Review: Cybercrime and the Dark Net by Cath Senker


Title: Cybercrime and the Dark Net: Revealing the hidden underworld of the internet

Author: Cath Senker

Genre: Nonfiction, technology

With the emergence of the internet new forms of crime became possible. From harassment and grooming to fraud and identity theft the anonymity provided by the internet has created a new world of crime of which we all must be aware. The threat of hackers reaches beyond the individual, threatening businesses and even states, and holds worrying implications for the world we live in.

In this enlightening account, Cath Senker unmasks the many guises that cybercrime takes and the efforts of law enforcement to keep pace with the hackers. She reveals the mysterious world of hackers and cybersecurity professionals and reveals a story that is both shocking and surprising. With chapters on political activism and human rights, Senker shows a brighter side of the darknet. For anyone interested in learning more of the world of cyber-criminals and their opponents, this is the perfect starting point.

Rating: 4/5

I received this book on Netgalley in exchange for a review.

Most people have heard of cybercrime and the darknet (usually in movies) but majority of people don’t actually understand what those terms mean. This book is written for those who want to learn more about the reality of online security and privacy.

The book is divided into two parts: Cybercrime and The Darknet. It’s quite well organized and written simply enough so that people who aren’t good with tech can understand it, but not so simply as to seem condescending. The book is quite short but covers a lot of ground. It touches on many topics (cyberbullying, copyright issues, hacktivism, bitcoin, terrorism and many more) and talks about many big issues and events (like Gamergate and Wikileaks).

I like that the book doesn’t only focus on the negative things but also serves as a reminder that some ‘scary’ parts of the internet can be used for good things and that sometimes the line between good and evil isn’t as clear as we would like it to be. If you want to learn more about the depths of the internet, this book is for you.


Dewey’s Readathon


Opening Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? – Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina 
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? – Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? – I forgot to prepare snacks😦 But I’ll probably find something in the house, or I’ll go out and buy some chocolate. 
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! – I feel like I’ve been waiting for this readathon since the last one ended. It’s a good way to catch up on my reading challenge for 2016. 
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? – I pretty much always do the same thing, but hopefully I won’t waste as much time sleeping as I usually do. 


Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? – Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman
2. How many books have you read so far? – Two, and I’m in the middle of the third one
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? – I’m looking forward to finishing the book I’m reading right now
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? – My biggest problem is getting stuck online instead of reading, but that’s completely my own fault
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? – I’m surprised I don’t feel that tired yet, but that’ll probably change soon


Finished reading:

  • Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates
  • The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing
  • Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman


I don’t feel like doing the End of Event Survey this time; so in short, I read three books and enjoyed them a lot, especially Call Me by Your Name (what a wonderful book!), I had a lot of fun and can’t wait for the next readathon🙂

Review: Data Love by Roberto Simanowski

Data Love cover.png

Title: Data Love: The Seduction and Betrayal of Digital Technologies

Author: Roberto Simanowski

Genre: Nonfiction, technology

Intelligence services, government administrations, businesses, and a growing majority of the population are hooked on the idea that big data can reveal patterns and correlations in everyday life. Initiated by software engineers and carried out through algorithms, big data has sparked a silent revolution. But algorithmic analysis and data mining are not simply byproducts of media development or the logical consequences of computation. They are the radicalization of the Enlightenment’s quest for knowledge and progress. Data Love argues that the “cold civil war” of big data is taking place not between citizens or the citizen and government but within each one of us.
Roberto Simanowski elaborates on the changes data love have brought to the human condition while exploring the entanglements of those who—be it out of stinginess, convenience, ignorance, narcissism, or passion—contribute to the amassing of evermore data about their lives, leading to the statistical evaluation and individual profiling of their selves. Writing from a philosophical standpoint, Simanowski illustrates the social implications of technological development and retrieves the concepts, events, and cultural artifacts of past centuries to help decode the programming of our present.

Rating: 3/5

I received this book on Netgalley in exchange for a review.

This book is a very philosophical take on the problem of privacy during the Internet age. It gets a bit too philosophical at times, to the point where I was wondering if maybe I’m not quite qualified enough to understand it.

The book is full of predictions about the future of technology and how all the data that big tech companies have about their users is going to impact the lives of said users. There are plenty of examples like Google, Facebook and Snapchat that have users worldwide, which makes their impact huge. But the book was originally published in Germany, so the author uses quite a few German examples and sometimes seems too focused on Germany.

