I did something crazy…


And I deleted my old Twitter account. My new one is HERE, if you want to follow me. It looks a bit suspect at the moment, because I have no profile picture or anything!

I opened my old account not long before Russia invaded Ukraine, and what was going to be an account about books turned into something different. Then on came Donald Trump, and things got worse!

Recently I’ve been thinking that I had a lot of tweets I didn’t want to be around forever, but I also had too many to go through individually.

This seemed like the best option!


Nineteen Years


Today is the nineteenth anniversary of the start of the Russian apartment bombings, when Vladimir Putin orchestrated a series of attacks that killed hundreds of citizens across Russia in order to boost his popularity and win the presidency.

Before the first apartment bombing, a shopping mall in Moscow was attacked on the 31st of August.

The first apartment attack occurred in Buynaksk, where sixty-four people were killed and 133 were injured. The two bombings in Moscow that followed killed over 200, and an attack in Volgodonsk killed 17.

In total 293 were killed and over a thousand were injured.

Putin blamed the attacks on a group from Dagestan, and used it as an excuse for a second war in Chechnya, boosting his approval ratings and helping him to power.

Three key people trying to reveal the truth about what happened were assassinated in the years that followed: Sergei Yushenkov, Yuri Shchekochikhin, and Alexander Litvinenko – who defected to Britain and was infamously poisoned by Russian agents in a London restaurant in 2006.

Additionally, Mikhail Trepashkin spent years in a Russian prison for his role in the investigation.

Bombing at Guryanova Street in Moscow, where 94 were killed.

These tactics were also used by the Soviets, such as when they blew up their own people at a border post as an excuse to start the Winter War with Finland in 1939. The result of this was that Finland fought with the Nazis in the Second World War.

In the past few years, with Kremlin manipulation of internet search results, factual reports of the apartment bombing incidents are harder to come by. Just like with news about anything else (e.g. Ukraine), these days top English-language (and Spanish and French etc.) Google results usually link to sites like RT (Russia Today), Tass, and Sputnik – all of them Kremlin-backed propaganda agencies.

Common Terms And Their Fake Counterparts


Article over at Dictionary.com:

Common terms and their fake counterparts.

There are some mistakes that drive me mad (it’s espresso!!!!), some I’ve never heard of before (“old wise tale” – seriously?), and one I will never be happy about (“snuck” needs to be made illegal!).

The site always has lots of interesting articles, and also loves trolling corrupt Presidents and rapists in denial on Twitter.

To Europe…


I am flying out of Australia today, and will be gone until early October. I’ll be in Ireland for a few weeks and then I’ll be in the north of England for a few more weeks.

I do have blog posts scheduled, and hopefully I’ll be checking in occasionally, but when you travel you never know what’s going to happen!

Ukrainian Independence Day



Celebrations in Luhansk in 2013. The city has since been invaded and occupied by Russia.

It’s a bit of an ironic holiday when huge swathes of southern and eastern Ukraine are currently occupied by the Russians and their enormous military, but today is Ukrainian Independence Day.

Vladimir Putin can’t live forever, so maybe there’s hope for the future. If only Kremlin propaganda wouldn’t live on after him…

One Week


This time next week I should (hopefully!) be on a plane from Canberra to Qatar.

I’ll be in Ireland (Dublin for a little while, and then up to Northern Ireland) for a few weeks, and then I fly to England, where I’ll be in Yorkshire and then Derbyshire for a few more weeks.

I come back to Australia long enough for a trip to the Chinese embassy, and then I’ll be in China into November.

This year has completely got away from me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a year with so little time to keep up with reading and reviewing. I have books authors sent me many months ago I still haven’t reviewed, and I want to say two things:

#1 I haven’t forgotten!

#2 I’m still going to review them!

I am taking a tablet and Kindle overseas, and intend to check in (and hopefully read) every day but you know how travel takes up your time!

Now, I’d better take a look at my suitcase and pack!