Posted by Literary_Titan
What was the idea, or spark, that first set off the need to write Fly Agaric: A Compendium of History, Pharmacology, Mythology, & Exploration?
There were really two sparks that gave life to this book. The first spark was to produce the book that I had always wanted. When I first developed an interest in this mushroom as a teenager there was very little written about the mushroom that was accessible and the articles and books that were available were frequently vague on a number of important points. I had always wished I could find something that was comprehensive and that could provide a solid background on the history, pharmacology, and mythology surrounding this mushroom. The second spark was the realization that in the decades since I first developed an interest in the Fly Agaric there remained an incredible vacuum in the literature on this mushroom. Thus, the goal of producing the book was to simultaneously fill this vacuum and to produce the book that I had always wanted.
What was the collaboration process like with so many people contributing to this book?
The collaboration aspect was one of the thrilling elements of putting this book together. There were challenges in selecting and contacting the authors and researchers that I wanted to participate but I couldn’t be happier with the selection of individuals who agreed to contribute to this book. Some of the contributors had previously published their work elsewhere, but many of these pieces had been out of print for years or decades and were difficult for readers to find. This provided an opportunity to re-introduce readers to some very interesting literature on this mushroom. It was also great to work with authors on new works, to discuss topics, and lay-outs, and to take a more active editorial role. There were also several chapters that I co-authored, and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to work with each of these individuals as a collaborator.
What is one thing about Fly Agaric that you think is misrepresented in the media?
One thing the media is frequently guilty of is using images of the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) in articles about Psilocybe mushrooms, frequently referred to as “magic” mushrooms. While the Fly Agaric is also psychoactive it is quite distinct from Psilocybe mushrooms, both in its appearance and in its pharmacology. There is potential for this misrepresentation to lead to confusion among readers, which could lead to unforeseen and potentially harmful consequences.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
There are no books currently in the works though I am presently working on several research articles related to the Fly Agaric, which will likely be published within the next two years.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, biology, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, botany, ebook, education, Fly Agaric, goodreads, history, Kevin M Feeney, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, plants, read, reader, reading, reference, religion, science, story, writer, writing.
Fly Agaric is what happens when a bunch of mushroom nerds get together and geek out about their favorite fungus- the Fly Agaric. The result is brilliant. The book is designed to be beginner-friendly. No prior knowledge is needed, because the book covers absolutely everything you would need to know, and Feeney has ensured that all the information in the book is 100% approachable. Something in the book is sure to grab your attention and, before you know it, you’ll be dragged into the weird and wonderful world of Fly Agaric fans.
This comprehensive book is divided into five parts, each with a different theme. It begins with a very useful beginner’s guide to mushroom hunting and identification. This section is full of helpful guides and safety information for any fledgling mushroom hunters. The second part is my personal favorite. It is a rundown of appearances of possible allusions to Fly Agaric use in religion, culture, and folklore. This informative book is very well researched, well written, and will likely change how you view some parts of history. Some of the conjecture used in this part is then backed up in part three where Feeney’s experts analyze archaeological evidence. The book then takes another turn in part four, where it becomes a Fly Agaric cookbook. It opens by telling stories of cooking with the mushroom and why doing so is a good idea. Feeney then takes over and tells us everything we need to know about cooking the mushroom. From nutritional information to actual recipes. Finally, the book ends in part five with the science of the Fly Agaric. This section is not too dry and is just as approachable as the rest of the book. The section has everything you could want to know if you wanted to experiment with Fly Agaric yourself.
Fly Agaric is a fantastic tool for anyone that wants to dive into this fascinating topic as it is extensive, thorough, and accessible. This enlightening guide would also make a great coffee table book. You’ll find yourself picking through it, reading the bits you find most interesting until you find you’ve consumed the whole thing. The book is a great read and Feeney and his writers have done an excellent job sharing their passion with the rest of the world.
Pages: 508 | ISBN: 0578714426
Tags: author, biology, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, botany, ebook, education, Fly Agaric, goodreads, history, Kevin M Feeney, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, plants, read, reader, reading, reference, religion, science, story, writer, writing
Song of the Blue Whale is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that educates readers on whales, whale hunters, ocean pollution, and what we can do to help whales and clean up our water.
This educational picture book surprised me with how many opportunities for learning were packed into so few pages. We’re first introduced to a whale with a barnacle on its tail. A cute image accompanied by a short rhyme. But readers are then taken on a trip through the ocean where we learn about the dangers whales face against hunters. With a few short simple rhymes readers are also educated on ocean pollution and provided some simple steps we can all take to help clean up. I can imagine this book being a great piece for teachers to include in their curriculum about marine biology and oceanography. The book is filled with beautiful art pieces of whales in the ocean. Some of my favorite art pieces from this book are from the bottom of the ocean looking up at whales as sunlight comes through the clouds and water. Contrast this with the dramatic scene where whalers are hunting and you really do get to experience the full range and beauty of a whale’s life in this book.
