Posts Tagged With: nonfiction

book review | McMafia by Misha Glenny

mcmafia misha glenny book cover underworld criminal organized crimeAuthor: Misha Glenny
Title: McMafia
Series: –
Genre: True Crime, Nonfiction
Pages: 398
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I love reading sensible literature on organized crime, where author doesn’t choose a side, and, due to moral obligations, doesn’t try to paint one or another side a deeper shade of one color. One of such well balanced books is McMafia by Misha Glenny, who has a very healthy view on this all.

About the Book: This book goes through a variety of organized, global crime, its underground industries and their origins. From the times of economy downfalls through, say, the fall of soviet union, or the breaking of Berlin wall, to today. And all across the world.

Crime takes many forms and shapes. And so do reasons for it. Be it extreme poverty and thus a need to make a buck for bread by stealing or selling, or selling the stolen. Or be it flaws in law, criminalization of something you require. It could be medication your country deemed illegal. Or it could be part of your lifestyle: from illegal caviar, to illegal counterfeits. And many more, including drug cartels, mafia, mafiozos of Russia, yakuza, hackers, crackers, and so on. And you know what’s the worst of it? We too are a part of it.

My Opinion: This is a very smoothly written book, with sensible steps from one topic, to another. Each one of those is explained in depths, with origins of criminal organization at hand, how it came to be, to what it does, how it does it, and why it does it, if applies. To actual governments, and law: how they’re handling it, if handling it at all. As for our involvement, well, that’s true. And it’s scary. From materials required to, say, build our laptops, where a company doesn’t ask about the origins of this metal, or that dye. To scam emails, engineered web pages, and our inability to take precautions while on that enticing world wide web.

This is a very worthy read that I would highly recommend to anyone. I give it a 5 out of 5, for many, many reasons.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, crews, gangs, etc, mafia, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

nonfiction | “Apollo 8” by Jeffrey Kluger

2Author: Jeffrey Kluger
Title: Apollo 8
Series: –
Genre: History, Nonfiction
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. I absolutely had no clue how does one become one, and the fact I’m from Eastern Europe likely didn’t help either. But hey, I’ve read all about space and universe that I could lay my hands upon. This, I guess, is a tribute to that kid that still kinda wants to be an astronaut.

About: Before Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong, the first man on the surface of the Moon, there was Apollo 1, Virgil Grissom, a blood curdling fire, and many, many more mistakes to come, with too many good men dead. But neither United States, nor the rest of the humanity were willing to give up just yet. So there was Apollo 2, and then Apollo 3… Up until Apollo 8, the first one to reach the Moon’s orbit. Approximately one third of the Earth’s population that had electricity and television available have been up and watching whatever footage there was. And this is the tale of those people they watched, their families, people on Earth who regulated the flight, and so on.

Mine: I love how this book is written. It’s always from third person, but very personal anyway. There you get to read a view from beside a wife of an astronaut, practically hear the child roll their eyes, because their dad is just an astronaut, no big deal, Billy’s dad is a fireman, now that’s a something! Merely because they grew up in this environment, with their old dad being an astronaut, with his old friends being astronauts. And over there you read from beside an engineer who is sweating bullets in dread, demanding tests ran on every single thing, every detail, in dread, in memory of that Apollo 1. And the moment it starts feeling too much like a fictional novel, a movie, author gives you all of the facts, all of the sources for the facts, and even audio recordings of the most important stuff.

The book is very well written. If you’ve any interest in how humanity finally stepped on the Moon, take this one. 5 out of 5 from me.

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

history | “A Brief History of the War of the Roses” by Desmond Seward

1.jpgAuthor: Desmond Seward
Title: A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction, History
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Not gonna lie, sometimes, when reading history books on better known, closer countries, if I know little to nothing of what’s going on, other than the few most famous or infamous names: I feel like an utter idiot. Back in the day I really loved history. I even wanted to study it. But the want melted away, and never returned.

This is a very well written, not at all dry history book of fifteen century England. It reads like a book with a little extra facts, all the people feeling very realistic in a sense that they could be characters. During this period of time Yorks and Lancasters tore at each other for the crown, and this particular war was called War of Two Roses. Here author steps in again, and lets you know why’s that, and how it wasn’t very accurate, really. It’s really entertaining, and easy to follow.

