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The Bookish Owl – Mort by Terry Pratchett

Mort Terry Pratchett Collector's Edition

You know the deal, books and owls and all that. This time it’s Mort by Terry Pratchett.

This is another Discworld favorite that I’ve been looking forward to rereading. Death takes on a human apprentice. Said apprentice immediately messes everything up. Craziness ensues.

Only an author such as Pratchett can make Death into such a precious character and I absolutely adore him in ‘Mort’. He’s so cute when he’s trying to be a good master to his new apprentice, despite not understanding humans at all.

Poor Mort won’t know what hit him.


Mort
by Terry Pratchett

Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job. Henceforth, Death is no longer going to be the end, merely the means to an end. It’s an offer Mort can’t refuse. As Death’s apprentice he’ll have free board, use of the company horse – and being dead isn’t compulsory. It’s a dream job – until he discovers that it can be a killer on his love life…


Mort Terry Pratchett Collector's Edition

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The Bookish Owl – Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Guards! Guards! Terry Pratchett Collector's Edition

Next up is Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett.

If you have been following this blog, you will probably have noticed that I’m reading all the Discworld books in order. However, I’m also reading them in the lovely hardback Collector’s Edition, and the last few books will not be released in this edition until November.

Obviously, this does not mean I will take a break from Discworld. It just means that I get a chance to reread my favorites and that’s something I’ve been dying to do!

So yes, ‘Guards! Guards!’ is a reread for me, but I’m still ridiculously excited about it. It’s the first book in the City Watch series, and it’s got:

  • Dragons
  • Vimes when he was still only reluctantly doing his job
  • Carrot arriving in Ankh-Morpork and horrifying watchmen and criminals alike by insisting on upholding the law
  • Dragons
  • Sybil pursuing a highly confused Vimes
  • Errol the Swamp Dragon
  • Dragons
  • Vetinari getting locked up in his own dungeon and creating a spy network of rats
  • Carrot still thinking he’s a dwarf
  • …Dragons

The plot might not be as deep and multi-layered as the later books, but no one can convince me this isn’t the greatest Discworld book of all times.


Guards! Guards!
by Terry Pratchett

Here there be dragons . . . and the denizens of Ankh-Morpork wish one huge firebreather would return from whence it came. Long believed extinct, a superb specimen of draco nobilis (“noble dragon” for those who don’t understand italics) has appeared in Discworld’s greatest city. Not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling everything in its path, in rather short order it is crowned King (it is a noble dragon, after all . . .).

Meanwhile, back at Unseen University, an ancient and long-forgotten volume–The Summoning of Dragons–is missing from the Library’s shelves. To the rescue come Captain Vimes, Constable Carrot, and the rest of the Night Watch who, along with other brave citizens, risk everything, including a good roasting, to dethrone the flying monarch and restore order to Ankh-Morpork (before it’s burned to a crisp). A rare tale, well done as only Terry Pratchett can.


Guards! Guards! Terry Pratchett Collector's Edition

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The Bookish Owl – Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

Castle in the Air Diana Wynne Jones

I’m starting on Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones today.

This is a companion novel to Howl’s Moving Castle, so let’s hope it shares its charm and quirkiness.

I feel like I should say something more, but this week is kicking my ass and my brain is pretty much fried…

Have an owl photo instead.


Castle in the Air
by Diana Wynne Jones

Far to the south of the land of Ingary, in the Sultanates of Rashpuht, there lived in the city of Zanzib a young and not very prosperous carpet dealer named Abdullah who loved to spend his time daydreaming. He was content with his life and his daydreams until, one day, a stranger sold him a magic carpet.

That very night, the carpet flew him to an enchanted garden. There, he met and fell in love with the beauteous princess Flower-in-the-Night, only to have her snatched away, right under his very nose, by a wicked djinn. With only his magic carpet and his wits to help him, Abdullah sets off to rescue his princess….


Castle in the Air Diana Wynne Jones

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The Bookish Owl – I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

I Shall Wear Midnight Terry Pratchett

I’m on to read I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett!

I have been working hard on my own books for the last couple of weeks, revising like crazy to get the new editions ready for a convention in November, and my brain feels like mush at this point. I can’t even tell you how much I need Pratchett-style leisure reading. All the way through my last read, I kept subconsciously entering revision-mode, spending 5 times as long to read a page because I was correcting every slightly awkward sentence in the description-heavy dark fantasy book that I was supposed to be reading for fun.

I think something light and humorous is the only thing that will keep my brain from burning down and sliding out my ears right now…


I Shall Wear Midnight
by Terry Pratchett

As the witch of the Chalk, Tiffany Aching performs the distinctly unglamorous work of caring for the needy. But someone – or something – is inciting fear, generating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches. 

