Posts Tagged With: politics

book review | Animal Farm by George Orwell

animal farm by george orwell book review read like a villain banned books nosferatu reads night mode readingAuthor: George Orwell
Title: Animal Farm
Series: –
Genre: Classics; Politics
Pages: 122
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Read Animal Farm by George Orwell, and I don’t know whether to cry or laugh now. Hope everyone reads it.

About the Book: All animals are equal. Having defeated their human master, they set up amendments of sorts and start working on an utopia, where there’s enough food, less work, plenty of rest, no whip, and no stealing of eggs or the young. But fierce slogans made to stoke the fires of superiority and idealism won’t keep that belly full. Food doesn’t just appear, it needs to be grown. And then processed into actual morsels. Which then might be made better with an egg or some milk. And what about sugar, that could be bought for money if excess could be sold? Oh, and just think, if you didn’t have to share it either… But no. No. All animals are equal. Simply, some are more equal than others.

My Opinion: A masterpiece, so good. First published in 1945, and the stench of totalitarism still lingers in the air. Hopefully it’s a stench of a rotting corpse only. Superbly written book of cogs in the machines, corruption, greed, and disregard for others, where no price is too high to keep the power stable in own hands. No better time to read it either.

A solid 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Dystopian, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Classic Books, political books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | The Future is History by Masha Gessen

the future is history masha gessen book reviewAuthor: Masha Gessen
Title: The Future is History
Series: –
Genre: History; Politics
Pages: 515
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

As Russia is still committing genocide of Ukrainian people, it is important to stay aware, and remind others too, to avoid the “business as usual” kind of adjustment to a war. So I’ve read “The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia” by Masha Gessen, a book on Homo Sovieticus evolution.

About the Book: After the Iron Curtain fell, it seemed like Russia entered a new, worldly age of democracy, where the common Russian had a future that mattered. The book follows four people who not only tried to rush those changes, but fought to keep what little liberties they had, once the regime turned once again to the dark territories of totalitarianism.

My Opinion: It’s a very dark book, full of absolute horrors I could’ve slept better having not read. But it’s important to know these things, so we can seek ways to avoid them in the future. A well written piece that was very interesting, especially towards the end, when one of the characters looked to Ukraine. First, as an inspiration for their own rebellion, revolution, protests that Russians flooded the streets for. Then, with disappointment. As Ukraine succeeded its revolution, and common Russians got trampled over by the Putin’s legitimized bullies.

A solid 4 out of 5.

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

book review | All the Kremlin’s Men by Mikhail Zygar

all the kremlins men mikhail zygarAuthor: Mikhail Zygar
Title: All the Kremlin’s Men
Series: –
Genre: Politics; History
Pages: 400
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

As the war in Ukraine is now entering four months, I continue reading things that’d bring any awareness to the situation. Today’s “All the Kremlin’s Men” by Mikhail Zygar, a tale of corrupt politics, fat egos, and undying love for soviet union (not author’s).

About the Book: The evolution of Vladimir Putin, KGB, and where it all brought Russia. And then, what Russia has done to all the countries it was able to reach and break. From their own robbed people, to ravaged foreign lands, to hurt ego of the new tsar, as the world didn’t want to play nice with bullies.

My Opinion: Very well written, and definitely among the better ones, although some tales were different from the versions I’ve read before. Nothing more to add to that. And since Ukraine still fights for their freedom, their lands, our democracy, and the whole of Europe, may I ask you to consider donating to Blue-Yellow organization?

Another fine book on nightmarish politics, a 4 out of 5.

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

book review | Red Notice by Bill Browder

red notice by bill browder book reviewAuthor: Bill Browder
Title: Red Notice
Series: –
Genre: Politics; Crime
Pages: 380
Rate: 5/5 | goodreads

Red Notice” by Bill Browder might just be the most fascinating book I’ve read on Russia since it invaded Ukraine, where to this day they are committing war crimes, and genocide of Ukrainian people. And, yet again, the things author says about this contemporary history ring very familiar today, including the “let them safe face” line.

About the Book: Author tells a tale of the vicious and intense, let alone corrupt, market. From America, to Britain, to Eastern Europe, and finally Russia, where market just barely opened. Fresh and ripe for the grabbing. Up until author headbutted with the oligarchs who would rather lose money, than let rival make some, and refused to back down. From there the tale turns and twists, becoming a nightmarish fever dream of corrupt officials, inhuman law enforcement, torture, death, and battle for scraps of justice.

