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Sent you the full payment splinterlands @pieternijmeijer

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'Catching Fire' by Suzanne Collins ![image.png](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/pieternijmeijer/23vsZAwZq8AJZGMZxQV7BhDoggDYYBHHWK8KVJaCh73pve36FEWPKMU1SSaiyF1Gb4aW8.png) Hello Hivers and Book Clubbers, In my [last article](https://peakd.com/hive-180164/@pieternijmeijer/the-hunger-games-by-suzanne-collins) I reviewed the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy. Today, it's time to take a look at the second installment, titled 'Catching Fire'. Written in 2009, one does speed through these books quite quickly. Also, as I will talk about the plot, consider this the SPOILER WARNING. **An encore, of sorts** It's been a while since I read an actual series of books. It's been mostly non-fiction over the past years, and some novels for variety. Exceptions are my favorite trilogy, Lord of the Rings, and the far larger Song of Ice and Fire series. The Hunger Games trilogy is more simple by comparison, but it got me thinking of how hard it is to write the second novel in a series. And I'm somewhat sorry to say that this book is showing that difficulty. What I mean by that, is that a writer knows the beginning of its story, and also knows the end it wants to work towards. But what to do in the middle? In the first installment, Collins sows the seeds for the trilogy: Panem, the country of the Hunger Games (HG) universe, is clearly unstable. Hushed talk of rebellion is already heard in the first book. The Hunger Games themselves, which Katniss wins along with Peeta in book 1, are a yearly reminder of the oppression and might of the capital over the 12 districts. The first book makes very clear that this situation will not last forever. So where to go in book two, without being able to make very solid resolutions, which are reserved for book 3? The story starts with Katniss and Peeta making a sort of victory-lap through all the districts. These visits are rehearsed to death; they are becoming part of the propaganda/PR-machine of the Capitol, and they realize it pretty quickly. At one district, Katniss can't/doesn't keep her cool and triggers a riot, which is roughly suppressed with people dying. She also hears at this point that another district, not the one she's visiting at that point, is in full revolt. Back home in district 12, things are changing too. There was always a relatively large security/police presence in the district, but they were pretty lenient in many ways. Certain transgressions were condoned by them, but this stopped with the Capitol looking to retain control in all districts. More 'peacekeepers' (i.e. quite heavily armed police) arrive, with new leadership, which does not let any transgression slide. The transgressions made were mostly to bring extra food on the table, and this was very much essential. Without it, the district starves relatively quickly, and this starts to happen within weeks. Katniss, though not in need herself due to her winning the Games, still goes out to hunt for other families that are not so lucky, thus breaking the rules herself. During a certain hunt, she meets people who fled district 8, the one that was known to have rebelled, who are looking for district 13. District 13 was rumored to still exist, even though it was completely bombed out in the last rebellion 75 years ago. Katniss doesn't know what to think of it at this point. Snow, the president of Panem, realizes that Katniss and Peeta, and other Hunger Games victors as well, will remain a thorn in his side, and a threat to the stability of his rule. His solution, remarkably, is to double down; because it is a sort of jubilee of the Hunger Games, the rebellion it comemmorates being 75 years ago, a special HG-event called the Quarter Quell is announced. And 24 existing victors, 2 from each district, are to fight in it once again. So both Katniss and Peeta are back in the same situation as book 1. This time around however, it does not last as long; where the first took several weeks, this one is done in about three days, and there is no winner; a group of contestants, including Katniss and Peeta, manage to 'break' the arena, and they are rescued in the ensuing chaos. Katniss also notices that other contestants have been actively trying to keep them alive. And at the end of Catching Fire, she is told why; she is deemed essential as THE symbol of the rebellion, which is gathering more and more momentum. She does not have a say in it herself, however, and feels used like a pawn. The book ends with terrible news for Katniss; her home district is completely bombed out, and has basically ceased to exist. **Interim Conclusion** The book really has the feel of a middle part; there are no hard conclusions to the core issues that are posed in the book. I also find the use of a second Hunger Games in this book to be somewhat stale, also because you simply know the protagonist is in no real danger. That's just a given in this genre, unfortunately. It does read away really well, which was also the case for the first, it is very easy to follow. One thing that is remarkable, is that the writer is clearly telling background of the first book in separate paragraphs quite often. It seems she's worried that readers will read this one without having read the first, and that she is trying to get those people up to speed. But the very direct exposition of the first book that is repeated is somewhat jarring when you have read the first installment. So the questions remain for the third book; does the rebellion succeed, or does Panem keep hold of the districts? Does Katniss get a happy end, or will there be another Hunger-Games-type event in book 3 (I hope not, that's for certain). I'll be back soon with a review of book 3, I'll see you all in the next one. ***-Pieter Nijmeijer*** (Top image; book cover of pdf-version) hivebookclub @pieternijmeijer