Song of the Blue Whale is a picture book that will educate as it entertains young readers. With magnificent art on nearly every page, any child is sure to appreciate the majestic nature of these animals and come away with a better understanding of what whales face in the open ocean.
Pages: 34 | ISBN: 1916184847
Tags: author, biology, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, children, childrens book, ebook, education, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, literature, marine, marine biology, nook, novel, oceanography, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, Song of the Blue Whale, story, teacher, Wayne Gerard Trotman, whales, writer, writing
The Transition, Initiated by Copernicus and Galileo, from Religion to Science: The Beckoning Bridge Many Find Difficult or Impossible to Cross’ By Lawrence H Wood is a nonfiction book that seeks to shed light on the dichotomy between religion and science, and how the two can continue to co-exist side by side. The author details the transition from a religious based understanding to a scientific based understanding that began to occur in the mid sixteenth century, and discusses the two different explanations of ourselves and our surroundings–how they developed and why they co-exist when such coexistence is a constant source of confusion and conflict. In this book, Dr. Wood, a science historian, focuses on examining the historical aspects of science to further the reader’s understanding of the subject.
This books is divided into sections that look at various aspects of the historical development of science. It’s a fascinating topic that is given very little attention in an academic setting, since most science classes focus exclusively on the actual science with no mention made of the history of science. I found it interesting to read about the historical development of scientific understanding, as people came to understand various scientific principles, starting in the 1500’s when Copernicus observed that the Earth revolved around the Sun, not the Sun around the Earth, as was the previous accepted belief. This marked the beginning of modern scientific investigation, along with the invention of the telescope and the microscope. I liked that the book described many scientific principles and theories and how they came to be discovered, and covered many different science disciplines, including geology, physics, biology, archaeology, and chemistry. I enjoyed reading about the discoveries and contributions of a wide range of scientists, from the sixteenth century to the present.
The book focuses on a variety of subjects from discovering that the Earth is billions of years old to modern advances in DNA and gene-splicing, but the author describes it in terms that make the information accessible to average people who may not view themselves as particularly scientific-minded. The author’s use of graphs and charts to illustrate points was a welcome inclusion that helped to further my understanding of the explanations presented in this book. Another helpful tool was the author’s summation of information at the end of each chapter.
Pages: 444 | ISBN: 1532024576
Tags: alibris, archaeology, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, bible, biology, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, chemistry, church, Copernicus, dna, ebook, education, faith, gene, geology, god, goodreads, history, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, lawrence wood, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, physics, publishing, read, reader, reading, religion, science, scientific method, shelfari, smashwords, story, The Transition Initiated by Copernicus and Galileo from Religion to Science The Beckoning Bridge Many Find Difficult or Impossible to Cross, writer, writer community, writing
In …I Just Look Like This, a book fitting for those seeking spiritual guidance, the author, A. Kirk Williams M.D., seeks to guide the reader towards finding peace in a world filled with lies and chaos. Williams provides social commentary in the form of articles, poems, and journal entries pertaining to a variety of topics in history, biology, and spirituality in no particular order.
Every chapter contains a new topic, allowing readers to piece together the greater story as they read. Most of the chapters are short, but ultimately leads to a provocative message pertaining to white males destroying the earth and inflicting misery on the rest of the world with their selfish, capitalistic, and destructive intent.
Williams attracts a large audience by relating to multiple cultures through his interesting genealogy and popular message of finding peace. Slowly, he reveals a controversial message to his initial pursuit of peace by encouraging people to be skeptical of ”those in power” and later equating that to white males. This turns into a biochemistry lesson on why white people are inferior to other races, using his professional background as a medical doctor as leverage to make his point.
The author uses some examples from history to boost his claim of white inferiority by presenting cases of war, genocide, and negligence committed by those of European descent. I felt that the historical cases were cherry-picked and ignored similar incidents throughout history perpetrated by other races on different continents.
This book has some great advice for living a happy life. Williams encourages his readers to seek a deeper sense of spirituality by pursuing mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical discipline. He details how to balance each of these four areas by seeking the innate truth of the world. This allows allows readers to find the truth that lies within them. Mostly, this is done by prayer and seeking the will of God, but I would have liked to have read a more defined description of this this search for truth.
Another inspiring concept addressed in …I Just Look Like This pertains to the benefit of close communities and seeking the wisdom of those who have experienced more in life. It’s the author’s view that wisdom comes with age and how he wished he had listened to his father’s advice on many things, saving him from his shortsighted nature.
While there are many life lessons and entertaining passages, I felt that this book blames many of the world’s woes on whites. Those uneducated in world history might be easily persuaded by Williams, but it’s always important to fact check authors with such bold claims of racial inferiority. This book has the potential to accomplish the opposite of the author’s stated intent, to promote peace, and instead, inspire hatred of others.
