Hong Kong (CNN)A Chinese court has sentenced Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai to 10 years in prison for “providing intelligence” overseas, in a case that is likely to reignite international criticism of Beijing’s treatment of its critics.
Hong Kong (CNN)A Chinese court has sentenced Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai to 10 years in prison for “providing intelligence” overseas, in a case that is likely to reignite international criticism of Beijing’s treatment of its critics.
(CNN)Clive Cussler, the bestselling author and sea explorer, died on Monday, his family announced in a Facebook post.
Landmark western authors most famous novel gave John Wayne an Oscar-winning role, and inspired the Coen brothers
Charles Portis, the reclusive author of the western True Grit, in which a 14-year-old girl sets out to avenge her fathers murder, has died at the age of 86.
Portiss brother Jonathan told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the writer died on Monday in a hospice in Little Rock, Arkansas. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimers disease.
Stephen King said that Portis was a true American original, while the governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson said he will be remembered for generations to come. And we are proud of the way he showcased our beautiful state.
Born and educated in Arkansas, Portis served as a sergeant in the US Marine Corps during the Korean war before becoming a journalist, writing for papers including the New York Herald Tribune. He left journalism in 1964 to write full-time, publishing his first novel, Norwood, in 1966. About a Texan who sets out for New York, meeting his true love, the second shortest midget in show business and a chicken on the way, it was described by Entertainment Weekly as a glimpse of how a 20th-century Mark Twain might write.
True Grit followed in 1968, telling of how 14-year-old Mattie recruits deputy marshal Rooster Cogburn, a man she believes to have grit like her, to help find the man who shot her father. People do not give it credence that a 14-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her fathers blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day, it opens, with typical deadpan humour. A film version followed in 1969, starring John Wayne in an Academy Award-winning performance. A second version in 2010, starring Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld, was directed by the Coen Brothers.
He had this great amount of success with True Grit. I think it didnt sit well with him, Jonathan Portis told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He didnt like to attract attention. He was comfortable around his friends, but shy around strangers. He preferred to go as an unknown person because he was a people watcher. He would hear snatches of conversations or see people who had a particular look and he would take note of that. Youd see them in his books.
Donna Tartt described True Grit as a masterpiece in a foreword to a recent edition of the novel, adding that no living southern writer captures the spoken idioms of the south as artfully as Portis does. When the book was first published, Roald Dahl declared it: The best novel to come my way for a very long time. What a writer!
Portis wrote three more novels: The Dog of the South, published in 1979, Masters of Atlantis (1985) and Gringos (1991). He went on writing short fiction, non-fiction and a play, and won multiple lifetime achievement awards over the last decade.
The Witcher is no longer only for gamers and fantasy-book buffs.
Thanks to Netflixs adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowskis beloved novels, a new group has joined the fandom. As fans new and old plow their way through season one, however, many are thirsting for more.
Thankfully, Geralts story has been around a long time. Since the first Witcher book hit shelves in 1990, heaps of content has followed. From the books to video games, comics, card games, and more, the world of The Witcher is vast.
With season two at least a year away, viewers can pass the time with the rest of The Witcher world.
Fans of reading can enjoy Sapkowskis full series, along with several graphic novels. Gamers can play through three award-winning Witcher video games. Lovers of YouTube explainers can binge dozens of videos digging into the lore, characters, and more.
There might just be enough Witchercontent out there to get you to 2021.
Lets begin with the books that started it all.
Over two decades, Sapkowski released eight separate books chronicling Geralts adventures. The series begins with The Last Wish, a collection of six short stories that precede the main novels.Sword of Destiny follows a similar format, featuring several stories involving major The Witcher characters. Fans can enjoy Season of Storms, a sidequel, at any point, but it may work best as the third book in the series. Then readers will get into the meat of Geralts story with Blood of Elves.
The next four booksTime of Contempt,Baptism of Fire,The Tower of the Swallow, and The Lady of the Lakeall follow Geralt and Ciri. Filled with magic, creative beasts, a war-torn continent, and an overarching question of morality, this series is absolutely worth a read. Thankfully, it is available in essentially every format, including on Audible.
