest of the series and was bummed I couldn’t favor any of the rest of them.

2015

Twelve Kings in Sharakai – by Bradley P. Beaulieu

While none of the other Shattered Sands books have lived up to my lofty standards, it’s no wonder when Twelve Kings came out and killed it. Another one of my all-time favs, it stands as a hands-down winner in 2015.

2016

Morning Star – by Pierce Brown

I was actually leaning towards Wrath until I remembered the Son of Mars ended in 2016. I loved Red Rising, but the series’ conclusion was my favorite book of Darrow’s journey, and so it easily gets the nod here.

2017

Oathbringer – by Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, whatever. I probably could’ve let Sanderson have more here, but what kind of list would it be then? No variation, no competition. Had to include Oathbringer, though. It brokered no competition.

2018

Record of a Spaceborn Few – by Becky Chambers

This was actually one of the more difficult years, because… well, um. I had a little trouble remembering what I read. And since I don’t usually read a ton of new books, I then had to remember what came out. The final Wayfarers book delivered an emotional ending to an amazing trilogy.

2019 (so far)

Walking to Aldebaran – by Adrian Tchaikovasky

What to say about this little novella? Well, it’s pretty great. If you need more, check out my review of it.