Books: Everything

Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep?

7082This is, on mere technicality, a re-read. I was very little when I first put my hands on “Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner 1; ISBN 0345404475; 244p.; Goodreads), and recall it best in relation to other non-related sci-fi books on bounty hunters, profession I highly wanted to participate in back then. Yet the reading now was delicious. Funny how sci-fi has such a special spot in my heart, and yet I read so little of it.

Rick Decard is a bounty hunter with a license to kill, if you please. His job is to test suspicious individuals and, if they can’t pass the test, kill them, any means necessary, excluding human endangerment. Otherwise his mission would sort of lose the purpose. For he kills androids who pose as humans, androids who escaped Mars, usually, after killing humans there, and who are getting just too good to track down. There is only one test they always fail. Androids, unlike real humans, are too logical to have proper empathy. They can be trained to respond, but there’s only that much you can wiggle your way out of. Yet Rick’s job is no easier due to this. No empathy, for starters means they’ll kill people if they have to, even if “have to” is a mere distraction.

So the hunt begins. Decard follows in the tracks of androids his colleague has fallen to. Falsely gaining confidence after the first kill, he soon finds himself in far more trouble, than he ever thought possible. Worse, slowly but surely he is uncovering a far deeper rooted plan to survive that androids have cast in a web across his city, if not planet. They infiltrated places they had no rights to be in, right under their noses, every day at their ears. And newer models make even him question the morality of his work, hell, even his own humanity becomes questionable… Because, what if memories are false too?

I really like the characters in this book. Decard is not the only protagonist, but I excluded the other one purposefully. I also really love how androids have this delusion of what a head hunter for androids is: this unstoppable machine they’ll fall to if they as much as lock eyes with. If you like cyberpunk – you must read this. It’s a very easy to read and follow book, and I’ll gladly give it a 5 out of 5. And if anyone’s wondering about those sequels – someone else wrote it, I don’t feel like reading them right now.

Advertisements
Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diversity: Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give

32613366Holy damn. No, but really. Why didn’t I get this book sooner? “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas (ISBN 1406372153; 438p; Goodreads) puts a crown on my this year’s reads. It’s definitely the best contemporary book I have ever read. I wish there was more, but what could top this?

Starr already had a pretty complicated life. Attending a school where she and a couple more students were the only black people around, she felt pressure acting more like the people around her did, to avoid the whole “black girl from the hood” stereotype getting attached. At home she hurried to shake that all off, to not seem lame, because, really! Add regular teenage problems to that, and there you have it. But all that falls to dust in one night. Her life, and the life of her whole community fall apart as her childhood friend get brutally murdered with several shots to the back by a police officer. He stopped them for no real reason, got irritated over the smallest things, dragged Khaleel out of the car, and as he bent to ask terrified Starr if she’s okay – he shot him in the back. Over, and over, and over.

“Thug”, “dealer”, “gangbanger” are all epithets Khaleel’s name get changed with. Even the seemingly most sympathetic people are more affected by the officer’s father slobbering over the television of what a hard time his son is having over this “human mistake”, as if Khaleel was less. After all, Khaleel was indeed a dealer, so he would’ve died anyway, one gangbanger less, right? But Starr knows the truth behind the name, she knows the boy behind the titles, and slowly, being pushed by anger and injustices, even if discouraged by threats officers make on her, she speaks up. After all, she has the support of her family, and her wonderfully united community. And so the story of protests turned to riots turned to war zone begin.

I can’t begin telling you how good, and how important this book is. At time I’d forget I’m reading fiction, for it seems it’d be enough to change a title, change a name, and you’d recognize the people. I hope to someone this book will be an eye-opener. I can only give it 5 out of 5, and recommend.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Friday: Diversity | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Tag: Halloween 2

So far I’ve been lucky in finding one spooky tag a week, well see how it continues to go! As per usual, if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged. The original was created by Clever Fox, I’m leaving you with her video:

1. What goes bump in the night?: Name a book that has legitimately scared you while reading it.
– “Metro 2033” by Dmitry Glukhovsky, some place in the dark tunnels.

