Book Review: The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

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The Wolf of Wall Street

by  Jordan Belfort

genre: memoir

Summary from Goodreads

wolf-of-wallstreet

By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could, on drugs, sex, and international globe-trotting. From the binge that sunk a 170-foot motor yacht, crashed a Gulfstream jet, and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab, to the wife and kids who waited for him for at home, and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king and did his bidding, here, in his own inimitable words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called…

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

In the 1990s Jordan Belfort, former kingpin of the notorious investment firm Stratton Oakmont, became one of the most infamous names in American finance: a brilliant, conniving stock-chopper who led his merry mob on a wild ride out of the canyons of Wall Street and into a massive office on Long Island. Now, in this astounding and hilarious tell-all autobiography, Belfort narrates a story of greed, power, and excess no one could invent–the story of an ordinary guy who went from hustling Italian ices at sixteen to making hundreds of millions. Until it all came crashing down.

Mature content.

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Blind Sight: Leocardo | Chapter Seven

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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter SEVEN

IMPENDING DAWN

BlindSightLeoBookCoverLeocardo threw open his bedroom curtains and saw the wonderful transformation the snow had brought upon the city. Everything was covered with frost. Icicles dripped into pools below. The white flakes clung to the branches and trunks of trees, sticking wherever the wind pushed it. A smile grew on his unshaven face as he stood there in only his long pajama pants. He caught Odette in the hallway.

“When is your friend coming over today?” he murmured as he closed his bedroom door.

“She’s picking me up to go out, then we’re having dinner, then we’ll come back here. Apparently her friend Nate will be joining us,” she added quickly.

“What?” His head snapped around. “And you tell me this now?”

“I mentioned it some days ago,” she replied, innocently.

“You must’ve muttered it under your breath because I don’t remember you ever asking,” he said.

“It’s fine.”

Leocardo shook his head in disappointment. “Keep your phone on you at all times, and watch out for Nate—”

“Don’t be stupid, Ana trusts him,” she tried to defend.

“I’m sure he won’t try anything with Ana, but you’re the pretty friend who is accompanying them.”

Odette blushed. “Go away,” she said trying to cover up her embarrassment and avoided the rest of the conversation by going into the bathroom.

The gushing sound of water echoed around the bathroom as Odette turned on the shower. He closed his eyes for a moment and realized how little control he had over his sister’s decisions and her actions.

The apartment buzzer went off. Leocardo glanced over to the door, was that Ana and Nate?

Odette yelled from the shower, “Can you get that!”

Leocardo slowly made his way toward the buzzer. He pressed the button. “Hello, who is it?” Continue reading

__picture it & write

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I urge people to join in, comment with your paragraph of fiction to accompany the image. It doesn’t have to follow my story or reflect the same themes. It can be a poem or in a different language (provide a translation please :) ). Anyone who wants to join in, is welcome. This photograph will be reblogged under Ermisenda on tumblr and added to the Picture it & Write gallery on Facebook and Pinterest.

Please continue to write however you’re inspired, but add a tag to the beginning of your post if there’s mature content in order to keep Picture it & Write an engaging event for all of our followers.

forest“How much longer do we have to stay out here for?” Yezus asked, folding his arms behind his head.

“You said you’d let me show you the woods for a few days. Try and enjoy yourself.” Richard kept his gaze steady, watching the trees.

“But how long is a few days?” Yezus looked over to Richard, waiting for him to look over. With no response, Yezus looked straight ahead at the trees again and tried to relax. “Aren’t you scared a witch will come out? Or a bunch of giant spiders? Or maybe the chainsaw massacre guy?”

Richard chuckled lightly. “Nature is the most peaceful thing to me and yet you manage to think about those things while looking at it.”

“I’m not saying that it’s the only thing I see, it’s just–“

Richard leaned over and kissed Yezus on the lips. He pulled away and took his hand. “We’ll go for a hike in ten minutes.” Then Richard went back to staring at the forest.

Yezus nodded, leaned back, and stared ahead too. He squeezed Richard’s hand. “If anything was to jump out, it’d definitely be that chick from the grudge.”

