February 23, 2018

Abbreviations #45 | The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Who's That Girl? + The Tea Dragon Society

I've owned The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up for years, ever since my sister Mel gave it to me for Christmas. Now, to preface my thoughts on this non-fiction guide to tidying using the KonMari method, I've always been an organized person. I give credit to my mother for that, as she always instilled in us the attitude that everything had its place and that organization was an admirable trait. It probably won't surprise you to hear that even before reading this, I was (and will continue to) always tidy around the house on a regular basis, as well as seasonally culling clothing and books and papers. So, why even bother picking this one up? Well, I think it's very interesting to see a different perspective on tidying and organization, and that's exactly what I got. While I don't necessarily think I'll 100% dive into applying the KonMari method to every aspect of my apartment and life (though I did end up tidying my closet and it was wonderful), I do think there were things that I could take away from this slim volume (like how to properly store socks, and the use you can get out of a shoebox). My favorite takeaways? First, I liked how she mentioned how important it was to appreciate the stuff you own and use. And second, I really liked how much she emphasized how important it was to surround yourself only with things that bring you joy. Anyway, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up ended up being a fascinating alternate take on organization. I was able to pull a few tenets to use in my own life, and I'm glad of it! If you're interested in changing up the way you clean up, well, this may just be a book you'd want to check out for yourself.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo | Publisher: Ten Speed Press | Publication Date: October 14, 2014 | Source: Hardcover gifted by my sister (Thanks Mel!)

I decided I needed a shift from my SFF reading so far for 2018, and picked up Who's That Girl? on a whim. I've had this chick lit novel for an age now with the intention of reading it last summer (which obviously didn't happen), but I've finally gotten to it. In this read, Edie finds herself unintentionally exiled to her hometown after a scandalous event at a colleague's wedding. She's assigned to ghostwrite an autobiography for star Elliot Owen while she's there, and as months go by, Edie slowly comes to terms with who she is, the people that matter and what she wants out of life. Now, this is the second Mhairi McFarlane novel I've read and I can definitely say that I enjoyed it more than the other one. It's a fun, slightly over the top read peppered with a few thoughtful observations about relationships and social media, and I flew right through it. While I don't think it's one that'll stay with me, nor did I think the writing stood out, I did end up liking it. Ultimately, however, I've read other authors that I personally enjoy more in this genre, and Who's That Girl? is simply a quick, solid, if ultimately average overall for me, read.

Who's That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane | Publisher: Harper Collins | Publication Date: September 6, 2016 | Source: Purchased the paperback

I hadn't heard of The Tea Dragon Society until BEA 2017, if I'm being completely honest. But I'm a sucker for adorable illustration styles like Katie O'Neill's! I ended up picking up a finished hardcover copy at NYCC 2017 - and I don't regret it one bit. First of all, the illustrations are just perfectly lovely in terms of style and coloring; they're basically totally my aesthetic. Second, the basic premise - that there are tea dragons in the world whose branches/berries/leaves can make magical tea and who are bonded with their owners - is already right up my alley. Third, it's just a really cute story about a girl who saves a tea dragon from harm and winds up being drawn to the lives of the tea dragons and their owners. My only complaint is that this is a little shorter than I would have wanted it to be, as I could've read pages and pages about the all these characters and their adventures! But all in all, it's charming, it's whimsical and it's something I'll keep and treasure in my personal library forever. (Also, I would really, really, really like to have a tea dragon of my own, please and thank you.)

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill | Publisher: Oni Press | Publication Date: October 18, 2017 | Source: Purchased the hardcover


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