book review | The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

subtle art of not giving a fckAuthor: Mark Manson
Title: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
Series: –
Genre: Self Help; Psychology
Pages: 224
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I kept seeing “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson in every post office I visited, so I caved in. I’ve read similar ones in the past, figured it’s worth it. And it was.

About the Book: Not giving a fuck does not mean not giving a fuck about anything. It’s about being selective with your fucks to give. It’s about the shitty baggage we carry around: what if, what will someone else think, I can’t do that, I’m too this or too that. We make excuses because we care about the wrong things and it’s time to settle some scores with yourself.

My Opinion: By far I couldn’t agree with everything author claimed. Book implies that we use almost everything as a crutch, an excuse, including past trauma. Yes, people can get over a lot of shit. That doesn’t mean that everyone can. Philosophies like this tend to forget we’re biological beings too, and it’s not just about the values we were forced into as children. It’s also about the chemicals in our noggins that make us both feel and do things. Or, rather, not do things. The one point that really bothered me was the guilt tripping victims of abuse. Other than that, the book is full of little gems to pick out and make your own base, for some things are pure and simple. Like, my favorite, the motivation. Most of us forget that we get suckered into things, and rarely just wake up motivated to do said things. Appetite comes while eating, as the saying goes.

A rude and not at all subtle book that in itself meant good. A 4 out of 5 for the idea behind it, minus a point for forgetting an important lesson: if we truly all have a choice, then one can also choose not to be an asshole.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Philosophy, Self | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | So Good They Can’t Ignore you by Cal Newport

so good they cant ignore you cal newport book coverAuthor: Cal Newport
Title: So Good They Can’t Ignore You
Series: –
Genre: Self Help; Nonfiction
Pages: 288
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I need more books like “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport. It’s insightful, eye opening and most importantly – motivating.

About the Book: The age old rhetoric and advice we keep hearing, the “pursue what you love and money will follow” is a big fat lie. If you look closer at the successful people you and I likely wish to emulate, you’ll notice that even if they did tell you to follow your dreams – they didn’t do that themselves. In fact, they started doing a thing, learned it good, and then that job they did became the job they love. This book, in great detail, explains how does one find those perfect careers or rather, how one makes them and becomes, well, so good they can’t ignore you.

My Opinion: Oh, this is good. I often find myself hating and loving my job in equal parts (I’m a translator-interpreter). I hate it when I’m overworked and there’s more work – I’ve no control. All I want to do then is play video games all night and not have to wake up to do more work. But then, on days when I do manage to do work, solve the linguistic nuances, I realize that I’m good at what I do. And that triggers love for this work. This has kept me in the field for over ten years now. And this book explained why this is so and what I can do with it.

I really recommend this book to everyone who is not very happy with their current job. By no means, I promise, this book does not tell you to stick to it. But it will show you the options from that point you’re now in. A 5 out of 5.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Philosophy, Self | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Midnight Brunch by Marta Acosta | 2

midnight brunch by marta acosta book reviewAuthor: Marta Acosta
Title: Midnight Brunch
Series: Casa Dracula 2
Genre: Vampires; Paranormal Romance
Pages: 336
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

These days, with so much snow outside, it’s a bit hard to keep attention in the book pages. All I want to do is walk through fresh snow and play Cyberpunk 2077 upon getting home. But I did manage to sit down and read “Midnight Brunch” by Marta Acosta.

About the Book: If Milagro thought Grans the vampires are a tad strange and hostile, then her beloved’s parents need a whole new name to define. And even then, it’s but the tip of the iceberg. Dark cabal of evil greedy vampires are putting together a sticky web to capture the young woman with such magical blood…

My Opinion: Strange. First half of the book was very amusing and captivating. Then it lost the charm. Unusual for the second book in the series, and for second half of the book too. But I’ll definitely read another book, the warm humor really works for winter evenings.

Remains adorably humorous, but sadly not as captivating. 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Funny!, Books: Horror, Books: Romance, Nosferatu Books, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

dracula | Dracula Untold (2014)

dracula untold beginingTitle: Dracula Untold
Dracula: Luke Evans
Year: 2014
Duration: 92 min
Rate: 4/5 | IMDB

Let me tell you of my old love. Not one as old as Bela Lugosi, but not as recent as Claes Bang either. I’ve watched “Dracula Untold” in cinema at least three times, such were the good old days when you could do that. And while this isn’t the best Dracula film you’ll ever see, I still enjoyed the piece of historical fantasy, as lacking in accuracy as it was.

