#BookReview Encyclopedia of Insects by Jules Howard

I LOVE learning, so seeing this encyclopedia perked me right up! Sure, insects can be creepy and crawly, but I was down for learning some new stuff about everyone’s “favourite” creatures! And I wasn’t disappointed!

Do keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive collection of bugs, but it is an excellent start for eager minds!!

The pictures in this book are absolute awesome! I really enjoyed the damselfly picture that stared into my soul (hoenstly, it was creepy to stare at my but the art is AMAZE-BALLS).

Here are select things I learned:
1. There’s complete and incomplete metamorphosis? Wait… what? Why did my biology classes skip that information? THAT IS SO COOL.

2. Dragonflies are actually predators, and Damselflies are a thing. Who knew?

3. The Walking Flower Mantis looks super cool and pretty. I even googled them because I didn’t believe they were actually pink. They are gorgeous!! They look like flowers!

4. Toe Biters, Hummingbird Hawkmoth & Slave-Making Ants. That is all.

Things I would like to avoid:
1. Swams of locusts. Kthanxbai.

2. EARWIGS HAVE WINGS. REPEAT: EARWIGS HAVE WINGS. They are way grosser now. Yuck. They can chase me when I run away!

Overall, this book is totally, super amazing! I would absolutely recommend this to young and old readers alike! You’ll learn a whole bunch. I could totally see this book being used for school projects or for nerdy little kids like me (back in the day, of course) who just wanted to soak up knowledge like a sponge. I will definitely be using some of these facts for my useless trivia I spout out at people on a regular basis.

Five out of five stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing for giving me an opportunity to read this book!

Check out this marvelous book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Indigo

You can find out more about Jules Howard by clicking the links below:
Goodreads
Twitter @juleslhoward
http://www.juleshoward.co.uk/

Here’s some other non-fiction-y reviews featured on my blog to fill up your TBR shelf:
#BookReview Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Book Review: Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear

 

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#BookReview Incredible Cacao (Miss Tree Tale’s #2) by Deepa Remesh

To misquote the first sentence in this book, it was a beautiful book!

Miss Tree Tales is a wonderful little series all about educating the people about the environment! Last time around we learned about coconuts and sustainability and this time we get to learn about cacao (mmmm…chocolate… cue the Homer Simpson reference).

Our heroes, Mia and Nik, are back yet again to teach the youngings about all the good things that keep this planet spinning! For one, they teach us about the Millenium Seed Bank (which I had NO idea existed, so bonus points to Deepa for teaching me something new!). Then, the duo want to plant some seeds so their Mom recommends finding a new place to plant them (because we don’t want to run out of nitrogen – let that soil sit and ferment a bit!). Suddenly, they are whisked away on an adventure to learn about Cacao trees, seeds and pods! Cherry spitting, soccer, plantains, fermentation, baking, cacao percentages in chocolate and more get discussed in this lovely educational follow-up. There’s more adventure and fun throughout this novel, as if Deepa wanted to amp this book up!

Side Note: How does one join Miss Tree’s Plant Savers Club? I feel like I need honorary membership or something.

Yet again, the illustrations perfectly match the story and are quite sweet. They add just enough spice and sass to the story. The scrabble pieces were definitely my favourite.

I was a little disappointed that the chapters didn’t have the extra educational information, but I guess all good things have to come to an end. I know some reviewers didn’t enjoy them as much as I did, but I would have loved to see more of them! It felt like a little lesson packed tight into the book. There is a Seeds for Thought section at the back thought, which kind of makes up for the loss.

Overall, these books hold up really well and are great educational tools! I would love to see more Miss Tree Tales come out ASAP and for more classrooms to utilize these tools.

Four out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Deepa Remesh, in exchange for an honest review.

