Books: NonFiction

NonFiction | “Discipline Equals Freedom” by Jocko Willink

1Author: Jocko Willink
Title: Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction, Self Help
Pages: 189
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Don’t know about you, but I always need an extra kick as December creeps in. November is just such a meh month. So I picked up the shortest book by my favorite motivator, Jocko Willink, and learned me some things.

About: The book goes through three points of your health. The mind, motivation, mentality, and that little evil voice that tries to sabotage you, by telling you you’ve done enough, rest now. The food, what you eat, how that affects your body. And, of course, the physique, discipline of working out. Author is straight forward, there will be no coddling, but he’s not going to be mean to you either. He’ll teach you exactly how to catch yourself sabotaging your own work and, hopefully, you’ll apply it. Because you might not be able to do all the workouts he so extensively described here. But in his own words, you surely can do something. So do something. Do anything. Do.

Mine: I like how Jocko Willink found that golden middle between patting your shoulder, and outright kicking your butt. He’ll tell you you can do it. He’ll tell you you will do it. And he’ll also tell you, that if you think that you can’t, you’re lying to yourself, so do more. On purpose, out of principle, do more, beat that little voice, because you can, and you will. And I love it. There was a little too much of work-out routine descriptions, and since I don’t know all the English terms for them, I skimmed over most. But I did love how he explained the usage of such physical activity. Mind you, though, I live with manic depression. This book reads very different while depressed, and while not. So if you didn’t like it at some point in life, give it another shot. Good luck, and hang in there.

It was a healthy read, and indeed has got me going with motivation and want to do more. We’ll see if I can stop sabotaging myself. This one gets a 4 out of 5 from me, but I admit, I am curious about what other ones might be like.

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

Jordan L. Hawk “Necropolis” | Whyborne & Griffin 4

3Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Necropolis
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 4
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Pages: 200
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Alright, time to continue a bit with Whyborne & Griffin before I forgot all about everything. Especially since these books didn’t fit into my October TBR, and since they are nice, and easy to read. Nothing too big, but not too little either.

About: After a mostly unsuccessful Christmas diner at Whyborne’s family, the couple’s Holiday is cut short by Christine’s hurried telegram explaining nothing at all, but requesting Whyborne to get to Egypt ASAP. Being a great introvert, Whyborne didn’t want to go, and had to be persuaded by Griffin, and a ghoul that attacked him at work. For in Egypt, under the dead scorched sands, something darkness is waking. Something evil, hungry, and very angry. And Christine, unknowingly, is stepping right in the middle of it.

Mine: People getting mad at Whyborne, because they thought he and Christine had a fling worked very well here. Best was Christine’s response when confronted about it: “ew“. These little incidents worked well with otherwise pretty stressful plot with too obvious villains, and too obvious masked heroes. I mean, I understand it’s not the goal of these books to serve you a detective, but… Ah, it don’t matter. The books are well written. The adventure was built in a perfectly smooth pace, with pauses for discussion, regrouping, a little bit of romance, and a little bit of comic relief, that this time came in a shape of a camel who stole Whyborne’s hats. Yes, multiple.

These are very light reads, and so far are fun too. Not utterly captivating, but I can still give it a solid 4 out of 5, and continue in November. Because really, why not? They might not put you on the edge of the chair, but they definitely won’t have you bored!

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ioan Grillo “Gangster Warlords”

1Title: Gangster Warlords
Author: Ioan Grillo
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction, Crime
Pages: 384
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Gangster Warlords” is a very well researched, and very well written, informative book on the title topic. It’s pretty amazing to read given facts, given opinion, and not feel bias leaking, nor an attempt to steer the reader one way or the other. That’s some good quality journalism right here.

About: The book is about the rise of the CEO kingpins, gangster warlords. In the age of politicians being worse than organized crime warlords, it only makes sense majority of the world gets both touched and screwed over by both. It makes even more sense that often we find ourselves hating the politician more. Someone who was meant to serve us and help us is doing the opposite. At least the gangster didn’t lie. Hell, in some cases gangsters are notorious for their good deeds, and end up being well protected, to a point of being untouchable, by the common folk who love them. For paving the roads, for building schools, for funding education, for, even, fighting crime. But that’s only a small fraction of the whole story. And likely the most rosy one too.

My Thoughts: The book is well written. I said that already, but it really is. Not once did I feel author’s word to have weight in my opinion that I was allowed to form through facts given. And, sure, things might have been opted out, but what was there was enough. I learned a lot. Best of all, I learned how different is a person who was pushed into crime for the sake of survival, and the one who entered life of crime for the sake of power. And how very differently common folk treat these people.

This was a good read. It is mostly set in Mexico, and gives good insight for making your own comparisons by the news and documentaries that are flooding all the media places. Poverty breeds all sorts of survivors. Not all of them are goodhearted, and it’s not always their fault either. 5 out of 5, for being such an eye-opener.

