Queenspotting: Into the Heart of the Hive in Search of the Mysterious and Fascinating Queen Bee by Hilary Kearney

Rating: 5/5 stars

Published: 30 April 2019 by Storey Publishing

Genre(s): Non-fiction; Nature; Bees

Pages: 128 (eARC)

At the heart of every bee hive is a queen bee. Since her well-being is linked to the well-being of the entire colony, the ability to find her among the residents of the hive is an essential beekeeping skill. In QueenSpotting, experienced beekeeper and professional “swarm catcher” Hilary Kearney challenges readers to “spot the queen” with 48 fold-out visual puzzles — vivid up-close photos of the queen hidden among her many subjects.

QueenSpotting celebrates the unique, fascinating life of the queen bee chronicles of royal hive happenings such as The Virgin Death Match, The Nuptual Flight — when the queen mates with a cloud of male drones high in the air — and the dramatic Exodus of the Swarm from the hive. Readers will thrill at Kearney’s adventures in capturing these swarms from the strange places they settle, including a Jet Ski, a couch, a speed boat, and an owl’s nesting box. Fascinating, fun, and instructive, backyard beekeepers and nature lovers alike will find reason to return to the pages again and again.

Source: Netgalley
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Quick Review: Contamination Boxed Set (Contamination, #0-3) by T.W. Piperbrook

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

Published: 29 October 2013 by Post Script Publishing

Genre(s): Post-apocalyptic science-fiction; Zombies

Pages: 463 (Kindle)

This bundle contains the first four books in the CONTAMINATION series:
*Contamination Zero
*Contamination 1: The Onset
*Contamination 2: Crossroads
*Contamination 3: Wasteland
ABOUT CONTAMINATION: The infection has begun, ravaging the American Southwest and leaving a chaos in its wake. In this new world, there will be no last meal, no dying wish. The only reward left is to survive another day…

Source: Goodreads

This series is an easy light read. It gives readers what they want if they’re looking for some zombie fiction. It’s.. dare I say, formulaic? Contamination is not unlike most of zombie movies available out there.

T.W. Piperbrook’s writing is efficient in its storytelling. The drama and tragedy of the characters pasts are detailed but they don’t take centre stage. The focus is honed in on survival.

I must give fair warning. The first four titles in this series don’t give much in terms of progression. So if you aren’t one to be able to just leave a plot hanging and not willing to go all in by buying the whole series, I wouldn’t recommend this book.

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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Livestock: Food, Friends, & Fiber by Erin McKenna

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Goodreads

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.

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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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The Calm and Happy Toddler by Rebecca Chicot

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Rating: 4/5 stars. Recommended!

Published: December 3rd 2015 by Vermillion

Genre(s): Non-fiction; Parenting

Pages: 304 (Paperback)

Child development expert Dr Rebecca Chicot shares with you the secrets to calm and stress-free toddler parenting. Based on her unique parent–toddler approach, she reveals that by understanding how your toddler thinks and what changes he is going through, you can respond with confidence and stop sweating the small stuff. Whether you need help with tantrums, night waking, potty training or fussy eating, inside you’ll find:

· A toddler toolkit to help you cope with every toddler scenario
· A fire-fighting guide to hand-hold you through the classic toddler challenges; No! Now! Mine! Yuk!
· A toddler development map to show you how your toddler is changing, what stage they are at, and how to best to enjoy and encourage their mental, social and emotional development

The Calm and Happy Toddler is the ‘how to’ and ‘why’ of toddler parenting: read this book to understand your toddler, get on the same team and thrive together.

This book was such a useful read, particularly at the time I was reading it. My day-to-day life was relatively tougher than usual, coupled with being sick and having a sick toddler. Read More »