My Opinion: A very interesting book, both in the way it unashamedly (and unapologetically) shows the nasty and dark side of the market, and in the way Russia’s law enforcement operates (or doesn’t). Loved how it showed Russian people actually push against this corruption, as it gives an offering of hope, if not very palpable today. Finely written, I highly recommend this one even to those who couldn’t read all the war-themed books I had to get through.

Almost half the books I’ve read this year were on Russia and Ukraine as I cannot sit idle at the face of it all, but can do very little from where I am, and the position I am in. A firm 5 out of 5 to this book, as despite author’s flaws, he did manage to chop a nail or two off the hydra’s foot.

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

book review | Shadow State by Luke Harding

shadow state luke harding book reviewAuthor: Luke Harding
Title: Shadow State
Series: –
Genre: History; Politics
Pages: 336
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Read “Shadow State” by Luke Harding, a surreal sounding story of spies, assassinations, and the dirty side of politics. Specifically Russia’s politics (and USA’s), and their meddling, attempted, fictitious, or too real for comfort.

About the Book: Secret agencies, armies of trolls, spies, infiltrations, leaks, propaganda, lies, poison, death…  The whole book sounds like the tales of James Bond side characters having adventures. And yet, all of them we all have heard of on the news before.

My Opinion: Most of these things, if not all, were in the headlines not so long ago. Well stitched together it reads like a spy novel, not a real thing. But then, reality might be stranger than fiction when power lies in the hands of paranoid madmen, who dictate what is true, and what is lies.

An interesting book, a 4 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Surviving Autocracy by Masha Gessen

surviving autocracy by masha gessen book reviewAuthor: Masha Gessen
Title: Surviving Autocracy
Series: –
Genre: Politics; History
Pages: 288
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Picking up “Surviving Autocracy” by Masha Gessen I didn’t except it to so fully revolve around USA, but having read that, I understand why that is so, and the importance of it.

About the Book: With Soviet childhood, and a couple years of writing on resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, Gessen was well equipped to spot the rise of autocracy in USA, the meanings behind Trump’s speeches during his election and presidency. This book points at the corrosion, where and why it appeared, what it means to have it there, and how to outlive it first, and then, hopefully, heal.

My Opinion: There are some good points made in regards to USA’s interactions with other nations, the good, and the bad effects, what rubbed off on whom, and who made what damage to whom. In a way, fits events today too (RU federation committing war crimes and genocide in Ukraine as we speak), as author points to where certain ideologies lead, naming names, and pointing fingers.

Maybe not the most useful read to a non-american, but was interesting, and well written, so it gets a firm 4 out of 5.

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

book review | Iron Curtain by Anne Applebaum

anne applebaum iron curtain the crushing of eastern europeAuthor: Anne Applebaum
Title: Iron Curtain
Series: –
Genre: History; Politics
Pages: 566
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

To better understand the recently resurfaced phrase, I’ve read “Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe” by Anne Applebaum, and I highly recommend you do too.

About the Book: At first, people, saved from the German nazis, met Russian red army as saviors. It didn’t last. Blinded by the riches, such as flushing toilet in a village home, a chicken pecking the lawn, wristwatch, brutally poor army people began looting. Violence, assaults, rapes, all of that, of course, followed, and even became a norm for a visiting female to hide away. One occupation simply became another occupation. Totalitarian regime has covered Eastern Europe in their communal Iron Curtain behind which – no news came through either direction. This way the leader could decide what is true, and what is false.

My Opinion: It sounds Orwellian. I heard these tales from my grandparents. I hear these tales today too. Surreal doesn’t begin to describe it. This book helps understand that attempt to create a new kind of person: Homo Sovieticus, and why some, to this day, claim they had it better back then. When you don’t know any better, when you don’t know you can strive for more, when you don’t know your rights, or when they were so completely undermined you no longer think of them as your human rights – that’s when you cease being you, and those above become everything, including you. And then, according to their whims, wants, desires, tastes, opinions – your truth conforms.

Read if it. Read it just because you can. Because, if you’re not native English speaker, or, even more so, if you’re from Eastern Europe, as I am, because you have the right and opportunity to learn languages, use foreign libraries, buy these books from any world-wide retailers, as it had the freedom to be published for the masses. It’s a victory so grand that we must never ever again let it slip out of our hands. A firm 4 out of 5.

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

book review | The New Tsar by Steven Lee Myers

the new tsar the rise and reign of vladimir putin steven lee myers book review knygos apžvalgaAuthor: Steven Lee Myers
Title: The New Tsar
Series: –
Genre: History; Biography
Pages: 592
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

A very extensive biography of the madman who bleeds his own country for a war on an innocent one, war based on lies and delusions. “The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin” by Steven Myers… The first time I read the title, I read it as “rise and fall“, must say I like it better that way.