About the Movie: Story begins with a discovery or two that lead daddy… I mean, lord Dracula to a dark cave covered with broken bone fragments. Not a moment later, he’s on his back, sword poised between his legs, with a ray of sunshine so precise it makes the beast within the darkness retreat. This way we’re told that even a seasoned warrior as Vlad Dracula here had no chance of survival.

“I’ll do what princes do best – negotiate.”

But troubles do not end, oh no. Missing turks are still missing turks. And so the turks that aren’t missing assume they were disposed of by the land ruler on which they disappeared. Meaning, they blame Dracula for it. It’s hard to tell whether Sultan Mehmed then demanded tribute of boys to make them into his own soldiers, and not just silver, due to perceived offence, or was he planning to do so either way. But that’s the choice prince Vlad is presented with. Give up the children, a thousand boys, or bring war to your people. It seems like no choice at all… Sadly, even he knows there’s only one way he could possibly dream of defending his lands.

“Men do not fear sword, they fear monsters.”

My Opinion: Sword fights were more impressive at the beginning, which is strange, for you’d think Vlad and Mehmed together would make a dance to behold. But as story progresses, it gets more interesting in a fantasy-movie kind of sense. Vlad has three days to resist the curse and then the trial version would end with no annoying reminders to subscribe for a full version. And while the drive for blood is strong, the needs to save his people, his wife, his son, are even stronger. With a little hint to a nonexistent sequel at the end. Beautiful touch.

Verdict: 4/5

Categories: 4-5, Dracula: General, Films: Dracula, movies | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by K.J. Charles | 0.5

KJ Charles The RatCatchers DaughterAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter
Series: Lilywhite Boys 0.5
Genre: Historical Fiction; LGBT Romance
Pages: 59
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

How much action can 59 pages fit? Well, according to “The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter” by K.J. Charles – a lot.

About the Book: A street gang jumps for power by terrorizing those less fortunate, and other “freelancers” as themselves. Pressure, payments, bought debts that grow greater. But Lilywhite boys aren’t easy to push and force into something they don’t feel like doing…

My Opinion: Fights, threats, people flying out the windows, utter chaos and a beautiful love story with a sweet unexpected turn, as, actually, should be expected from K.J.C.

As always, a fantastic book. I’m not even biased over gangsters. Well… Okay, just a little bit. 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Romance, crews, gangs, etc, Historical Fiction Books, historical romance, LGBTQ+ Books, Trans Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson

perfect state brandon sanderson book coverAuthor: Brandon Sanderson
Title: Perfect State
Series: –
Genre: Cyberpunk; Sci-Fi
Pages: 87
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

A friend asked for some recommendations in cyberpunk genre and while searching through what I’ve read and what I haven’t, I’ve unexpectedly discovered Brandon Sanderson has a very short little story in the said topic. “Perfect State“, a strange one.

About the Book: A perfect world to become a hero in and then rule it as a sole god-emperor, just to be summoned like a commoner to, what, procreate? Kairominas is reluctant. Not just because someone has power even above him. It’s the forbidden knowledge. The knowledge that outside his kingdom’s construct walls he might just be one of many, an ordinary, powerless man…

My Opinion: This is a tale of overpopulated planet trying to give everyone a chance to be whatever they wish to be, to reach the peak of their lives. And what happens when you pull these best of the best into one place where they’re less than good. Not the best I’ve read by Sanderson, but it was so short that it’s still worth it. Wouldn’t mind a sequel either, to be honest, for the way it ended was intriguing, and the worldbuilding, as little as there was, was superb.

Masterful writing, unique story, 90s cyberpunk anime vibes, a firm 4 out of 5.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

End of 2020 | books

I literally missed this helper tool in Goodreads last year. Apparently there’s a time window by which you get your information, and after that you just have the plain ol’ list. So here’s my little stats of a very bad year:

  • I’ve read a total of: 103
  • My shortest book was: Sherlock Holmes and Count Dracula by Christian Klaver, which I rated 4 out of 5.
    christian klaver sherlock holmes count dracula book review instagram
  • My longest book was: Valkyrie by Craig Alanson which I rated 5 out of 5, of course! Skippy the Magnificent deserves nothing less.
  • Averages: My average rating is 4.1; Average page count is 312
  • The most popular book I read this year was: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson that I rated 5 out of 5.

