Newsletter March 2022: help the people from Ukraine, plus book and music tips

Newsletter March 2022: help the people from Ukraine, plus book and music tips

Hey,

Surreal. I'm out here, watching the birds in our garden tip-toe around the lawn, chirping happily and scouting out the mating grounds. The sun is caressing budding flora to hail in the approaching spring. Such a peaceful scene. Meanwhile, less than 2000 kilometers from here (just a day of driving away) an army of monsters is destroying a country and murdering the people living in it with unprovoked and inhuman aggression.

I'm obviously referring to the vicious invasion by the Russian Federation into their neighbouring country Ukraine. I can't say I'm surprised. It's been coming for years. I am also not surprised by the atrocities the Russians are committing. They destroy hospitals, shoot at civilians. They spare no expense to confirm the stereotype of the Russian brute. It's appalling.

I have a vivid imagination. So for the past two weeks, images of people forced to leave behind their lives, their friends and their families to run from bombs falling from the sky passed by my mind's eye. All they have left are the clothes on their body and, if they're lucky, their mobile phone to stay in touch with their loved ones. It reminds me of the stories my mother told me. In the second world war, German bombs reduced my grandmother's home to rubble. For a while she did not know where her children were or whether they were safe. That's what millions in Ukraine are going through right now while I'm writing this newsletter.

All this is a tough reminder of how fragile peace is. Take a look around you. Do you see your belongings, the pictures of your loved ones? That lovely vase you inherited from your aunt, your kid's toys, your family? In the blink of an eye, it could all be gone. An army of Russian animals invading your country, an intercontinental nuclear warhead dropped on your city, whatever.

If you've been with me for a while, you'll know we're packing up to move to Sweden. But as the things we collected in 40+ years of life go through my hands and into boxes, I wonder: will I still have my comfortable life a year from now, or will this war escalate even further? Will I have joined the massive hordes of refugees by then?

My heart is with the people in Ukraine, and I feel we should all do whatever we can to help the victims of this senseless war. We can't change the mind of a senile dictator who has lost all sense of reality or humanity. But we can help those suffering from his evil actions. Millions are on the run, fleeing to surrounding countries. If you have a few dollar, euro, yen or pound to spare, please donate to the international red cross or a charity of your choice that helps these innocent people.

I'm sorry to burden you with such a heavy newsletter, but my mind is a tad bit preoccupied with this war and its implications and I can't think of much else these days.

In any case, keep reading for two fresh books you may like to keep your own mind off of impending doom. There's also a music tip, just in case this is the end of the world. Stay safe and stay sane!

Flag of Ukraine, blue band on top, yellow band below

Book Tips

Scary drawing of a skeletal warrier Box set of three books, woman blazing with guns on front
Blythe Valley has a secret that it wishes no one discovers. This collection of stories reveals what it wants to hide.

The night Atticus decided to take his life, a Fallen Angel came to him to help him with the grief he felt from losing his wife. Traveling across the country with his flock to find the promised land, his followers have no idea where some have gone. Katrina doesn’t speak of their leader’s strange actions until years later after all but her and her husband, Griff, tragically perish.

Decades pass, and Heather and her friends find the fabled town of Blythe, where she discovers a strange box that soon brings all of her dreams to life. Her husband, Shane, becomes unsure of her late-night escapades and begins to remember their past. When he discovers the diary that led them to Blythe years before, he learns an unexpected history.

Aletha and Pete live in her grandfather’s house, which seems to have more than them living in it. When Amilcar shows himself to Aletha, and she discovers Pete’s corpse on the floor at the bottom of the stairs, she leaves the house to escape. A priest takes it upon himself to help her rid the home of the Fallen Angel to perish at its feet.

Ezra Thompson has had dealings with the Carrington Collective in the past. When he and his son, Eli, visit Waldgrave to investigate, they quickly learn that Amilcar has taken another to do its bidding. With little time to prepare, they face off with the Fallen Angel to save the town and its residents from its reign of terror.

Get it here!

The League lies in shambles, a shell of its former self.

Controlled by the alleged daughter of the last Tetrarch, in fact a rogue droid controls all. Determined to rebuild her "father's" legacy, the droid puts into motion the last cold war options against the Planetary Republic: Assassins.

This third series set in veteran science fiction author Jaxon Reed's Milky Way Universe is a fast-paced, action-packed space opera, with space marines and intergalactic intrigue, fist fights and rolling gun battles, high tech skullduggery and crafty solutions to interstellar conflicts. Now is your chance to grab the first three books in this exceptional series!

Get it for free here!

Music Tips

Album cover of depicting abstract insect-like creatures roaming soft green landscape with abstract
            shapes

(youtube, spotify)

When the demented Putin told the world he'd put his country's nuclear arsenal on alert, I immediately thought of this record. Medeski, Martin & Wood's End Of The World Party (Just In Case) has the perfect title to capture my state of mind in these weird times. Well, that and a classic Dutch track De Bom by Doe Maar.

Anyway, back to Medeski, Martin & Wood. This is the first album of the trio I ever heard, but certainly not the last. Rooted in the traditional jazz-trio setting, the ensemble has created a genre of their own by fusing funk, jazz and electronic sounds together. Next to the Hammond B3 and Fender Rhodes, a plethora of synths and keyboards are layered over the rolling drums and grooving bass to create rich and layered soundscapes.

If the end of the world is near, this is the perfect sound track to go out on.

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