There's no date here in the app to know if your question is old or recent, so i apologize if you're no longer searching for a book.
I've just started this but it looks pretty good.
The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners (Penguin Handbooks) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0140120416/ref=cm_sw_r_em_apa_i_DsU5EbDSCMM3A
It is more obligatory in such environments than in English. However, when stating opinions in positive sentences, "Думаю" can be used without "что" and even without a pronoun oftentimes ("Хм.. Думаю, ты прав"~"Hm. I think you are right"). In less formal sentences "говорить/сказать" works like that, too.
Note that "that" is dropped in way too many cases in English. For example, in "Я не думаю, что он много работает." you can drop "я" but not "что".
If the pronunciation of М in много is what seems strange to you, remember that /n/ and /m/ are both nasal sounds that may sound less distinct when placed next to each other. Russian labials are also less tense than the English ones; the lack of any puffs of air in /p/ is most notable for an English speaker (e.g., папа, потом, пицца, пусть).
Nay. Only adjectival and adjective-like Genitive endings are read like that. Много is just a word ending in ого—actually, its "ogo" is traced all the way back to Proto-Indo-European (monogʰo/menogʰo). The English "many" was built from the same root.
Also, the word for "today" сего́дня is pronounced with a в. The archaic pronoun сей "this" has a paradigm similar to этот, тот and какой, so сего́ is pronounced /сиво/.
"Work hard" might be not the exact meaning, but don't you think this also doesn't apply here?
Am I just completely lost or are some syllables not pronounced sometimes. Most of the words I am hearing are the same words but sound different by the same speaker in other examples. Here I am not hearing много only ного and hear работе not работает. I can sort of hear it on the regular playback but when slowed down the pronunciation is way off to me.