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

Martynas Starkus “Stuck in Central America”

1Author: Martynas Starkus
Title: Istrige Centrineje Amerikoje
Series:
Genre: Travel
Pages: 312
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

If I remember this right, I bought “Stuck in Central America” (Istrige Centrineje Amerikoje) after the show they hosted. They told great stories from previous trips (him and his travel friend Vytaras Radzevicius), and I laughed to tears. So I snagged the book when I could, and must say, it was a very good read. Easy, light, and interesting, so I took my time with it.

This is a story of a trip around Central America in an ever breaking car they named Veronica. The two of them, Martynas and Vytaras, got to walk around ancient Mayan ruins, of which there were plenty, many empty of tourists too. They did their best to get to know locals, hear tales of the land, and the tales of the tellers too. There and here, of course, they had to fight off crooks, avoid gangs, and steer clear of mortal danger. For, as in many poorer lands, there’s two kinds of poverty present: the kind where people are blissfully happy with what little they have; and the kind where people turn to criminal life to survive. So among the beautiful views Martynas described, gangs were too a prominent topic.

The other part of the story was of constant hiccups while traveling. Be it Veronica constantly breaking down on them, or border patrols not wishing to let them through with that junk yard of a car. Martynas here showed some serious kind-hearted sarcasm that you could feel in his sentences, and I loved it.

So, yes. This book, to my knowledge, is not translated into any language. But those of you who read in Lithuanian, this is a great piece. 5/5 from me, and hopefully it never turns out that the authors of this book are bad people, as it seems to get a common theme in my native picks.

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

K.J. Charles “The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal”

3Finally I got me another chance for some leisure with K.J. Charles. This time I read “The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal” (ASIN B06XVF3GW8; 232p.; Goodreads), a sort of a prequel to Green Men series I’ll be starting right after this. It’s a very sherlocky book, but all cases are supernatural, and clients are mostly angry spirits.

Robert Caldwell worked as a journalist when he met Simon Feximal. You see, he inherited this old, crumbling little manor or castle, or whatever the hell, and a raging spirit of his angry ancestor with it. I mean, one can deal with many things. Things moving, doors closing, sounds and moans. But once the walls start bleeding, well, most of us would probably draw a line. So Robert called for help. Simon showed up, with his mysterious demeanor, body of a boxer, and impressive knowledge on the occult. He made them a circle and told Robert to not put a finger out, whatever happens. Spirit started raging, strange symbols appeared on Simon’s skin, and… Well, of course, Robert broke the damned circle.

From there on adventures and cases begin. Robert soon learned what World under the World is, and just how much more there is than meets the eye. And it’s not just angry spirits! There’s angrier zealous colleagues, England’s Secret Service, and even a war at the gate.

If you fancy a supernatural detective, than this is definitely for you. It was damn great, with lots of amazing characters and secrets. 5 out of 5 from me, can’t go any less.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shane Dawson “It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays”

3Oddly, second collection of memoir essays by Shane Dawson, “It Gets Worse” (ISBN 1501132857; 256p.; Goodreads) was, well, worse. Ironically, because it didn’t get any worse: I feel like he already told the darkest stories in his previous book. But that being said, I still did enjoy reading it, I am absolutely happy that I did, and if there’d be a third one, I’d read it too.

This time stories revolve on three main topics: dealing with new knowledge of sexual orientation; paranormal activities due to dead loving grandma; becoming a film director. The first topic lead to some fine stories of terrifying world of dating apps, kind strangers, and self-acceptance. I like how there’s the common theme for likely a lot of people with the less common sexual orientations: once you figure out what is it, it shines light on your whole life experience so far. Shane, too, seemingly figured a lot of things of why it was the way it was. Second topic scared the living hell out of me, for I have no reason to think people lie when they tell stories like that. Avoid reading stories about his grandma at night. Nightmares for days. And the third topic, my favorite, was of him breaking free as a film director. Shane’s humor is definitely not for everyone, and sometimes those who encouraged it to blossom, end up misunderstanding everything the most.

So, all in all, it’s worth reading both of these books, they’re good. Shane’s a very interesting person, and I’m happy that he’s finding happiness, little by little. I’ll give this book a 4 out of 5, for it lacked a little. But as I said before, if there’d be more, I’d read more.

Categories: 4-5, Biographies, Books: Everything, Books: Funny! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Shane Dawson – I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays

3I liked Shane Dawson. Then I hated Shane Dawson. Then I liked Shane Dawson again, and this time I stayed. I like biographies and memoirs too, so it was just a matter of time until I finally get into his “I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays” (ISBN 1476791546; 228p.; Goodreads). It was a very easy read, full of dark humor, satire, heart-breaking stuff, and, well, character development.

