Livestock: Food, Friends, & Fiber by Erin McKenna

78.livestock_erin mckenna

Rating: 3/5 stars

Published: 15 March 2018 by University of Georgia Press

Genre(s): Non-fiction; Agricultural & food industry

Pages: 264 (eARC)

Most livestock in America currently live in cramped and unhealthy confinement, have few stable social relationships with humans or others of their species, and finish their lives by being transported and killed under stressful conditions. In Livestock, Erin McKenna allows us to see this situation and presents alternatives. She interweaves stories from visits to farms, interviews with producers and activists, and other rich material about the current condition of livestock. In addition, she mixes her account with pragmatist and ecofeminist theorizing about animals, drawing in particular on John Dewey’s account of evolutionary history, and provides substantial historical background about individual species and about human-animal relations.

This deeply informative text reveals that the animals we commonly see as livestock have rich evolutionary histories, species-specific behaviors, breed tendencies, and individual variation, just as those we respect in companion animals such as dogs, cats, and horses. To restore a similar level of respect for livestock, McKenna examines ways we can balance the needs of our livestock animals with the environmental and social impacts of raising them, and she investigates new possibilities for human ways of being in relationships with animals. This book thus offers us a picture of healthier, more respectful relationships with livestock.

Read More »


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #15

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

What I Read Last (2) Weeks:

79.the king of con_giacomaro & stoynoff

The King of Con by Thomas Giacomaro & Natasha Stoynoff was truly an enjoyable true crime.

83.the great gatsby_f. scott fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a classic that I’ve never read. I skimmed through it plenty of times in the past but have never read it from cover to cover until last week. I’m reading this for pure leisure, so I will not be writing a review on it.

Currently Reading:

82.the peithosian gift_c archer

I am now reading The Peithosian Gift and it has ‘forbidden-love forged by two hearts from warring clans” written all over.

84.saints and misfits_s k ali

“When was the last time I listened to an audiobook?”, I pondered one night. The answer to that dismayed me because it was in July. Hence, the unplanned Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali. I picked this purely because there’s a ‘modern’ hijabi on the cover.

Up Next:

85.burning sky_weston ochse

It’s that time of the year when all you’re seeing is ads and trailers for horror movies. So that’s what I’m craving to read at this moment, but not necessarily anything supernatural. Burning Sky by Weston Ochse fits the bill in my Netgalley shelf, so that’s what I’m reading next.

The King of Con by Thomas Giacomaro & Natasha Stoynoff

79.the king of con_giacomaro & stoynoff

Rating: 5/5 stars

Published: 25 September 2018 by Benbella Books

Genre(s): Biography Memoir; True Crime

Pages: 305 (eARC)

As a teenager, Tom Giacomaro began working in the mob-laden New Jersey trucking industry. A charming, brash-talking salesman, he climbed the ranks, and let his lust for money and relationships with New York and Philadelphia crime families send him spiraling into a world of drugs and violence. Forced to go on the lam in South Africa and Europe he returned a year later, with millions of dollars, worth of diamonds stuffed in his underwear. And that’s only the beginning.

In his memoir, Tom details how he eventually hashed out a deal with the FBI, agreeing to become a special crime informant to avoid jail time, only he somehow manages not to rat anyone out and, incredibly, continues his high-finance, shady dealings, luring celebrities and other high-profile contacts to invest millions in his new business ventures. When it all inevitably comes crashing down, Tom is thrown in prison for over a decade, yet, even behind bars, he’s able to get what he wants from anyone: the warden, the doctors, the guards, and his fellow inmates . . . and finds a way to get released early.

Cowritten by Natasha Stoynoff, The King of Con is the true story about a smart, streetwise Jersey boy who talked his way to the top and became richer and more successful than his wildest dreams. It offers an unforgettable look into the life of a man who became hooked on living life to thrilling and dangerous excess, rubbing elbows with celebrities and crime bosses, until he was humbled by the FBI, by the US Attorney, and by life itself.

Now, Tom is back in his old New Jersey neighborhood. His mob cronies are calling, his palms are itching to make billions again, and the US Attorney’s office is watching. Will he stay on the straight and narrow, or will he return to his old ways and steal back his crown of crime as the King of Con?

Read More »

The Happy Body: The Simple Science of Nutrition, Exercise, and Relaxation by Aniela & Jerzy Gregorek

81.the happy body_gregorek

Rating: 5/5 stars. Recommended!