So you want the hive sent to @asii-rentals ? splinterlands @pieternijmeijer

Glad to see the random time-table of reward distributions acknowledged, and that you're looking to improve it. I'd noticed that too, and I hope you can work out the technical stuff behind it. Cheers. hustlemode @pieternijmeijer

I'm still wondering what the price will do when the actual functionality of land is announced/rolled out. So far, they've been somewhat vague, and I feel like the price doesn't know where to go because of this. It might drop further if it is not what people expected to be. But since I got mine at a very low price, comparatively, I'm not really phased by that at all. splinterlands @pieternijmeijer

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'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins ![image.png](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/pieternijmeijer/23uQhz3Ws39tdQmj43riYjk2Rq8KWkx35BofMxUniEjWoatcCVbGFsjw1rpUrY7RVHC3e.png) Hello Hivers and Book Clubbers, It's been almost two weeks since last time I've written a post. Sometimes you pick up books that warrant a review, either because they are good, and/or because there's something of substance I can say about them. In the meantime I've been reading some books that were somewhat out of my depth, pretty rough stuff. And if I can barely cling on myself, it means I'm not remotely well-versed enough in the matter to convey it in writing to an audience. So to switch up things, I've picked up a fiction-book. And it's a very popular one at that; 'The Hunger Games', written in 2008 by Suzanne Collins. Wikipedia tells me this trilogy is the most-bought young-adult series after Harry Potter, which says something. I was first introduced to the series through the movies, which I watched with friends quite some years ago. Because of this, I knew the big picture already. Since there will be plot-talk in this one, this is your SPOILER ALERT, you've been warned from this point onwards. **A synopsis** What took me to pick up the books (in pdf form) is partly to see if the books are A: different and B: better or worse than the movies were. And as far as the first book is concerned, the movie has kept very much to the source material. So just as a short outline; the story tells about Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl who is selected for an event in an arena, called the Hunger Games. This event, for which 24 teenagers are selected from 12 districts, a boy and a girl each, is held yearly. In this arena, which is virtual/coded, the contestants have to fight to the death, leaving one winner who gets to go home again. Since the story is in a somewhat simple novel-form with one strict point-of-view and protagonist, being Katniss, one can quickly tell she is bound to be the winner, which she becomes at the end of the book. The Hunger Games themselves take up about two-thirds of the book, and are a decent sequence of action and events to keep going. **World-Building** What this book lacks, in my view, is built somewhat poorly in the remaining third of the book, and that is world-building in this universe. I'm not sure, for example, what the relationship is between the world Katniss lives in and ours. The book mentions early on that the state Katniss lives in is called Panem, and that it is built on 'what used to be called the United States'. The capital city of Panem is mentioned to be somewhere in the Rocky Mountain range, though it is just named Capitol, so no hints as to where exactly. What happened? The book mentions wars and rebellions, but does not explain anything. It tells that the yearly Hunger Games are a reminder of the Capitol's power over the districs, as a form of penance for a paticularly hard-fought rebellion by the districts. And these districts are also not described in many words. The first remarkable things is that they have no names, they are just numbered 1 through 12. As mentioned before, Katniss is from 12, which is told to be in the area that used to be Appalachia (roughly 'our' West-Virginia). Also, the population of this district, which is as big as a US state, by the way it is described, is 8000. Just 8000. What happened to this universe? Is it post-apocalyptic? It is not a purely fantasy-setting, since it mentions the 'old' American names and regions. I hope the next two installments give some answers. Also, the logistics of it all seem very odd. Each district is responsible for delivering a certain type of goods to the capital, which seems to act as nothing but a leech on all the others, and lives in wealth while most districts are very poor. District 12 is known for coal-mining (once again echoing the Appalachia-area in the United States), and is the poorest of them all. Hunger is an all-pervasive issue, the mines make the people sick, etc. Contact between the districts is minimal, yet the Capitol is able to retrieve all goods and to keep order. It is a very dicatiorial/authoritarian system, to the point of it being ridiculous. And the book is not subtle in the fact that a rebellion might be brewing. Unrest is clearly below the surface. So to top it all off, the main event of a book is a happening where each district is forced to give up two of its young boys and girls, to most likely be slaughtered in a televized media-event, just to let them all know who's boss. The book is pretty thinly veiled in this regard, that things are not goint to last this way for long. **Interim Conclusion** So the book, I'd say, reads away very well, yet does not bring any surprises. That the protagonis will win is a given, and the world described is clearly not going to last. Also, the sentences are often very short. I'm not used to this, perhaps because it is very uncommon in non-fiction, but it would be good for people who are looking to improve their English from a lower level. I'll be reading the next two installments as well, and posting reviews about them too. I'd like to get answers to some of the questions posed here as far as the world-building is concerned, and to see if the movies remain as true-to-form to the books as the first one seems to be. I'll see you all in the next one, ***-Pieter Nijmeijer*** hivebookclub @pieternijmeijer

