Books

“It is not where you are from, but where you are going that is important.”

–Robert Ian Bonnick

Natural born entertainer Robert Ian Bonnick aka RiB has had an enviable career and glamorous life rubbing shoulders with the famous and elite. He danced for M-People, Womack and Womack, recruited for Madonna, and modelled alongside Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Eva Herzigová. Travelling the globe, hosting events for the world’s biggest stars—a lucky life one would assume. But luck was not the catalyst for his success—instead adversity was his ally as an artist.

Rob started out with almost NOTHING. He suffered a tumultuous childhood, abandoned to an orphanage before his first birthday. For the next 18 years at the orphanage, Rob was faced with a choice. Would he choose to reflect and follow the path of fellow orphans who ended up in jail or dead, or instead choose to step into his greatest potential as a human being?

In his first memoir Soul Survivor, Robert shares his exploration and study of what connects, inspires and motivates us as human beings.

The book relates Robert’s philosophy on adversity through what he calls ‘the five keys’ and relates the lessons of 20 years studying with some of the best educators and thought leaders on the planet. The sum of his experiences provided him with the opportunity and purpose of finding ways to bring together vastly different groups of people by inspiring them to learn more about themselves and each other.

Written with humour and humility, the book has much to offer anyone seeking a constructive anchor for the adversities which touch us all.

BE Journal asked Robert: How to Redefine and Adversity and Unleash Creative Potential

I’m becoming more and more aware that growing up in two orphanages for eighteen years gave me the key to unlock the door to discover my purpose and thus unleash my creative potential. For example, if my purpose is to inspire people to realise that it’s not where you start in your life but where you are going that matters. Despite all of the incredible things that you can achieve in your life—it would all be for nothing unless you learn to accept or love yourself. Finally, to support diversity and inclusion wherever I go. To celebrate what makes us unique whilst bringing us; people of different ideologies colours and views of life, together around our humanity creating greater compassion for one another in the process.

If all the above is true (which it is)….then l had the perfect start!

I experienced what it was like to be the youngest of eighteen children at any one point in time in an orphanage and be subjected to racism, classicism, bullying, fellow peers being killed and beaten. I know what it’s like to suffer major identity issues and challenges; for twelve years I identified with caucasian values and appearances even though I am 6 ft 3 inches tall black man of Jamaican heritage. I know what it’s like to fail to recognise the beauty of my own people, unless they had caucasian features. To have people say things like “oh you sounded like a white guy on the phone” and “I don’t like black people but you’re alright” and being proud of that! Then realising this was all due to my failure to accept myself.

I had the opportunity to study over two decades, self development and human potential with some of the most well known thought leaders in the world. This allowed me to understand the process not only of embracing who I truly am but who we truly are too regardless of race, colour, and ideology then, as a Keynote Speaker, Coach and Trainer, how to bring others into this same state of awareness as well.

I had the opportunity to mix with celebrities and high profile people to realise we are all truly the same—in that we all have our specific challenges in life to overcome… if we choose to. I became a successful, model (working with Supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Eva Hertzigova and Christy Turlington), worked with Madonna, danced for (Womack and Womack, The Word – Channel 4, M-People), Actor (I Guastafeste—the Italian Candid Camera) Night Club promoter (one of the venues I was heavily involved in was voted number three in the world), As an athlete (played basketball for England and National League and in Europe), more recently, speaker, trainer, author and family man.

As a result of my upbringing learning how to meditate and all the lessons I learned along the way with through the support of some extremely charitable people, I found five keys:

1. Get Yourself A Dream or better still A Purpose

2. Accept where you are today (You Can Change it)

3. Visualise, Visualise, Visualise to the point of Insanity

4. Overcoming the Speed humps of self-sabotage

5. Surrender–Timing

When I followed these, I have always satisfied the innermost desires of my heart each key of which I go into detail giving you a chance to road test for yourself in my book.

As a result of what many of my fellow orphans passed on to me, I created three fundamentals truths which I always live by and have always served me well. 

1. I never forget where I’m from. 

2. I never forget who helped me to get where l am today.

3. I always give back where l can without the expectation of gaining anything in return.

Connect with Robert via: robertianbonnick.com or @robertianbonnick

Soul Survivor (New Holland Publishers) newhollandpublishers.com

Self-confessed Herb Nerd, Reece Carter explores gut and brain health in his new book ‘The Happy Gut’. This recipe-rich reference is filled with tonics and elixirs from the garden along with the latest research into the gut-brain axis. Based on traditional naturopathic remedies, made using ingredients sourced from nature that anyone can make at home. Today’s lifestyle and nutrition choices can stress our digestive system, this book offers a holistic approach to restoring the essential foundation of good health… a happy gut!