In the mid-90s, Geralt moved to a new format with a series of six comic books. Then, in 2013, Dark Horse Comics announced a series titled The Witcher based on the video games. Dark Horse made the series in conjunction with developer CD Projekt Red.
The original serieswhich Maciej Parowski, Bogusaw Polch and Sapkowski adaptedis much harder to come by. This is likely because an entirely Polish team created it, and it didnt reach the prominence of Geralts other stories. Still, if you are willing to do the legwork to track it down, its almost certainly worth enjoying for hardcore fans.
The Road With No Return begins the Polish series, followed by Geralt, The Lesser Evil, The Last Wish, The Bounds of ReasonandBetrayal.The Dark Horse series has four story arcs and 19 issues so far, beginning with House of Glass. Fox Children came next, followed byCurse of CrowsandOf Flesh and Flame.
The Witcher video games were, for many, an introduction to Geralts world. While Sapkowskis books have experienced a revival thanks to the storys newfound popularity, the games have long known massive fame.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has won more Game of the Year awards than any other game. Many consider it the greatest video game ever made. Its predecessors are fantastic entries as well, but if you only play oneWitchergame, make it the third.
Despite the third installments overwhelming fame, each Witcher game has been received well. It would take far too long to list all of the awards each game won, but suffice to say most gamers will find something to love in every Witchertitle.
You can purchase The Witcher games through the officialWitcheronline store or the Steam store. You can find the second and third games through the Microsoft store, but the first title is a bit harder to come by. Several expansions and add-ons also exist, so long as youre willing to shell out the extra cash. Particularly considering the massive, rich world of The Witcher 3, youll loose full days playing these fantastic games.
Buried in the intriguing storyline, complex gameplay, and stunning world of The Witcher 3 is a shockingly popular card game. While traversing the world as Geralt, players will occasionally come across towns and cities. There, you can engage in a simple card game called Gwenta game within the game, if you will.
The Witcher 3 is not the first game to slide a simple secondary game into its main story, but it may be the most successful. Games likeAssassins Creedand Red Dead Redemption 2have used a similar formula, but no in-game entertainment has come close to gathering the following Gwent has. You can find the card game in a variety of formats, from digital to physical.
Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of Geralt and Sapkowskis rich world, people have been dissecting theWitcher story for years. That means YouTube is absolutely littered with Witcher breakdowns, character explainers, deep dives, and in-depth looks at the magic systems.
If youre looking about the characters, magic systems, or beasts in the wide Witcher world, YouTube has something for you. A few dedicated experts have been beefing up theirWitcher knowledge for years and would love nothing more than to share it with you.
Washington (CNN)Supreme Court justices are meeting behind closed doors on Friday to discuss several cases on high-profile issues including religious freedom and a same-sex wedding flower arrangement, assault weapons limits, access to contraceptives, and so-called “faithless electors” in presidential elections.
Ernest Hemingway. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Virginia Woolf. All influential authors who you probably studied in high school. And now, you can add a new name to this list of greats: Colton Underwood. That’s right, everyone’s
second favorite virgin Bachelor is writing a book coming out March 31. And before you have to ask, yes, the title is of course a reference to his virginity. Imagine being a professional athlete, the lead on a hit reality TV show, and still having your defining characteristic to the American public be reduced to your sexuality? *Looks in the mirror to confirm I am still, in fact, a woman* hahahah right, I have absolutely no idea what it’s like to be judged solely on who I choose to have sex with or not!
Congrats to Colton for going the way of book-writing, rather than simply relying on sponsored Instagrams to keep him afloat. A more noble endeavor, for sure. Colton Underwood’s book is going to be titled The First Time, and yes, upon learning that my eyes rolled all the way back into my head, where they are temporarily stuck. Mostly I just hate how determined anyone connected to The Bachelor franchise is to taking the one defining characteristic that ABC predetermines for them and then bludgeoning the public over the head with it for the next 3-5 years. Like, you know that after this, Peter is going to come out with a book called like, Gone With The Windmill. Damn, that’s actually good. I should sell that to Peter. Brb.
