Marshmallow reviews Getting Things Done for Teens by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace

Marshmallow has always been a curious little bunny. She has always been eager to learn about the world as well as about how our minds work. Recently she got her paws on a book for teens, written by David Allen, the David Allen, of GTD fame, together with Mike Williams and Mark Wallace, about the way our minds work and about how to build a fulfilling life in a world full of distractions: Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World. Though she is not yet a teen, Marshmallow found this book extremely interesting and eye-opening. Below is her review of this neat little book, perfect for teens and tweens as well as the adults in their lives.

Marshmallow reviews Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace.
Marshmallow reviews Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like how-to books or books about time management, organization, and self-improvement, or if you want to understand how your mind works and how to take control of your life, then this might just be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Overview: Getting Things Done for Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World is non-fiction, and it aims to teach the reader literally how to take control of their work and/or life. There are two main characters in the book: Cortland, an owl who represents the prefrontal cortex, and Myggy, a monkey who represents the amygdala. Like the prefrontal cortex, Cortland is slower and more thoughtful than Myggy. Myggy, on the other hand, is quick and makes decisions without a lot of thought. The book starts with an overview of how these two parts of the brain help us make decisions, and then introduces the basic features of the Getting Things Done perspective on living a life.

Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about "open loops", the things your mind feels like it needs to keep track of unless you resolve the issue about them or at least record them somewhere so you know you will get back to them later.
Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about what you need to do about “open loops”, the things your mind feels like it needs to keep track of unless you resolve the issue about them or at least record them somewhere so you know you will get back to them later.

The quick summary is that the book helps teenager bunnies organize their work and how to get their lives in order. It does this by teaching the reader how to deal with “stuff” in their minds. Some examples of “stuff” that one might need to deal with are classes, homework, bullying, college applications, and parent pressure.  

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a great book for bunnies that want to be better at organizing their life or work. There is a lot of information and useful advice packed into the book. But it does not get boring because the tone is light and humorous. Scenarios used to explain things are all realistic. There are helpful graphs, for example about stress and about things teens worry about. Also there are pictures on basically every other page. The illustrations of Cortland and Myggy, especially, are everywhere and keep reminding you of how your mind works in different ways.

There are also inspiring quotes sprinkled throughout. One of the quotes I really liked is:

“I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.”

Emma Watson
Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about the "someday / maybe" list, a list that you can put things that you want to do some day but maybe it is not yet time to work towards them.
Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about the “someday / maybe” list, a list that you can put things that you want to do some day but maybe it is not yet time to work towards them.

Though Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World has ideas that can be useful for everyone, I think it might be best for 9 and up. One of the reasons is because Myggy sometimes uses informal (and for some, inappropriate) words, but also because the methods might confuse younger bunnies. And younger bunnies might have fewer things that they can control in their lives and fewer things to have to worry about. In the other direction, Sprinkles told me that she thinks the book could help grownup bunnies, too. She thinks that this book does a great job explaining how the mind works and how this knowledge can help us organize our work so that our lives become much more manageable and enjoyable.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rated Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace 100%, and recommends it highly.
Marshmallow rated Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace 100%, and recommends it highly.

Caramel reviews It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten

The book bunnies are fans of Brains On!, a science podcast directed toward young bunnies but, at least in our household, also much appreciated by the older set. When we heard that the amazing Brains On! team, made up of Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten, had published a science book together, we knew we all had to read it. Today Caramel reviews this book: It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews the Brains On! book It's Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten.
Caramel reviews the Brains On! book It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, this book is right up your alley, right?

Caramel: Yep. It’s full of fun facts, and illustrations are awesome!

S: I know! It is so colorful! So tell me what the general theme of the book is. What is the book about?

C: It’s about science. There are all sorts of facts about all sorts of living things. There is a part about animals, one about plants, one about humans, and another about microorganisms.

S: That sounds cool! So tell me about your favorite animal fact you learned from this book.

C: There are so many, I can’t choose.

S: Give me one or two then…

C: Okay, let me try. I like the Animal Superpowers part a lot.

Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It's Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is checking out the section on Animal Superpowers.
Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is checking out the section on Animal Superpowers.

S: That sounds interesting! What kinds of superpowers?

C: There are super-healers for example. Did you know that the axolotl can regrow part of its missing limbs, and even its brain? It is cool, isn’t it?