As for non-goodreads stats, I can tell you what brought me the most joy this year in the book world:

  • Vivian Shaw, for her amazing vampires.
  • Craig Alanson, for giving us Skippy.
  • Dennis E. Taylor, Bobs are amazing.
  • Rainbow Rowell, but I wish that “harry potter fan-fic” got forgotten, stories stand solid.
  • Charlie LeDuff, for introducing me to that wonderful city that is or could be Detroit.
  • Peter Gatien, that was the most thrilling memoir I’ve read.
  • K.J. Charles, for giving me a heist book, and a follow up.
  • Stephen Hawking, for reminding me what great people I call friends.
  • Anthony Bourdain, for the passion.
  • Jon Richter, for a good and scary cyberpunk book that stands proud with it’s familiar themes and vibes.

And how was your year? Do you have a similar summary I could read? feel free to link me to it.

Categories: Books: Everything | Leave a comment

book review | Death and Destruction by Patricia Logan | 1

death and destruction particia logan book coverAuthor: Patricia Logan
Title: Death and Destruction
Series: Death and Destruction 1
Pages: Crime; LGBT Romance
Pages: 460
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I keep trying to tidy out my home library, so I’ve dusted some more TBR old-timers for the end of the year. This time with some good crime thriller “Death and Destruction” by Patricia Logan.

About the Book: After a long nightmarish work undercover Wolf must go into witness protection program just to survive until one of the most dangerous gangsters gets behind bars for life. An ex marine to guard him, Jared, a man with his own demons to fight. Together they try to survive and not give in to ever growing feelings for one another.

My Opinion: Pretty good, high tension bits were epic, interesting backgrounds, fun time with sniper prep. Could have been more of that and less of relationship clich├ęs.

All in all a very decent book. 4 out of 5 from me, might just read another too.

death and destruction particia logan book review

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, mafia, murder, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

book review | Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta | Casa Dracula 1

happy hour at casa dracula marta acosta book coverAuthor: Marta Acosta
Title: Happy Hour at Casa Dracula
Series: Casa Dracula 1
Genre: Paranormal romance; Vampires
Pages: 314
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula” by Marta Acosta is one of the most amusing and entertaining books I’ve read this year. Glad I got it in December.

About the Book: Milagro is a gorgeous and sweet woman with a big heart and kind soul. Which sadly means she often gets underestimated and taken for granted by very wrong men. Though broken heart time and again was nothing in compare, to this fella. A single drop of blood on a split lip and Milagro finds herself in the middle of nowhere, at some kind of a cottage, with a family of vampires…

My Opinion: Milagro is like a sweeter, more innocent version of Sookie. Just the kind of gal I love watching messing with the vampires. A quirky and funny book, glad it’s a series.

Cottage vibes, vampires, and a good ending. A 5 out of 5.

happy hour at casa dracula marta acosta book cover book review knygu apzvalgos

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Funny!, Books: Romance, paranormal romance, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price | PsyCop 1

among the living psycop jordan castillo price book coverAuthor: Jordan Castillo Price
Title: Among the Living
Series: PsyCop 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance; LGBT Literature
Pages: 156
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Since there’s less time to read before the holidays hit, I’m on a hunt for shorter books. The first one I found that required some virtual dusting is “Among The Living” by Jordan Castillo Price. Pretty good for the paranormal mystery detective that’s this short.

About the Book: To solve crimes police force uses teams of two. A psychic detective, someone able to communicate with the dead on scene. And regular, someone able to keep cool and match unheard testimonies to evidence. But the new cases leave even someone as strong as Victor – baffled. There’s just no one on the scene to talk to. As if the soul moved on or…

My Opinion: Simple but good, easy to read, with pretty good protagonists. Though I somehow ended up liking the side characters better. They just had more dynamic to them, more story, more substance. Detective itself was nice, a little bit scary, a little bit twisty, just enough to keep you interested in what’s next.

Pretty good, will read more, 4 out of 5.

How’s you with time for books as holidays creep in?

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Romance, Books: Supernatural, Crime Books, Detective Books, ghosts, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Mystery Books, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, paranormal romance, Thriller Books, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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