Reviews and Comments

Primo Natura

Joined 1 year, 5 months ago

My BookWyrm Account.

Occasional reader of books on topics such as geology, geoscience, sustainability, climate change, technology and privacy. I am using Bookwrym as a platform to track and encourage myself to read and/or listen to more books.


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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Hardcover, 2014, Ten Speed Press) 3 stars

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes …

The philosophy of tiding

4 stars

Having read one of Marie Kondo's books previously and having watched her series on Netflix a lot of the content mentioned in this book was not new. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up focused on her history from a young child and how her passion has existed since a young age. What will be reassuring for many is the use of her own mistakes which can reassure you that an expert in the field of tiding makes mistakes and has since learnt from them. This could support people who may feel overwhelmed before, during or after the tiding process. The book is an easy listen and broken into 30 minute chapters at most making it easy to delve into. There are times during the book where I question her methods and I think that is perfectly fine. The overarching ideology is treating your belongings with respect and care. This is …

Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo has revolutionized homes—and lives—across the world. Now, Kondo presents an …

Organised Living

4 stars

A book for those who wish to minimise their belongings and are unsure what to do or where to start. This book explores what 'joy' means, how to fold clothing, organise and provides real life examples of clients Marie Kondo has worked with. As someone who was aware of her methodology beforehand, I was aware of a lot of the books content however, it was a good listen regardless.

Secret Life of the Owl (2017, Transworld Publishers Limited) 5 stars

Uncovering The History of The Owl

5 stars

John Lewis-Stempel's book about owls is a short and pleasant read, 96 pages or 1.52 hours as an audiobook. The introduction to the book briefly explains how owls have become a symbolic animal. They feature in popular films such as Harry Potter and other novels. Yet an owl is a mysterious animal synonymous with witches and potions. The Secret Life of the Owl, also unpicks the history of these birds and how humans have utilised them to hunt other birds.

The book concludes by by discussing how owls were used to predict weather, and medicine and a weird truth serum. Some of the beliefs are on the more unusual side such as dreaming of an owl was a sign of death. I just hope listening to a book about owls does not bring such fate.

Digital Minimalism (2019, Penguin Books, Limited) 4 stars

Most of us know that addiction to digital tools is costing us both productivity and …

Digital Detox

3 stars

Cal Newport's book explains the philosophy of Digital Minimalism; showcasing how technology can negatively harm our social interactions. Personally I listened to this book from the local library in an audiobook format and felt the chapters were way to long. Some chapters were up to 70 minutes in length. I personally prefer shorter chapters as it allows someone to dip their toe into a book for 20 - 30 minutes. I often put the book to rest and picked it up the next day trying to pickup where I left of.

The book cites examples of how peoples experiences with technology before his 30 day programme. It talks about how parents may miss out on quality time with their friends and family and what can be done. Cal offers advice throughout the book though some of them are more basic. The range of advice allows the reader to pick and …

The Lazarus Heist (2022, ‎ Penguin Business) 5 stars

Cyber Espionage

5 stars

This book written by Geoff White follows the hacking from within North Korea. Geoff's book follows the episodes of the BBC World Service podcast which he hosts. Personally I listened to the podcast before the book was released so I knew many of the events before reading this book. Despite that I enjoyed looking at the events that have unfolded at my own pace with this book. Each of the fifteen chapters describes the events that have taken place and how they executed their attacks.

If you like technology, hacking and cyber crime this story is for you.

The Future We Choose (Paperback, 2020, Manilla Press) 5 stars

A lesson for the future

5 stars

This book was written by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, architects and lead negotiators of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Christiana and Tom discussed how they used their power to bring change at the Paris Agreement. They discuss the politics that is played behind the scenes and how the summit nearly ended due to national security. Despite the concerns raised they continued battling due to the uncertainty of another summit occurring.

This book predicts what the future may look like with the inventions of technology and lack of resources like water. How autonomous vehicles may help the environment but act as trackers to repressive countries.

Each chapter showcases a problem and solution to the crisis from fake news on social media and conformation biases to climate doom and why we need to be optimistic when talking about the changing climate. Christiana and Tom draws on politicians, companies and us to bring …

Sandworm (2019, Doubleday) 4 stars

A chilling, globe-spanning detective story, tracking an elite group of Russian hackers and the future …


4 stars

I felt the book was a bit slow at times however it was very informative and it is clear the author had researched the topic well. While I knew some of the details around Sandworm I enjoyed listening to the book where I found out extra details and quotes from the people involved. The author built tension by describing the events vividly and showed the extent of the damage through statistics.

The Minimalist Home (Paperback, WaterBrook) 4 stars

Minimalism Makeover

4 stars

This book will show you how to declutter and improve your life with proven techniques that have brought families together. Statistics are used throughout to back up the minimalism lifestyle or to highlight consumerism. I found the book to be informative and showcase the power of minimalism!

I listened to this book whilst decluttering which helped me along the way. While I did not use all the recommendations, a wide range were mentioned which supports people new to the concept, while pushing those who have already began! The chapters break down the 'normal' home which allows you to focus on one area, or skip a chapter if it does not apply to your current situations. Personally I found this book was slanted to the American audience, after all it was written by an American, so I found the financial savings less than ideal as they were all in dollars. Despite …

Future of Food (2021, Penguin Random House) 4 stars

Visions for the future

4 stars

As with any book that has statistical data it is worth taking it with a pinch of salt. Data will change and can be outdated over time. Despite that the book raises many ideas about food production for the future.

The book despite being fairly short raised quite a lot of topics and issues with the current food production. The book starts out with talking about lab grown meat, discussing the challenges and how it has developed. Pesticides are mentioned throughout the book with mentions to crop yield. The book also shines a light on how to reduce or eliminate pesticides using technology amongst other ways to tackle the food system.

Dead Ringer (AudiobookFormat, 2020, Bolinda Audio) 2 stars

Struggled to follow

2 stars

I anticipated the book as dystopian, after all the description is "Just upload your photo to get started. Using the latest facial recognition software, plus your votes, MeetYourDouble will find your doppelgänger."

The audio copy of the book is well voiced, and that side of things is enjoyable. There were a few moments that made me smile. Personally I quit the book part way through because I was struggling to follow the plot. As a result I was confused as the book developed which made it not enjoyable.

A Zero Waste Life (Paperback, 2019, Penguin Random House Australia) 4 stars

A useful start to the Zero Waste Lifestyle with a few caveats.

4 stars

What is evident from the start is the author, Anita Vandyke, took their time in laying out the chapters in book. There are 30 mini chapters, which gradually get more complex. I feel breaking down the chapters avoids making irrational decision and the sense of feeling overwhelmed.

It is worth mentioning that a good 30 day holiday might be the best time to complete these stages. While some require minimal changes to routines, some include decluttering which might take a considerable amount of time.

I also appreciate the diverse range of topics covered such as food waste, composting, decluttering, zero waste shopping and reflecting on the progress half way through. The idea is by making changes and following them for 30 days, they should be engrained and we are more likely to accept and follow them. As someone who focuses on environmentalism some of the statistics and suggestions were not …

Is It Really Green? (2021, Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Incorporated) 5 stars

Everyday Eco Answers

5 stars

As the tag line states, the book delivers on answering the most common eco-dilemmas. Each page is filled with numerical stats, charts and pictures to help show which the better options are. With chapters such the kitchen, technology, gardening, travel and more this book covers a wide selection of things we do/use each day. Throughout the book questions are analysed such as "should I use kitchen roll or use washable alternatives" or "what's the greenest way to do my laundry." This is a book where I seek out an answer for a question rather than read it from front to back.