Tiffany must find the source of unrest and defeat the evil at its root. Aided by the tiny-but-tough Wee Free Men, Tiffany faces a dire challenge, for if she falls, the whole Chalk falls with her . . .


I Shall Wear Midnight Terry Pratchett

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Danish Swear Words and Insults 101

Danish swear words

Over the last year, I have, for some reason, ended up teaching people online Danish swear words. On several separate occasions. Not sure how it keeps happening, but now I’m leaning into it.

Time for ‘Michelle’s Guide to Swearing Like a Dane!’

First of, I got to admit that even though Danish has a lot of unique curse words, we have been ruined by American culture, just like just about everyone else. ‘Shit’ and ‘Fuck’ is an integrated part of the vocabulary of anyone above the age of 5 and below the age of 60 (but we’re a lot less sensitive about it. You won’t see our movies get higher ratings just because of cursing, and the dialogue in our reality shows isn’t just a series of beeps).

So a lot of the following words and phrases might not be as commonly used as their English counterparts, especially by the younger generation.

It also means that if you go to Denmark as a British or American person, you’re going to be horrified at how casually we use your dreaded F-word. No matter when I finish and publish this post, I can promise you that my mother will have told me to fuck off within the last month.

(Last time it was because I caught a shiny Pokemon that she didn’t have in Pokemon GO.)

Danish swear words

The Basics

For fanden

Literally: For the Devil

This is a nice versatile one. It’s used in the same way as ‘for fuck’s sake’, but isn’t considered as crass. The milder version is ‘For Søren’, which, considering my uncle’s name is Søren, you would think would be used like ‘For Pete’s sake’, but mostly it’s used in place of ‘Oops’…

‘For fanden’ can be freely substituted with ‘For satan’, but it needs to be said with Danish inflection. Otherwise, it sounds like you’re actually worshipping Satan.

(You can also use ‘For helvede’, meaning ‘For hell’. We’re not picky with the term, as long as it’s clear that your allegiance lies with the guy down-under.)

Fandens også

Literally: The Devil’s also

Variation of ‘For fanden’. Used in the same way as ‘Shit’ or ‘Fuck’.

Fanden tage dig

Literally: The Devil take you

This one is not as commonly used as the two variations above these days, but I just wanted to show how much shit we give the Devil, considering nearly none of us are religious.
It’s probably obvious, but this is used like ‘To hell with you’.

Lort

Literally: Crap

Used like ‘Crap’.

Can be substituted for ‘Pis’ (I’ll let you guys figure that one out).

For Stressing Things

These can not be used on their own, but are often used in front of all kinds of unrelated words to exaggerate them (and add a touch of vulgarity to otherwise innocent statements).

Pisse-

Literally: Pissing

This is another versatile one. It’s used like Brits use ‘bloody’ and Americans use ‘fucking’ when put in front of an adjective. If someone is ‘bloody annoying’, a Dane would call them ‘pisseirriterende’.

Can be substituted for ‘skide-‘.

Sgu

Literally: ? (I have absolutely no idea)

I’m not even sure there’s an English equivalent for this, but I use this word at least 30 times a day. You add it to a sentence after the verb a bit like you would inject ‘actually’; only it’s considered a little bit crude and it’s not a warning that mansplaining is about to happen.

You’d lightly scold a child for using ‘sgu’, but it’s not really considered inappropiate. I use it both at work and when talking to elderly relatives.

Example: ‘Det ser sgu godt ud!’ (‘That actually looks great!)

Insults

Some of these aren’t even considered vulgar, but they’re satisfying nonetheless.

Klaphat

Literally: Clapping hat

This is my favorite. Not because it’s one I use all that often, but because it confuses foreigners who google the term.
Used in place of ‘Idiot’.

(Please go google it.)

Fjols

Literally: Fool

Mild way of calling someone an idiot.

Kraftidiot

Literally: Power idiot

This one is considered more crass, but sometimes you just gotta let a power idiot know they’re acting like a power idiot.

Used like ‘Moron’ or ‘Retard’, but without being an offensive term for people with learning disabilities.

(We got those, too, but I won’t include them. I’m only teaching you terms you can use without being a giant Kraftidiot.)

Røvhul

Literally: Asshole

Used like ‘Asshole’.

Cruder words

Danish also uses words for ‘bitch’, ‘whore’, ‘pig’ and a variety of sexual slurs for swearing, but they’re mostly used by teenagers and people who got dropped on their head as children, so I’m not going to teach them to you. I prefer my cursing to have a certain amount of dignity.

So see you later, klaphatte!