Anyway, according to Gallery Books, in The First Time, “Underwood tells his compelling life story, which is at times unpredictable, humorous, and inspiring. As the Bachelor of the hit show’s 23rd season, Underwood reveals the highs and lows that have made him who he is today: growing up in Indiana, struggling with self-image and bullying, two time all American and three years in the NFL, and of course, his journey to find love.” Which is all well and good, but how is that any different from the numerous montages and scenes we got about Colton’s life and upbringing as a contestant on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, and finally, the lead on The Bachelor? If this is just a rehashing of the sh*t I’ve already seen, I’m going to be upset and demand my money back. (Who am I kidding, I’m not spending money on this.)
Gallery also insists, “behind the spectacle is a human being, one who will candidly share the memories of his quest for the love of his life– and the aftermath of making it work.” I think I speak for all of us when I say that if Colton doesn’t give us the details on his relationship with Cassie and how that’s going, and explicitly spell out in plain English (no euphemisms) if he is a virgin or not, I don’t want this book. No? I’m the only one who still cares about his virginity? You’re lying. We’ve all been classically conditioned like slightly perverted Pavlovian dogs to be overly concerned with this. I just want it all to end. As I’m sure Colton does as well, so he can move on with his life. Someone, please, release us from this prison!
For all of my mostly exaggerated outrage, who even f*cking cares. I would be surprised if Colton actually put fingers to keyboard and wrote this whole book himself and didn’t just have a ghostwriter, so like, whatever. I’m sure the book will be fine. Don’t get me wrong, Colton seems like a cool guy and he has his moments of humor on Twitter and stuff, but that’s a far cry from writing a whole-ass book. Just ask my mom, who still doesn’t grasp the concept that just because I write some dumb thoughts on social media, it doesn’t make me a novelist. But, I’m hopeful that Colton will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Andi Dorfman and actually reveal some sh*t about what went down behind the scenes on The Bachelor. I expect no less than one whole chapter on the fence, and an entire section about Tia. (I actually totally forgot about Colton’s relationship with Tia until this very sentence and had a That’s So Raven-esque flashback to how miserable that narrative made everybody. Okay, you’re right, ABC, I’ll take the virginity one instead. I won’t complain anymore!)
If nothing else, if you preorder The First Time now, Colton will buy you a coffee.
Anyone who preorders my book today gets free coffee. Send a screenshot below and open your DMs ♥️🤙🏼
— Colton Underwood (@colton) January 14, 2020
Does this mean I can say I went on a coffee date with The Bachelor? Probably not, I’m going to say it anyway.
Read more: https://betches.com/?p=76803
Want to wield your sexy mindset and confidence to your advantage?
Gone are the days where you can be sexy by the way you dress and groom. Today, sexiness is more than what you see. It has something more to do with a je ne sais quoionly a few people have. Real sexiness can’t be manufactured. Those who have dynamic attractiveness draw people in even without making an effort.
Sexiness is a state of mind that starts deep within yourself. It is more than the physical and superficial concepts that others tend to prioritize. When it comes to manifesting one’s sexual energy, most people start on the wrong footing.
Bring your sexy back one page at a time with Amine Salhi’s How to Feel Sexy: The Art and Science of Feeling Sexy and Being Confident!
Discover the simple yet effective ways on how to express your sexuality. Channel your sexual energy without relying on material objects. Amine Salhi’smanual delves deeper into the authentic meaning of one’s confidence and allure as a mindset.
The universal concepts discussed in this book applies to everyone. Captivate anyone’s attention at will. Use the book’s wisdom to form good and healthy habits and effective techniques on how to flirt using verbal and nonverbal cues.
Visualize your desires and let this book pave the path for you to find the best version of yourself. Develop a positive ambiance and redefine your romantic and social life while being guided by an expert.
In this eBook, you’ll encounter:
✅Self-care strategies and cues for affirmations and visualization
✅Flirting techniques for all ages and gender
✅Tips on stress management and body language
✅ Helpful guidelines for diet, exercise and sleep
Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2TE1rr8
“Quick and concise read with some very useful tips on how to feel better and more confident.
I appreciate the easy to read format and gleaned much helpful information from this.
