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Chris Ryan Extreme: Hard Target: Faster, Grittier, Darker, Deadlier
Chris Ryan
Progress: 112/448 pages
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Steven Pinker
Progress: 11/576 pages
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
Neil Gaiman
Progress: 202/502 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 112 out of 448 pages.

Chris Ryan Extreme: Hard Target: Faster, Grittier, Darker, Deadlier - Chris Ryan

Very bloody and brutal. Bald called Gardner out of the blood and this friend is obligated to get to them. He own him his life. 

 

So the fighting. A lot of actions and too bloody to describe. 

 

Just getting to know Joe Gardner, John Bald and Dave Hands.  They are friends and would fight their way out of most situations. 

Got troll because I treated all religions equally

As a Pastafarian, I got trolled today because I treated all religions equally. I joked about not taken advantage for being a Pastafarian and get day off from school because of my religion. With that, I got insulted and troll follows. I already blocked the person. 

There are many religions in the human history. And new religion being invented. I do treat all religions equally. So Christianity is not more valid than Flying Spaghetti Monster or Satanism. They are all on equal platform. 

 

Image result for Flying spaghetti monster day

 

Image result for Flying spaghetti monster day

 

With that said, no human has been ever harmed by Pastafarians. So, to be fair, FSM is the best.  

 

The thing I don't get, is why some persons would think the world has to accommodate them because they have religion? Where is this sense of entitlement came from? Why they think they could demand special treatment? If an atheist wouldn't get a day off on Sunday, because they have books to read, and family to attend to, a Christian shouldn't get a day off because they believe in some deity that couldn't be proven to exist. 

 

I wouldn't demand to have a day off because of FSM, but I could. Afterall, it is my religion.  

 

Image result for Flying spaghetti monster day

 

Image result for Flying spaghetti monster day

 

 

 

Image result for Flying spaghetti monster day

 

Troll are sometimes Snowflake.

 

Snowflake n. 
A term for someone that thinks they are unique and special, but really are not. It gained popularity after the movie "Fight Club" from the quote “You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else."

Edited. 

 

I removed myself from the conversation. The troll followed this post even after I blocked this person and leave insulting comments. I deleted them. That's what I meant being trolled. Not the conversation itself. 

For those who have religions. Do not follow me if you could not stand persons who treat religions equally. I think Thor is as valid as a deity as Jesus or Satan and equally good. 

 

On Sunday night LGBT+ bookshop GaysTheWord was vandalised

One of the most famous bookstore get vandalized. 

 

Buy books there or send regards. I want to visit this shop after seeing the movie "Pride". 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 11 out of 576 pages.

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress - Steven Pinker

What is really the Enlightenment? It is a humanist movement when  reasonable persons get rid of religious dogma and choose instead. 

 

Still, because the science discovery and knowledge has no match for the present time, the enlightened thinkers still believe a whole lot of bullshit. 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

Yassen - the making of an assassin

Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin - Anthony Horowitz

Yassen was a child of circumstances. His parents loved him but was killed. The incident that killed his parents and all his friends, and almost killed him, was an act covered up by the Russian government. 

 

Now he need to make it on his own. And the persons he met are not really good. 

 

He was enslaved by a bad person for 4 years. Scorpia has attempted to kill this bad man, and freed Yassen in the process.

 

Now he worked for Scorpia. 

 

He met Hunter, who saved his life. 

 

Now we know Hunter is actually John Rider, Alex's father. 

 

The story is interesting, but the details on who he met seems to be not that relevant to the story. 

 

The ending is kind of dark and it actually gave some depth to how this boy became an assassin. 

 

Quite good storytelling. 

Reading progress update: I've read 171 out of 400 pages.

Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin - Anthony Horowitz

Yassen was Yassah first. His parents loved him. And they sacrificed their lives so that he could continue to be alive.

 

Then he escaped to Moscow from a failed Russian experiment on chemical weapon. Only to be caught a thief and enslaved by a horrible man.

 

A person is sometimes, the product of his experience. How one react to the shit part in life, would determine what kind of person he became. 

