New York (CNN)Hundreds of pages of court documents unsealed Friday in New York federal court allege new details of sexual abuse claims against multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein and several associates.
New York (CNN)Hundreds of pages of court documents unsealed Friday in New York federal court allege new details of sexual abuse claims against multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein and several associates.
Thank you Karen. I appreciate you having me here.
Which books/authors inspired your work?
The books in the Vale Investigation series draw a lot from various mythologies. Hostile Takeover features monsters from the Old Norse and Ancient Egypt. Book two draws from the Old Arabian Mythology, while book three features creatures from the Japanese lore.
So I had to get books on each mythology beforehand. It felt like going back to school and having homework to do. But it was a lot of fun too; I love learning about new cultures.
What’s one thing that you learned while writing your book?
One of the first big surprises was discovering just how many different mythologies there are. We’ve all heard about Greek or Egyptian, but there are hundreds of them… and they all have a plethora of monsters and creatures to draw inspiration from. Africa alone has several dozens.
To help spread that knowledge, I decided to try and focus on a new mythology for each book.
After this book, are you writing anything new? Where are you in the process?
Hostile Takeover is the first book in the Vale Investigation series. The second book Evil Embers was published earlier this year. I’m currently editing the third and working on the outline of the fourth.
Describe your writing routine. Do you outline? Edit as you go?
I outline everything ahead in details; it’s an important part of my writing process. For me, it simplifies the writing process. I start editing after the first draft is complete.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have a day job that keeps me busy a lot. In my spare time, I enjoy watching TV or listening to music while going on a walk.
How do you combat/cure writer’s block?
Outlining really helps fight that. If you carefully plan out your novel before you start writing, then you don’t really get stuck anymore.
What advice would you give an aspiring writer who doesn’t know where to start?
Step one is defining your characters. Figure out who they are, and where you want to take them. For me, a story is a character’s emotional journey. If your character is identical on page 1 and on page 300 than you’ve failed somewhere. Once you have your characters figures out, you can start plotting. Create a detailed outline (which includes the ending) so you know where you’re going and you can start to check the consistency of pacing and look for plot-holes. And then you can start writing.
Do you have a social media presence? Where can people find you online?
There’s the official website: www.cristelle-comby.com and I’m also on Twitter (@Cristelle). All of my books are available on Amazon; additional reviews can be found on Goodreads.
Talk about your main character. What are they like and what inspired their personality?
The hero of the story is PI Bellamy Vale. He struck a bargain with Death herself a few years ago and agreed to become her envoy on Earth in exchange of a favor. He’s a tortured man, seeking redemption for past mistakes. He tries to do the right thing and help people, but Death doesn’t really have the same moral values.
How does your main character change throughout the story?
Being Lady McDeath’s foot soldier does have its perks: near immortality and a few boons which Vale has to learn how to use. At the start of the story, he doesn’t know yet what he’s capable of. He’s also making friends and allies along the way.
What made you choose the time/place in which your book was set?
It’s set in the present times, but in a fictitious American town. The first series of books I worked on, The Neve & Egan Cases, was set in London and I spend an incredible amount of times looking up street names and Underground stations, to make sure that I was accurate. So I decided to make things easier on myself this time… everything’s made up.
What type of person do you think would most enjoy your book?
Well these novels are a good mesh of classic detective noir and urban fantasy. So any fans of Jim Butcher, for example should enjoy the hell out of it.
How do you organize your book collection, if at all?
It’s not organized at all. I have a small shelf and a lot of books, so trying to make everything fit is a bit like a game of Tetris.
If you could invite your favorite fictional hero/heroine over to your house for dinner, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’d like to invite Dr Who… so long as we can squeeze in a few trips between the main course and the dessert.
What’s the best book, other than yours, that no one has ever heard of?
Something under the radar… hum, I guess one would be Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman. It’s a short novel that is partly a biography of Einstein’s life and partly a poetic study of the structure of time—I really love it. Another one would be The Portrait by Iain Pears—a 200+ pages monologue. From a writer’s point-of-view, what he did is quite the tour-de-force. For casual readers, it may be a little hard to get into it, but once you’ve adjusted to the unusual style you’ll find a really gripping story (try the audiobook, if it’s too hard to get into it).
A cat that gained 5,000 Facebook followers after making a supermarket his second home has been “signing” copies of a book about his adventures.