The book is written in short chapters, that don’t continue one another, but tell a story each. They start with a piece of artwork, and a few words about the artist who did it, for which I take my hat off for Shane: it’s always wonderful to see a great artist try to squeeze in as many others into their own light, as possible. There’s no seeming order to them, and criteria is likely only one too – stories that were stepping stones. Stepping stones through which Shane, as hard and unbearable as it was, waded through, grew as a person, and became this wonderful human being that he is today.

He grew up with two brothers, and parents, who eventually got divorced. It didn’t help his meager social life that they had to move, and he had to change schools thus. A morbidly obese kid with a pretty face, as you may guess, is not the popular one. So he spent his days with his mom, alone, or in a group of misfits just like himself. Not one story, no matter how sad or cruel it sounded, ever made me feel like this is a pity show. In fact, I believe Shane to be a very strong person to be able to go through this all, and leave it behind. And what’s not yet behind – is still a work in progress, or at least so it seems from his wonderful videos.

I admit, these stories shone light not only on Shane Dawson himself, but via his prism – on mine too. I recognized some flaws in myself, and much like him – started working on them. Lucky me, I have an example of what not to do too, ha! I will give this book a 5 out of 5, but I don’t know if it’s relevant to those who don’t know Shane Dawson, or do not like him. It felt too personal to be taken out of the perspective of who he is in broader view. And now, to the next one!

Categories: 5-5, Biographies, Books: Everything, Books: Funny! | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jeaniene Frost – Bound by Flames | Night Prince 3

BoundbyFlames-coverI love the way Jeaniene Frost weaves a web for the reader, one I can never get out of, for it seems, what, just another page, just another chapter. I couldn’t put “Bound by Flames” (Night Prince 3; ISBN 0062076086; 342p.; Goodreads), the third book in a series of four. To add to the pretty great plot, the character development keeps getting better. Yes, yes, especially Prince Dracula.

This is a far darker, and far greater book than the previous two. The pace is perfect, with one episode following the other one closely, with only this much room to sit and talk it out. Szilagyi continues to harass Vlad and his household, pushing wedges where he can’t pull allies. A turncoat thus soon appears in prince’s flock. And in disguise of napalm bombing of his home, they steal his wife away, where she successfully get’s tortured physically, and mentally. Szilagyi is confident that he found a way to break the prince once and for all, thus he speaks, and we find out why he’s such a disgusting rat’s ass. But little does this bastard know, that he’s dealing with people who do not believe in limitations, and who dearly trust in one another.

Vlad spares nothing in search for Leila, trusting she’ll do all it takes to survive until he does find her. This is officially a war between the two vampires, and maybe that’s just for the best. Vlad pulls favors, finds people, and lets us in on his past, all the while keeping a sharp, if a bit rude eye on Leila’s family, still caring for their safety. There is no doubt in his heart that he’ll find the bastard, and at last squish him. But of course, surprises await, bad and good for both sides. Curses, bindings, and unexpected family members from the old Dracul line of Basarabs.

So, yes. This was amazing. I loved it to bits. Which, sadly, means I’ll keep the final one unread for as long as I can. This one pulled me out out of a very dark place. 5 out of 5, well deserved.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Books: Horror, Historical Books, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 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

Roxane Gay – Hunger: A Memoir of (my) Body

22813605I admit, sometimes I take books due to their intriguing titles, without even reading the annotation. It doesn’t happen often, really, but here it happened, with “Hunger: A Memoir of (my) Body” by Roxane Gay (ASIN B013PKAFOC; 320p.; Goodreads). I thought I’m taking a book on eating disorders. Turns out I took a book on people’s cruelty towards theirs, and other bodies.

Roxane, this wonderful woman tells us her nightmare of a life story of violence, rape, abuse, and the need to hide that followed. She ate to make herself a fortress. She ate to become bigger, unattractive, invisible in her own way. She ate, to have a wall between herself, and violence human beings have for each other.

Roxane is Super Morbidly Obese. She tells us why it happened, and then goes on on telling how people treat her due to the space she takes up. How WE treat people who are obese, fat. For instance, she buys two seats in an aircraft, and still has to tell the person in the third seat that no, they cannot put their bag on the spare seat, that she paid for that seat, and she needs that space. You can imagine, some, if not all, do take offence. She has to go as far as google restaurants, to make sure there’s space to accommodate her, and that the chairs won’t be flimsy artworks, more suitable to look at, than sit.

The story is really, really interesting. At times, tho, it was so very hard to read. I really don’t understand where do people who are able to put others through so much violence, and torture ever come from, who raised them? Who gave birth to those animals? I only know one thing: I hope one day each one of them falls on their ass, and finds a broken bottle underneath, or something. To Roxane Gay, and her wonderful Memoir I give 5 out of 5.

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

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