2. Jack O Lanterns and Classic Costumes: A book you always reach for during halloween time.
– I don’t have such, but hey, I do always like me a vampire book on this time of the year.

3. Black Cats and Magic Mirrors: A book you love that is laced with superstition and/or magic.
– Does high-fantasy count? If so, Victoria Schwab “Shades of Magic” trilogy, and if it doesn’t count, then K.J. Charles “A Charm of Magpies” trilogy.

4. Witch’s Brew: Favorite witch character in any book/series.
– Stephen Day from A Charm of Magpies trilogy, or Hermione from Harry Potter.

5. Ghouls and Ghosts: A book that still haunts you to this day (good or bad).
– In a good way, the very first to start haunt me, and stay with me to this day, so the oldest one on the list is C.C. Humphreys “Vlad: The Last Confession

6. Haunted Graveyard: You’re all alone in a haunted graveyard, you get ONE book to give you comfort, which is it?
– Haruki Murakami “Afterdark

7. The Undead: Favorite supernatural creatures to read about (i.e. vamps, zombies, werewolves, etc).
– Do elves count as supernatural, or are they a different category? If they do, then The Witcher Saga by A. Sapkowski. If not, then vampires, and there’s many great books with those.

8. In the dead of night: Pick a book with a black cover.
– Victoria Schwab “This Savage Song“!

9. Trick or Treat?
– Treat, thank you. Unless it’s a toy, then trick please!

Categories: About Msg2TheMing, Books: Everything, Tags | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Laini Taylor – Strange the Dreamer [1]

28449207I asked for a recommendation and have received “Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer 1; ISBN 0316341681; 536p.; Goodreads). Must say, has been a hot minute since I’ve read such a colossal book. I think the last one was the gruesome Fifth Season, which I also recommend. But this one was lighter to bear, with almost constant sense of sunshine, likely due to lighter people, personalities within.

A great war has taken place in the city ruled by ruthless gods. People rebelled, climbed their tower, and slain everyone they found bearing the blue skin of godspawn. But gods are not easy to slay. They fought back as best they could, and took vengeance in death too. First they took their sky, shielding it with the massive wings of their home. Then they left humans dreading, haunted by nightmares for as long as they sleep under the winged dome. They’re too worried to move, for it would mean that even in death the gods have taken victory on their lives. And finally, they took the very name of the place, leaving it known across the world only as Weep, a name that leaves ones lips bitter with ash and salt.

Lazlo Strange is an orphan, taken by monks off the streets, almost grey with sickness. They nursed him back, and soon, as the boy grew, got to calling him Strange The Dreamer, due to the nature of work he took. For, you see, Lazlo is mostly interested in stories. Especially those of Weep, a place he believes to be more than a fairy tale. He goes as far as dig up old recipes of purchases, just to prove this or that mediocre thing to be real. No one takes him seriously, of course, and people are far more interested in his knowledge on alchemy, than some fairy tale land. Up until the day delegates from Weep march into his city, kindly asking for volunteers who could bring new knowledge into their devastated lands. Lazlo can’t even dare dreaming they might need a tale teller…

This book feels huge. And it’s not as dark as some high fantasy books get. If you like the genre, I can’t recommend this one enough. In the mean time, I give it 5 out of 5, and await the next one eagerly.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Tag: Halloween!

Since it’s the month of Halloween (yep.), I figured I’ll just go ahead and do any Halloweenish book tags that I find. This was the first that came around, very short and easy:

1. Carving pumpkins- what book would you carve up and light on fire?
– “Metro 2035” by Dmitry Glukhovsky; I reviewed this book, will not repeat myself.

2. Trick or treat- what character is a treat, what character is a trick? 
– Treat – Lucien Vaudrey from A Charm of Magpies; Trick – Nicaise from Captive Prince

3. Candy corn- what book is always sweet?
– The Holy Trinity of Trilogies: “Shades of Magic” by V.E. Schwab; “A Charm of Magpies” by K.J. Charles; “Captive Prince” by C.S. Pacat

4. Ghosts- what character would you love to visit you as a ghost?
– Alucard from Shades of Magic. But I hope he lives too long for that ever to happen.