 

Is there enough goodness in a person to resist the rotting nature of interaction with selfish, nasty humans? 

Less - Andrew Sean Greer

Just called my favorite local bookstore. As the other one is not even open yet. 

 

Nope. They didn't have this book. Or any book by Andrew Sean Greer. Ordering one would take 6-8 weeks. 

 

Try my luck later. In the meantime. Hear him read part of this book. 

Andrew Sean Greer got Pulitzer prize with "Less"

Less - Andrew Sean Greer

"Less" by Andrew Sean Greer got a Pulitzer prize. A bit unusual. 

 

It is also a novel with gay element. Another plus. 

 

Looking forward to this one. 

Reading progress update: I've read 33 out of 400 pages.

Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin - Anthony Horowitz

Yassen is a bad guy in the Alex Rider universe. But why is he a bad guy? This book focus on how Yassen became a bad guy. He was poor and he is about to lose his parents. Poor guy 

SPOILER ALERT!

Alex is threatened and thrown into a mission in Cairo

Scorpia Rising  - Anthony Horowitz

Razim is a bad guy, a psychopath that recently joined Scropia. 

 

He wanted a few things, to build up the reputation of Scorpia for being the big bad again. He wanted to use Alex Rider to humiliate the British government. And he knew the past failure is the mistake of people undermining Alex Rider because he is a teenager. 

 

Not again. He wanted to setup Alex Rider for his plan and killed him in the process.

 

The MI6  fall for it. And so Alex Rider was against sent on a mission. This time, with hie only trusted adult Jack.

 

Julius  is a clone who was supposed to replace replace a rich kid. It turned out the rich kid is not a rich kid at all. It was Alex Rider cover identity. And the way he had gone through surgery to make him look like Alex pissed him off. He was prisoner seven. He escaped from jail with the help of Scorpia. 

 

The trap is set. And Alex is in real trouble. 

 

This book is much darker than the previous one. Alex usually got into danger because the adults in MI6 or CIA were bad decision makers who don't care about the life and safety of a orphaned teenager. 

 

After a few brush with death, Alex was still a kid and the darkness he experienced hasn't really cast shadow in his personality. 

 

Not this time. 

 

 

It would be surprised that he is not suffering from PTSD and grief. Alex was just one very good and skill and unfortunate kid. His mental state would be like a kid who had survived the war zone. 

 

Good one. With interesting plots. 

 

Including the bad guy Razim telling Alex his evil plan right before he executes them.

 

Enjoy reading this one. 

Japanese calligraphy performance by teens in 2016 in an open competition. 

 

Really good. The team work, and the design. All done really well. These are teenage girls. And calligraphy as an art form is being kept by the young getting interested in it. 

Reading progress update: I've read 182 out of 431 pages.

Scorpia Rising  - Anthony Horowitz

The setting up is much better in this one. 

 

Scorpia has a new management. The new bad Razim is psychopath. And he planned to get back the bad ass reputation of Scorpia after two big failures. He also attributed the failures to Alex Rider. 

He planned to set up to reveal that MI6 is using a teenager as a bargaining chip to blackmail the British government to give back some Greek statues to Greek as part of a paid request from a new client. 

 

Alex Rider is now back to school. He got taller and now 15 year old. He had visited Sabina and they are still together. He had planned with Tom Harris, his best friend. 

 

All that changed when a sniper take a shot at him at school and Tom got hurt in the process. 

 

Now Mrs Jones and Blunt had him in mind for a new mission in Cario. That is a secret code and there might be a threat to an international school in Cario. 

 

Now that Alex is in danger in school. They suggested to enroll him to a school in Cario instead to keep an eye on things and keep him safe. 

 

Now Jack is going with him this time.  

Alex is being thrown into new mission in Asia

Snakehead - Anthony Horowitz

Alex being thrown into another mission after he fall back to Earth from last mission from space. 

 

Poor kid. The Australian intelligent agents are really mean adults who have no concept of how to take care of a kid. 

 

Alex is only 14 and he is a kid. A very capable kid but a kid nevertheless.

 

Poor kid is being tested by the agent to see how he handle dangerous situation. 

