In an attempt to de-clutter my home for the new year, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Though there were some tips that I found unnecessary (fold you socks like a sushi roll!), I did take to heart a handful of Marie Kondo’s tricks. She advises that people clean by category (first clothes, then paperwork, then miscellaneous, etc) which is actually easier than room by room. She also advises to only keeping items that spark joy in you. Her process has led to me getting rid of about 1/3 of my possessions, and my house feels much more peaceful. It’s definitely worth a read if you wish to organize your closets and your life in general.
Written by Ted Spiker, author of several health books, Down Size is a book about the “twelve truths about successful weight loss.” I did find some of these truths to be useful, but Ted’s constant self deprecating humor left me feeling uncomfortable. Down Size seemed geared more toward overweight men with a competitive streak. Since I am not a man and I’m not into competitive physical activities, I didn’t glean as much valuable information from this book as I had hoped.
One Plastic Bag is the story of Isatou Ceesay and how she created an industry in Gambia where the women recycled plastic bags into bags and purses. Plastic bags were a huge environmental problem in Gambia and one day Isatou had enough. She cleaned the bags, made them into string and wove bags out of them. The new bags were sold and helped the people of her area. It is an inspiring story about how one person can make a difference.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.
Ever wonder how to avoid offending your spouse with your evening sleeping habits? Or perhaps wonder what the challenges might be of sleeping with another person if you never have? This could be the guide book for you. Originally published in the 1930s the book addresses bedroom etiquette with a sense of humor. It is amazing how few of the basic problems have changed over the years. Husbands and wives still bicker over whose job it is to investigate noises in the middle of the night, who has to get up to get another blanket or close the window or do we even want the window open.
Some items refer specifically to the household of the television show Downton Abbey, but most information given is historically researched. Even includes recipes and instructions for everything from cleaning silver to properly storing seasonal clothes to protect them from dust and bugs. For fans of the show as well as those looking for traditional cleaning information.
So I saw this book on Goodreads and just had to check it out. It looked super creepy and I was not disappointed. There is just something about these old photographs of people in homemade Halloween costumes that ups the creep factor to about 11. I have no idea what most of the costumes are nor do I want to know. The sepia color of the photos makes everything just a little bit more bizarre and demonic. If I saw any of these costumes at my door on Halloween I think I would lock the door and hide in the closet for the rest of the night.
Ahh, the joys of working in a public library. You just never know what kind of crazy, sweet, angry, beautiful people you are going to encounter day to day. Gina Sheridan has collected stories about her experiences working in the library in this little gem of a book. I really enjoyed the fact that she categorized the stories by the Dewey Decimal System. While my experiences are not the same as Sheridan’s I can definitely relate to them. Public libraries are open to the public and that just means anyone and everyone can be there. Some days are a delight when you find the right book for a patron or help them with a sticky problem. Other days are a chore when you get yelled at or sneezed on or have to deal with too many frustrating situations. Each day is different and makes coming to work interesting.
Robin Hastings, is an acclaimed speaker, writer, blogger and technology person, her books are easy to read and understand and this is no different for, Outsourcing Technology: A Practical Guide for Librarians. With this book libraries can learn to be more effective and resourceful. In return this will save libraries money and make the library a better run organization. If you are a Library administrator or an IT Manager check this book out.
Sniffer Dogs is a delightful little book about working dogs. Nancy Castaldo does a great job illustrating the different jobs a dog’s nose is perfect for. Dogs can be trained to sniff out bombs, arson, people, dead bodies, and even illness. I really enjoyed the stories about actual working dogs and their partners. This book is kid friendly with lots of pictures and pop-outs of dogs, short chapters and lively text.
This is a how-to-book showing you ways to make your abode more liveable for you and your cats. This is especially important if you live in a small space – like an apartment – and if your cats cannot go outside. But it involves a fair amount of construction, including attaching hangers to the walls, so that might be a problem for some apartment renters. One of the first couple examples depicts the makeover for a man who lived with 2 Savannah cats, one of whom was launching himself on top of the range hood that hung from the middle of the ceiling.
I need to figure out some catification to keep my cat off the kitchen counter where he looks for more catfood – maybe I’ll try some perfume .
