I was so passionate about books, I got my own little bookshop on a tiny Caribbean island. But before that I did a lot of things - sailed the Atlantic, lived up the Amazon, worked on a banana plantation, acted in films, produced fashion shows, designed electronics, had a wild bar, and best of all, I am a mother. The bookshop business is terrible. I have to find a new business, Got any ideas?
"The paradox of anti-Semitism is that it is invariably up to the Jews to explain away the charges. The anti-Semite simply has to make them." - Jack Bruce.
I have put this book on my Fiction shelf because that's what it is, but you, dear reader, if you are one who peers around corners, sees prophecy in myth and has a little mirror mounted on your monitor in the office, you might disagree.
The book is an anti-semitic, conspiracy theory that will appeal to neo-Nazis, KKK, Nation of Islam and those who think that the Professors Texe Marrs, K. MacDonald et al are correct in their pseudo-factual diatribes that Jews are indeed responsible for just about all the ills in the world and have plans to take it over! If you firmly believe that the famously fake Protocols of the Elders is up there with the Bible and that the history of the Holocaust has been greatly exaggerated if not entirely made up; if you 5 star Mein Kampf without even reading it; if like David Icke you believe that Jews might really be alien giant lizards with evil global domination plans, then order it quickly, this book is for you.
If you really aren't that sort of person and prefer to view life through a clear glass lens, then instead you might really enjoy, not to mention find informative, Jon Ronson's 'Them', an investigative, but humorous debunking of conspiracy theorists, religious fundamentalists of many stripes and colours and world-domination power groups.
I wish there was a bomb rating, something lower than a half-star anyway.
I read this book in Dec. 1993, that was a while ago! I am not necessarily current with my reviews ;-)
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here - just click on the source url below.
The end of the Empire came when those who had previously given up their arms and all their wealth to he-who-wears-a-pit-helmet and burns-in-the-sun realised that Jack was not only as good as his master, but his master was a total dickhead anyway and it was time he went home to colder climes and the fat queen who wore a golden crown studded with jewels stolen from their lands.
This book is about one of the sunburned crew realising that yeah, he is a dickhead and reflecting on the lengths he went to just to stop other people realising that. But they knew, they just didn't know they could do anything about it, deprived of arms and government as they were. All they could do was force him to behave in ways that would benefit themselves. In this case, he had to kill a mad elephant that he didn't want to or even seen the need to, but that was his role and elephant was their favourite food. The satisfaction of forcing the white man and his gun to perform his self-defined role was one thing, but defining their own roles another. Eventually though, revolution and independence became possible and then inevitable.
Well, actually not. The British government has been trying to get its remaining outposts of empire to become independent since the mid-80s. The whiter the populace (ie Falklands) the less hard they try and vice versa. (The Labour government actually gave all the rights of passport and settlement that these pale islands enjoyed to the darker ones, which was something).
The problem is that the non-independent islands are now in the position of power. They are all self-governing and the UK is responsible for defence, helps out with major island maintenance via its roving ships, sends old books to the libraries and provides a good place of tertiary education for those that wish it. The only irksome thing for the locals is having to have a meet-and-greet governor who generally lords it over everyone having gathered a coterie of cocktail-party going expats and rich, sycophantic locals around him.
But the main benefit is that our often thoroughly-corrupt politicians cannot change the political system and elect themselves
dictator president-for-life. So no one except the thoroughly-corrupt politicos actually wants independence. Empire died. Britain's cold and grey and poor, and we are sunny and warm and not too badly off. We can come to the mother country and work, you can't come here without a work permit. Karma.
Great story. Very short. As well-written as everything else by Orwell.
Free to read online http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/everythingsanargument4e/content/cat_020/Orwell_Shooting.pdf. Original review 29 June 2011
Rest in peace, old man, you belong to the world and history now, for ever and ever. I am glad I lived in your era. Glad to have known a person with a strength of character and purpose that changed the world and did it with love and kindness and humour and not violence, guns and racism.
This is 1989 or 1990, before Nelson Mandela was released. Someone delivered a big envelope to my flat in London. It was the right nunber, but the wrong road and I don't know why but I opened it instead of redelivering it.
Inside were 40+ Christmas cards in addressed, unsealed envelopes and a letter to the person the package was intended for. The letter asked the person who was going back to South Africa for Christmas, to please stamp and post the cards.
I wrote 'free Nelson Mandela' and 'apartheid is nazism' and other such slogans on every card above the person's 'merry Christmas' love...., then sealed each envelope and delivered the package to the right address.
I still have a laugh when I think of the people's faces when they opened the cards at Christmas :-)
There was I warm under my 'safety blanket' of not being tracked by all sorts of sites that want to find out everything they can about me so they can sell my data and serve me ads to get money out of me two ways. My main 'safety blanket' was Adblock. But now Adblock and Adblock plus have opted out of blocking the web's main tracking cookie, Google's Doubleclick, but they aren't going to tell you.
I know that privacy is an illusion to some extent on the net. But although we know thieves can break into our houses no matter what, we still lock our doors because a locked door provides quite a lot of protection and privacy. So it is with the internet. I choose to not throw open the doors to everyone.