5. Dressing up in costume- what character would you want to be for a day?
– Lucien Vaudrey from A Charm of Magpies

6. Wizards and witches- what is your favorite Harry Potter moment?
– The moment I realized Snape rewrote the textbook he was learning from. Dude!

7. Blood and gore- what book was so creepy that you had to take a break from it for awhile?
– Paige Dearth “Born Mobster“. I have a hard time reading of things like that in general.

Categories: Books: Everything, Tags | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday: Diversity | C.S. Pacat

DKxQjzJVAAAae2IC.S. Pacat, after finishing her Captive Prince trilogy, which I love very much, as you might know by now, was fairly quiet. But recently we were finally told why. She is working intently on a comic of fencing school. I must admit right away, I’m not the greatest fan of comics/manga. I’ve read a few that I loved to bits, and I’m sure that out there there are more that I would love, if I just found them. But in general, it is not my cup of tea. Still, due to my love for this author, I will absolutely look into it, and will let you know how’s what.

In the meantime, I leave you with a video of my friend from [P.S. I Love that Book], where I now officially write blog entries too, under the name of Nosferatu. She explains why she loved the Captive Prince book too, and maybe her opinion, being less biased than mine, will help you decide to pick it up too. I’m really happy that she touched the sore subjects too, and explained her views on them.

 

Categories: Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Joe Dispenza – Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

12951631I’m trying to read more nonfiction books too, among all the fiction. Don’t know yet how I’ll be able to review them properly, and should I, even. But let’s give it a shot, shall we? I picked up “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Joe Dispenza (ISBN 1401938086; 329p.; Goodreads), due to many reasons, among which my belief that nothing changes, unless you start changing things, is not the smallest. And, honestly, it’s not a bad book, even if I can’t agree with all of it. Nor can I understand some of the instructions. But it was worth the time.

Author, with all the love and respect to your person, tells you outright – if you want to be someone else – stop being yourself. For instance, if you are, like me, a bit on the lazy side, and wish you could enjoy working more, so that you’d not feel too lazy before you even started it – start being that person. How, you ask, you’re still lazy? Well, that’s the damn thing. By associating things, we create shortcuts for them in our brain, to hell with the terminology, and end up unconsciously following patterns, rather than actually experiencing what’s before us. For me, my first jobs were gruesome hard work. So work equals hard, equals tired, equals don’t want to, equals lazy. Today my work is far less demanding, and yet I’m still lazy, because that’s what word “work” evokes in my brain. Author, thus, leads us through series of explanations, and meditations, of how to cut that cord, and make a new one. Basically, how to become your better self, or stop being your lazy self.

The other point he made was autopilot. Our brain trains our body to do, and react, and eventually body takes over. For instance, I might not be able to tell you my PIN, but I will enter it easily. The day I realized I can’t remember the numbers was the day I met a different key-pad. We do that with far more things than we imagine. Our body learns that, say, we react like this to this kind of comment, and so – we react. Rather than being present, and making a conscious decision, after a proper evaluation.

In the end, this was an interesting read. Reminded me a lot of The Secret, but then, I know, love, and respect many people who read that book, and took a firm grip on their life after that, so maybe this one’s just as good a manual of how. Because, let’s face it, if you won’t put the will into it, nothing’s gonna magically happen. Therefore I give this book 4 out of 5, because even tho this is a good manual, at points it felt like ikea manual. I really don’t know what to do, when I’m told “act like it already happened“.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A to Z book tag!

You know what I haven’t done in a while? A book tag. So here’s one, taken from [PerpetualPageTurner]:

Author you’ve read the most books from:

  • Probably Anne Rice books. Or Charlaine Harris.

Best Sequel Ever:

  • I dislike most first books, so, second book of Captive Prince, and many more.

Currently Reading:

Drink of Choice While Reading:

  • Sweet, carbonated, and preferably in a can. Or just tea.

