Birthdays, spicy reveals and even a tag, oh my!

As today, in the last day of Middle Earth’s Old Year, we both celebrate our Birthday, we decided to celebrate it with a post that will reveal some hard truths and clear some popular misconceptions about the two individuals running Re-E since 2015, OlaG and piotrek!

OlaG’s name is Aleksandra (like the Cohen’s song), so she’s female and Polish, not a male Russian lumberjack named Oleg as I believe someone used to think ๐Ÿ˜‰ Below – a proof ๐Ÿ˜‰

Piotrek is a local version of Peter, he answers to both (and Pio, too) ๐Ÿ˜‰ A very popular name, there were four of us in my high school class.

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The Guilty Reader Tag

Piotrek: Back in October we’ve been nominated for this tag by the illustrious Orangutan Librarian herself! A set of dangerous, exhibitionist questions designed to reveal our bookish sins. Lets see how sinful we are, then, within the limits of our honesty ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ola: Mea culpa, mea culpa… I’m getting in the mood ๐Ÿ˜€

Have you ever re-gifted a book youโ€™ve been given?

Piotrek: I wanted to start this survey with a resolute “NO”, but I think I actually did commit this sin, years ago. There was a book I had two copies of, as I first bought it myself and then received as a gift. I got invited to a birthday party on a very short notice, and did not arrange to buy a joint gift together with other friends, as we used to usually do those days. I gave this book, which was actually much more suited to my taste than the giftee… not a very proud moment. After that, I always either sold such books on Polish equivalent of eBay, or gave them away to strangers.

Ola: I remember I entertained that thought but ultimately didn’t. Said book, which I hate with a passion and know it would’ve been better received by someone else (Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind, for those interested) still burdens my shelves.

Have you ever said youโ€™ve read a book when you havenโ€™t?

Piotrek: Do high school lit classes count ;)? Because I’ve been an avid reader since the age of seven, but some of the stuff we’ve been told to read just failed to resonate with me. In one case I admit I was probably wrong and should go back to the book. In a few others – I’m unrepentant.

I don’t remember doing so in recent years. What would be the point?

Ola: Yes, you should revisit this book!!! It’s great, and shame on you! ๐Ÿ˜€

I don’t think I did… though I might’ve mixed up a comic or two and said I read one meaning the other, and realize that only after the fact.

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Real Neat Blog Award

We’ve been doing many TAGs recently, but we found it’s a nice way to collaboratively write something fun quickly ๐Ÿ˜‰ We still have a few we wanna do, this time – it’s the Real Neat Blog Award – many thanks to Lashaan of Bookidote for the nomination! We will be using his set of questions, so remember – there are no stupid questions, and answers are our sole responsibility ๐Ÿ™‚

1. If you could do something better than youโ€™re already doing right now, what would it be?

Piotrek: Organizing my time. I don’t have too much to do, just a bit more than I used to – and there goes good bit of my reading time, and, sadly, most of my blogging time. Less politics, less FB, better concentration – should help, if I find the willpower ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ola: Surfing. Achieving zen-like peacefulness in the middle of the week. Watercolor painting. I could go on and on, but that’s enough work for now ๐Ÿ˜€


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What My Favourite Characters Would Be Doing in Quarantine Book Tag

We’ve been recently tagged by the unparalleled Orangutan Librarian to “take 5 or more of the favorite book characters and imagine what they would be doing if they were quarantined with us in the real world”. The tag, created by Kal at Reader Voracious, looks so much fun that we jumped on the opportunity right away! ๐Ÿ˜‰ We are in a very hyperactive mood lately, I guess it’s a giddiness born from being in lockdown for far too long ๐Ÿ˜€ So, thank you for this little tag, Orangutan Librarian – it was fun!

Characters in Quarantine

FitzChivalry Farseer from Robin Hobb’s Realm of Elderlings series


He’d be secretly happy to have another opportunity to whine and feel sorry for himself. I can totally see him using the quarantine as an excuse to lock himself down in a remote, desolate place and once again write the story of his life :D.

Fraa Jad from Neal Stephenson’s Anathem


He’d have already explored all possible universes and options, and chosen the one course of action that would have prevented the coronavirus from jumping from bats/pangolins to humans in the first place. So, long story short, he wouldn’t be in quarantine now, because there wouldn’t have been a pandemic! Unless what we have now is the best possible option already…. (shudders).

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Fantasy Bucket List Book Tag


Our second Wyrd & Wonder tag ๐Ÿ™‚ We decided to go crazy, and there were a few we wanted to do for quite a while…

Ladies and Gentlemen – Fantasy Bucket List Book Tag, originally spotted on The Little Book Owl.


A fictional world that you would like to tour

Piotrek: Middle Earth. There are many fascinating universes in the world of fantasy, but this is the one that started it all, the Amber of fantasy realms. I want to walk in Lorien, rest in Rivendell, climb… well, not necessarily Caradhras in winter, but perhaps Erebor, if Smaug isn’t around? Yes, one of the rare peaceful moments would be perfect for an extended tour. It already is one of my special places, although only ever visited in imagination.

I hope I’ll get to visit New Zealand as an acceptable substitute ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ola: Please do! ๐Ÿ˜€


As I am already in the Earth-equivalent of Middle Earth, the fictional world I’d like to visit the most would be Amber – the pattern-world of fantasy worlds created by Roger Zelazny. Though in truth it’s a cheating answer – because from there I could get (more or less) easily to other worlds: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, Robin Hobb’s Realm of Elderlings, Neal Stephenson’s Arbre from his absolutely mind-blowing Anathem (the review of which will come soon!), Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea, Glen Cook’sย world of the Black Company (but I’d only go there if I had a guarantee I would come back, even the mythical Khatovar doesn’t strike me as a good place to live), Iain Banks’s utopian Culture worlds and Neal Asher’s Polity, and so many others!

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