"Although AdBlock and AdBlock Plus have been the two most notable ad blocking extensions causing this problem, it is important to know that their latest releases no longer block doubleclick.net and the dc.js script will successfully load by default.
However, other ad blockers are out there that will cause the same effect, and you never know when a new software program, browser extension or browser upgrade will start blocking tracking pixels/cookies. This type of ad blocking and privacy protection is only expected to increase over time." Blastam Analytics & Marketing
This site says that blocking of tracking cookies on websites is between 10% and 70% and that us doing this to protect our privacy is a problem and suggests a programming solution to get around this and asks other web sites to join with them in combating people's desire to not share their every move and action on the net and to maintain their personal data for those they choose to share it with. So now I've added Disconnect to block tracking cookies.
What a disgusting kind of war though. I shouldn't have to fight for privacy but Google and all the other ad/tracking companies don't see I have a right to privacy at all. Whatever lock I use they say they will find a way around and like thieves in the night they will take what they can get and sell it and then those that buy it will serve me ads that are targeted "personalised just for me". Meaning targetted at a likely mark!
The popularity of these ad and cookie tracking blockers is proof that an awful lot of people feel like I do. So any glib comments of "if you don't want people to know about what you do on the net, well you shouldn't post anything then (or you should stay off the net)' are of the variety of "if you don't want your house broken into you should go and live in a cave under the sea". Ridiculous in this day and age.
I'm thinking of starting a book nursery or kindergarten...
So here we have Google using 1,000+ of my reviews as advertising copy to sell books and it won't even let me look at the ones on Google Play. You have to laugh, don't you?
I spoke to a lawyer, a QC, on the issue of Goodreads sharing my reviews when I had not given permission and they had said they wouldn't. He said that it would not be considered fair use in the UK to use that number of reviews, snippets with links or not, commercially, in order for them to sell product. He felt that it was likely someone somewhere (Goodreads?) was gaining financially from the transaction meaning I am writing reviews and Goodreads (?) and Google are making money by using them. Sleazy really.
The lawyer said that he thought the law would be similiar in the US, but that there was no chance of taking the matter to court as companies like Google and Amazon would see off any challenge by bankrupting with legal fees anyone bold enough to question their methods of doing business.
So ok, nothing I can do about Goodreads. I hope they change the wording to reflect that when you write reviews they will be used by Google and you can't opt out of it. I would still like to know BookLikes position on other companies using our reviews to optimise their revenue stream on book commissions.
It is ironic isn't it though that I can't even view my own reviews, that they are being used to help sell books in other countries, but not to me. Someone said it was 'salt in the wound' but it isn't really, I don't take it that seriously.
Is this a sign of things to come :-D
The blurb says, "Bonkers: My Life in Laughs by Jennifer Saunders - the hilarious, touching life story of the iconic comedian and national treasure Jennifer Saunders' comic creations have brought joy to millions. From Comic Strip to Comic Relief, from Bolly-swilling Edina in Ab Fab to her takes on Madonna or Mamma Mia"
I supposed if you work for the publishing company you aren't going to write a blurb that says anything less. But, for me at least, the book was neither hilarious nor touching. It was kind of ordinary, a bit boring, just an ok read. I don't think Jennifer, who I agree is an iconic comedian and national treasure, did herself justice at all.
Some autobiographies are full of self-praise and move from the highs of achievement to the lows of funny stories where you are supposed to feel sympathy with the author through the middle ground of solid working-to-get-where-they-did. Jennifer is all middle-ground.
I feel that Ruby Wax could have written a hilarious biography of Jennifer, and Dawn French a touching (tongue-in-cheek) one. Together, with addtional anecdotes by Joanna Lumley and much champagne which they all seem to like, they could have come with a marvellous sitcom in book form of the wonderfully funny, hard-working, adorable Jen.
3.5 stars for the book, 5 stars for Jennifer Saunders.
This is the thread I started.
I was looking for a book online, found it on Google together with my review. Since it has the name Petra X which I haven't used that since the new GR censorship and deletion ToS started, that's a couple of months at least. I do not use Google books for anything at all.
I do not have the option to share reviews checked. In fact it is greyed out so I don't even have that option. What is the point of having a checkbox for sharing if GR is going to ignore it and allow 'partners' to use the reviews anyway?
I wonder how long this has been going on. I wonder how many commercial websites our reviews are being used to sell books on without our knowledge or giving permission?
I've just done a Google book search, There are 10 pages, over a 1,000 reviews you are sharing.
This is such a breach of trust. Please revoke your permission to share my reviews with any and all sites that are using them.
This is what Goodreads has to say on sharing,
"Goodreads allows some partner sites access to book reviews via an API. This access is granted in the spirit of openness with the goal of spreading the love of reading. Current partners include Sony, Google Books, WorldCat, and more. Uncheck this box if you don’t want the text of your reviews to appear on these sites."