About the Book: This is a magnificently detailed book on Vladimir Putin, the current dictator of Russia, and a war criminal. From young days, high ambitions, to vanity, and corruption that set in ever deeper, having not been allowed to die in the first place. So, history repeats itself, led over, and over again, by the same man, as he done in Chechnya, as he done in Syria, as he does now in Ukraine.

My Opinion: It’s scary to read. Russians flooded the streets in protests, and met a soviet ghoul. It choked them out in its web of rotten shroud, criminal laws, censorship, followed by lies, propaganda. Scary to read of the same events, to a word, that have happened years ago, and mere days ago. Such as mining of humanitarian corridors, bombing just to claim it was an internal act of terror, and that’s why they’re there, fighting now. And even sanctions. Yes. Sanctions have been used before.

Read this book. Read it, and go see if you can do more to help Ukraine, or at least donate again, as I am sure you already did, for you have a heart. We cannot stop until this Soviet Ghoul is buried. A solid 4 out of 5.

steven lee myers the new tsar vladimir putin vakaris vakare knygu blogas night mode reading book blog

Categories: 4-5, Biographies, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Historical Books, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Putin’s People by Catherine Belton

putins people KGB FSB catherine belton book review knygos apžvalga putino žmonėsAuthor: Catherine Belton
Title: Putin’s People
Series: –
Genre: Politics; Current Events; History
Pages: 640
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I wish I didn’t need to read books like “Putin’s People: How the KGB took back Russia and then took on the West” by Catherine Belton. But we all should. To understand. To fan the embers of hope that someday soon – this will all end, and the Soviet Ghoul will come to its demise, and final end.

About the Book: In the past decade, if not more, we heard of talks, rumors, and firm accusations, facts and all, of Russia’s involvement in foreign affairs. From spies, sleepers, to trolls, and election frauds for those in Russia’s favor. Putin’s People, the rotten root in Russia’s rich soil, once was known as KGB, remains. Under a different name, yet it commits the same crimes against others, and against their own people. No one is safe, inside or out, it seems.

My Opinion: It was an almost painful read, but very well written, and very necessary. Depicting most if not all major events where Putin, directly, had a hand. Solidifying in Ukraine, as they pay the highest price right here, right now. And not for the first time either. From protests, to clashes, to outright attack by the aggressor, invasion… Everyone should read this book, and many others, to understand just how incredibly sly this snake on a red throne is.

I hope Ukraine prevails. I hope Ukrainians prevail, and it ushers in a new era, era where we can do better, where we can be better. For only at the dawn of such age Russians too could rebuild their country, untainted by this creature. A solid 4 out of 5.

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Categories: 4-5, Biographies, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Historical Books, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat | Captive Prince 2

23398894These books are exactly what I needed in my life, all my life. Direct result of that was me reading this one until 4am (mind you, I usually get to bed at around 2am, so it’s not as long as you might think), forcing myself to put it down, in case it ended too quickly. Then, I couldn’t write a review on it for a couple days. But since my nose is already in the third, here is, with a bleeding heart, my conclusion on book two in the addictive C.S. PacatCaptive Prince” trilogy: “Prince’s Gambit” (ISBN 0425274276; 216p.; Goodreads).

As Regent plots a war against divided, and weakened Akielos, Damen is forced to side with the only one who has the will and power to stop it: prince of Vere, Laurent. It would be easy enough to attempt and keep him alive until he ascends the throne if Regent hadn’t pressured him to leave for the border to take up his duty in the ever lasting warring. Every step is an attempt to murder or maim, and every failure for it promises something worse in the future. And Laurent is a complex being to guard on top of it, being mistrustful of everyone, scheming, plotting, too full of surprised for Damen to keep up. The moment he accepts the fact that they’re as good as dead, Laurent bides their time, talking their way out of it, until something happens, and they get saved. Later on it usually turns out it was all part of a great plan where Laurent, barely, was a step ahead of his uncle.

On the other side of this war tent, Laurent is torn apart. It seems that the only people he can trust, are those who are open about being his enemy. Like the Akielon slave on his cushion pallet. Having no support of his own, Laurent makes the most twisted and breaking decision he could have, sending out a plea for help to a least likely source…

This book was so full of twists and political schemes, that I had a hard time putting it down. Every page, every chapter kept my brain buzzing, asking “what’s next? one more page? just one more, just to see, what’s next!” So naturally I can only give it 5 out of 5, and pray to the Universe I can have these books in paper, to fondle the good memories in physical form. That’s the only regret I have on e-books, you know? It’s less easy for me to turn back to a book when I have to exit the one I’m currently reading.

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

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