- Ermisenda Alvarez Continue reading

Book Review: The Feminist Porn Book

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The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure

edited by Tristan Taormino, Constance Penley, Celine Parreñas Shimizu, and Mireille Miller-Young

genre: non-fiction, psychology, sexology, journalism, human sexuality

There were so many great essays in here, but I found some repetitive. Find out why I gave it 4 out of 5 stars!

Summary

(Taken from Goodreads)Feminist-Porn-Book

The Feminist Porn Book brings together for the first time writings by feminists in the adult industry and research by feminist porn scholars. This book investigates not only how feminists understand pornography, but also how feminists do porn—that is, direct, act in, produce, and consume one of the world’s most lucrative and growing industries. With original contributions by Susie Bright, Candida Royalle, Betty Dodson, Nina Hartley, Buck Angel, and more, The Feminist Porn Book updates the debates of the porn wars of the 1980s, which sharply divided the women’s movement, and identifies pornography as a form of expression and labor in which women and other minorities produce power and pleasure.

Review

It was excited to read this book because I wanted to hear the debate about pornography from an open perspective that would talk about the issues on both sides. Unfortunately, this book isn’t so much about the debate about pornography, but more about feminist pornography. Although the book talks about how feminist pornography differs for some, it is more or less ethically produced pornography that emphasises genuine sexual pleasure on screen (particularly the womans and other oppressed sexual minorities). I had heard about feminist pornography and this book really filled me in on the history and big debates in the field. For that, I found it fascinating, but I also wish there was more talk about mainstream pornography.

My favourite essays were from porn-stars-turned-directors and a psychologist. It helped me work through ingrained beliefs I didn’t believe I had. For example, that female sex workers are always victims or have somehow been ‘damaged’. Even though there is most definitely exploited women in pornography, there are also women (hopefully not a small minority) that genuinely love what they do and have not experienced any kind of trauma in their upbringing. Even though I had accepted that idea, I hadn’t really processed it as well until I read some of these essays. As a psychology student, I really enjoyed the essay from the psychologist and learning how pornography was able to help her clients through their identity and self-esteem troubles. It was an eye-opener because I had never considered pornography as a possible tool for counselling.

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Blind Sight: Leocardo | Chapter Six

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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter SIX

PELTING SNOW

BlindSightLeoBookCover

Leocardo was startled awake by the sound of his apartment door slamming shut. His heart thundered in his chest until he realized it was Odette coming home. Claudia moved beside him.

Odette burst into his room. “Can you help me or do you still have your slut over?” Claudia’s expression froze and Leocardo was too stunned to answer.

“I’m so sorry,” he started to mumble, hoping Claudia would understand that Odette was not usually this malevolent. “Just wait here,” he told her. Claudia looked up at him looking incredibly vulnerable.

Odette spun around on her heels and left his room. “Odette,” he hissed, following her out into the living room.

“What?” Her fake innocence was even more enraging.

“You know what.” She ignored him. “I’m not going to take this immature behavior from my sixteen-year-old sister. How dare you embarrass Claudia like that?”

“Immature! You let that woman seduce you in our home! I have to live here!”

“Don’t be so naïve little sister,” he said cruelly.

What did it matter to Odette who Leocardo had been with, or who made the first move? Leocardo knew that this was about how he had been spending his time recently. Odette wanted to always have him at her beck and call instead of him in a serious relationship. She had never cared before, so why now?

“Claudia is my frie—” he was cut short as his bedroom door opened. He twisted around to see Claudia standing there with a blank expression.

“I’d be careful of what you say little girl,” Claudia taunted as she picked up her belongings. “You don’t know anything about me.”

“Claudia, I’m so sorry,” Leocardo apologized before turning around to see Odette grinning smugly. “Apologize to Claudia,” he snapped.

“No Leo, it’s okay,” Claudia insisted. “You two clearly have issues.”

“Odette, apologize,” he threatened, knowing she would not be able to see his death glare. He watched helplessly as Claudia made it to the door. Continue reading

Picture it & Write

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Welcome to the Picture it & Write creative writing exercise. I invite people to join in, comment with your paragraph of fiction to accompany the image. It doesn’t have to follow my story or reflect the same themes. It can be a poem or in a different language (please provide a translation). Anyone who wants to join in, is welcome. This photograph will be reblogged under Ermisenda on tumblr and added to the Picture it & Write gallery on Facebook and Pinterest.