This is what it ought to say,
"Goodreads allows some partner sites access to book reviews via an API. This access is granted in the spirit of openness with the goal of spreading the love of reading. Current partners include Sony, Google Books, WorldCat, and more. There is no way of opting out of this so if you don't want us to share your reviews, don't post them on Goodreads."
I wonder when reviews will start turning up on Amazon in the same way as Google? If they only post a few lines with a link according to what another member says about about fair use, they can just use all the reviews ever posted on Goodreads without telling the members anything. Just like the censorship and deletion change to the way the ToS was previously applied. Don't tell anyone anything, just go ahead and do it.
I would like to know what BookLikes policy is on sharing reviews with other websites? Particularly Google as if I delete all my reviews on GR, I don't want to find the same situation here.
What he did for fame. What he did to prove himself. How some people take things to extremes and then find the thing itself has taken them over. How pointless it is to die for some petty thing. How perhaps the clarity of imminent mortality makes the protagonist confess the true reason for his self-starvation. If he did, if it was.
Or if it was really about that at all, or was it really about the existential pleasure of living for the day and enjoying what there is? Or perhaps it was about if a tree falls in the forest but no one is there to see it... A novella, or a long short story of infinite depth and endless interpretations, but then that's the genius of Kafka all over.
Quite an interesting story of how a maid not understanding the culture of her new country, pokes her nose into things that don't concern her and without really meaning to screws up a marriage. Or did she - was she herself the victim?
The end was rat-tat-tat a cop-out, couple of pages and that's it leaving you wondering about the details, if they were all red herrings or the loose ends flapping about were just plain bad writing.
It seems to me that many people can plot a story and develop characters but when it comes to the ending, they don't know what to do. So they employ some hackneyed psychological excuse or 'ha, it was the delivery man that did it (remember the delivery man, chapter ....?)' and the unsatisfactory feeling lingers, even though the rest of the book was quite enjoyable.
I've got another sock puppet. No, I'm not an author (well I am but only incognito) and I'm not a troll, I'm just a goodreader and they are allowed as many sock puppets as they want.
This new avatar is a suspiciously stinky, maybe even rotting fish. Once the rot has set in, that is often the beginning of the end - the dustbin. It is in honour of Gr introducing the new notifications thing with lots of white space and avatars to remind of you friends (and no room for many notifications). There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this new system. It's the reasoning behind it I find suspiciously fishy and maybe even a bit stinky. I believe It is to make it easy for fat fingers to navigate the Kindle. After all, Amazon hope than non-Kindle users in the book world are a dying breed and don't need to have attention paid to them or what they want.
Judging by my sales today in the bookshop, they may be right.
I have to say that much as I love blogging and reading blogs here, this site is not fulfilling my needs. Much as I love cat pics (as any owned-by-a-feline person should), chatting on pms and reading general blogs, there is no book data worth talking about and in the few months I've been here, no visible attempts to improve it either. It might all be happening behind the scenes, I don't know. Maybe Dawid should start a 'To Do' 'In the Works' thread on the official group.
My feed is filled with Romance, YA and similar reviews. Some of them I really enjoy reading but I don't read these genres and am more interested in history, science, anthropology and other generally non-fiction genres. Those people who came to BookLikes who read and review in those genres are back to posting on GR and have mostly deserted BookLikes and I find myself drifting back too.
Every effort has gone to making a community here and that is welcome. But there are many book blogs and communities around SPA romance, YA, paranormal fiction on the internet, few though where history, science, 'heavier' literature and general non-fiction have a large number of readers and reviewers outside of Goodreads. LibraryThing has a strong community of non-fiction readers and wonderful book data but it does not have a review&comment culture. It seems to be more a book cataloging site than one that encourages friendship. The opposite of BookLikes you might say.
BookLikes could combine all the best elements of these sites, but it seems to me that it is the social that is being encouraged and the book data is just what the booksellers provide.
I don't like some elements of the Explore feature either. All of this applies to the front page only. But there is nothing that makes me want to click further to see more of the same. I don't like the Popular Blogs feature. Surely these are 'professional' (they must be paid for) blogs that seem to me to be only 'popular' because people are involuntarily signed up for them when they join. They hardly follow anyone back and so are interested in collecting readers, but not in reading others.
The Top Reviewers section has today one non-fiction book, the others are romance or variants,The Hot Reviews section is four books, three by one person, all books are fantasy. Yes I know on the second page I am featured several times but that doesn't make it any better. I'm not after glory, I'm after variety of books and reviews and I'm not getting it. The New and Trending section is four books on romance.
So maybe BookLikes needs to either focus on YA, Romance, Paranormal etc and become the best site around for those genres. I would like it though to be a more general booksite and add in some more 'serious' elements, variety, non-fiction and for all of us in all categories, Better Book Pages with all reviews of a title on one page.
btw If you think this sounds snobby it isn't meant to be. I have a bookshop, one book is as good as the next. I'm as pleased to sell a Harlequin as I am a Sartre. At the end of the day, I count the green-&-folding in the till and it's all one and pays the rent. I don't think paranormal is a lesser genre for reading than history, or m/m romance is somehow inferior to a travelogue, it's just taste that's all, nothing else.
How do you feel about BookLikes so far?