The book doesn’t attempt to sell you anything or make you spend money on external things like clothes and jewelry but instead asks you to look inwards, and as with healing, feeling sexy and being confident starts in the mind. No amount of brand new clothes or whatever else will make you feel sexy. You have to want it.
A good and useful read for singles and couples alike. I will recommend to my shy best friend.”
“This is a great book if you lost or just want to feel sexier. Does a great job giving helpful detailed strategies to accomplish in feeling sexy. Easy to read and understand. Even easier to get to the point of sexiness you desire.”
Whether you hate the wedding-industrial complex, are a bride planning a wedding and want to feel better about your own demands, or just need something to read, we’re doing a new series where we share the craziest, most out-of-touch wedding story we found on the internet that week. Submit your own crazy wedding stories to [email protected] with the subject line Crazy Wedding Story, and we just might feature yours. And make sure to follow @BetchesBrides on Instagram and subscribe to our podcast, Betches Brides.
You guys know how livid I get when people suggest you do something for “exposure”. You know why? It’s never the legit companies and brands that will actually give you good exposure that pull this sh*t. They understand the value of work and talent. It’s always no-name brands that will offer to “expose” you to their 12 followers. Take it from someone who’s been there—any job worth the exposure would actually pay you. This upcoming story, though, is somehow even worse than your regular, run-of-the-mill, cheap-ass unknown brand looking for free work. Because it’s a cheap-ass unknown person who thinks YOU should pay for literally everything in her entire wedding. I know what you’re thinking, and no, she’s not even an influencer!!
Today’s story comes from Reddit’s /choosingbeggars subreddit, where a total douche-monkey of a human posted the most asinine Facebook post ever. WHO is friends with this trash anyway to see this post, I ask you? It starts off like this:
Ah yes, a brutal reminder of why I hate the South. “Hi y’all!”—it’s like she’s already gearing up to pyramid scheme all of us. Why do I already want to punch this chick in the face? “I can lol I deserve it”! All I can think of is this:
Also what the f*ck is with all the typos? “Afe getribg”? Girl, with that kind of proofreading, you should be writing for BuzzFeed (ba-dum ching). All I can do with this so far is feel really badly for Mr. David. But of course we’re just getting started.
Mrs. David goes on to tell us that she got a free historic wedding venue because Mr. David’s godmother owns it. Cool, good for you, Glen Coco. She even says, “This means my wedding will be historical! Lol!” Oh yes, I’m so sure that one day children will study the dream wedding of Mrs. David in their history books. Lol.
So because the estate is far away and they’re having their honeymoon in Dubai, Mrs. David reasons that she shouldn’t have to pay for a damn thing in her own wedding. Sure, sure. She already has a free venue but why should she pay for travel costs?
Or a photographer?
Or a caterer?
Or a dress?
Or music? Flowers? Seating? And BTW, it must be an orchestra, because “this will be classy”.
But don’t worry everyone! Because, and I kid you not, Mrs. David is starting AN INSTAGRAM SOON! So you will be, and again, I quote, “begging [them] for the opportunity” to work for exposure! Because obviously, Mrs. David will be an instant Instagram hit, making millions and paying you back for feeding probably 200 people in exposure!
I honestly wish I was kidding:
I’m not actually convinced this isn’t satire.
My favorite part is how Mrs. David demands that everyone be a professional (“not a hobby but getting PAID AS A JOB”) even though she isn’t willing to pay them at all. Does she not see the irony? Let me tell you, if anyone is willing to work for free for absolutely no reason, it means they can’t charge for their work. Meaning they aren’t paid for the work. Meaning they are not a professional, which by definition means being paid for said work.
Also, here’s what I don’t understand. They can afford a honeymoon in Dubai, but didn’t plan even a minor budget for a wedding? Don’t get me wrong, I can get behind the idea—I’d much rather go to Dubai then have a wedding—but then just… don’t have the wedding? They’re not even paying for a venue, or a dress, like I don’t understand how Mrs. David thought she’d have an entire wedding for free? Paid for by whom? Like, all of these people would have to pay out of their own pockets for these services, so that Mrs. David and her seven followers will give them exposure? I cannot comprehend this at all.