Ginger tom Garfield took a liking to Sainsbury’s in Ely, Cambridgeshire, after the store was built on his old stomping ground.
The co-author Cate Caruth said copies of the book – What’s THAT doing There? – sold out in half an hour.
Garfield “signed” his book in Ely Library with a paw-print stamp.
It was modelled on his real paw.
Garfield, now 12, first started visiting the store after it was built in 2012 on a meadow opposite the flat where he lives with owner David Willers.
His favourite spot was a sofa in the Virgin travel shop in Sainsbury’s lobby, and he often tries to get into people’s cars outside the store.
Fans of the cat posted photos of him at the supermarket and at one point his owner had to ask people to stop feeding him as he was becoming fat.
A Facebook page set up with photos of the cat in the supermarket has a following of more than 5,500 fans from places as far away as the United States, Canada, Australia and Russia.
A book of his adventures and misadventures has now been written by Mr Willers with Suffolk author Cate Caruth.
The title – What’s THAT Doing There – refers to Garfield’s reaction when a fence was erected across his favourite meadow ahead of the supermarket being built.
The book tells how Garfield was once banned from the store for scratching a customer who became a little too familiar – and many of his other adventures.
In the book he is called Garfield Abercrombie Reginald Fergusson, but as that was “far too much like hard work… everyone just called him Garfy”.
“It is a little familiar of people,” Garfy would always think, “but I suppose I can live with it,” he says in the first chapter.
Speaking after the book signing on Saturday, author Ms Caruth said it was a “big hit.”
“Garfield took it all in his stride, posing for photos with his fans and inspecting the library services with great care.
“It was non-stop for two hours and we sold out of books in half an hour” she said.
Read more: https://imgur.com/gallery/EPfQkNb
A couple of years ago, we shared a publication with you about a talented Chinese artist Tango Gao (also known as Shanghai Tango) who creates thought-provoking yet still light and fun illustrations without using words.
If you fancy visual and intellectual humor, you don’t need to look anywhere further because you are up for a treat! Tango, whose real name is Gao Youjun, did not stop creating witty illustrations since the last time we wrote about them here on Bored Panda. No, Tango is back with a sequel to his art which is both simple and minimalistic, yet profound in the message it sends.
Tango began creating these illustrations back in 2010 when prompted by a friend, he decided to develop a habit of drawing daily (that’s an excellent habit to pick up). Now, he delights his 108,000 followers on Instagram with light-hearted and sometimes challenging illustrations on daily basis.
Scroll down the page and see for yourself!
Pets are always there for us, especially when it comes to putting smiles on our faces.
You can become whatever you want in life.
“Excuse me, may I see your baby?”
New Year’s resolution for 2019: let’s ditch the bra.
Possibly, a new idea for a SnapChat filter?
Up Next: The Secret Life Of Toiletries – Behind The Scenes.
A love letter written in hundreds of heartbeats.
Mood rings are so last year. Meet mood mustache. Perfectly edible as well.
That moment when someones tries to insult you, but you have achieved an excellent ability to deflect all things negative.
Despite the friendly smile that this polar bear wears, we would say the illustration definitely falls outside of the light-heartedness spectrum. Time’s ticking, what are your thoughts?
New Year’s resolution #584.
Who knew that music played by accordion could be so tear-jerking?
All that matters is perspective!
No one wants to be the third wheel. Certainly not on Valentine’s day…
This leaf will definitely go places.
“Get a tattoo that means something to you” doesn’t quite have the same ring here…
One cigarette a day keeps the doctor away. Or how does that saying go?
“In the beginning, God created the sky and the land.”
Pareidolia: seeing faces in unusual places.
Socialism is having a big moment in America. After a surge in popularity during the financial crisis of 2008, the long-verboten political label at last lost its toxicity after Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run and the election of democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in 2018. Among self-identified Democrats, socialism is now more popular than capitalism, reflecting a trend that has been evident among young voters for years.
Bankers and billionaires are, of course, desperate to reverse this political tide. Eyeing the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, the CEO of one giant bank recently told Politico that the party’s nominee “can’t be Warren and it can’t be Sanders.” To plutocrat Michael Bloomberg, Sanders is a “demagogue” preaching “unreason,” while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will transform the United States into a “non-capitalistic” system where “people are starving to death,” like “Venezuela.”