Please continue to write however you’re inspired, but add a tag to the beginning of your post if there’s mature content in order to keep Picture it & Write an engaging event for all of our followers.

fortune cookies

Is it possible to have just one soul mate? Mathematically, it just seems cruel. The statistical probability of your soul mate being born within the same country, speaking the same language, is higher than the probably of them being of an appropriate age for you assuming you’re even alive in the same century. There simply has to be more than one person you can end up with. The divorce rate is only 50%. Imagine how high it would be if each couple was pre-paired off.

That’s what I like about math. Statistics, probability, answers to the universe. There’s an answer to everything, a logical answer. Even if we haven’t figured it out yet, math solves everything–even romance.

-Eliabeth Hawthorne

Picture it & Write now supports The Girl Effect, a movement empowering girls to break the cycle of poverty in their communities, countries, and world. All profits from the publication are donated to this cause.


Everyone is welcome to use the button, just link them back to the Picture it & Write category or Ermiliablog:) Share your love for Picture it & write on your blog with the image below. Be proud, and stylish ;) !

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Movie Review: The Book Thief

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The Book Thief

genre: historical fiction

the-book-thief-movieThe movie stays quite true to the book, which I really appreciated. The cast was not entirely comprised of super models, something I found quite refreshing. Max and Rudy’s father were exactly how I pictured them though Max should have been more scruffy. The reading wall and snowball fight was incredibly well done–two of my favorite moments in the book. It gave a much needed comic relief to an otherwise depressing tale.

There was only one scene where the movie deviated drastically from the book. Liesel keeps Max’s secret through the entire book, but Rudy figures it out in the movie. I had such faith and respect for Liesel in the book that turned to disappointment in the movie. The rest of the changes were subtle and added some tension, especially for any who haven’t read it yet.

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Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

genre: historical fiction

Summary from Goodreads

the-book-thiefIt is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.

So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

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Blind Sight: Leocardo | Chapter Five

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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter FIVE

TUGGING AT THE SEAMS

BlindSightLeoBookCoverDespite his decision to leave the island as soon as possible, Claudia had talked him into going to the Founder’s Day Carnival. He had even gone out and bought new clothes and cell phones for him and Odette. If he was going to be here for now, he would make the best of it, no matter how little he cared about the day the first explorers ‘landed’. It was more likely that they were kidnapped, Leo thought bitterly.

“Odette you ready yet?” Leocardo called as he finished his cereal and started to sip the excess milk.

“What’s the rush?” she called through her bedroom door.

“Claudia is taking us and I don’t want her waiting outside.”

Leocardo swore he heard a displeasing scoff. “What did you say?”

“Nothing!”

Leocardo frowned. Claudia had done nothing obnoxious toward Odette and he had no idea where the insolent attitude came from. He left the bowl in the sink and raised a fist to bang on Odette’s door, but it swung open before he could knock and Odette brushed past him. His frustration grew when she started to make breakfast as if she had hours to spare.

“What are…?” Leocardo started before he felt his phone ringing in his pocket. Quickly, he fumbled for it, taking it out just in time. “Claudia?”

“Hey, Leo, I’m outside.”

“We’ll be down in a minute. Let’s go, Odette.”

“I haven’t even had breakfast yet,” she whined, feeling around in kitchen cupboards with her fingertips. “Are we taking Cielo?”

“I don’t think Claudia would like Cielo being in her car.”

“Of course she wouldn’t.”

“Odette, she is allergic. Why are you being so—?”

Odette sighed loudly, cutting him off. “Cielo never gets to go out anymore, you’re working, I have school, and you always forget to take her for walks because you’re too busy with Claudia,” she complained. “She’s your dog.” Leocardo folded his arms, irritated. “I’ll take Cielo; I’ll just walk to the carnival alone.”

“Don’t be stupid.” He was getting more intolerant of her proposals. He knew teenagers were moody, but Odette seemed excessively so. Had he ever been this annoying?

“The carnival isn’t even that far from here.”

“Hurry up.” Continue reading

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