Possibly one of the most expensive books I've bought, I'll explain later! If you think you know everything there is to know about Kickstarter, Zopa, K...morePossibly one of the most expensive books I've bought, I'll explain later! If you think you know everything there is to know about Kickstarter, Zopa, Kiva etc then you really ought to get this book. Modwena has written a very good summary of the current state of this fast moving market and this guide will help you navigate through this.
The book is aimed at investors, entrepreneurs and even those wanting to set up their own crowdfunding market. The book will teach you about the different types of sites, the audiences on that site and is heavily biased towards the UK market (no problemo for me). It's a very handy resource and Modwena evidently knows her stuff.
As I've been investing in some of the sites for some time I thought it would be good to find out a little bit more about it.
Why was this book expensive? Well now I know about equity investing such as Crowdcube and Seedrs and had to take punt even though the payback doesn't even begin for 3 years at a minimum and that's if it even does pay out! I now have a teeny share in some hopefully up and coming companies. (less)
Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. You can read the plot synopsis elsewhere but this was a fairly enjoyable book and as with all these types of novels y...moreSomewhere between 3 and 4 stars. You can read the plot synopsis elsewhere but this was a fairly enjoyable book and as with all these types of novels you do have to suspend a fair amount of belief for the coincidentals to link together.
I didn't guess the true identity of the murder until 70% of the way through so job well done! (less)
Only the second Discworld book I've read in this series but the humour is spot on and this one is about DEATH who finds an apprentice appropriately ca...moreOnly the second Discworld book I've read in this series but the humour is spot on and this one is about DEATH who finds an apprentice appropriately called Mort, only about 30+ books to go!
First a few brief words about the paid for Kindle version, it's a string of text without any formatting (eg paragraphs!) and is taken from a public do...moreFirst a few brief words about the paid for Kindle version, it's a string of text without any formatting (eg paragraphs!) and is taken from a public domain translation without any attribution of the source. I expect it's a fairly old translation from Project Gutenburg that has been OCR'ed and not cleaned up. This makes reading this even less pleasant.
Now onto the story proper which is about two sisters who are left without any resources by themselves. Juliette who is the eldest chooses a path to gain influence and power by using her womanly wiles, Justine who is barely into her teens chooses to follow the path of virtue. This means sticking to her religious beliefs and the principles she had been taught to follow the right path.
Justine starts off as pretty naively thinking her former position is society would be enough to get her a place in some rich household and I initially have absolutely no sympathy for the character.
So anyway she almost gets raped at the first place she goes to get a job but luckily doesn't and gets a job as a maid for a pretty tight miser. He then tries to get her to steal from him but she doesn't as it would against her principles of virtue and end up being setup for a theft and sent to prison.
It goes downhill and very repetitive from here, she escapes with a notorious criminal whose band try to rape her but are distracted when they rob a rich mark. Justine helps free him and escapes with him but is rewarded by...yep you guessed it by being actually raped and sodomised. The only saving grace being that she was knocked unconscious first and had no memory of the act itself.
As she recovers she witnesses a graphic gay sex scene, gets roped into being a maid and then asked to help with a murder which of course she refuses. The murder happens anyway and she is set up, she escapes and now it starts to get very graphic..
Justine witnesses sadistic peadophilia, is brutally raped, sodomised, imprisoned, coprophilia whipped etc etc etc Sade has a clear fixation with anal penetration so expect a lot of that.
Before I write the next bit you need to understand the libertine movement and thought from France. It was an idea that religion, laws and rules were arbitrary and that the only law that mattered was that of nature. The only people who should survive would be the powerful and strongest and sexual behaviour should be taken from the animal kingdom. Most prevalent being that women are there to serve every deviant sexual desire.
Through every encounter there are long preachy sections from the libertines about how virtue is the wrong path to take and they were right as they were powerful and rich. Then there is a defence by Justine of virtue which seems almost pointless as they'll do what they like to her anyway so you are left with the impression virtue is the wrong path right up until the end.
Justine is a book about Sade's preachy philosophical ravings against the established church and arbitrary laws interleaved with a lot of non-consensual sex. No wonder they threw him into a lunatic asylum, this book should've stayed there or been summarised in two pages to save everyone a lot of time. (less)
Not my usual type of read, it was fine as a quick airplane read. Gives you a good fictionalised view of hooliganism from the perpetrator and police vi...moreNot my usual type of read, it was fine as a quick airplane read. Gives you a good fictionalised view of hooliganism from the perpetrator and police view.
I didn't know what to make of this, I thought it wouldn't be as good as it turned out but the characters and story are thrown at you at high speed whi...moreI didn't know what to make of this, I thought it wouldn't be as good as it turned out but the characters and story are thrown at you at high speed which makes it kind of hard to keep track of some of the developments.