About the Author: Herb Nerd Reece Carter holds a Bachelor degree in Health Science (Naturopathy) and has a lifelong passion for all things green. From the planter box to the pantry, Reece reveals how to turn leaves and petals into remedies through his web series ‘The Garden Apothecary’. His written work features in Bare Essentials Journal, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Women’s Fitness Magazine and GQ and numerous online blogs. He has appeared on The Morning Show and at a number of food and wine events. Reece has his own clinic and herbal product, Dose Vitality Tonic, and also works as a model with Chadwicks. Reece lives in Sydney.

Follow the Herb Nerd @ reececarter.com.au

The Happy Gut by Reece Carter (Harlequin Books, April 2018) ISBN: 978-1489254689

Beatrix Potter’s beloved Peter Rabbit, hops into theatres this Easter with all the hallmark characters rendered in CGI. The reimagined classic features an enticing plot full of slapstick mischief to enthral new audiences, and the right amount of tribute to satisfy fans of the original.

To celebrate the films release we have a delicious recipe inspired by Beatrix Potter’s ‘The Tale of Petter Rabbit’ excerpted from: The Little Library Cookbook by Kate Young, courtesy of Harper Collins.

Then old Mrs Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and went through the wood to the baker’s. She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter

Afternoon rain in Australia is often intense – it’s the kind that will drench you through to your bones in seconds. If I was caught in a deluge on my walk home from school, my backpack full of textbooks and sports kit, I could easily have reached for the umbrella underneath it all. In reality I almost never did. Instead, I took my shoes off, turned my face up towards the clouds and belted out ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ at the top of my lungs. I jumped in puddles, and danced around, and sometimes even took the long way home. And when I finally walked through the front door, I had a hot shower, a toasted fruit bun spread generously with butter, and a cup of tea.

I still love being outside when it rains – especially when there’s the promise of tea, buns and a bath at the end of it. These are my favourites: dark, moist and full of flavour. The type of thing I imagine Peter would want after a tiring day stealing vegetables in Mr McGregor’s garden.

The recipe below makes wonderful hot cross buns each Easter, with a line of flour and water paste piped down the centre, but I love them unadorned through the rest of the year too. They’re ones I’ve developed from a Dan Lepard recipe: his Short and Sweet is a complete baking bible.87

Currant Buns (Makes 12)

Ingredients

150ml apple cider/hard cider (at room temperature)
2½tsp fast-action yeast
¾ cup rye flour
150ml double/heavy cream
4tsp mixed spice/pumpkin pie spice
3tbsp honey
2 eggs
2¼ cups dried currants
3 cups strong white bread flour
¼ cup cornflour/cornstarch
1tsp salt

Glaze

2tbsp sugar
5tsp water
1tsp mixed spice/pumpkin pie spice

Method

1. Tip the cider, yeast and rye flour into a bowl. Stir and allow to bubble away for 30 minutes while you put your feet up and enjoy the rest of the bottle of cider over ice.

2. Warm the cream, mixed spice and honey over a low heat. Remove from the heat, beat in the eggs, then pour into the cider mix. Add the currants.

3. Sift in the flour, cornflour and salt, then mix by hand to form a sticky dough. Cover and leave for 10 minutes.

4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface (grease it with a little flavourless vegetable oil first, so it doesn’t stick) and knead for 10–20 seconds until noticeably smoother. This really won’t take long at all, so don’t over-knead it. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to prove for an hour.

5. Once visibly risen (it doesn’t need to double in size here), weigh the dough, and divide into 12 balls. Roll each under a clawed hand until smooth, then place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Leave about 1cm/⅜in between each – you want them to join up while they prove, so that you end up tearing them apart after they’re baked.

6. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and leave the buns to prove until they’ve doubled in size: about an hour.

7. When the buns are approaching the end of their prove, preheat your oven to 220ºC/425ºF. Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 15–18 minutes, until browned.

8. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar, water and mixed spice. Reduce by half and remove from the heat.

9. Remove the buns from the oven, allow them to cool for a couple of minutes, then paint the glaze over the top. Serve warm, or toasted the next day.

About the Book: Paddington Bear’s marmalade, a Neopolitan pizza with Elena Ferrante, afternoon tea at Manderley… Here are 100 delicious recipes inspired by cookery writer Kate Young’s well-stocked bookshelves. From Before Noon breakfasts and Around Noon lunches to Family Dinners and Midnight Feasts, The Little Library Cookbook captures the magic and wonder of the meals enjoyed by some of our best-loved fictional characters.