Mrs. David then wraps it up:
Yeah, I’m sure everyone is just gonna jump right on that. While I’m so grateful to the Redditor who posted this, I’m a little salty that they included no comments. Like, the comments have to be absolutely amazing, right? What do you even say to something like this? I’ve got to acknowledge that this story seems fake, like that other viral wedding story that turned out to be a marketing ploy, but it’s more fun for me to act as if it’s real. I mean, people do suck, so you really never know.
All I can say is good luck to Mrs. David and her free dream wedding, and to Mr. David, I only have three words: Witness Protection Program.
Images: Fernanda Prado / Unsplash; Reddit; Tenor
The brutal 1989 hit took a much-loved onscreen pairing, Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, and tore them to pieces
Its easy to forget just how consistently, bracingly nasty The War of the Roses is, thanks in great part to the extravagant, and festive, studio packaging it arrived in, unwrapped in cinemas 30 years ago this month. It was fast-paced, glossy, Christmassy and, deceptively, it starred one of the most beloved onscreen couples of the 80s: Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Audiences were accustomed to seeing them bicker in the hit adventures Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile but their sparring was only ever of the screwball variety, a string of lighthearted quips signposting a Billy Ocean-soundtracked happy ending on the horizon.
At the end of the decade, they reunited to show us that happily ever afters are as fantastical as treasure maps and that early romance will more likely give way to seething resentment and sadistic violence. The film was a cruel R-rated footnote to their era of PG-13 flirting and it both shocked and compelled me as a child whose family was in the thick of a divorce at the same time. I didnt see it upon release I was five at the time but as it tore its way to the small screen, it became an early object of obsession. Each rewatch was met with a certain amount of parental displeasure, an understandable concern that I would blur the lines between what happened on screen and what was happening in real life
The War of the Roses unfolds as a cautionary tale, shared by the lawyer Gavin DAmato (Danny DeVito, the reliable third wheel in Douglas and Turners previous two capers and also playing director here) with a client seeking a divorce. Urging him to consider his options, he tells the story of the Roses, a couple whose marital bliss ended in disaster. They met great. They agreed on that, he says, while were taken back to a charming meet-cute as Barbara (Turner) and Oliver (Douglas) compete at an auction in Nantucket. The film leaps forward from the auction to the bedroom to their first apartment to their first house, the couple gliding from one rite of passage to the next, ticking every box that society has taught them to tick. Barbara becomes the perfect housewife, Oliver goes from associate to senior partner at his law firm and they have two cute kids, one boy and one girl.
Everything was working for the Roses, Gavin says. Let me restate that. The Roses were working for everything.
Because in Michael J Leesons exuberantly cynical script, based on the book by Warren Adler, hard work only gets you so far. The Roses were doing everything they thought they needed to do to be happy but it wasnt enough. Those cute kids grow up to be overweight and insolent. That grandiose house ends up feeling empty and alienating. Their relationship goes from fun and frisky to stale and stuffy. The cracks that start to show are initially relatable the annoying way your partner laughs, the rambling way they tell a story, the endless fucking snoring and the escalation is believably restrained. For a while. But the potholes they encounter culminate in more of a sinkhole, those niggling issues no longer fixable with just a brave face.
Barbara asks for a divorce. Oliver says no. Barbara wants the house. So does Oliver. Both stand their ground, refusing to abandon their much-loved home, and the competitive edge that brought them together on that rainy Nantucket day soon becomes the same thing that starts tearing them apart. Its the cruel irony of so many breakups and the film revels in this. As their beautiful house becomes a war zone, the ornament they playfully fought over years ago is brought back to be used as a cruel reminder of what they once had. Its the last straw that forces them into their final physical duel, which leads to their deaths.
One sunny afternoon in 1982, a young businessman experienced a terrifying mugging in New York City that shook him to his core.
Tortured by nightmares about the teens who roughed him up, Steve Mariotti sought counseling. When his therapist suggested that he face his fears, Mariotti closed his small import-export business and became a teacher at the city’s most notorious public school–Boys and Girls High in Bed-Stuy.