The Authors of Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics explain how you can apply some of their techniques to your own life. I liked the example of the young man from Japan who won the Coney Island hot-dog eating contest. By methodically studying himself, he figured out, how to be able to eat twice as many hot-dogs (plus buns) to beat native American contestants. After a couple of years, other contestants watched his methods and eventually beat him, by using the techniques he’d figured out.
Another topic covered is you need to understand what really motivates people, which is often quite different from what people will tell you, even different from what they believe about themselves. For example, when a soccer player gets a penalty kick, will they be aiming for the spot most likely to score a point – statistically this would be right at the goalie – or someplace else, likely to make a point, but if it fails, they won’t look like an idiot. I enjoyed this book.
Focusing on nine different rooms (including her own recently purchased Manhattan apartment), Lara Spencer shows readers that all it takes is planning, shopping know-how, and a little imagination to create beautiful and comfortable homes that reflect their personal style. She takes readers through the step-by-step process of overcoming the challenges of the room, offering helpful tips and lessons along the way. She identifies the design dilemma; comes up with a decorating plan; makes a mood board for inspiration; compiles a shopping list; scours flea markets for furniture and accessories that fit the bill; restores, repurposes, and reinvents the pieces she finds, giving them new life; and brings all the elements together in the gorgeous, finished space. With illuminating before, during, and after photographs of her DIY projects and the room installations, Lara demystifies the decorating process and allows readers to envision endless possibilities for what they can do in their own homes
“Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to becool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”
In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.
Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better. (from Goodreads.com)
This book by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin is packed with ideas for making your home more cat friendly. Cats at war? Help is in this book! Have a shy cat who hides a lot? No problem! Catification not only has ideas for cat furniture and climbing walls, but it also has information about why cats are the way they are. For example, I discovered that the reason altercations happen on my staircase is because it is a matter of turf. By building a superhighway with multiple lanes for traffic, I can eliminate these altercations. The ideas in here range from $10 cost to $600 or more, so there is something for every budget. If you wish to make life better for the feline(s) in your life, I highly suggest picking up this book. It is a delightful, easy and fast read.
Even when people try to be unpredictable, they usually fall into patterns. William Poundstone shows readers how to make the best odds for yourself, whether this be a game of rock/paper/scissors, gambling, fixing the books, or investing in the stock market. Poundstone writes in an engaging and accessible style.
This innovative book teaches you how to rediscover the delightful curiosity you had as a child. Wahl walks the reader through how we were when we were younger, how we are now, and how we can find our Picasso. Picasso is an acronym Wahl uses to describe his methods for rediscovering creative genius. Wahl gives examples of each step, as well as quotes and inspiration. Wahl is not some professional psychologist. He is someone who has walked this path to Picasso himself. Wahl gives us very poignant questions to ask ourselves as we consider where we are in our current life and who we hope to become in the future. This book deserves more than one reading in order to glean all of the information you can out of it. I recommend this for anyone struggling with who they are and where they fit in at home or at work. Great read!
Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck is an informative and funny look on how normal people should handle everyday affairs. The loud cell phone person in the library or elevator, the neighbor who is loud all night long, Amy gives practical/funny advice on handling those situations.
Every Sunday, readers of The New York Times Book Review turn with anticipation to see which novelist, historian, short story writer, or artist will be the subject of the popular By the Book feature. These wide-ranging interviews are conducted by Pamela Paul, the editor of the Book Review, and here she brings together sixty-five of the most intriguing and fascinating exchanges, featuring personalities as varied as David Sedaris, Hilary Mantel, Michael Chabon, Khaled Hosseini, Anne Lamott, and James Patterson. The questions and answers admit us into the private worlds of these authors, as they reflect on their work habits, reading preferences, inspirations, pet peeves, and recommendations.
By the Book contains the full uncut interviews, offering a range of experiences and observations that deepens readers’ understanding of the literary sensibility and the writing process. It also features dozens of sidebars that reveal the commonalities and conflicts among the participants, underscoring those influences that are truly universal and those that remain matters of individual taste.
For the devoted reader, By the Book is a way to invite sixty-five of the most interesting guests into your world. It’s a book party not to be missed.