You can find out more about this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Check out the first book in this series:
Mighty Coconuts (Miss Tree Tales #1) by Deepa Remesh
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Find more information about Miss Tree Tales:
http://www.misstreetales.com/
Goodreads
Twitter – @misstreetales

If you love this series (or even the review) here’s some other books that might grab your attention:
#BookReview Yara’s Tawari Tree by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller
#BookReview 100 Tiny Tales by K. Kris Loomis

 

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#BookReview Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence

Who doesn’t love a book about a strong female character? Especially a girl like me who grew up needing some strong female influences!

Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence is a wonderful, little book that is a must read for children.

To begin with, there is a super, evil villain who has decided the best way to ruin the world is to stop the spread of knowledge! This monster is big, mean and scary and seems to be content with his super devious plan. In walks Marie Curie, a woman who will turn into a superhero scientist through her amazing intelligence and experiments! Our evil villain wants Marie Curie stopped before she can get too smart and stop his wicked plans. Along the way, we will learn how Marie Curie is full of persistence in many different ways!

This little book is a wonderful mix of fiction and non-fiction. There’s lots of learning opportunities about this super scientist scattered among the pages. Definitions, facts and timelines about Marie Curie and information about the things she studied and created are all available to see. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good STEM book for their kids, especially since it’s about Marie Curie. She was a legend!

Also: references… in a children’s book… I LOVE IT.

On a side note, I thought the pictures were lovely and very unique. I haven’t seen this style a lot in children’s books, so I was impressed. It was colourful, fun and had lots of awesome details.

I am so thankful for this book. It is absolutely amazing and I wish I would have had books like this in my youth. Hopefully many kids are able to pick this book up or many educators get their hands on it! Seriously, we need more books like this – educational and fun!

Five out of five stars!

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Explore for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book!

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

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#BookReview Project Team Leadership and Communication by Samuel Malachowsky, PMP

Samuel Malachowsky has crafted an intelligent textbook packed full of management and leadership advice.

This excellent collection of ideas is the ultimate learning tool. Not only is there lots of information available in written form, but there is also supplemental learning tools within the book – questions, quizzes, definitions. There is also a curriculum available to provide education professionals an option for their courses.

I like the mix of Project Management, Team and Group Dynamics and Leadership styles, among other learning objectives taught within the book. I found that the books was made under the “keep it simple, stupid” principle – all of it was easy to read, follow and understand. If my university textbooks were like this, learning might be easier! Tiny case studies can also be found within the book to assist with these learning opportunities.

By no means is this a comprehensive learning tool. This book appears to be designed for an introduction into management techniques. Further reading will be done to grasp the more complex subjects, but I think Samuel did an excellent job introducing learners and readers to the basic concepts. I also am impressed with the logical order and how Samuel was able to make some of these difficult topics seem easy. In addition, this book focuses on some great best practices available currently in the industry.

To address the supplemental learning tools as someone who has a fondness for learning and has educated others in the past:
1. The learning objectives and questions supplemented each other really well. I like books that have questions that directly tie back to what is being learned. A+ for effort!
2. There are chapter slides available which I found very useful in an educational setting. I think those could be utilized well.
3. The chapter activities were super useful and well thought out. I think they’d be great for assignments and group dynamic opportunities.
4. The curriculum and mini-modules round up the extra material quite nicely.

Overall, I think this is a great learning tool and should be utilized by students, educators and business professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge on team leadership.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Samuel Malachowsky, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Indigo

Find out more about Samuel Malachowsky on:
Goodreads
Lintwood

 

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#BookReview Mighty Coconuts (Miss Tree Tales #1) by Deepa Remesh

Miss Tree Tales by Deepa Remesh is a wonderful series that is an absolute must read!

Book #1: Mighty Coconuts is a cute, little gem that should be actively sought out by avid readers. This middle grade novel is short but sweet, and delivering all the right messages.