S: That is really cool, you are right! And that is one cute animal I had not heard about before! Here is a picture from Wikipedia if people want to see one:

An axolotl in captivity, image by th1098, taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl#/media/File:AxolotlBE.jpg
An axolotl in captivity, image by th1098, taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl#/media/File:AxolotlBE.jpg

S: So would you like to have such a super power, Caramel?

C: Yes, being able to regrow limbs would be awesome!

S: So then how about the plants? Tell me a favorite fact you learned from this book about plants.

C: Shall we visit the Tree Hall of Fame?

S: Okay…

C: The tallest tree is a redwood tree named Hyperion. It is 380 ft tall. That is taller than the Statue of Liberty!

S: Wow! That is tall!

C: It is in Redwood National Park, in California, but the scientists are keeping its exact location secret.

Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It's Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is looking at the section on "the rose that went to space".
Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is looking at the section on “the rose that went to space”.

S: The book sounds really packed full of interesting facts Caramel. Just perfect for you!

C: Yep. Exactly. I recommend that you read it too.

S: Yes, I will definitely do that after this review. I can’t wait!

C: But you have to wait! Because I need to tell you about the Mega Matchups!

S: What’s that?

C: There are parts in the book where they compare two things. Like there is one where they pit dogs against cats. I think there is one in each part. Wait, there is the octopuses vs the dolphins. So that is at least two in animals. And then there is another matching porcupine caribou against monarch butterflies.

S: Wait. How do those two compare? Why are they even pitted against one another?

C: It seems random till you read it. These are two creatures that are “long-distance travelers that travel thousands of miles without a map or a compass.”

S: I see. This matchup idea is like the Smash-Boom-Best segment the Brains On! folks used to do sometimes in their podcasts. Did you know that that eventually became its own podcast?

C: No I didn’t know that. Then again I think Marshmallow listened to an episode for her class one time.

S: Yes, I remember. It was pizza vs tacos I think.

C: I think pizza wins for me!

S: I think they both have their time and place.

C: True. Wait, here is another matchup. The durian vs the corpse flower. They’re both stinky! A corpse flower apparently smells like, well, a corpse.

S: I know durian. I ate durian ice cream once. Did you know that?

C: Nope.

S: It tasted like vanilla ice cream, but with a terribly strong garlicky, or onion-y aftertaste.

C: That does not sound too appetizing.

S: I know.

Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It's Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is looking over the "Mega Matchup: Tardigrade vs. Slime Mold".
Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is looking over the “Mega Matchup: Tardigrade vs. Slime Mold”.

S: So this review is already quite long. Let us wrap it up. What three words would you use to describe this book to someone who is interested in learning about it?

C: Factful, interesting, and very colorful.

S: I agree with all of those Caramel, even before I got to read it fully. I think I’d also add “very fun” to the list.

C: Yes, it is really fun and funny too.

S: Great! So we are done. What do you say to our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading the Brains On! book It's Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten, and cannot wait to share all his new facts with friends and family.
Caramel loved reading the Brains On! book It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten, and cannot wait to share all his new facts with friends and family.

Caramel reviews The Science of Acne and Warts: The Itchy Truth About Skin by Alex Woolf

Caramel has recently been reviewing a series of books about the human body for the book bunnies blog. So far he has reviewed  The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing by Fiona MacDonaldThe Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham, and The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf. Today he is talking about the fourth and last book in the series: The Science of Acne and Warts: The Itchy Truth About Skin, written by Alex Woolf. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews The Science of Acne and Warts: The Itchy Truth About Skin by Alex Woolf.
Caramel reviews The Science of Acne and Warts: The Itchy Truth About Skin by Alex Woolf.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell us about this book.

Caramel: This is a book about human skin. You can learn everything about skin by reading it.

S: So tell me something you learned then.

C: I learned that the layers of skin are the epidermis, the dermis, and the very bottom one is subcutis. I also learned how the body creates blood clots.

S: Wait, blood clots were in The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham, too, right?

C: Yes.

S: So why do they show up here too?

C: Because when your skin is wounded, and it is trying to repair itself, you make a blood clot.

S: Hmm, so it is about blood but also about the skin, I see. So what else is there in this book?

C: There are pages about fungal infections, warts, acne, skin rashes, …

S: Hmm, those all sound quite irritating at the very least. Nobody likes them.

C: True, but they are also very interesting.

S: I guess that means the author is doing a good job keeping things engaging.

C: Yeah.

Caramel is reading The Science of Acne and Warts: The Itchy Truth About Skin by Alex Woolf.
Caramel is reading The Science of Acne and Warts: The Itchy Truth About Skin by Alex Woolf.

