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review 2017-08-16 17:32
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business - Charles Duhigg

I recently went to Barnes & Noble to buy some books for my birthday.  I found a table that had a buy 2 get 1 free deal, but you had to pick books on the table.  Immediately I knew two books I wanted.  I had no idea what I wanted for the third book.  So I meandered around, picked up a few different books, read a few different pages, and stumbled across this book.  I had never heard of it before, never heard of the author, and had no idea what it was about.  But I've always been interested in cognitive science (science of the brain) and a "why we do the things we do" study of psychology.  It peaked my interest enough where I picked it up and brought it home.  As soon as I started reading it, I realized I would need a highlighter for all of the morsels of knowledge Duhigg provides along the way.


The book covers three different sections.  The first section explains how habits form as part of every day life.  It breaks down the science behind the formation of habits and how we can change them.  The second part of the book shows how to focus on successful habits to grow an organization or company.  The third part looks at large society groups, like churches or the civil rights movement, and how they respond to habits.  Throughout each section, it continually reminds you how the habits are formed.


As I'm finishing the book, my group of friends has decided to go on a diet starting August 1st.  Here I am reading a book about understanding your habits (both good and bad), learning how to change bad habits and create new habits, and finding the insight to recognize why I may have failed before.  What wonderful insight it has provided for me!  I still have to put in the hard work, but at least I feel like I know what to look for now.  I can follow some of the advice and plans in the book to set myself up for a better chance at success.  I really am intrigued to know if my diet will be more successful now that I've read this book.


Not only did the book make me think about my upcoming diet plans with my friends, but it opened up the thought process for a number of different habits I've formed.  To quote from the first chapter, "more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day" aren't actual decisions, but habits.  If we can become more observant and retrospective as to why we have created habits for ourselves, it is remarkable to think of the outcome we may be able to have.  Of course, there are positive habits.  Not all of them are negative.  I guess the point is to sit and understand why the habit exists, if it is a positive or negative habit, and if there is a way to change it for the better.  I may not want to change every habit I have ever formed, but I'm hoping that this book has at least given me the option to change some of my habits for the better.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-16 12:07
Books&Chai Series: 6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker
Raptor Red - Robert T. Bakker

 

Introduction to the Book

My friends already know how crazy I am when it comes to fiction based on dinosaurs. I have been known to wax poetic about such books.

In this book, however, Bakker takes facts about dinosaur life and weaves them into a story. So, it is like reading fictionalized non-fiction!

 

Introduction to the Chai

Now that you have had your book intro, let me proceed by introducing you to another series of blog posts: Books&Chai. Whenever I post with this tag, you will find a book from a genre that goes beautifully with the featured flavor of chai (tea).

Black tea, which is the flavor featured in this post, is known to improve concentration and focus. Since I was reading a book about a very intelligent species, the Utahraptor, I decided black tea would be a smart choice!

 

 

Reasons for all that Book-Luvin’

Now, we move on to the six reasons that made for an awesome read:

 

The Humor

If you have been following this blog, you must know now that for me, humor is an important part in a book. In any book! The more unlikely it seems that the author might be able to create humorous situations (say, like in a book from a bloodthirsty monster’s POV), the more I appreciate it!

 

I found the two examples from Raptor Red funny as heck!

 

 

 

The Sciency Bits

You can’t have a good fact-based book without some science in it. For me, catching glimpses of the science while being embroiled in Red’s latest adventure was a lot of fun!

This particular quote is from a scene when a male raptor comes face to face with a field of red flowers. What’s more, they smell like rotten meat, which the raptor considers food. This kinda blows up its sensory perception temporarily. Faced with such an evocative color, it doesn’t know whether it is supposed to court the blooms, fear them, or eat them!

 

 

This quote is from a scene where Red sees a turtle for the first time. The whole scene was written well enough to have me go Awww and Lol in turns.

 

 

The Dino-Facts

I am aware that I could have included these in the sciency bits mentioned above. But, no! These facts were juicy enough to merit their own category. Snippets of how life used to be for different kinds of dinos gave the book an authenticity.

 

This quote explains how after speciation (birth of a new species from an old one) Utahraptor society had adopted a matriarchal structure.

 

 

This one is about how two completely different species banded together for survival. One of them had longer necks that enabled them to check for predators over a wider area. The other one contributed by their sheer numbers.

 

 

The Poetic Language

I am a sucker for when a scientists takes a theory or fact and describes it with beautiful language.

 

 

The Squicky Bits

Another favorite. There was a bit about how dangerous assassin bugs could be to the raptors. I looked them up and science (and class Insecta) did not disappoint!

 

Absurd Creature of the Week: The Ferocious Bug That Sucks Prey Dry and Wears Their Corpses

 

 

…wears their corpses. I mean corpses! Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude!

 

A Mixture of it All

The example below is an unholy combo of all the reasons that I have mentioned above. Watch them in action:

 

 

Lastly,

 

 

What do you think about the book? Do you like the new tag that this review is sporting?

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review 2017-08-14 16:41
Review: The Wayward Astronomer by Geoffrey Thomas

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Hal Adhil and Miri Rodgers are best friends. They spend their days working at a small observatory in the Starfall Mountains beyond the metropolis of Anduruna. Miri is the only person Hal trusts to understand a dangerous secret: Hal can see all wavelengths of light. Hal uses his superpower only when they are free from prying eyes that could report them to the authorities.

