Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hanson

Rating: 5/5 stars. Recommended!

Published: 10 July 2018 by Basic Books

Genre(s): Non fiction; Science; Nature

Pages: 304 (eARC)

From the award-winning author of The Triumph of Seeds and Feathers, a natural and cultural history of the buzzing wee beasties that make the world go round.
Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, the beloved Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They’ve given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.
As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you’ll never overlook them again.

Source: Goodreads
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Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali

Rating: 5/5 stars. Highly recommended!

Genre(s): Realistic Fiction; Contemporary YA, Feminist

Published: 13 June 2017 by Listening Library

Format: Audiobook (8 hours 30minutes)

There are three kinds of people in my world:

1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose.

2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me—the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama’s-Boy-Muhammad.

Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds.

But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right?

3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories.

Like the monster at my mosque.

People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask.

Except me.

Source: Goodreads
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The King of Con by Thomas Giacomaro & Natasha Stoynoff

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Goodreads

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?

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

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Goodreads

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.

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

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Goodreads

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.

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In Times Like These (#1) by Nathan Van Coops

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Rating: 5/5 stars. Recommended!

Published: November 13th 2013 by Skylighter Press

Genre(s): Fiction; Science Fiction; Fantasy

Pages: 384 (Kindle)

“We broke something. How do you break time? Can something so bad happen that you fracture the world?” Benjamin Travers has been electrocuted. What’s worse, he and his friends have woken up in the past. As the friends search for a way home, they realize they’re not alone. There are other time travelers, and some of them are turning up dead. When Ben meets an enigmatic scientist and his charming, time-traveling daughter, salvation seems at hand, but escaping the dangers of the past may lead to a deadly future. If he hopes to save his friends, Ben must learn to master space and time, and survive a journey where past and future violently collide.

I’ve never read time travel novels so I have only the vaguest expectations. In Times Like These has turned out to be one of the best sci-fi/adventure novels I’ve read so far.Read More »

The Speed Reading Book by Tony Buzan

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Rating: 5/5 stars. Recommended!

Published: July 25th 2006 by BBC Active (First published 1971)

Genre(s): Non fiction; Self help; Psychology; Education; Productivity

Pages: 221 (Paperback)

Dealing with speed reading, this work enables you to apply it to various aspects of your life. It is useful for students, teachers, executives – indeed, anyone eager to improve the speed, comprehension and quality of their reading.

Do you love results? I do too, especially when I can see it with numbers. That’s all I’m expecting out of this book. And I got it.

Why am I reading this? I’m taking a leaf out of Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins and that is to model successful people. Simply put, I want to read more than what I’m currently doing right now. At my previous pace, it’s average, it’s fair. I want to be more than average. If in a month I can finish the equivalent of, let’s say, at least 2 more books, that’s 24 more per year and hundreds in a lifetime. That’s a whole lot of information and knowledge I could be missing out on. So, continuing on the journey I’ve embarked on in bettering myself – The Speed Reading Book seems like the perfect step.Read More »