I agree with the author that people should be better educated on what actually happens with all the information they put online. The things you write and the pictures you post can affect your life in ways you never expected. The problem is, you can’t always predict exactly what can be used against you. Sometimes I felt like the author’s predictions bordered on paranoid, but then I would read a quote like this and be like ‘Ok, maybe he’s right’:

This became clearer most recently when Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt publicly declared in 2009, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place,” and threatened in 2010, “We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”

The idea that you should never do anything you don’t want other people to know about is ridiculous – but this book is a good warning about the dangers of oversharing. After all, if nobody knows about it, it can’t be used against you.

Review: AsapSCIENCE by Mitchell Moffit and Greg Brown

asapscience cover


Title: AsapSCIENCE: Answers to the World’s Weirdest Questions, Most Persistent Rumors & Unexplained Phenomena

Authors: Mitchell Moffit, Greg Brown

From the creators of the wildly popular and seriously scientific YouTube channel, AsapSCIENCE, comes entertaining, irreverent, and totally accessible answers to the questions you never got to ask in science class.

Why do we get hung over? What would happen if you stopped sleeping? Is binge-watching TV actually bad for you? Why should I take a power nap? In their first-ever book, Mitchell Moffit and Greg Brown, the geniuses behind YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE, explain the true science of how things work in their trademark hilarious and fascinating fashion.

Applying the fun, illustrated format of their addictive videos to topics ranging from brain freeze to hiccups to the science of the snooze button, AsapSCIENCE takes the underpinnings of biology, chemistry, physics, and other hard sciences and applies them to everyday life through quirky and relatable examples that will appeal to both science nerds and those who didn’t ace chemistry. This is the science that people actually want to learn, shared in a friendly, engaging style. And in the spirit of science, no subject is taboo. Amid the humor is great information and cocktail conversation fodder, all thoughtfully presented. Whether you’re a total newbie or the next Albert Einstein, this guide is sure to educate and entertain…ASAP.

Rating: 3/5

I received this book on Netgalley in exchange for a review.

This is a cute little science book. If you have ever seen any of the AsapSCIENCE videos, then you know what to expect: short and sweet explanations with lots of drawings. It’s a very accessible book, it can be read by readers of (almost) any age, even if they know nothing about science.

But I have a complaint: one of the questions the book tries to answer is what’s more painful – childbirth or getting kicked in the balls? The two male authors of the book somehow come to the conclusion that it’s a tie. Now, I’ve never experienced either, but childbirth can last for HOURS – how can a few minutes of pain compare to that?

Still, if you want something quick and fun, but still smart – you should give this book a try.

Btw, how awesome is this video? It’s one of my favortie things AsapSCIENCE has done:

Review: Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick



Title: Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

Author: Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon

Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies, and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable. For Mitnick, hacking wasn’t just about technological feats; it was an old-fashioned confidence game that required guile and deception to trick the unwitting out of valuable information.

Driven by a powerful urge to accomplish the impossible, Mitnick bypassed security systems and blazed into major organizations including Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and Pacific Bell. As the FBI’s net began to tighten, Mitnick went on the run, engaging in an increasingly sophisticated cat-and-mouse game that led through false identities, a host of cities, plenty of close shaves, and an ultimate showdown with the Feds, who would stop at nothing to bring him down.

Ghost in the Wires is a thrilling true story of intrigue, suspense, and unbelievable escape, and a portrait of a visionary whose creativity, skills, and persistence forced the authorities to rethink the way they pursued him, inspiring ripples that brought permanent changes in the way people and companies protect their most sensitive information.

Rating: 4/5

Kevin Mitnick is a fascinating person. I’ve been interested in his life ever since I read his amazing book The Art of Intrusion a few years ago. And now I’ve finally gotten around to reading his autobiography. I can’t even explain to myself why it took me years to start reading it.

First, the bad stuff: there’s way too much tehnical detail about old telephone systems, sometimes it feels like he keeps doing the same thing over and over again, so the book gets a bit monotone at times. If you have a thing for old phones and you want to know more about how you could have hacked them back in the eighties, this book is for you! But my interest is in computers so I wanted to read more about computer hacking.

Other than that, the book is amazing. Kevin Mitnick’s life isn’t ordinary in any way – the guy goes to great lengths just to keep things interesting, even if it means he could end up in prison which, eventually, he does. But not before breaking into every system he could, manipulating so many people into doing so many things to help him, being on the run for three years and just generally behaving in ways that I, as a nice and normal person, shouldn’t support, but for some reason I do. He seems to think of himself as quite innocent and people who were trying to catch him as very bad (they were just doing their jobs, Kevin) but I’m rooting for him either way. It helps that after prison he turned his life around and now hacks into systems only when he’s paid to do so.

The foreword is written by Steve Wozniak whose book iWoz I read last year. I was reminded of that book when reading this one, simply because both authors seem way too happy with themselves – sometimes you want them to screw up just so they will stop being so arrogant. Still, I can’t help but admire their knowledge and abilities. Kevin also debunks some of the ridiculous rumors that are part of “The Myth of Kevin Mitnick” – it’s funny how people were so scared of computers, they were willing to believe anything they were told.

