What We’re Reading: Fluke

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Updated 24 February 2024
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What We’re Reading: Fluke

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Author: Brian Klaas

In “Fluke,” Brian Klaas dives deeply into the phenomenon of random chance and the chaos it can sow, taking aim at most people’s neat and tidy storybook version of reality.

The book’s argument is that we willfully ignore a bewildering but for a few small changes, our lives could be radically different. Drawing on social science, chaos theory, history, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Klaas provides a fresh look at why things happen — all while providing mind-bending lessons on how we can live smarter, be happier, and lead more fulfilling lives.

 


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Puerto Rico: A National History’

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Updated 13 April 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘Puerto Rico: A National History’

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Author: JORELL MELENDEZ-BADILLO

Puerto Rico is a Spanish-speaking territory of the United States with a history shaped by conquest and resistance. For centuries, Puerto Ricans have crafted and negotiated complex ideas about nationhood.

Jorell Meléndez-Badillo provides a new history of Puerto Rico that gives voice to the archipelago’s people while offering a lens through which to understand the political, economic, and social challenges confronting them today.

 


What We Are Reading Today: ‘What I Know for Sure’

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Updated 12 April 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘What I Know for Sure’

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  • Oprah reveals her vulnerabilities as she shares her success stories and the challenges she has faced

Author: Oprah Winfrey

In “What I Know for Sure,” published in 2014, US talk show host and media figure Oprah Winfrey offers insights into the life lessons gained through her career and personal life. At the same time, she invites readers to reflect on their own lives, embrace authenticity, and live a meaningful life.  

One of the strengths of this book is Oprah’s ability to connect with her readers. Her writing style is warm and conversational, making readers feel like they are sitting with her over coffee, while she shares her wisdom and stories. Every chapter of the book is deep and powerful, with a thought-provoking narrative that lingers long after the final page.

Oprah reveals her vulnerabilities as she shares her success stories and the challenges she has faced. She reminds people that even during difficult times, they can grow and change their lives — keeping in mind that is known for her authenticity and desire to encourage others, and her ability to create an atmosphere of trust and connection where people can feel seen and understood.

Through her reflections, she emphasizes the importance of gratitude, mindfulness and self-care, reminding readers of life’s blessings, no matter how small or big.

She also focuses on the power of living in the moment, and encourages readers to gain a brighter perspective on life by slowing down, appreciating the beauty around them, and enjoying the simplest things.

Overall, the book offers more than just personal insights. It serves as a guide for dealing with relationships, accepting change, and finding meaning in life.

Oprah also shares valuable advice on topics such as forgiveness, letting go of fear, and embracing vulnerability; while inspiring readers to step out of their comfort zone, take risks, and pursue their passions with unwavering determination.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Slow Burn: The Hidden Costs of a Warming World

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Updated 12 April 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Slow Burn: The Hidden Costs of a Warming World

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  • Drawing on a wealth of new data and cutting-edge economics, Park shows how climate change headlines often miss some of the most important costs

It’s hard not to feel anxious about the problem of climate change, especially if we think of it as an impending planetary catastrophe. In “Slow Burn,” R. Jisung Park encourages us to view climate change through a different lens: one that focuses less on the possibility of mass climate extinction in a theoretical future, and more on the everyday implications of climate change here and now.
Drawing on a wealth of new data and cutting-edge economics, Park shows how climate change headlines often miss some of the most important costs.
When wildfires blaze, what happens to people downwind of the smoke? When natural disasters destroy buildings and bridges, what happens to educational outcomes? Park explains how climate change operates as the silent accumulation of a thousand tiny conflagrations: Imperceptibly elevated health risks spread across billions of people; pennies off the dollar of productivity; fewer opportunities for upward mobility.

By investigating how the physical phenomenon of climate change interacts with social and economic institutions, Park illustrates how climate change already affects everyone, and may act as an amplifier of inequality. Wealthier households and corporations may adapt quickly, but, without targeted interventions, less advantaged communities may not.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Shells of the World

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Updated 11 April 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Shells of the World

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Author: M. G. Harasewych

Mollusks are invertebrate animals with a remarkable natural history and a rich fossil record, and their shells are prized for their breathtaking variety and exquisite beauty.
“Shells of the World” provides a wide-ranging look at the incredible diversity of marine mollusks.
An informative introduction outlines the lineages covered, followed by a directory section, split into classes, that profiles a broad selection of different taxa to give a sense of their sheer numbers and variety.
It features hundreds of beautiful color photos, depicting both the live animals and their shells
The book discusses mollusk evolution, anatomy, life cycles, behavior, and ecology. It describes unique characteristics, distribution, habitat, and size.
It provides valuable insights into the conservation of the world’s marine mollusks. It is ideal for malacologists and shell collectors everywhere.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Piping Hot Bees & Boisterous Buzz-Runners by Thomas D. Seeley

What We Are Reading Today: Piping Hot Bees & Boisterous Buzz-Runners by Thomas D. Seeley
Updated 10 April 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Piping Hot Bees & Boisterous Buzz-Runners by Thomas D. Seeley

What We Are Reading Today: Piping Hot Bees & Boisterous Buzz-Runners by Thomas D. Seeley

“Piping Hot Bees and Boisterous Buzz-Runners” takes readers inside a world seldom seen even by beekeepers, shedding light on 20 of the most compelling mysteries of honey bee behavior.

Thomas Seeley has devoted a lifetime to the study of honey bees and their colonies, unraveling the secrets of these wondrous insects in a career spanning six decades. 

In this book, he weaves illuminating personal stories with the latest science, explaining such mysteries as how worker bees function as scouts to choose a home site for their colony, furnish their home with beeswax combs, and stock it with brood and food while keeping tens of thousands of colony inhabitants warm and defended from intruders. 

Along the way, he shares the experiences that drew him to these studies, the small observations that led to big breakthroughs, and the sense of excitement that came with probing each mystery.