Published: 11 January 2017 by Jurania Press

Genre(s): Self-help

Pages: 310 (Kindle)

Becoming lean and fit is not a matter of training for a few weeks, like Rocky, to become a world champion. That only happens in Hollywood movies that portray professional athletes exercising for hours every day until they are exhausted. Real athletes never do that. They train only to the point that they can recover for the next day s training. Their progress comes in small increments, not heroic triumphs. Unfortunately, movies have persuaded people that they can become lean and fit virtually overnight. Even the weight loss and fitness industry bought into this distortion and began pushing people to become like Rocky. When that approach failed, because people were injuring themselves or burning out or jumping from one program to another, trainers began to entertain their clients instead of finding solutions to their problems. If you want to become truly lean and fit, you must work at it like an athlete, following a structured routine and that is easier and more pleasant than you may expect. The principles that work for athletes also work for ordinary people of all ages. Athletes, of course, have coaches. The Happy Body program, on the other hand, will teach you everything you need to know to be your own coach. This innovative program establishes, for the first time, exact scientific and testable methods and goals to engineer your own weight loss and fitness within precise time periods. That empowers you to self-correct your progress at every step. The Happy Body is a total health program, not just an exercise or diet plan. It will teach you to safely lose 1.0 to 2.5 pounds every week, and keep them off, without getting stuck at plateaus. You will have full control over the process, right down to the ounce. In addition to teaching you how to lose weight, the program will also help you to restore the flexibility and posture you had as a young child, and to be leaner, stronger, and faster than you have ever been. In essence, The Happy Body program will not only make you as youthful as you were at twenty, but twenty as you would have been if you had followed the program at that age.

Read More »

How Hard Can It Be (Kate Reddy, #2) by Allison Pearson hard can it be_allison pearson

Rating: 4/5 stars

Published: 5 June 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Genre(s): Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Pages: 384 (eARC – Kindle)

Few sequels beat the original, but How Hard Can It Be? does so hands down.

Kate Reddy’s comeback as a pushing-50 “Returner,” re-entering the workforce after a spell on the mommy track, is zesty, razor-sharp, and hilarious. With a robust absence of self-pity, she has defined the humiliating onset of “invisibility” that coincides with the onrushing pressures of parents, teenage kids, and a marriage gone flat, all while attempting to reinstate her perilous professional worth. It’s full of such quotable casual profundity on the female condition I couldn’t read it without a pencil to underline the abundance of great lines. Get ready for Kate!” —Tina Brown

Allison Pearson’s brilliant debut novel, I Don’t Know How She Does It, was a New York Times bestseller with four million copies sold around the world. Called “the definitive social comedy of working motherhood” (The Washington Post) and “a hysterical look―in both the laughing and crying senses of the world―at the life of Supermom” (The New York Times), I Don’t Know How She Does It introduced Kate Reddy, a woman as sharp as she was funny. As Oprah Winfrey put it, Kate’s story became “the national anthem for working mothers.”

Seven years later, Kate Reddy is facing her 50th birthday. Her children have turned into impossible teenagers; her mother and in-laws are in precarious health; and her husband is having a midlife crisis that leaves her desperate to restart her career after years away from the workplace. Once again, Kate is scrambling to keep all the balls in the air in a juggling act that an early review from the U.K. Express hailed as “sparkling, funny, and poignant…a triumphant return for Pearson.”

Will Kate reclaim her rightful place at the very hedge fund she founded, or will she strangle in her new “shaping” underwear? Will she rekindle an old flame, or will her house burn to the ground when a rowdy mob shows up for her daughter’s surprise (to her parents) Christmas party? Surely it will all work out in the end. After all, how hard can it be?

Read More »

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #14

Sometime during the last week, I headed over to my NetGalley badges collection section to see how I’ve been doing. I was delightfully surprised by this badge – yay!:

-netgalley_top reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

What I Read Last (2) Weeks: hard can it be_allison pearson

How Hard Can It Be by Allison Pearson is a sequel to I Don’t Know How She Does it and it was a good read, thank goodness.

81.the happy body_gregorek

I love that I’m buddy-reading The Happy Body: The Simple Science of Nutrition, Exercise, and Relaxation by Aniela & Jerzy Gregorek with my dear husband. I thought this would be one of the very last books I finish this year but it turns out that this was such a quick read.

78.livestock_erin mckenna

I slowly progressed with Livestock: Food, Fiber, and Friends by Erin McKenna. This is one of those books where I need to get through the content rather than savour the writing – so I utilised the skills I gained from The Speed Reading Book.

Currently Reading:

79.the king of con_giacomaro & stoynoff

I had finally started The King of Con last week. I think this will be an interesting book to review.

Up Next:

82.the peithosian gift_c archer

Up next is The Peithosian Gift by Cristina Archer. This is a fantasy speculative fiction with a brief but a capturing blurb.

Since my reading has been quite slow lately, I’m finally catching up to my review commitments.

Map of Shadows (Mapwalker, #1) by J. F. Penn of shadows_jf penn

Rating: 5/5 stars

Published: 12 December 2017 by Curl Up Press

Genre(s): Fantasy Thriller

Pages: 210 (eARC – Kindle)

A map of skin etched in blood.
A world under threat from the Borderlands.
A young woman who must risk the shadows to save her family.

When her Grandfather is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Sienna Farren inherits his map shop in the ancient city of Bath, England. Once there, she discovers that her family is bound up with the Ministry of Maps, a mysterious agency who maintain the borders between this world and the Uncharted.

With the help of Mila Wendell, a traveller on the canals, Sienna discovers her own magical ability and a terrifying place of blood that awaits in the world beyond.

But when she discovers a truth about her past and the Borderlands begin to push through the defenses, Sienna must join the team of Mapwalkers on their mission to find the Map of Shadows – whatever the cost.

In a place written out of history, a world off the edge of the map, Sienna must risk everything to find her father … and her true path as a Mapwalker.

Read More »