 

The lives of Hal and Miri quickly change one night, however, when a meteor crashes into the nearby mountains. When they set out to retrieve the fallen star, it quickly becomes apparent that things are not what they seem. What appeared to be an ordinary meteor is in fact a strange power source that Hal and Miri are not the only ones looking for. In order to rescue his closest companion, Hal must not only unravel a mystery that has eluded his people for ages, but also face unsavory characters from his own past. Can Hal, the Wayward Astronomer, harness his supernatural powers to rescue his friend before time runs out?

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review 2017-08-14 15:45
The Quest of The Last Gunslinger (The Beginning of The Dark Tower Series)
The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger - Stephen King

I had been curious about The Dark Tower for a long time. Since it was published until now, I never did read one book of it. When I heard about the movie adaptation, what compels me to read now was due to the movie. Of course, this year is truly the year of the King...

 

... and for once, reading The Gunslinger, the first book of the series truly peeks my curiosity on a whole different level. And much better than the movie.

 

It begins where a lone man walks into a town, looking for a man in black. He meets the town's folk (almost a ghost town) and soon, the presence of the man in black had corrupted the whole town. Along the way, he met a boy name Jake Chambers, descriptions of another world similar to ours and of course, origins of the gunslinger, mutants and finally meeting the man in black and in the end... another quest.

 

For me, I love the universe created by Stephen King but the plot itself felt ambiguous. While the journey is all about journeying to meet the man in black and going to the dark tower without revealing the purpose, I believed maybe the rest of the novels will. Still, I do enjoy the writing and as always, Stephen King tried his best to deliver some thing ambitious then (he did admit as the series progress, there were changes in his words of when he was young when he wrote and the maturity of his writing towards the end of the series). The Gunslinger works to some extend and hopefully, the rest of the book will explain further once I started reading The Drawing of the Three.

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review 2017-08-14 15:36
Review: Molten Dusk (The Norse Chronicles #3) by Karissa Laurel
Molten Dusk - Karissa Laurel

 

While recovering from a devastating betrayal, Solina becomes increasingly drawn to Thorin as he helps her hunt down Skoll, the mythical wolf who vowed to kill her. If she can find and destroy the beast, she’ll bring a swift and brutal end to her enemies’ schemes. But nothing ever goes as planned in Solina’s strange new world.

During her search for Skoll, Solina uncovers a plot to unleash a battalion of legendary soldiers and launch an apocalyptic war. Before she and her allies can locate the fabled army, several ghosts from her past return to haunt her. Solina must fight for life and the fate of the world, or her hopes for love and a peaceful future will go up in flames.

 

 

This book, or the entire series is a perfect mix of ancient Norse mythology and our modern day world. I mean seeing the God of Thunder tumbling with a cellphone is actually pretty funny thing to see. If you have not read the previous book this review might spoil some things for you, I highly recommend them. This is the third and final book in The Norse Chronicles and it was bittersweet, epic and everything I hoped for. But since this is the final book and it is hard to review it without spoiling too much, I will keep it short. Everything we learned so far and everything that happened in previous book will come to a conclusion in this book, everything comes together and plays out pretty nicely. I just wished being the last book it would have been a bit longer to avoid the little bit of a rushed feeling towards the end. That is my only minor complaint about this book, that we don’t get enough of it. Solina still struggles with the revelation of Val and what he really was up to in the last book and really I was too. Val was one of my favorites and it really hit me hard. But Solina does come to term with a lot of things in this books, and grows quite a bit. But don’t get me wrong she still has plenty of moments where she just runs out to save the world without thinking it through, which of course leads to bigger danger. She gives Thorin a run for his money in this book that is for sure. But I think that is just Solina and something that will never change. I also really enjoyed that she has the chance to reunite with some familiar faces.

Thorin, he really shines in this book. We also get to see a lighter side of him, He opens up more and we learn more about him and his history. It is pretty clear how he feels about Solina and what he is willing to risk to keep her safe.

Skylar, I love this girl. I want her to be my best friend for life. She really is there for Solina and I adore the friendship they have. Of course we see other familiar faces we learned to love throughout the series, some struggle and need to find a new foothold in this book. We also gain some new allies... or do we? And of course we never really know who to trust anymore after the next book. Over all this a great book with lots of action, humor and some romance and some pretty awesome twists that will make you dizzy. But the ending will leave you really satisfied even when you know you will miss some of your favorite characters with the end if this series.

I rate it 4 ½ ★

 

Some of my favorite Quotes

 

“Enjoy her while you can, God of Thunder. The wolf will kill her. She will die, in the end.”

***

You’re right. I can do better. Move your Royal Norseness. Boy Thunder. Lord of the Rain Dance…”

 

***

“Pain exists to remind you you’re alive and have a soul. You’ve come all this way because you’re fighting for something, not because you’re looking for an excuse to give up.”

***

“I thought I was a strong man, Sunshine. I never knew a little thing like you would be the death of me.”

***

 

 

*I received a free copy from the publisher and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*

 

 

 

Will be available August, 23, 2017

  

 

 

 

 

Karissa and Bonnie

 

 

Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between. Sometimes her husband convinces her to put down the books and take the motorcycles out for a spin. When it snows, you'll find her on the slopes.

 

Links

 

Goodreads *** Facebook *** Website***Twitter***Pinterest

Snoopydoo sigi

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/review-molten-dusk-norse-chronicles-3-karissa-laurel
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