Mia and Nik live in Texas, and boy is it hot! The nine and seven year olds are full of whimsy and adventure. When a storm seems to blow through, a woman appears and begins to teach the children wonderful facts about the local nature (think droughts, growth and greenhouse gases). These intelligent kids can keep up with Miss Tree with ease, and they learn a lot in the process. Miss Tree offers them a gig to help save the planet! Seedcopters, seed apps and lots of fun happen among the pages of this book – all of which is knowledgeable yet packed with fun! If you’re looking for a Green Thumb, this book is just for you!

The illustrations were cute and felt like they fit right into the story. I had an e-copy of the book, but I’m assuming the physical copies would look so much nicer. The quality of the pictures tend to rely on your device these days.

The best part of this book was the “Seeds for Thought” sections at the end of the chapters. These little blurbs provide useful and information and links for curious students to follow. One excellent quote from this book is, “Protect, Sustain, Conserve”, which perfectly sums up the goal of this read.

I know, personally, if I would have had books like this about biology back in my school days then I would have liked biology a lot more. I found the teachers were always bored with these topics and made it impossible for any of us students to learn. Deepa Remesh’s book makes me actually enjoy learning about biology. I’m sure many students and kids would appreciate help from educational books like this one. To top it off, it’s also just a good book in general!

I would recommend kids seven to thirteen read this book. Thirteen might be a little high, but I could see them reading this to their reading buddies. I’d even recommend this book for educational purposes within schools. It’s a different take on biology and conservation that I think would be a great asset and tool!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Deepa Remesh, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Find more information about Miss Tree Tales:
http://www.misstreetales.com/
Goodreads
Twitter – @misstreetales

If you liked this review, here’s some other books you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Underground Toy Society by Jessica D. Adams
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Monster Blood (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

 

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#BookReview Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

 

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren felt like a book personally made for me.

This novel following Hope Jahren’s life and trials of becoming a geobiologist is a serious gem for my collection. Every sentence of this novel felt like it was crafted for me – it a smart, female scientist rocking out in her field. She wins awards, she builds laboratories and she is a genius in her field. How can I not love this book?! On top of it all, it’s a non-fiction novel which is not my normal read, yet I was SO OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK. All caps. Yes, I was that obsessed.

So, down to the nitty gritty: This biography is not all sunshine and roses. Along the way, Hope deals with all sorts of trials and craziness. We follow her as a lab tech in a hospital, as a scientist trying to get grants, and as a friend to Bill and mother. Mixed in with her personal story is loads of facts about trees and nature. There are entire chapters devoted to the complexity of how trees work and live, which was one of the coolest parts of the books for me. I wish Hope had taught my high school biology classes, because for once I actually felt like I understood what trees go through. Everything was relatable, and there were lots of metaphors.

The best part of this whole book was the comedy. Our author clearly has a fantastic sense of humor, which involves a LOT of sarcasm. I am incredibly sarcastic so I loved every second of every snarky comment. I felt so connected to Hope, because I could relate. That’s where I think this book really shines! Very few books connect with me on a such a personal level, so I loved every second of reading this book. I didn’t want to put it down and I wanted to read it again (which is very rare for me, by the way).

I believe there is something in this book for everyone: science, sarcasm, an incredible friendship between Hope and Bill, the trials and errors of being a mother, and mental health.

And, to be brutally honest, I don’t really have any negatives to say. It was the perfect book for me in every way. Other readers will have their doubts, but I connected with this book so strongly that I can’t see faults. Every reader wants a book like that, and I’m glad I found mine. Thank you Hope for sharing your wonderful story.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

BONUS: Some of my fave quotes included below:
“Fortunately, for the patient, there is a sleep-starved teenager apprenticed to a chain-smoking barmaid in the basement who is ready for action.”
“Working in the hospital teachers you that there are only two kinds of people in the world: the sick and the not sick. If you are not sick, shut up and help.”

That second quote has been my life motto for years, so hear someone as dedicated as Hope to say it… Yes, my heart has swelled up so much!