The rhetoric from the 0.01 percent is more than a little overheated. But for most people, Warren and Sanders hail from the same left flank of the Democratic Party ― both are supporters of enacting Medicare for all, breaking up the banks and dramatically increasing taxes on the very wealthy.
And yet in liberal and left-wing political discourse, the idea that Sanders and Warren are philosophical companions has become unfashionable. Jacobin, The New Republic, Splinter, BuzzFeed, The Week and The Guardian have all emphasized the supposedly critical ideological distinction between the two candidates: Sanders is an avowed socialist, while Warren wants to reform capitalism.
“As soon as the next president takes office, they will likely face intense pressure from powerful interests, especially big business,” writes Zaid Jilani. “The choice between Warren and Sanders may very well determine if that president confronts those interests with careful reasoning and principled advocacy or the force of a mass movement.”
“The two senators disagree over the best method to give the working classes a leg up,” according to David Dayen. “You can restructure markets so everyone benefits, or you can break down the market system, either eliminating the profit motive or giving everybody a public option.” For Jacobin founder Bhaskar Sunkara, Warren aims at “seeking to construct better policy but not an alternative politics,” rejecting “the class-struggle, worker-centric approach of Sanders.”
For once, the big-brain intellectuals have it wrong, and the delusional, selfish plutocrats are right. Whatever Warren and Sanders say to establish their political brands, the two senators do in fact represent a very similar way of thinking about politics. That’s why billionaires hate them both.
It’s true: You won’t find any videos of Warren singing “This Land Is Your Land” with a bunch of shirtless Soviets in the 1980s. And Sanders never slogged through troves of household bankruptcy data looking for the most common sources of middle-class financial strain. There are real differences between the two candidates (technically Bernie hasn’t announced yet). But these are differences of temperament, style and strategy. Sanders and Warren, in fact, see the world in very similar ways.
The trouble for leftish intellectuals is a confusion over the terms “socialism” and “capitalism.” Both words are extremely flexible, and their meanings shift with political currents. In an American context, it has never been easy to distinguish between socialism and reformed capitalism ― and committed capitalists have denounced both with vigor. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was condemned as a socialist by congressional Republicans. In the 1940s, American conservatives viewed the social safety net in Britain and the Stalinist Soviet Union with almost equal alarm. By the 1950s, Herbert Hoover had concluded that the words “liberalism” and “socialism” really just meant the same thing.
So, yes, Bernie Sanders has long been a champion of labor movements, protest marches and democratic socialism, while Elizabeth Warren is an academic wonk who talks about restoring competition to markets and making capitalism more accountable. But when it comes to their most detailed policies to date, both support an array of trust-busting, tougher regulation, wealth redistribution, public options and, where appropriate, nationalization.
It depends on the problem they’re trying to solve. In practice, they end up supporting an awful lot of the same solutions. In addition to Medicare for all, breaking up the banks and taxing the rich, both Warren and Sanders are advocates of a federal job guarantee, postal banking and a bill making it easier for workers to unionize.
All of these proposals transfer money and power from the super-rich to the not-rich. Take postal banking. About 32.6 million households rely on a check-cashing service, payday lender or other expensive, small-dollar financial bottom-feeder at least once a year, according to the FDIC. On average, these households earn about $25,500 a year and spend nearly 10 percent of their income ― $2,412 ― on these sketchy financial products. That’s over $82 billion going from hard-up homes to predators every year. You can deal with payday lenders a lot of different ways: ban them, regulate them or, the preferred tack of Warren and Sanders, have the government make them obsolete. If every household can get a low-fee bank account with the Post Office, they won’t have to turn to legalized loan sharking to get by. That’s bad news for payday loan executives, like ACE Cash Express CEO Jay Shipowitz, who made almost $4.5 million in 2004 alone. Is postal banking socialism or reformed capitalism? Yes.
In America today, the super-rich not only control an outrageous share of the national wealth, they also exercise a degree of political power incompatible with basic democratic principles. The choice for Democrats in 2020 is not really about policy minutia ― it’s about power ― who has it, and who doesn’t. And both Sanders and Warren have proved they are willing to confront the powerful and attack their sources of power. We can call this socialism, New Deal liberalism or Jeffersonian democracy ― whatever the label, it’s a critical ideological test for anyone who wants to be the next president of the United States.
Running for re-election in 1936, FDR noted that the “economic royalists” of “business and financial monopoly, speculation” and “reckless banking” all counted themselves among his political “enemies.”
“Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today,” Roosevelt said. “They are unanimous in their hate for me ― and I welcome their hatred.”
For today’s Democrats, that’s the ticket.
More than half of England’s universities have fewer than 5% of poor white students on their books, says an analysis of university entry figures.
The report, from the National Education Opportunities Network (Neon), shows white students from deprived areas in low numbers in many top universities.
There are 3% at the University of Oxford, compared with 28% at Teesside.
The study says too few universities have clear targets to recruit white working-class students.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds has previously warned of the risk of communities feeling “left behind”.
The study, from an organisation promoting wider access into higher education, calls for a “national initiative” to tackle the educational underachievement of disadvantaged white youngsters across schools, colleges and universities.
The university figures show the problem in recruiting white students from poorer backgrounds – and how many universities have very low proportions of them.
It warns that fewer than a fifth of universities have targets for admitting more poor white students – and that there are only “variable” efforts to improve participation.
Even if a target of 5% of poor white students were to be set across universities, it would mean another 10,000 students going to university, says the research.
The study looks at white students from so-called “low-participation neighbourhoods” – areas where few people usually go to university.
In total numbers, white students, of all social backgrounds, are the biggest group going to university, show figures from the Ucas admissions service.
But in terms of a proportion of the population, white youngsters are less likely to go to university than Asian or black teenagers.
The latest application figures, for courses in the autumn, show that applications from white students are declining, while they are increasing for Asian and black youngsters.
Cutting across this is a widening gender divide – with women much more likely than men to apply to university.
When these factors combine, it means that white, working-class men become among the most under-represented groups in university.
The study says projects to widen entry into university might need to be “redefined”.
The report shows a starkly divided picture in where poor white students are likely to attend.
They are particularly likely to take higher education courses in local further education colleges.
Among those going to university, 70% go to new universities, with low numbers going to some high-ranking institutions.
Cambridge has 2%, Warwick and Bristol 3%, Durham 4%.
At University of Sunderland, 27% of acceptances are from white students from deprived areas and the figure is 22% in Staffordshire University.
The numbers are particularly low in London universities – many of them 1% or 2%.
But these figures might be affected by the high overall levels of young people in London going to university – much higher than elsewhere in England.
Because of such high entry rates, even from deprived youngsters, there are relatively few “low-participation neighbourhoods” in London, or young people who would fall into this category.
The high cost of living in London could also deter some poorer students from elsewhere from coming to study in the capital.
Graeme Atherton, report co-author and director of Neon, warned of “big variability” in the chances of different groups to get to university.
“We need to know more about why this variability exists and do more to eliminate it,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Universities UK said that universities were “committed to widening access to higher education and ensuring the success of all their students, regardless of their background”.
The spokeswoman for the universities’ organisation said that “18-year-olds from the most disadvantaged areas in England are more likely to go to university than ever before” – and that this could be further helped if the government restored “maintenance grants for those most in need”.
Mr Hinds has highlighted the importance of supporting education in communities that might feel “left behind”.
In a speech in the autumn, Mr Hinds said: “White British disadvantaged boys are the least likely of any large ethnic group to go to university.
“We need to ask ourselves why that is and challenge government, universities and the wider system to change that.
“It’s vital that we do this to make sure that no part of our country feels as though it has been left behind.”
A book about a young Jewish girl who was sheltered by the author’s grandparents during World War Two has won the Costa Book of the Year award.
Oxford professor Bart van Es picked up the £30,000 prize for The Cut Out Girl.
He traces the story of the Dutch girl who was taken in at the age of nine by van Es’s grandparents before her own parents were sent to Auschwitz.
That girl was Lien de Jong, who is now in her mid-80s and attended Tuesday’s ceremony in London.
The judges – chaired by BBC News journalist Sophie Raworth – described the book as “sensational and gripping – the hidden gem of the year”.
De Jong told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row she never realised her story could make such an impact.
“I’m very proud of this result and I never thought it could be a book,” she said.
Van Es said: “There are two ways in which it could be a good book to have in the world.
“There’s a scary way in which anti-Semitism and extreme nationalism and conspiracy theories are around in a way they weren’t 10 years ago. But also another way in which it is quite a healing book.”
The Costa Book of the Year was chosen from the winners from five individual categories. The Cut Out Girl won the biography prize, and the other category winners were:
This is the second work of fiction from the 27-year-old Irish author who has taken the literary world by storm.