At 1 hive per token, I'll buy all 480 offered to me splinterlands @pieternijmeijer

Not sure if I understood it right; So am I supposed to let you know I'm interested in buying the extra tokens within 7 days, or do I also have to buy them within that time? splinterlands @pieternijmeijer

Thanks for the highlight book @pieternijmeijer

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'An Outlaw's Diary' by Cecile Tormay ![image.png](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/pieternijmeijer/243WTeweiHQLETWhzCk7ELMFd9MXBNwEUK7Ntkk4PadonkcHLC7PrcA5ZPqLzxN2qAca5.png) Good day Hivers and Book Clubbers, I'm back with another book review, and unlike the last book, I hope to manage this one in a single article of reasonable length. When looking for/buying books I'm always interested in stories that are 'rescued', i.e. almost-forgotten books and histories on the lesser known subjects. The book I'm reviewing today can be seen as fulfilling that description. Its full title is 'An outlaw's diary; an account of the Bolshevik revolution in Hungary', written by Cecile Tormay, a Hungarian writer and antirevolutionary. Originally published in English in 1923, it has seen the limelight again thanks to Antelope Hill Publishing, who re-released this title in 2020. I bought if off of Amazon, so it's probably widely available in many places of the world. As the title implies, the book is structured as a diary. Over a period of about five months, from march 1919 to august 1919, there are entries for almost every day. Some are filled with current events, others are to give perspective of the entire situation in Hungary, whether about the current government or geopolitics. I won't make this a play-by-play for the entire story; in this review I'll talk more about the background and circumstances of the story proper, which means I can talk more about history. **Communist Revolution** The history of Hungary, as that of most countries on this earth, is complicated. But for the past several centuries, it knew a foreign ruler; the Habsburg Dynasty. The Habsburg monarchy ruled over quite a vast territory at the turn of the 20th century; it included modern-day Austria, Slovenia, Czechia, Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, and parts of Poland, Romania and Serbia. A massive, multi-ethnic and multi-religious block. The Hungarians could be considered the most prominent entity within this realm, after the Austrians. They still held a lot of local autonomy, and some of the other peoples in the realm swore fealty to them instead of to Vienna (most notably the Croats). The Habsburgs would end up at war with the Entente in World War One, which was triggered by the murder of the Habsburg arch-duke, Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo. The war proved that the Habsburg realm was fragile, and did not do very well in battle. In the end, the war was lost, and the Habsburgs dynasty came to an end as far as ruling parts of Europe was concerned. One of the main results of World War One was socialism breaking to the surface. It had built up in the decades before as a political current, but exploded onto the world in Russia, during both the february and october revolutions in Russia. One aspect of communism is its global goal; it looks to unite the whole world in this one globalistic ideology, as a one-size-fits-all solution to the issues of the world. There was a similar two-step process in Hungary as there was in Russia. The book tells of the socialist-aligned revolution in october of 1918, and of a direct communist takeover, led by Bela Kun, in march of 1919, about half a month later. The similarity with Russia is remarkable in this regard. Tormay was at 'ground zero' for the communist revolution in Hungary, which was the capital, Budapest. Throughout the story, one can really get a feel for how there was no real support for communism outside of Budapest and other larger cities; from here, the revolutionaries struggled to get their bearings on the country. It also shows how the resistance to communism was almost non-existent then, since the regime itself was for all appearances and talk of 'revolution', pretty weak all around. But the powers of the country were spent in the World War, so resistance was sporadic. Also, the sheer brutality of the communist regime was remarkable. Death sentences without a fair hearing were passed and executed on the spot. All forms of 'anti-revolutionaries' from all political and religious proclivities were persecuted, all considered enemies of the revolution. Tormay, the writer, was considered an anti-revolutionary as well, and had to flee Budapest until the regime was overthrown. **Conclusion** The book reads somewhat like a thriller, since the writer is fearful for her life, for good reason. In the end, Bela Kun's regime lasted for four months. Hungary was at war with its neighbours, looking to spread the revolution. It was, however, far weaker than Romania, which entered Budapest in early August of 1919. The communist leadership fled to Vienna, not to return. The irony is that communism would later come back to Hungary, once again from Moscow, but now through Stalin instead of Lenin and Trotsky. Today, one could consider Hungary to be one of the most militant anti-communist countries in the world. Perhaps this is because its people have lived through two communist administrations, one only lasting a few months, and the other lasting several decades. The book is a good blend of storytelling, historical background and geopolitics, and I can recommend it. It totals about 200 pages, and reads away pretty well, although I wouldn't consider it light reading in the way a work of fiction can be. Some of the details are pretty gruesome as well. I'll be back with more book-reviews in the future. I'll see you all in the next one, ***-Pieter Nijmeijer*** (Top image; selfmade photo of book cover) hivebookclub @pieternijmeijer

