What We Are Reading Today: Butterflies of the East Coast

What We Are Reading Today: Butterflies of the East Coast
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Updated 26 September 2023
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What We Are Reading Today: Butterflies of the East Coast

What We Are Reading Today: Butterflies of the East Coast

Authors: Rick Cech & Guy Tudor

Here is an accessible, informative, and highly illustrated book that offers a fresh view of butterflies in the East Coast states, from the Atlantic seaboard to the Appalachians.

In addition to providing a wealth of facts and photos, the book is the first to furnish detailed and up-to-date photo-illustrated information on the host plants favored by particular species.

With 234 full-page species accounts and accompanying range maps, plus more than 950 large-size color photos, it is an essential reference work for field observers, gardeners, educators, and conservation managers.


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Good Vibes, Good Life’

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Updated 16 June 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘Good Vibes, Good Life’

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Author: Vex King

“Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness” by Vex King is a self-help book on cultivating a positive mindset and emotional well-being. The author shares his own personal journey of overcoming adversity and tells how he developed practical strategies to improve his outlook on life.

It has an approachable and conversational tone. King writes in a personable manner, sharing his personal experiences and lessons acquired, making it relatable and relevant for readers.

The book covers a wide range of themes, including how to manage negative thoughts, practice appreciation, set boundaries, and discover your purpose.

King presents a variety of real exercises and tactics that readers may use right away to transform their mentality and improve their mental health.

The chapter on self-love is particularly impactful. King emphasizes the importance of being compassionate and accepting toward oneself, which he argues is the foundation for developing healthy relationships and achieving personal growth.

However, I felt that “Good Vibes, Good Life” sometimes tried to simplify complex emotional and mental health issues. While I appreciate the author’s goal of providing easy-to-understand self-help advice, there were times where the messaging felt too simplistic.

Another thing that gave me pause was that the author often did not use scientific research to support ideas. As someone who likes to see evidence-based information, I would have preferred if the author had included more references to psychological studies and expert opinions to back up his recommendations.

Instead, the book mostly relies on the author’s own personal stories and experiences. While those personal anecdotes can be compelling, I don’t think that automatically makes the strategies universally applicable to everyone.

Finally, I had mixed feelings about the work’s broad scope. On the one hand, I appreciated the wide range of topics covered; but on the other, I felt that certain areas could have benefited from a more in-depth, nuanced exploration, rather than a relatively surface-level treatment.

Overall, “Good Vibes, Good Life” is an uplifting and practical guide that can help readers develop a more positive and fulfilling outlook on life. The author’s personal anecdotes and straightforward advice make it an easy and engaging read.

It is a good option for those seeking to cultivate more joy, peace, and emotional well-being in their life.

 


What We Are Reading: ‘A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of South America’ 

What We Are Reading: ‘A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of South America’ 
Updated 17 June 2024
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What We Are Reading: ‘A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of South America’ 

What We Are Reading: ‘A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of South America’ 

Authors: Richard Webb & Jeff Blincow 

South America’s wide range of habitats support a tremendous diversity of plants and animals, including more than 400 species of larger mammals— those the size of a guinea pig or bigger. 

Many are truly iconic: jaguar, puma, ocelot and numerous other beautiful cats; the fantastic maned wolf; the incomparable giant Anteater; and an incredible variety of extraordinary primates.


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Strabo’s Geography’

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Updated 15 June 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘Strabo’s Geography’

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Author: TRANSLATED WITH COMMENTARY BY SARAH POTHECARY

Strabo’s Geography is an encyclopedic description of the ancient world as it appeared to a contemporary observer in the early Roman empire.

Information about taming elephants, collecting saffron, producing asphalt, and practicing yoga is found alongside accounts of prostitution, volcanic activity, religious festivals, and obscure eastern dynasties—all set against the shifting backdrop of political power in the first century CE.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Artemisia Gentileschi and the Business of Art

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Updated 15 June 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Artemisia Gentileschi and the Business of Art

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Author: Christopher R. Marshall

Art has long been viewed as a calling—a quasi-religious vocation that drives artists to seek answers to humanity’s deepest questions. Yet the art world is a risky, competitive business that requires artists to make strategic decisions, especially if the artist is a woman. In “Artemisia Gentileschi and the Business of Art,” Christopher Marshall presents a new account of the life, work, and legacy of the Italian Baroque painter, revealing how she built a successful four-decade career in a male-dominated field—and how her business acumen has even influenced the resurrection of her reputation today, when she has been transformed from a footnote of art history to a globally famous artist and feminist icon.

Combining the most recent research with detailed analyses of newly attributed paintings, the book highlights the business considerations behind Gentileschi’s development of a trademark style as she marketed herself to the public across a range of Italian artistic centers. The disguised self-portraits in her early Florentine paintings are reevaluated as an effort to make a celebrity brand of her own image. And, challenging the common perception that Gentileschi’s only masterpieces are her early Caravaggesque paintings, the book emphasizes the importance of her neglected late Neapolitan works, which are reinterpreted as innovative responses to the conventional practices of Baroque workshops.

 


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Healing is the New High’

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Updated 14 June 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘Healing is the New High’

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Author:  Vex King

The self-help book, “Healing is the New High,” attempts to teach people how to embrace recovery from trauma and reclaim power in their lives.

Written by Vex King, a prominent figure in the health and personal growth community, it provides strategies for overcoming life’s problems and nurturing inner peace.

King’s central message is that healing can be a potent avenue for introspection and transformation. The book, published in 2021, is written simply and in a warm tone, as King seeks to relate to the struggles people experience on a daily basis.

Every chapter can be read as a standalone, so readers can start at any point in the book.

King writes candidly about facing emotional pain in his own life and how he overcame it.

There appears to be a fair amount of repetition, but it could be argued that King is attempting to reinforce key concepts.

And while the ideas he is promoting may not be entirely novel to seasoned self-help readers, the way he presents his own personal struggles makes this a special read.

It is a powerful and insightful book that offers a holistic approach to personal growth and transformation.