An interesting book, as, I feel, history books should be. I’ve no clue of how accurate it is factually, but if you’re curious on the topic, I can recommend this book. In fact, I’ll give it a 5 out of 5, and will keep the author in mind, in case there’s more interesting history books he wrote.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

nonfiction | “The Satanic Bible” by Anton Szandor LaVey

1Author: Anton Szandor LaVey
Title: The Satanic Bible
Series: –
Genre: Philosophy, Occult
Pages: 272
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I remember the days when this book appeared. In Lithuania, it disappeared just as quickly, leaving a lot of strange young adults reeling, searching for it. I wasn’t one of them back then, but admittedly I was always curious about all religions. I think the problem was the predominantly god-fearing population I grew up in, never able to become part of it, because none of it made sense. Why would I fear a god who is all loving and forgiving? Why would he make someone this way, and then punish them for being this way? You get my meaning, right? Yet I forgot about this book up until AHS came out with Apocalypse, the Antichrist, and LaVey. So I figured I’ll serve the angsty goth teen that I was, and get this book for myself now.

About: The book right away agrees that yes, the doctrine could be called humanitarian philosophy, and not satanic religion. But that’s really the point. While it teaches you to be a better person, because it really does, believe you me, it also arms you. It arms you against the religion that likely dominates your surroundings, and finds a way to tell you you’re somehow wrong. It points out all the flaws in Christianity, and thus opposes it openly, acting like a sort of, well, for the lack of better word, adversary. For as long as Christianity stands, telling you that you should be afraid of God’s wrath, and thus should maybe sacrifice him a goat or something, there will stand a satanist, telling you the god on earth will never tell you to fear him, nor will he ever ask you to shed blood, because we’re all gods in our own way, and all life is to be respected, and not harmed.

But this great part is very short, likely, added together, no longer than one fourth or third of the book. The rest is translated Enochian texts, prayers, invocations and such.

Mine: It’s a great book that’ll tell you you need to love yourself, care for yourself, and respect others as much as they respect you. Meaning there’s no other cheek, get rid of toxic people from your life. It tells you that consent matters. It tells you that you’re not to be a dick. It tells you there’s no taboos if everyone consents. And then proceeds on telling you so very much about sex, how it should be free and available for all, how you need to seek what you want in it, fulfillment, and so on. I mean it’s all well and good, but I feel like if you’re not 14, you’ll be rolling your eyes at the overbearing emphasis here.

So, all in all, I’m glad I got this book, and that it showed me what this religion is all about. No, it’s not made to convert you, nor is it written in the biblical style either. It’s a very simple philosophy book, with a little too much of not so interesting stuff. So I give it a 3 out of 5, for while I’m glad I’ve read it, it felt like it was written for way younger people than myself, if you get my drift.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Occult, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Philosophy, Self | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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

Jen Campbell “More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops | 2

10Author: Jen Campbell
Title: More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
Series: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops 2
Genre: Nonfiction, Humor
Pages: 251
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Seriously, how are these so easy to read? Anyway, I got into the second book in the hopefully ongoing series of “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops“, for I am sure, those never end. And while this one didn’t feel as great, it was still pretty damn great. And far less frustrating too.

About: This time there was quite a bit about book signing. That distinguished this book from the previous the most. It was very funny, and far less frustrating. Because, come on, some people just like a clean book! Stop vandalizing your own book, author! What do you mean you can’t sign this other book, because you didn’t write it? It says here you’re signing books. Silly.

Mine: There were so much more funny moments. And so much less people I wanted to throttle for insolence. I really enjoyed this!

These are really pretty great, simple, short, and easy to read while killing some time. I can absolutely recommend them for a quickie in travels. 5 out of 5, and please don’t be one of these people!

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

Jen Campbell “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops” | 1

5Title: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
Author: Jen Campbell
Series: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops 1
Genre: Humor, Nonfiction
Pages: 119p
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

One night I finished a book and wasn’t tired enough. So I thought, let’s read a little of something light. Choosing “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops” was a mistake, because I read most of it through the half of the night, and had to take it away from myself.

About: As title claims, this book is a compilation of real strange ideas people expressed in bookstores. Some customers are so beyond annoying, and have no respect for books, nor those who provide us all with the service, that it just made me angry. Like the folk who damaged the book, and demanded discount due to it, because hey, the book is damaged. Also, this book only confirms that a lot of kids are a menace. I’d rather not risk it. But whatever was left after anger due to unbelievable insolence, was fun and funny!

Mine: Some book owners are saints, what with the patience they have. It’s a very easy book to read too, so if you’ve a minute, you can just read it up in one sitting. Mind you, some folk will definitely frustrate you, as they did me.

It was a fun read, and I liked it a lot, so here’s 5 out of 5 from me. For the sheer patience of the shopkeeps.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny! | 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

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