Pages: 158 | ISBN: 0964189453
Tags: alibris, anthony williams, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, biology, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, ebook, emotional, genealogy, genocide, goodreads, history, I Just Look Like This, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kirk williams, kobo, literature, mental, nook, novel, poem, poetry, publishing, race, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, spiritual, spirituality, story, war, writer, writer community, writing
Have you ever wondered why there is such a huge discrepancy between what scientists say about the age of our planet and what the Bible says? According to scientists, the planet is 4.6 billion years old. Yet the Bible says that this planet Earth is only six thousand years old. But what if both were right? What if there was an analysis of creation that combined science with scripture in the search for truth—yielding a unique and provocative conclusion about life’s beginning?
In The Re-Creation of Planet Earth and the Real Account of Life’s Beginnings, author Brian Donnelly explores just this integration of science and biblical truth to provide a more realistic account of creation and re-creation. He addresses the ongoing debate between creation science and evolutionary biology, and he shows how creation is more viable than evolutionary theory and the big bang. The Re-Creation of the Planet Earth and the Real Account of Life’s Beginnings also speaks to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and it provides a detailed description of what heaven is like—an account supported by scripture and near-death experiences.
Having a complete view of creation, re-creation, heaven, and life’s beginnings will help you better understand how God relates to us today. But even more, this understanding can go on to help you see through the fog of the world and better relate to God as a believer.
Posted in book trailer
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Same Inside, Different Outside is a wonderful children’s book that teaches biology and promotes diversity. Why do you think this is an important message to teach children?
I’m a nursing professor and one of the courses I teach is on Culture and Cultural Concepts which has certainly changed my worldview. I thought I had a good understanding of the various cultures and their beliefs and practices, however, one of the big lessons I learned was that becoming culturally competent is a journey that can take a lifetime. This made me realize that we need to teach children at a very young age to celebrate their uniqueness yet understand how in many ways we are all very similar. As a nurse, I also believe that children need to learn about the inside and outside of their bodies and although some of the concepts may be difficult for a younger child it is never too early to start introducing concepts that can be built upon as they complete their educational journeys.
I loved the pictures in this book. What was the art direction like?
Thanks, I loved the pictures, too. I worked very closely with my illustrator. Initially, I placed notations throughout the manuscript detailing my ideas for the illustrations and where they should be placed. Xavier, of course, used his creative and artistic abilities to bring the illustrations to life. It was fun to collaborate with him on this project and we really worked well together. Final edits were completed based on the input of the Waldorf Publishing team which certainly strengthened the book.
What do you hope young readers take away from your story?
First, and foremost I hope the readers enjoy the story and want to read it over and over again. Secondly, I hope they begin to understand that although we are unique and look different on the outside we are also very similar, especially on the inside. Lastly, I hope they begin to understand how some of the major parts of their bodies work. And that skeletons are really not scary and are somewhat like superheroes because they protect all of our insides.
Will you be writing more kids books that tackle other social issues?
Yes, although I’m currently working on the second pug book I’m also in the early developmental stages of inviting the readers back to Emma’s kindergarten class where I will address other social issues that help children to understand that although in some ways we are very similar it’s okay to be different.
Today is a very exciting day for Emma’s kindergarten class. Emma, Robert, and the rest of the student’s don t understand how they can all look so different on the outside, but look very similar on the inside. So Dr. Shaw is coming to visit, and she’s bringing Mr. Bones, who is a real life-size skeleton. Mr. Bones is going to help Dr. Shaw teach her lesson about the human body. Dr. Shaw has also brought a cool body screening machine with her so the children can see what their insides look like.
Posted in Interviews
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In order to eliminate discrimination and promote inclusion, we need to start with our children. They are the future of this world and if they can learn to love and accept each other regardless of what they look like or act like, then the world will be richer for it. Deborah Hunt takes this idea and uses it in her children’s book Same Inside Different Outside. It’s a lovely short story accompanied by equally wonderful pictures to help bring the message home. The colors are bright and the lines are soft. The story takes place in a school setting which readers should be able to connect with. This makes the message more relevant and easy to understand. It’s a clever way to deliver a sometimes difficult message to such a young audience.
The representation of a medical professional as a woman and the teacher as a man is a nice and subtle way of breaking down gendered stereotypes when it comes to careers. In traditional books teachers are women and any medical or science-related job is played by a man. In a book about acceptance, this is a key idea to get across. The children in the book are aware of their differences from each other, which is a normal discovery at their age. The doctor who is presenting to the children in the book is kind and patient with them as she goes over the parts of our bodies under our skin. As they move through the lesson the children voice their concerns and are answered honestly. This is key for the story because it also teaches readers that it is okay to ask questions and you will receive an appropriate response.
I felt like the children had a vocabulary and an understanding of body parts that were a little beyond kindergarten. But this is a minor concern that does not impact the integrity of the message.
Deborah Hunt is able to deliver a sometimes difficult message with ease in Same Inside Different Outside. The illustrations are very nice and pleasing to look at. The content isn’t difficult to understand and the message is clear and easy to digest without being muddled. Children and adults alike will find that the message this book sends is one we have been trying to share for a long time.
Pages: 32 | ISBN: 1945175702
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