Check this book out on:

Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Indigo/Chapters/Coles – Canadian Retailer

 

If you enjoyed this book or review, check out another you might love:
#BookReview Life Seemed Good, But… by Richard Bell
Book Review: Ugly by Robert Hoge
Quick Book Review: Dora Versus Picasso by Cecil Jenkins

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview After Namaste by K. Kris Loomis

After Namaste is a collection of short essays by K. Kris Loomis full of eye-opening motivations.

I won’t lie, I loved the essay about a swimmer. What can I say? I’ve always been quite the fish. And man oh man, does this book hit close to home. Reinventing yourself is something many people try, but truly have no idea what they’re doing. Seeing K. Kris Loomis’s take on yoga and doing right by one’s self is a nice and refreshing read.

Some of the lessons she delivers in this book are:
1. Teachers can be anywhere – not just professors or instructors. Sometimes your best motivators are people you’ve only seen and never met. Let them motivate you and give you inspiration!
2. Never be afraid to lead by example!
3. Small changes add up to big changes.
4. We change over time, so respect your person.
5. Change can be a gradual process.

And, of course, way more than just this!

I like how enlightening and honest this book was. It’s not exactly a self-help book, it’s more of a collection of opinions. You can read what the author feels is good to learn from her life experiences and they all relate to yoga.

I’d definitely recommend this book to people who want to learn. It’s a lovely set of informative essays that are very knowledgeable without feeling like a textbook. You don’t need to be someone who does yoga (or ever wants to, for that matter) to get something out of this book. I think just seeing someone else’s experiences and how they’ve grown and changed is reward enough from this book! And if you end up joining a yoga class, I’m sure K. Kris Loomis would be proud!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author K. Kris Loomis in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

Photo courtesy of K. Kris Loomis.

 

 

If you liked this book, check out more by K. Kris Loomis on my blog:

#BookReview Survving Revision: How One Writer Finished What She Started by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis

 

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Unhinged by Richard Clark

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Unhinged by Richard Clark is a sweet, short read that I’d highly recommend!

This must read has an incredibly adorable and important theme to share! Pile on the breath-taking pictures and you’ve got yourself a real winner! The book is barely 15 pages, so this would be an excellent bedtime book! Storytime will never be the same if you introduce the excellence and expertise of Richard Clark into your children’s library!

What if there were no walls and doors and everyone could roam free? In the mind of a child, it’s a beautiful tale about not blocking anyone out. If you view the story in the eyes of a child, it is the perfect lesson to be learned! We are all connected and enjoy our freedom! There is so much to see and do outside of the walls we’ve created for ourselves! Physical, mental or psychological!

Five out of five stars! I truly love this breathtaking tale!

 

You can find out more about Unhinged on:

Goodreads – Unhinged

Amazon.com – Unhinged

Amazon.ca – Unhinged

 

Check out  The Lost Treasure of Loma Grande, by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – Loma Grande

Amazon.com – Loma Grande

Amazon.ca – Loma Grande

 

 

Find out about Richard Clark’s book HughTube, on:

Goodreads – Hugh Tube

Amazon.com – HughTube

Amazon.ca – HughTube

 

Check out another book by Richard Clark, The F.L.U.B Club on:

Goodreads – The FLUB Club

Amazon.com – The F.L.U.B. Club

Amazon.ca – The F.L.U.B. Club

 

Find out more about Pandora’s Lunch Box: Don’t Open by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – Pandora

Amazon.com – Pandora

Amazon.ca – Pandora

 

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

 

Check out another amazing book by Richard Clark My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent:

Goodreads – Secret Agent

Amazon.com – Secret Agent

Amazon.ca – Secret Agent

 

Find out more about another book by Richard Clark, 8th Grade Fugitive on:

Goodreads – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.com – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.ca – 8th Grade Fugitive

 

Find out more about A Dog of My Own by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.com – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.ca – A Dog of My Own

 

 

If you enjoyed the review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview The Black Mzungu by Alexandria Kathleen Osborne

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The Black Mzungu was a fantastic non-fiction read about the author, Alexandria Obsorne’s, incredible change in scenery.