Although his nightmares promptly ceased, Mariotti’s out-of-control students rapidly drove him to despair.
One day, Mariotti stepped out of the classroom so his students wouldn’t see him cry. In a desperate move to save his job, he took off his watch and marched back in with an impromptu sales pitch for it. To his astonishment, his students were riveted. He was able to successfully lead a math lesson for the first time.
Mariotti realized his students felt trapped in soul-crushing poverty. They saw zero connection between school and improving their lives. Whenever Mariotti connected their lessons to entrepreneurship, though, even his most disruptive students got excited about learning.
School administrators disapproved of Mariotti discussing money in the classroom, however. He was repeatedly fired before receiving one last-ditch assignment: an offsite program for special-ed students expelled from the public schools for violent crimes.
The success Mariotti had with these forgotten children—including coverage in the Daily News, The New York Times, and World News Tonight—inspired him to found the nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship to bring entrepreneurship education to low-income youth.
By turns tragic and hilarious, Goodbye Homeboy shares Mariotti’s flaws and missteps as he connects deeply with his troubled students, and woos the most influential people in the world into helping them–saving himself in the process.
Today, Mariotti is widely recognized as the world’s leading advocate for entrepreneurship education. More than one million young people from Chicago to China have graduated from NFTE programs, and NFTE counts Sean Combs, Chelsea Clinton, Diana Davis Spencer, and many more business, entertainment, and community leaders among its staunchest supporters.
As Goodbye Homeboy powerfully illustrates, a spark of hope really can empower us to overcome life’s greatest hardships.
Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2T2ibbH
“Steve Mariotti’s moving memoir is a call to action for anyone who dares to dream, and dream big! Steve’s entrepreneurial spirit led him from calming his contentious classroom and nurturing his students’ ‘street smarts’ to becoming the founder of a booming nonprofit. Goodbye Homeboy powerfully illustrates how Steve went from reaching one student to reaching millions with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).”
—Erin Gruwell, teacher and author of The Freedom Writers Diary
“Goodbye Homeboy truly captures Steve Mariotti’s amazing journey as a teacher and an innovator. It’s engaging, heartbreaking, hopeful, and ultimately triumphant. This is the story behind the entrepreneurship-education revolution!”
—Jimmy “Mac” McNeal, founder of Bulldog Bikes Worldwide
“Steve Mariotti is one of the great teachers of our time. In this deeply personal memoir, he describes how a bunch of high-school dropouts in the South Bronx helped him discover the power of entrepreneurship education. Goodbye Homeboy is a page turner—once you open this book, you won’t be able to put it down.”
—Verne Harnish, author of Scaling Up and founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization
About the Author:
Steve Mariotti is the founder and former CEO of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and an advocate for entrepreneurs worldwide. His previous books include the Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business and An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto, which makes a convincing case for the power of entrepreneurship education to combat poverty, terrorism and totalitarianism. Mariotti is also the author of award-winning junior, high-school and college textbooks on entrepreneurship and small business management. He is a popular Huffington Post blogger.
In 1982, Mariotti left a successful business career to become a public high-school teacher in tough New York City neighborhoods like East New York, Bed-Study, and Fort Apache in the South Bronx. Frustrated at first by his rowdy classrooms, Mariotti discovered he could motivate even his most challenging students by teaching them how to run a small business. This experience inspired him to create NFTE in 1987 to bring entrepreneurship education to low-income youth, and empower them to create pathways out of poverty. Today, NFTE is widely considered the leading provider of entrepreneurship education to low-income youth worldwide.
Debra Devi is an award-winning author, journalist and musician based in Jersey City NJ. She has co-authored numerous books with Steve Mariotti, including The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business, How to Start and Operate a Small Business, winner of the Golden Lamp Award for excellence in educational publishing, and An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto. Devi’s book The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu (foreword by Dr. John) received the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. As a journalist, Devi has written for Investor’s Daily, American Banker, Crain’s New York, The Village Voice, RollingStone.com, Guitar World and more. An accomplished guitarist and singer, Devi performs internationally and received a proclamation from Jersey City for her contribution to the arts.