YouTube Video About Bananas

Read my post about My Banana Book Collection? But not sure if you want to make the leap and read an entire book about bananas? Here’s an awesome video by SciShow to help pique your interest. 🙂

❤ Annette

1 year ago: YouTube Video Related to “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”


Books to Read for Spring

So I don’t have a ton of books to share today, but I wanted to give you some ideas of books that are perfect for spring! (Although in Arizona our seasons are “hot” and “hotter”, so “spring” doesn’t quite apply. :P)

(Links and images are affiliate links)

Wings Series by Aprilynne Pike

I picked up the second one in a Walmart bargain bin and I was hooked! I don’t know if reading the series out of order (2, 1, 3, 4) affected how much I love the series, but this series is tied with Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series for my favorite fairie novels. The fairies in these books each represent a season, so they’re not specifically “spring”, but when I think of fairies I think of gardens and flowers and that makes me think of spring. 🌷


The $64 Dollar Tomato by William Alexander

If you only ever read one book about gardening, this should be the one. It’s told in a style similar to that of Freakonomics – non-fiction through stories. You follow the author as he tries to have the perfect garden… which ends up being a lot harder than he had anticipated. It’s also written with humor, which hooked me. I read this when I was in junior high (per my mother’s reccommendation) and loved it. It also imparted some wisdom that I still think about today. They meant it to apply to gardening, but it can definitely be applied elsewhere. “When in doubt, do nothing. Either the problem will get so bad you know what to do, or it will resolve itself.” (Not an exact quote, just from my memory.) (Also, it’s not advocating for apathy or inaction. They just point out that sometimes it’s better to wait to make a clear decision.)

100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Leslie Stanfield

I mentioned this one in my post 5 Awesome Crochet Books and 5 More I Want to Read, but it’s definitely worth mentioning here as well. If you’re a knitter or crocheter and you want to decorate your home with lots of springy, floral touches, this book will help you out! So far I’ve only made four or five of the patterns, but they all turned out beautiful. 🙂

Sleeping Naked is Green by Vanessa Farquharson

The author decided to change one aspect of her life to be more “green”, every day for an entire year. This book follows her as she tries to do this, and pushes herself out of her comfort zone, to unplug her fridge, sell her car, join eco-groups, and much more. She also discusses a bit about after her experiment – what did she go back to, and what was it that it turned out she didn’t really miss?

What books remind you of spring? I’d love to hear about them. 🙂

❤ Annette


Book Review: Second-Hand Dog by Carol Lee Benjamin

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


This book addresses the unique problems than may come along with a “second-hand” dog, whether you found them on the street or adopted them from a shelter.

What I Liked

  • This book was a light, quick read. It wasn’t overly detailed like some dog training books are.
  • This book was really positive. I read it when I was struggling a lot with my dog, so this came at a great time.
  • Instructions (if any) were simple and easy to understand. Plus, there were wonderful little illustrations throughout the book.
  • I love that this book is geared specifically for “second-hand” dogs, since a lot of advice I find is for people who raised their dogs from puppies. I got my dog when she was already two years old, so I can’t control her past. I can only control her future.

What I Didn’t Like

  • This book seems like it would be a great read for a child getting a new dog, but did not provide as many details or depth as I would have liked. It wasn’t overly helpful, but it was positive enough to give me the oomph to try harder training my dog.

In Conclusion

If you need a quick read to pull you out of being frustrated with your dog, this book is for you.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

(affiliate link)

Book Review: Lucky Dog Lessons by Brandon McMillan

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Every week, Brandon McMillan takes a dog and trains them, working to get them suitable for a forever home. He’s trained thousands of dogs over the years, so he has many tricks and tips up his sleeve for training them successfully. He outlines how to prepare for training before going into how to train the seven basic commands: SIT, DOWN, STAY, HEEL, COME, OFF, and NO. He also takes time to explain how to address common dog “problems” such as barking, digging, door dashing, and housetraining, among others.

What I Liked

  • So I’ve only read two books on training dogs, but if you do have a new dog, I definitely recommend this one! His methods are surprisingly simple and seem to be working pretty well for me and my dog.
  • He acknowledges that training doesn’t go perfectly every time or for every dog. Which means he provides lots of ideas for the tough cases. It gives you a lot of different tools to use if you need them.
  • My friend used his technique to train her dogs not to door dash. After only a couple of hours they had broken the habit completely. She was pleased that his technique had worked so well where even a professional trainer had failed.
  • The techniques work for me, a brand-new dog owner, who never even had a dog growing up, and for my friend, who has had at least fifteen years of raising dogs.
  • Another friend of mine called it “the most passive-aggressive  way to dog train”, which actually sums up the book pretty well. Your dog likes chewing your shoes? Tie the shoe to his collar and let him wear it around for a while! After that your dog may not like your shoes very much. This is just one of many similar techniques the author introduces.

What I Didn’t Like

  • Now I actually have to take the time to train my dog? 😋

In Conclusion

If you’re planning on getting a dog, if you just got a dog, or if you’re a long time dog owner, this book is definitely worth picking up!

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

Book Review: F**k Depression by Robert Duff

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


This is a crash course in handling depression. It’s written by a doctor of clinical psychology, but is done so in a way that the information is easily accessed by your average adult reader. It covers all sorts of topics including different ways to combat depression yourself, when to reach out for help, and what to expect if you do reach out for help.