It follows the on-off relationship between two Irish schoolfriends and won rave reviews when it was published last August. It was named the Waterstone’s book of the year and is now being turned into a BBC drama.
Travel writer Turton’s debut novel is a sci-fi murder mystery that channels Agatha Christie, Groundhog Day and Quantum Leap.
Its main character relives a single day eight times – each time inhabiting a different person’s body as he tries to work out who has committed murder in a country house. The TV rights were sold even before it was published last February.
The Scottish poet’s sixth book was inspired by his father’s work as part of Bomber Command during the Cold War.
It is a single long-form poem told from the perspectives of various characters, including pilots, planes, villagers and even the bombs.
Clarry and Peter Penrose spend idyllic summers in Cornwall with their charismatic cousin Rupert – until he is sent to fight in World War One.
The story follows Clarry from birth to adulthood and centres on the characters’ quests to escape both the shadow of war and the social constraints of the time.
Last year’s overall winner was the late poet Helen Dunmore for her final collection, Inside the Wave.
If you follow a lot of people who watch a lot of Netflix, then you’ve probably spent a lot of 2019 so far watching them argue about books. Specifically, about Tidying Up with Marie Kondo‘s approach to books.
“Keep your tidy, spark-joy hands off my book piles, Marie Kondo,” gasped The Washington Post. “Marie Kondo, back off! Why this book hoarder refuses to tidy up,” declared Cnet. On Twitter, some bibliophiles expressed shock and horror, while others reacted to that shock and horror with snark and bemusement.
Kondo’s method for books is exactly the same as her method for pretty much anything else you might find in a home, like clothing, sporting goods, or kitchen gadgets. Yet it’s only the books that have provoked this level of disgust, and that’s because a lot of people have no chill when it comes to what other people might be doing with their books.
Though this particular Kon-troversy is new, it’s really just the latest in a long series of book-related outrages over the years.
Last year’s was the collective hand-wringing over backwards bookshelves. Before that was the outrage over books getting cut up for crafts. There’s been huffing over shelves curated by color and selfies over piles of open books, and disagreements over whether a large stack of unread books is cause for pride or shame.
What all of these scandalous actions have in common is that they don’t actually affect anyone at all but the person making them. Instagram influencers aren’t sneaking into your home to rearrange your shelves, and Kondo isn’t signing legislation to outlaw large book collections. (She actually encourages you to keep your books if the thought of discarding them makes you mad.)
Why, then, do some bibliophiles get ranty at photos of spine-in books, or see red when a Kondo client throws another novel in his discard pile?
For many, it has to do with what books represent. Books don’t exist solely to spark joy! Books are objects of wonder, and souvenirs of our personal journeys! Our collections reflect our tastes and our personalities, and express them to any curious visitors who might come looking. They’re not mere decorative pieces or functional tools, and only a non-reader would treat them as such.
Books may mean a lot to some readers, but they don’t mean the same thing to all readers.
Or maybe they would.
Books may mean a lot to some readers, but they don’t mean the same thing to all readers. A skimpy shelf could mean someone hates books, or simply that they prefer ebooks and libraries. An overstuffed one might be just as self-consciously curated as a streamlined one. Those spine-in volumes could belong to someone who loves reading and favors a minimalist aesthetic.
There’s a difference between loving reading and fetishizing books. While there’s nothing wrong with the latter, it’s worth acknowledging the difference — if only so we can collectively stop flying into a blind rage whenever some Facebook rando shares a photo of the secret book safe they just DIYed.
There are exceptions and caveats, of course. Books that are rare or very old should probably be saved and preserved. Newer books could probably be donated or recycled, rather than trashed, for the sake of the environment. It also goes without saying that I’m talking here about personal collections; it’s obviously a much bigger problem if the government starts burning books, or a public library reorders them all by color just for the ‘gram.
As a general rule, though? Mind your own books, and let other people mind theirs.
If you can’t wait to KonMari some boring books out of your life, have fun tidying up. If you’d rather die by a billion paper cuts than let go of even one single volume, hold on to them for as long as you’d like. If you’d like to stock up on vintage volumes you won’t read to make yourself look smarter, or if you love judging people by their book collections — honestly, knock yourself out.
Whatever you decide to do, though, remember that it’s not the bound stacks of printed paper that matter. It’s what they do, what’s inside them, and what they mean to you that does. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to cut everyone else a break for whatever they’re doing with their own piles of paper.