Monday, January 25, 2016

Fun New Releases from the First Half of 2016 That I'm Looking Forward To

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallari

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Girl Through the Glass by Sari Wilson

The Relic Master by Christopher Buckley

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie

Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Up to This Pointe by Jennifer Longo

Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley

The Dark Days Club by Allegra Goodman

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig

Friday, January 22, 2016

My Favorite Reads of 2015

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl

Juniors by Kaui Hart Hemmings

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

 Prudence by Gail Carriger

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley

Friday, January 15, 2016

Review: Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I will admit straight off the bat that I am a big fan of Marie Kondo's first book (in English), The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  This was the first book I have ever read that actually made the idea of purging my belongings seem incredibly enticing.  I've read many books and articles about organizing and getting rid of you stuff, but Kondo's very simple idea (basically, getting rid of everything that doesn't spark joy in you) struck a chord with me, as with many others.  This book really is genius.  But that's only half of the charm of Kondo's book--this is a truly bizarre book, and Kondo, at least for an American audience, is also bizarre.  The translator of this book did a truly brilliant job, preserving just enough of the odd logic and what I can only assume are ideas and concepts that are culturally specific to the Japanese to make this a book that manages to be at once a very practical and very clear manual for tidying, and a fascinating insight into a mindset that is very different from what we normally have to access to in western books.  

Kondo's new book, Spark Joy,  continues all of this, and is definitely a companion to her first book.  It is not really a stand-alone book, if you want to experience the true benefits and charm of the Kondo's concepts, but if for some reason, you just want a quick version of her first book, this could work for you.  This book is more practical and less philosophical than the admittedly rather abstract and at times philosophical first book.  Spark Joy offers detailed object type by object type tips for folding and getting rid of stuff.  There are little illustrations showing you exactly how to fold or store various types of objects. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot, and I was thrilled to be able to spend more time inside Kondo's strange and beautiful mind.  If you want purely practical information, I'm not sure Kondo is for you at all, but if you want your mind quietly blown, give her a try.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.