What I Liked

  • This book is a great tool for anyone who has ever suffered from depression, anyone who lacks motivation, or anyone who knows someone who has depression. There are so many invaluable tips and tricks in this book, and over and over again I found a sentence just sticking out to me, challenging me to change how I view myself and my life in such a logical, “why didn’t I think of that?” sort of way.
  • The profanity. Hear me out, since I’ve also listed this below as a reason why I didn’t like the book. The two reasons I liked the profanity was:
    • If anything deserves to be cursed at, it’s depression.
    • It opens this set of knowledge up to a group of people who normally wouldn’t be reached by self-help or psychology books.
  • Here are some of the quotes that stood out to me.
    • “You don’t have to be motivated to do things that normally take motivation. You just need to act as if you were motivated.”
    • “Our brains are amazing, but they are also kinda lazy.”
      (He goes on to discuss the shortcuts our brains make. These shortcuts are great most of the time, but sometimes, not so much.)
    • “In reality, you can feel any sort of way and also act in whatever way you would like.”
      (This was sort of a ‘duh’ moment for me. I don’t have to believe that I’m good with people to act like I’m good with people. I don’t have to feel like I’m a productive person to get stuff done. This quote helps me get a past a lot of unnecessary mental blocks.)

What I Didn’t Like

  • The profanity. You can see why I liked it above. But here’s why I didn’t like it:
    • It often felt like there was more profanity in the book than there would be in natural conversation. Like a movie trying to bump itself up to an “R” rating instead of PG13. And that sort of jarred me from the message.
    • This book was such an invaluable tool for so many people that I want to recommend it to everyone. But I can’t. Because I know a lot of the wouldn’t be able to handle the language. And that stinks.
  • While the author did a pretty good job of writing this book in a conversational style, sometimes it got so informal that the writing came across as amateur. It really only bothered me when it jolted me from the reading, which only happened once or twice.

In Conclusion

If you suffer from depression, know someone who suffers from depression, or just want a book to help you improve your life, definitely pick up this book! (Just be aware there is profanity.)

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

(affiliate link)

YouTube Video Related to “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”

(Post contains affiliate links)

So after reading and writing a review on So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson, I recalled a YouTube video I watched a while back. The video is by one of my favorite YouTube channels, SciShow. In it, they discuss the different psychological reasons for internet trolling. So if you were intrigued by Jon Ronson’s book and want to learn more, this is a great video to watch. And if you just like awesome YouTube videos, you’ll probably like it too. 😊

Book Review: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

(post contains affiliate links)

In this non-fiction book, Jon Ronson delves into the world of public shaming. Although he does investigate the roots of public shaming all the way back to the days of stocks and whippings, most of the stories and interviews shared in this book are about a newer, modern day version of shaming – internet shaming. He shares the stories of people whose lives have been turned upside down based on one poorly placed comment or photo on the internet. He also speaks to those who do the shaming, and tries to make sense of the entire situation.

If you’re a fan of narrative style non-fiction books such as Freakonomics, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. Because it deals with a real-world problem, the ending is not as neat-and-tidy as I would have liked. The information within the book, however, is fascinating, and it makes me question any action I have ever taken on the internet. Both from the perspective of “how could someone use this to destroy me?” and “could this comment/action be affecting someone else in a negative way?”

If you want to get a large glimpse into this book, or if you just want to watch a short overview instead of reading the entire thing, you can view Jon Ronson’s TEDTalk here.

My Banana Book Collection

So, incredibly weird fact about me – I am fascinated with the history of bananas. While I’ve only read one of the banana books in my collection, it is something I enjoy reading about and talking about and researching. Did you know bananas did a lot to shape North and South America? That entire wars have started thanks to the banana? Not only is the banana itself interesting (did you know it’s an herb?), the companies and advertising associated with it is interesting as well. So without further ado, here’s my awesome collections of books about bananas!


(Clicking on each picture will take you to Amazon through an affiliate link.)

Bananas – How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World by Peter Chapman

This is the one book I have read. It covers the history of the banana as it relates to the United Fruit Company. This one company shaped a very large part of the Americans – North, Central, and South. While this book is written as more of a research paper instead of a narrative like modern pop science, I still found the stories and information contained within fascinating.

Banana – The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World by Dan Koeppel

This book covers the entire history of the banana – from its very origins to its uncertain future. It is broken down into six parts: Family Trees; Expansion; Corn Flakes and Coup d’Etas; Never Enough; Good-bye Michael; and  A New Banana. Just reading the chapter titles gets me excited to read this book!

The Banana – Its History, Cultivation and Place among Staple Foods by Reynolds

I originally found this book while doing research at my university’s library. It was old and falling apart – and super interesting! It was first published in 1921 (according to what I can find on Amazon…) and it deals with the more biological history of the banana. What bits and pieces I have read from it are fascinating, as this book was written before a lot of the influential banana events of the 20th century occurred.

Bitter Fruit – The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala by Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer

The American coup in Guatemala is probably the event that got me hooked on bananas in the first place. I even once tried to write a historical ficiton book about it. (Turns out, writing historical fiction is a lot harder than one would think. 😛) This book goes into detail the events surrounding the coup.


The Fish That Ate the Whale – The Life and Times of America’s Banana King by Rich Cohen

This book follows the story of Samuel Zemurray – the “banana king”. It’s likely due to him that we even know about the banana at all. He is also the person who eventually led the United Fruit company and had great influence over the development of Central America.

Am I missing any important banana books? Which one of these intrigues you the most?

❤️ Annette

five fantastic books about bananas