Review: The Red and the Black


Title: The Red and the Black

Author: Stendhal

Handsome, ambitious Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble provincial origins. Soon realizing that success can only be achieved by adopting the subtle code of hypocrisy by which society operates, he begins to achieve advancement through deceit and self-interest. His triumphant career takes him into the heart of glamorous Parisian society, along the way conquering the gentle, married Madame de Rênal, and the haughty Mathilde. But then Julien commits an unexpected, devastating crime – and brings about his own downfall. The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical portrayal of French society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed and ennui, and Julien – the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions – is one of the most intriguing characters in European literature.

Rating: 2/5

I took me more than a month to finish this book and by the end I was forcing myself to read, just to finally be done with it. I gave it 2 stars, but it would be more accurate if I gave it 1.5. I know this book is an important classic and had a huge influence on other writers, but I don’t care. The only reason I’m even writing a review is because this book is part of my Classics Club challenge.

At first I was interested in the plot, but the writing style ruined it for me. It was really sentimental and melodramatic, but it didn’t make me actually feel anything. I read the croatian translation, so maybe that’s part of the problem, but even if I read it in the original language, I don’t think it would work for me.

The most interesting part of the book were quotes at the beginnings of chapters, especially the quotes from Byron’s Don Juan, that now I really really want to read. So it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish Would Be Tv Shows


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Ten books I wish would be made into Tv shows

The Grisha by Leigh Bardugo

This would be epic!  Especially if they changed the ending a bit for the people who love The Darkling.

Nightrunner by Lynn Flewelling

Because the books are great (I still haven’t read the last one though) and there should be more medieval fantasy shows.

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

Because I never get tired of period dramas.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Because Charmed is long over, and I want another show about a family of witches. And I want to watch Pynch happen. The last book was a bit weak, but the story is still amazing.

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

There’s no way this is gonna happen, and if it did happen, there’s no way it would be done right. But I can still hope.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

There are so many things that the movies got wrong, a TV show would have the time to get the details right… and it would last a lot longer😀

Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

The movie was ok, but I think this book series could be adapted into a much better comedy show.

The Vorkosigan Saga by Luis McMaster Bujold

Incredible sci-fi series that I still haven’t finished, but there is so much potential here, the show could last longer than Supernatural.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

I know this has been adapted a billion times, but the adaptations usually just keep the characters and the setting but change the story. I want an adaptation that sticks to the book because that story is better than anything anyone else has come up with.

Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich

The movie flopped, so the movie series isn’t gonna happen, but I think it should get another chance in the form of a TV show.


Review: The Girls by Emma Cline


Title: The Girls

Author: Emma Cline

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

Rating: 5/5

I looked up because of the laughter, and kept looking because of the girls.

I started reading this book at 1 AM and had to stop because the first couple of pages creeped me out so I decided to continue reading tomorrow, in daylight. Turns out, most of the book isn’t that scary, even though it’s inspired by the real life cult of Charles Manson and the murders his followers commited. The story deals with Evie’s life, meeting Russel’s followers, how easily she accepted their way of life and how much their influence changed her life. It’s easy to understand Evie, her insecurity and how much she wants to be part of something – anything.

I waited to be told what was good about me. I wondered later if this was why there were so many more women than men at the ranch. All that time I had spent readying myself, the articles that taught me life was really just a waiting room until someone noticed you—the boys had spent that time becoming themselves.

That was part of being a girl—you were resigned to whatever feedback you’d get. If you got mad, you were crazy, and if you didn’t react, you were a bitch. The only thing you could do was smile from the corner they’d backed you into. Implicate yourself in the joke even if the joke was always on you.

The writing is beautiful; Cline writes normal scenes from teenage life with hints of horrible things that happen later. The book is full of creepy tension that reminds you, however calm the story may be at the moment, it’s not going to stay like that. Parts of the book are written from the perspective of middle aged Evie who is, decades later, remembering the time she spent with Suzanne and other girls.

I fielded Sasha’s questions about what they had been like in real life, those people who had become totems of themselves. Guy had been less interesting to the media, just a man doing what men had always done, but the girls were made mythic. Donna was the unattractive one, slow and rough, often cast as a pity case. The hungry harshness in her face. Helen, the former Camp Fire Girl, tan and pigtailed and pretty—she was the fetish object, the pinup murderess. But Suzanne got the worst of it. Depraved. Evil. Her sneaky beauty didn’t photograph well. She looked feral and meager, like she might have existed only to kill.