I was shocked by how much I liked this book. I rarely find myself enjoying non-fiction or biographies, but this novel hit all the right notes with me. The author does a fantastic job retelling her life story of marrying a man from another country and moving there. Each chapter details the ups and downs of moving to a third world country and building a home there.

There are a lot of cultural insights and introductions to Lindi, Tanzania. Different terms and traditions are introduced in this novel and it gives an absolutely incredible insight into a world that is different compared to a First World Country.

Overall, I was impressed. I didn’t see anything wrong with this novel – it moved at a good pace, each chapter had a different story to tell that connected the entire novel together and it seemed real. Nothing seemed out of place or out of the ordinary.

I loved this book! I would love to read more about the author’s life in the future!

Five out of five stars!

I received this boook for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite non-fiction novel? Comment below!
If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy: #BookReview The Year After by Ashley Wagner

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #TheBlackMzungu to start a conversation about this book! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Survving Revision: How One Writer Finished What She Started by K. Kris Loomis

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Surviving Revision by K. Kris Loomis is a thoughtful reflection on the writing process.

If you’re looking for a non-fiction book surrounding the thoughts on how to finish writing your book, then you’ve come to the right place! K. Kris Loomis (the author of The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane) compiled a list of all the helpful ideas and tools that helped her get through revising her novel. This is a non-fiction, opinionated collection that can help you work through those tough times when writing your novel.

If I’m comparing it to my recent writing adventure (it was an essay, don’t get too excited), I felt like it was pretty spot on. Here’s just some of the general ideas she discusses (and explains why they are important and/or how you can fix them!). Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling much… Read the book to find all of the full details!
1. You write a draft that has all of your ideas and it’s not perfect. It’s like a big, blobby mess full of everything you want and lots of stuff you don’t.
2, Editing and revising can be an absolute pain, but it’s a must for your novel. Suddenly, that big, blobby mess will mold into what looks like an actual first draft!
3. Setting goals are important!

So, what do I think?

I think this is a really helpful book! If you’re not used to writing, this will give you insights into what actually happens in the writing process. It’s definitely honest, and it’s full of helpful and useful information. If anything, use it as a stepping stone so you know where you’re headed!

What I did like about it, was that it was relatively short! My ebook copy was just over one hundred pages, which is way easier to read than the thousand page English and Revising books you’d find at a college or university for writing. It felt like the perfect summary of those giant works! Also, this book was in a very comfortable, chatty tone. I felt like the author was actually talking to me and explaining what was happening, rather than reading it from a boring, old textbook. That makes this book so much more personal and enjoyable.

Are there cons?
Absolutely! As I said, this book isn’t a textbook! If you are looking for a step-by-step plan on how to totally finish your book, then this book might not be for you. It’s more generalized and personal than a textbook is. The book doesn’t give you specific grammatical errors to look out for or contain a list of commonly misspelled words. Since this book is a narrative of how one person overcame these issues, you need to be aware of what you are getting into. Some readers might not like that, so I’d say that is the con of this book!

My favourite part of this book was seeing how K. Kris Loomis worked through her book. That included what she was doing, her goals and her frustrations along the way. It showed me that the writing process isn’t always purely productive. Sometimes, you’re rocking it out and sometimes you’re having a little more difficulty than you let on. But on other occasions you can have a lot of fun and enjoy the ride! Having that sort of honesty was really cool and it’s something I don’t see very often in literature these days!

Overall, I liked this book! It felt personal, realistic and it echoed a lot of what I’ve found out myself. I think it’s a great read for someone who’s interested in finishing a book but doesn’t know what to expect. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to draw on the experiences of others!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author K. Kris Loomis in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Find out more about K. Kris Loomis on:

K. Kris Loomis Goodreads Page

http://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Twitter – @KKrisLoomis

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out these other books by K. Kris Loomis:

#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis

 

Give me a shout-out on Twitter, on Facebook, or comment below with any other books you’d like to see on my blog!

 

Photo from Goodreads.