 

What?  

 

Related image

 

That's how I feel about this. 

 

Although it turned out he is in no real danger, by the word of one of the agent. How to deal with psychological damage? 

 

The underlying plot is that he has to be put into situation that he has to have his wits to get out of very dangerous situation. 

 

And to do that, most of the adults are untrustworthy and mean.

 

That's not really a good character development for Alex. How could be grow up to be mentally healthy if all the adults around him didn't care if he live or die, as long as he is useful. 

 

That's kind of cold. I got into this series by chance and want to know how it ends. It is fun read and exciting in parts. 

 

Now, he has to team up with Ash, an agent, to find the Snakeheads, human trafficking criminals. 

 

These people are bad. And he got mixed up in it. 

 

The subplot is that his cover already blown. But who tell the bad guys who he is?

 

The ending is the the reveal.

 

MI6 got involved and gave him some necessary tools. These tools also help to tell him who actually betrayed his trust and put him in danger. 

 

A little bit dark and sad because of how is being treated by the bad guys and the Australian intelligent agency. Still, it is fun read as it created as world of spy and bad guys and a teenager being effective to take down the bad guys. 

 

4 stars. 

Reading progress update: I've read 54 out of 397 pages.

Snakehead - Anthony Horowitz

Holy crap! 

 

Why are the adults so nasty to Alex? 

 

He is a boy. A minor. A teen. 

 

After he defused a bomb in Ark Angel, he now fall back to Earth and taken up by the American in Australia.


And they tried to use him and test him instead of taking care of him.

 

Why be so mean to a boy? I know it is a plot device to get Alex to take up dangerous mission. But this time, it is going a bit too far. 

 

In the military, or any kind of team work, trust is a very important element. One could not have agents to stay loyal to the cause if they do not trust their team to watch their back.

 

Gee... 

Hope it get better. Alex is a fun character to read. And it tell story of young spy. Not a new theme but an interesting one. Teenagers like imaginary danger at a safe distant. That's why shooting games are such fun. 

 

Now he is being coerced into a mission in Asia. 

SPOILER ALERT!

Alex foiled a kidnapping

Ark Angel  - Anthony Horowitz

Alex was shot and hospitalized. 

 

He be-friended a kid in the next room, sort of.

 

When the kidnappers come to kidnap this kid, he taken his place and got kidnapped.

 

He escaped. Almost got killed. 

 

The kid's father is very rich and brought Alex along for a vacation. 

 

The kid has a lot of toys but no friend as he was not attending school and doesn't have a social life. 

 

Alex become his friend, sort of.

 

When they travel, the CIA was onto them. 

 

The guy was a bad guy. And there is a plane to found a space hotel called Ark Angel. But then there is something fishy going on.

 

There is also a new eco-terrorist group Force Three. 

 

Alex was just finding out the rich guy is a bit ruthless and like to win. And the son Paul was a disappointment. 

 

The rest is a bit strange. The book I got is a bit wrong as the pages were cut off at the wrong place. But I gathered that the Ark Angel was a failed project and it would not make money. 

 

CIA wants this guy. And send a kid to gather information. 

 

Too bad the rich guy had some insider who know who Alex really is. 

 

Now he is in danger and then put into more danger to try to defuse a bomb in space.

 

The outrageous plot is fun. As it is impossible to do all that in real life, as it would not make much sense. But in a pre-teen to teen world, it is fun ride. 

 

Alex is only 14. And he would not use weapon or anything. But he would fit into small spaces and could get into group that is more guarded against strangers. 

 

Fun read. 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 121 out of 344 pages.

Ark Angel  - Anthony Horowitz

Alex was shot in the last book Scropia. 

 

Luckily, he was stepping off the pavement and the bullet missed his heart.

 

He went to the hospital. It was a through and through. So he is going to live. 

 

An incident happened at the hospital. An attempt of kidnapping of a boy in the next room. 

 

To save the boy, he switch room no with the boy and the kidnappers chased him instead.

 

He run and almost got killed. 

 

The father of the boy is grateful, and invited to go on a trip with them. Fun.