The story is a typical fantasy romp with a hero (who is a bit of an anti-hero), trolls and an arch evil nemesis. The world builds up bit by bit but the story seems to move a lot faster than the picture you build up of the world, I think some back story a la Tolkien would really have helped it along.
Later on the characters begin to be developed a little bit deeper and I started to get a little bit more into it. There's also an unexpected twist at the end and I'm still unsure on whether I liked this book or REALLY liked it.
In the end I think if you're into fantasy then you need to try this yourself as you can see people either loved it or gave it 3 stars like myself. (less)
This book was lying around in my holiday villa, my wife picked it up first and read it in about a day and a half. I think that's the fastest I've ever...moreThis book was lying around in my holiday villa, my wife picked it up first and read it in about a day and a half. I think that's the fastest I've ever seen her read a book!
She told me to read this and like good husband's everywhere I obeyed :-)
A day later, I'm glad that I did! The book is the true story of Sophie Hayes and how she got forced into the sex trade. She's npt what you would think of the typical type of woman who would be trafficked, she's a white, well educated middle class girl from the UK. Even with that background she was groomed and lured into a trap.
She starts off with some of her childhood memories of her family and especially hers and her siblings lack of a relationship with their dad. He just does not seem to care about anyone but himself from the sounds of it, a right b*stard.
She then goes on to describe her life from her teens to her early twenties, this is where she meets Kas, someone who she never went out with but met in a bar a few times. Somehow Kas gets hold of her number and starts texting and calling her when he gets back home to Albania, they eventually become good friends.
Some time later Sophie has some problems with her then boyfriend as he has been deported (probably illegally from the sound of it). She makes a decision to fly off to marry him but as she was about to she has a medical problem and needs an operation urgently so has to put off going to her boyfriend.
As she recuperates, Kas suggests a couple of weeks out in Italy will do her the world of good, so off she heads.
This is where her 6 months of hell begin, Kas is clearly mentally deranged and has been dealing drugs. Rather than a nice guy, he is violent warped psycho.
She eventually gets help from her mum and step-dad from a hospital bed in Italy. Kas follows her to the UK and looks like he was planning to kidnap her and the police eventually get him for a shooting charge.
What she does next is remarkable, she talks about her story and starts to represent victims of human trafficking. One of outcomes of that is this book, where some of the money goes to her foundation to support various organisations.
When you get to the end of this story, Kas is still out there so avoid any Albanians in bars!
(just noticed the official blurb on goodreads calls Kas, Bledi..not sure if it's an alias for legal reasons but I guess they are the same person) (less)
This is not what you can call an easy read, it's a gritty realistic portrayal of 1970's China in all its dictatorial glory (or is that gory?).
The sett...moreThis is not what you can call an easy read, it's a gritty realistic portrayal of 1970's China in all its dictatorial glory (or is that gory?).
The setting is in a back water called Muddy River and the impending execution of a dissident. The story sets about showing the quite different reactions of her parents, the townspeople and the local radio presenter amongst other colourful characters.
+1 star It's about China
-1 star Just could not stand the character Bashi! (less)
Christina's book is a pretty good insight into China how it was when it was mostly closed to the outside world and you had to get special permits for...moreChristina's book is a pretty good insight into China how it was when it was mostly closed to the outside world and you had to get special permits for everything.
Her experiences are pretty amazing and to add to that she took an inflatable canoe with her.
This book came before the likes of Bill Bryson sold bucket loads of travel books and took this genre to another level. This is one of the originals and I enjoyed reading it. (less)
4.5 stars if that was an option, great title and amusing story.
The main character, Allan Karlssons humour was totally dry and deadpan so appealed to m...more4.5 stars if that was an option, great title and amusing story.
The main character, Allan Karlssons humour was totally dry and deadpan so appealed to me right off the bat. I loved the way the whole thing unfolded and the the way each character was introduced. They were each given a short biography and synopsis which helped understand their motives.
Allan's life story is also fantastical in that it mostly revolves around blowing things up and drinking vodka of some sort. Based on those two things he appears to have done some remarkable things such as inventing the atomic bomb and meeting a whole bevy of world leaders. (less)
Really enjoyed this, fiction books set in this historical period are rare and this one is well executed. Zoe points out that the events depicted are r...moreReally enjoyed this, fiction books set in this historical period are rare and this one is well executed. Zoe points out that the events depicted are researched for accuracy so if you like historical novels then you will like this.
The plot revolves around the fall of a once mighty empire by the upstart Aztecs and their allies. The views of both sides are expressed through the characters and Zoe also throws in a naive love interest, you will occasionally feel like slapping some sense into her but she does redeem herself.
My only gripes are that it was too short if you compare it to a Hilary Mantell novel (far less boring tho) and for us non-Americans a pronunciation guide for those tongue twisting names would be handy. (less)