S: What is the most interesting thing you learned from the book?

C: Let me see. There are a lot of interesting things in here. Here is one: Did you know that some of the dust at home is dead skin cells? People lose up to 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells every day. That adds up to 9 pounds of skin every year.

S: Wow! That is amazing!

C: Here is another interesting fact: There is a skin condition, a hive called dermographism, where you write on your own skin with your finger. It stays there as a rash for fifteen minutes.

S: That is so interesting. I had never heard of it before. Here is the Wikipedia article about it if our readers want to learn more.

C: Here is another strange fact. There is a mouse in Africa, the African spiny mouse, and it loses its skin when a predator catches it. Its skin just peels off and the mouse can run away. And it can regenerate new skin and is safe from the predator.

S: That is a very interesting defense mechanism Caramel. Okay, let us wrap this up so you can go on ahead and reread the book if you want to. But before we do that, tell me your three words to describe this book.

C: Interesting, helpful, and colorful.

S: Those work! Okay and as your last words to wrap things up?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Acne and Warts: The Itchy Truth About Skin by Alex Woolf, and learned a lot.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Acne and Warts: The Itchy Truth About Skin by Alex Woolf, and learned a lot.

Caramel reviews The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf

Caramel loves reading books about facts. A short while ago he got his paws on a series of four books about the human body, and he has already reviewed The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing by Fiona MacDonald and The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham for the book bunnies blog. Today he reviews the third book he read from this series: The Science of Poop and Fart: The Smelly Truth About Digestion, written by Alex Woolf. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.
Caramel reviews The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me about this book with the funny title. Is it really about pooping and farting?

Caramel: It is!

S: As soon as I saw the title, I knew you would be curious about it. You love jokes about poop and fart. So it worked, right? It made you want to read the book?

C: Yes. It did. And I learned a lot of new things about digestion. Did you know that some ancient Romans rinsed their mouths with pee? To get whiter teeth?

S: Ugh, that sounds pretty disgusting. Does it work?

C: I don’t know. But it is pretty disgusting. I also learned that hippos spin their tail to launch their poop under water.

Caramel is reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.
Caramel is reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.

S: Hmm, so the book is full of weird facts about pee, poop, and, obvious from the title, farts. Does it also tell you about the digestive system more generally?

C: Not quite. It is full of stuff about poop though. Here are some chapter titles: “How do we produce poop?”, “What is pee?”, “What are farts?”, “What are burps?”, “What is saliva?”, “What are diarrhea and vomiting?”, “What is constipation?”, “Digestive problems”, “A healthy diet”, “Can poop be useful?”, “What happens to poop?”

S: Okay, these all sound quite fascinating. I think you learned a lot about the general stuff on the digestive system from Survive! Inside the Human Body: The Digestive System by Hyun-Dong Han already, and this book gives you a lot more weird but true facts about digestion in bite-size., digestible chunks.

C: Yes! Did you know that the tropical pitcher plant has tube-shaped leaves that are used as toilets by some animals? The poop provides the plant with lots of nutrition.

S: I seem to remember seeing that in a documentary. I guess the poop is full of food waste, so there are nutrients in it that the plant can use. What an interesting way to recycle!

C: Oh, and if you eat beans, your fart smells.

S: Yes, I knew that. Also red cabbage.

C: I also learned that some dogs, if they cannot burp, they can die. So to treat the condition, they insert a flexible rubber tube down their throat.

S: Oh that sounds kind of painful, but it is better than dying.

C: Yes.

S: Okay, I can see you want to read the book again and go over these very interesting facts all over again. So let us try and wrap up.

C: Yes, but did you know that if a llama feels threatened, it will spit, and it can spit about three meters away?

S: I knew llamas could spit, but that is a long way to spit! Do you remember the llama we met way back in Big Bear Lake?

C: Yes, he did not spit on us though, thankfully. And he really seemed to know when we were taking his picture.

S: Yes, I remember. He was almost posing for us. Okay, then. Give me your three words for this book.

C: Interesting, colorful, and informative.

S: Those work! I agree. I too learned a lot reading it. So what do you want to say to our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf, and recommends it to other little bunnies who want to learn more about poop and fart and other funny (and yet very useful) things our digestive systems do.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf, and recommends it to other little bunnies who want to learn more about poop and fart and other funny (and yet very useful) things our digestive systems do.