About the Author: Kate Young is an Australian-born, London-based food writer and cook. After moving to the UK in 2009, she started her blog, thelittlelibrarycafe.com, which now has readers all over the world and is regularly featured in the Guardian.

Loretta Napoleoni is an expert on terrorist financing and money laundering, and advises several governments and international organizations on counter-terrorism. Her new book: North Korea The Country We Love to Hate exposes a nuclear chess game of leverage and politics in which, the threat of war between power players is fuelled by economic needs and ego.

People love to take sides, good vs evil—this predilection creates an addiction to war. Loretta suggests a third option…PEACE between North and South Korea.

Deft strategies and an appetite for power have kept us at a stalemate but could this creative solution nullify the nuclear threat?

Loretta Napoleoni asks: ‘Are we Addicted to War?’

In 2017, North Korea attempted to prove to it is a nuclear power and has the capability to threaten the United Stated. The US response has been mixed: while at times Donald Trump has used a strong belligerent language against Kim Jong-un, including threatening military intervention, the White House adopted a peaceful approach, it mobilised the international community to impose economic sanctions. So far this policy has not being effective for several reasons, among which the peculiarity of the North Korean regime and the impossibility to force Pyongyang to end its nuclear programme.

To many, North Korea is an aberration, the antithesis of democracy: a totalitarian regime, ruled by a dictatorial dynasty that successfully reinvented feudalism. Nicknamed the hermit state, it is so secretive that separating fact from fiction is often problematic. Indeed, the mystery that surrounds it has proven advantageous to depict it as the ultimate dystopian society, an evil benchmark against which the spreading of democracy always appears positive. Even Iraq or Libya are perceived as better regimes than North Korea!

North Korea is the enemy we all love to hate.

Yet, for all the comfort this statement may bring, it fails to comprehensively describe the Pyongyang regime or to address the fundamental question: how do we deal with a nuclear North Korea?

From a more accurate analysis it emerges that the DPRK is a unique and resilient nation. It has survived the implosion of the Soviet Union and the modernization of Chinese communism – its northern neighbours and historical sponsors – without even the slightest attempt to open up to the West. Because of that, it does not fit neatly into any political classifications even if at the same time, it displays features of several of them.

The failure to fully understand North Korea has played in the hands of its regime and in particular of its nuclear programme. Donald Trump is the fourth president of the United States who has unsuccessfully promised to end it. Bill Clinton signed a deal in which North Korea agreed to freeze its nuclear development in exchange for oil and a civilian reactor, but neither side fulfilled its commitments and Pyongyang outsmarted Washington. Why? Clinton convinced Congress to ratify the agreement because he was sure the regime would fall before the delivery of the reactor.

George W. Bush initially refused bilateral negotiations but then changed his mind and joined the Six-Party Talks. Barack Obama first appeared conciliatory then retreated into a stonewalling policy called ‘strategic patience’. Finally, during his first year at the White House, Donald Trump led the UN Security Council to pass several rounds of additional sanctions against North Korea, which made Kim Jong-un more determined to show off North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.

The young dictator is using the same strategy employed by his father. In the second half of the 1990s, Kim Jong-il used the nuclear program as a bargaining chip to get food, oil and other forms of assistance from the West. He succeeded in stringing along the US administration by playing the deterrence game. In the ultimate analysis, deterrence is a confidence game; to be effective, you need to convince people that, if they step over the line, you really will do the things you say you would do. Washington has to believe that Pyongyang will do to Tokyo or Seoul what it has said it would and Pyongyang has to believe that Washington will use the bomb.

How do we get out of this stalemate? Thinking outside the box. It is clear that becoming a nuclear power has been a game changer for Pyongyang, the regime has finally relaxed and is showing a conciliatory attitude towards South Korea, a nation with whom the DPRK is technically still at war. This confirms that nations seek nuclear capability not to use it but as the best form of détente against old and new foes, as proven by Pakistan, India, Israel and very soon Iran, countries that like North Korea have ignored the non-proliferation ban.

Against this scenario a revision of the international agreements is badly needed. By encouraging a peace treaty between North and South Korea, the United States and China could use such a diplomatic victory as a launching pad for a new nuclear protocol, one that allows proliferation, but only within very well defined parameters, and whose primary aim would be to empower the international community to contain and control nuclear weapons worldwide, including, of course, the US and China.