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Afrikaner Sondebok; Final Part ![image.png](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/pieternijmeijer/23wMap4BnC9bYqGFCrzDvCeqzQMTw97pmhsscwnuUDVxmTcusXzGEvxBCwi6sDiEKmDwN.png) Good day Hivers and Book Clubbers, This the the third and final part of my review of 'Afrikaner Sondebok?' by Albert Blake, which is a biography of Hans van Rensburg, an important man in Afrikaner history. **Impact of WW2** We left the story in the previous part at the moment where Van Rensburg became leader of the Ossewabrandwag, an Afrikaner cultural organization, in january of 1941. For this, he gave up his position as administrator of the Free State to give it all his time and energy. The book notes he did not do it for the money, because the pay was far worse than in his original position, and he often lived in near-poverty in the late 40s and 50s. Under his leadership, there was a clear shift in the style of the entire OB. It went from cultural to political, and from civilian to para-militaristic. These changes can clearly be traced to Van Rensburg; his pro-republican and anti-British stances, combined with his personal sympathy for national socialism, steered the organization towards an explicit pro-republicanism. It was the main end-goal of the OB: a republic of South-Africa, free from the British, and from party-politics. Van Rensburg's fascination with the military was due to him being part of it. As mentioned in part one, he joined the commando near his home-town at age 16. He also was an avid hunter, and was slowly climbing the ranks of the South African army as well, albeit in more of a reserve-capacity. The militarism in the OB became clear in its parades and marches, which clearly took inspiration from Italy and Germany. It was also apparent in Van Rensburg's title as leader; 'Commandant General', and the main leaders also being called Generals. The fate of the OB as an organization quickly became tied to that of Germany in the Second World War. When it looked like Germany was doing well, mainly in 1940 and 1941, the popularity of the OB rose to heights before unknown in South Africa; it is estimated that about 300.000 people were members at the time. You can imagine that these numbers for a national socialist organization caught the attention of basically everyone in the country. Smuts' United Party government kept a close eye on all main leaders of the OB, Van Rensburg chiefly among them. Some advised Smuts to imprison Van Rensburg, but Smuts never did during the entire war. Also, the OB was clearly a threat , in terms of popularity and allegiance, to other nationalist groups, more specifically the National Party. There were many disputes between the NP and OB; about whether and how the latter should tackle party politics. At some points van Rensburg wanted to enter party politics, despite his lack of belief in the system. This was thorougly opposed by the NP, who feared splitting the Afrikaner electorate, thus letting Smuts' UP win in perpetuity. Also, the NP's leader, D.F. Malan, and Van Rensburg did not get along very well on a personal level, which hindered cooperation, obviously. **Sabotage and Treason** South Africa was heavily divided on whether it should enter World War 2. Smuts' United party was split too. Smuts and the English South Africans were all for helping out the United Kingdom and joining. Hertzog, the Boer general who had joined the UP in 1933, was against it, along with a significant