When I was reading the book, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that this is based on real events. That’s the reason parts of the book scared me so much – it’s fiction, but there are people who’s lives were very similar to this.

This is one of my favorite books of 2016 and I can’t wait to see what Emma Cline writes next.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Buy Right Now


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Ten books you’d buy right this second if someone handed you a fully loaded gift card!


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I read this book and loved it, but I don’t own it, So this would be one of the first I’d buy (and the sequel too!). I want to reread those two before the third book comes out.



The Persian Boy by Mary Renault

This is the second book in Alexander the Great trilogy, one of my favorite trilogies ever. Mary Renault is the perfect writer for anybody that enjoys reading about ancient Greece and I think this book is her best work.


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I’m a big fan of The Grisha trilogy, but I still haven’t read this one… maybe I should wait until the rest of the books are out. But I probably won’t – I’ll probably buy it as soon as possible.


Saga Vol 5. by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples 

The first four volumes of this crazy space opera graphic novel were incredible, hopefully the series continues that way.


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

This is the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy. I’ve been meaning to read this for ages, it seems like the kind of epic fantasy I’d love.


The Norton Anthology of Poetry by Margaret Ferguson, Jon Stallworthy, Mary Jo Salter

This is 2000 pages long and very expensive, but it contains 1800 poems and I really, really want it. I’m getting back into reading poetry so this would be perfect for me.


Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter

This is one of those books that I’ve heard so much about, I just want to read it to finally see for myself if all the hype is worth it. But I doubt I’ll get around to it anytime soon.


Shards of Time by Lynn Flewelling

The seventh (and last) book in the Nightrunner series. I remember reading the series and being absolutely in love with Seregil, Alec and their adventures, but for some reason I still haven’t read the last book.


The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Is there anyone other than me who hasn’t read this? The second book is out too and I haven’t even read the first one. Catching up to my to-read list is getting more and more difficult.


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Yet another series on my list… Everybody seems to love this. It’s a young adult (or maybe new adult?) fantasy that I think I’d love too. Hopefully I’ll find out soon enough.

This was a seriously difficult list to compile. The fact is, if I could, I’d buy every book on my GR to-read list😀

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Series: Harry Potter #8 

Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

Rating: 5/5


Seriously, there are so many spoilers here and if haven’t read (or seen) the play they won’t make much sense but they will still ruin everything for you.

It’s finally here! It’s been years since ‘All was well’ and now this little book is here to tell us that, actually, er, all wasn’t well.

The beginning of this story overlaps with the Deathly Hallows epilogue. The kids are off to school, it’s Albus’s first year and on the train he meets his new best friend – Scorpius Malfoy. Awesome, right? And then Albus gets sorted into Slytherin (my house, btw), everyone is shocked and suddenly it’s the beginning of the second year. After showing a couple of moments from the second and third years, the story fast-forwards to the fourth year where most of the action takes place.

And the action is crazy, fun, and confusing as fuck. There’s a time-turner and Albus and Scorpius use it to try to save Cedric’s life, but they fail and Ron is married to Padma and Rose doesn’t exist, so they try again and Scorpius is by himself in oops-Voldemort-won version of the world, so he tries to change things again but Voldemort has a daughter (wtf!!!) and EVERYONE goes back in time, Harry channels his inner Voldemort, everyone is friends and there’s a happy ending. Hey, I warned you about the spoilers!

Albus and Scorpius’s friendship is the BEST part of this story. Neither of them are copies of their parents (thank god for that). I wish we got more scenes with Lily, Rose and James, but I guess there was no time for that. Revisiting the old characters was bittersweet. It’s nice to know what happens later, but part of me wanted to believe that ‘All was well.’ meant all was well forever, not all was well up until this moment. It was strange picturing Harry, Ron and Hermione as adults – my brain kept switching between older versions we see in the seventh movie and the actors who play them in Cursed Child.

I understand why some people say this story is basically a fanfic – there are so many moments that are a wish fulfillment for so many HP fans. So many characters are back! Snape is back and I know lots of people won’t be happy that he’s a hero in the story, but who cares, I loved his part. Draco and Harry are on the same side! There’s even a line that says they looked at each other as friends for the first time – this is something that so many people wanted since those two met in the first book. There are moments that I never expected to be in HP books:

DRACO: Hermione Granger, I’m being bossed around by Hermione Granger. (She turns towards him. He smiles.) And I’m mildly enjoying it.

Rowling said that she’s done with Harry after this play, and I don’t know if I should be happy or sad about that. I don’t want it to stop, but if it continues, I don’t wanna be disappointed.

I would love to watch the Cursed Child on stage. I have no idea how some of the scenes can even work on stage (all of the spells, polyjuice potion etc). Hopefully somebody will make a movie out of this book too.