About the Book: In North Korea, The Country We Love to Hate, political analyst and bestselling author Loretta Napoleni challenges our Western preconceptions of North Korea. Napoleoni situates North Korea in context – historical and ideological – and answers questions central to our global future. This informative book is an account of a country central to world politics and yet little understood. Further, it presents insider narratives of its people, whose self-image is radically different to the image we have in the West. Released in Australia by UWA Publishing.

About the Author: Loretta Napoleoni is the best-selling author of Maonomics, Rogue Economics, Terror Incorporated and Insurgent Iraq. She is an expert on terrorist financing and money laundering, and advises several governments and international organisations on counter terrorism and money laundering. She is a regular media commentator for CNN, Sky News and the BBC, and writes for El Paris, The Guardian and Le Monde. Visit her @ lorettanapoleoni.net

Science has shrugged off it’s serpentine grasp of academic rigour and embraced a simpler language—speaking to a new generation with interactive, DIY science experiments. Now we have Popular Science, an official category covering a genre that includes all fields of scientific investigation: neuroscience, bioscience, astrophysics, robotics…with more emerging variants trending at lightening pace. Today, the formerly impenetrable lofts of science are reimagined as Youtube videos, sci-fi talkshows, interactive museums and theme parks. This opens avenues to create new career paths into science, welcoming more diverse methods of exploration which can shape how we learn and engage with science.

Self-made science guy, Jacob Strickling, shares his unconventional career path and the experiments which make science fun!

I love Science… Always have!

Exploring how things work, marvelling at the creation around me. Intrigued and blown away by the bombardier beetle and the firefly. I just had to be a science teacher and so pursued this career path and satisfied my cravings for how things work by taking the engineering pathway.

I love building things, especially equipment that helps explain scientific principles. Fun stuff as well, rides and games with a science twist. Four years ago, I started filming and uploading myself doing science and building my projects. Make Science Fun was born, so named to remind me and others, that science should be enjoyable and engaging.

A big break happened one year into the life of the YouTube channel. I was off to Japan with some students for a science competition and we had to produce a video about where we live. Whale watching is a regular past time of mine, and so to help film them from my boat and bring them a little closer, I made a device to ‘talk’ to the whales. Surprisingly we soon had whales swimming all around us and the video was pretty exciting. A video distribution company made contact with me and since then I’ve sold hundreds of videos world wide. One of the video’s went seriously viral on FaceBook (we’re talking 50 million views). A TV producer saw the video and made contact, so I ended up doing fun science experiments on the morning news.

A book publisher saw me on TV and so, I wrote my first book ‘Make Science Fun’. It’s filled with childhood memories of the science projects and adventures I got up-to as a kid. One of the nature memories I’ve captured in the book is hunting antlions. When I was young I would catch ants and drop them into the sandy pit-trap of a hungry antlion, watching the hunter catch its prey was always exciting to a 6yr old.

It’s been a privilege being able to help parents have the confidence to do science with their children at home. ‘Make Science Fun’ the book has gone so well it’s even been translated into a Chinese edition.To cater for the next age group up I’ve written a second book ‘Make Science Fun Experiments’. Released early December 2017, its aim is to help young people, ages 8 -15, to do real science experiments at home, following the scientific method.

My favourite project… A DIY Sewage System!

15 years ago my family was fortunate enough to move onto a beautiful property on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Like my neighbouring properties, our sewage was ‘treated’ by a pretty basic septic system. This was fine during sunny weather, but when it rained, the smelly, soapy overflow ran pretty much straight into the local creek which was a vital habitat for frogs, eels, small fish and plenty of other critters. I felt terrible polluting the beautiful environment like I was. At the time, I couldn’t afford the $15,000 for a new aerated waste water treated system which would have guaranteed complete sewage treatment.

Through some research, innovation and (might I say) a stroke of genius, I came up with a design for a home-made sewage system which would only cost $1,200 and perform the same function. The system is based on 7 Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC’s)—these are 1 metre cubed plastic tanks, inside a metal cage. They are used to import detergents into the country and become a waste product themselves and so can be purchased for incredibly low prices ($100 each).

With the IBC’s, a series of pipes, air diffusers and a blower it only took me a day to build, and the system has been working wonderfully for the past 15 years. In fact, I’ve done some YouTube videos on it, and I’m proud to say that the system has been built many times over in many different countries by like minded people who want to minimise their impact on the local environment.

Make Science Fun Experiments, New Holland Publishers RRP $19.99 available from all good bookstores or online newhollandpublishers.com

Jacob Strickling YouTuber and school Science Co-ordinator, has a passion for making science education fun, relevant and accessible via his You Tube channel Make Science Fun. With regular appearances on the Today Show, he uses science to entertain and inspire people of all ages but specifically children from ages 5–15.