part of the Afrikaner wing of the party. The National Party was clearly opposed, seeing it as a conflict Afrikaners had no stake in at all. Afrikaner resistance to WW1 caused the 1914-Rebellion. For WW2, no such active revolt occurred, though political resistance was more severe. The OB, clearly sympathising with the German cause, and against that of the British Empire, took to other forms of resistance. Sabotage became very common in South Africa; telephone lines were cut, power stations destroyed and bridges/railways were blown up. Van Rensburg led the people who did this, the Stormjaers (Storm troopers), and knew about and had a final say on all their activities. There was one rule, however: no Afrikaner lives should be lost because of the sabotage-actions. A principle that prevented an active revolt, at the very least. Another important factor in the OB's resistance was the contact that was established early on between Van Rensburg and the Germans. Through Lourenzo Marques (Mozambique, then held by neutral Portugal) Van Rensburg sent intel to the Germans on several things; South African troop movements, Allied ships docked in South Africa, etc. The Germans, in turn, sent several plans to Van Rensburg for the OB to stage a coup in South Africa, and for van Rensburg to rule it as a type of client-state for Germany. Deemed far too risky and reckless by Van Rensburg, he declined all offers to do so. **Later Life** As the war went on, the Germans were clearly starting to lose from 1943 onwards (some would argue earlier, but lets stick with this). The OB's fate was bound with Germany's chances, it seemed, because it entered a steep decline at the same time as German chances in the war faded. After the war ended with the loss of Germany, the OB's national socialist tendencies faded fast. It had another big issue; many inside the South African government were looking to try Van Rensburg in court for treason. The evidence compiled against him was mounting, and he would probably be judged guilty if a trial was called. But this did not happen; Smuts was never willing to pull that trigger. This, once again, had clear political reason. He was not looking to make martyrs out of Afrikaner nationalists while nationalism was on the rise among Afrikaners. Also, Van Rensburg himself was not nearly as influential as he had been several years prior; the problem had, in a way, sorted itself out. Smuts' UP government would not be able to stem the tide of Afrikaner nationalism; in 1948, the National Party won a victory against the UP, meaning Smuts' exit out of politics, and a realization of some of Van Rensburgs' ideals. For one, the new cabinet was all-Afrikaner and Afrikaans-speaking; a first in South-African history. It also put South-Africa on the path of becoming a republic, which happened in 1961. Van Rensburg would die of a heart attack in 1966, at age 68. The book relays several other aspects of his life that I left out of this review; his marriage, his passion for fishing and hunting, and several details that can be talked about in a 300-page book, that won't make it into a review. I hope I've convinced/interested you in picking up this book; it's also available in English on sites like Amazon, so it shouldn't be an issue. I'll see you al in a next review on another book. Until the next one, ***-Pieter Nijmeijer*** hivebookclub @pieternijmeijer

Hi, thanks for the highlight, much appreciated. book @pieternijmeijer

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