E-reader or Physical Book?

  • Both are fine!

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

  • Any one of the three main characters from “Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue”, Stephan Day from Magpie Lord, Lord Crane, Lila from Shades of Magic…

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Hidden Gem Book:

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

  • Probably starting blogging about books. Or finding well-reading friends.

Just Finished:

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

  • I refuse to spit into this well.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

  • I don’t even know tbh, many are very long nowadays, from Anne Rice’s stuff, to Martin.

 

Major book hangover because of:

  • Hangovers are good things, right? Because I think then, the book I had to take a break after was Captive Prince trilogy.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

  • Two. Three if we count the one that is not purely mine.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

  • Witcher saga, but the most time per book was the very first that made me realize how amazing books can be, that being John E. Stitch book “Reckoning Infinity”

Preferred Place To Read:

  • Other side of my bookshelf (this side is my work place), on the couch, in front of the window.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

  • Oh there were many, there are many, and there’ll be more, sadly I can’t recall one from the top of my head.

Reading Regret:

  • I’ve none. If it was bad – I know it was bad, because I’ve read it myself.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

  • There’s many still. Nightrunner, Chicagoland vampires, Night Prince, Anno Dracula…

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

Unapologetic Fanboy For:

  • K.J. Charles “A Charm of Magpies” trilogy, and C.S. Pacat “Captive Prince” trilogy.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

  • V.E. Schwab is writing second book for “Vicious“, it’s gonna be called “Vengeful

Worst Bookish Habit:

  • I guess, like most, I just add to the already infinite to-read list, by physical copies, e-books, or mere “want to read” button on goodreads.com

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

  • Henry James “The Turn of the Screw

Your latest book purchase:

  • Martynas Starkus “Stuck in Central America

Photo 28-08-17 18 23 00

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Categories: Books: Everything, Tags | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A.C. Bextor – Empires and Kings [1]

x3Sometimes I pick a book up just because, because it sat there, taunting me or whatever. Sometimes due to such an action I even find good reads. Sadly, “Empires and Kings” by A.C. Bextor (Mafia 1; ASIN B01MZA0MS5; 322p.; Goodreads) is not one of those. It’s just a book about a Russian Mafia Family head, portrayed as the most vile and ruthless monster, who, beside the few base things he did that’ll make you roll your eyes, rather than fear him, hardly did anything.

The book is told from two perspectives. One, the first, belongs to our scary mister Vlad Zaleski, the head of this Mafia Family, one of the most powerful men in the underworld. Back in the day he was required to exterminate a family of a traitor. Wrong time, wrong place, the traitor’s daughter, a mere child, runs into the room, scared by all the noises. Vlad makes her watch the killing of her family, and, due to reasons unclear, takes her with him, and puts her into his own family. Maybe he took pity on the child. Maybe he wanted her there, as a reminder to anyone else who’d like to try and betray him, what’s left of the last man who did: a single girl devoted, loyal to him.

She’s better known as the Traitor’s Daughter. She grew up fearing and revering Vlad as some sort of a god. His son became her best friend, her brother. His sister became her sister, and best friend. Growing up among the mafia men has changed her perspective on life, has given her a different rhythm to things, a certain sense of power, even in captivity, where no one could touch her, for she was jailed and protected by their boss. The only truly bad outcome in this is that she fell in love with her god, she fell in love with Vlad.

Talk about Stockholm Syndrome, right? The book has a good idea, even for a romance novel it’s a pretty fair one, for I am sure there’s many who’d enjoy a creature like Vlad, the mafia boss, the gangster, the mister danger in the modern world of darkness. Yet the story, the way it was told, the fleshing out of the small ideas, making them seem artificially bigger felt a bit weak. So for the time being I can only offer this book a 3 out of 5, and we’ll see on whether I can pick up the second one.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monday: Stuck in Central America [LT]

Currently reading a book by Lithuanian author Martynas Starkus “Stuck in Central America“, of their (him, and his great friend Vytaras Radzevicius) adventures in Central America.

Categories: Books: Everything, Monday: Promo | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.