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review 2017-06-20 19:15
Book 34/100: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondo

I like to live a basically decluttered life, but as someone who is also thrifty and a little sentimental, my downfalls are always cheap books and gifts. I buy very little for myself besides food and the occasional replacement for something essential that has broken, but my shelves and drawers continue to fill in response to the generosity of others. So stuff encroaches, and the occasional purge is always in order.

As much as I want to do a total declutter before Baby arrives, I know that isn't actually going to happen ... but this book did give me some motivation to get rid of things as I can (which is not what Kondo recommends, btw.) I did read it before I did my annual book reorganizing, though, and I was able to purge more books than I've ever purged in an annual reorganizing before (although still not as many as she would have liked me to, I'm sure!). I have to translate her question of, "Does this bring me joy?" to "Do I want to drop everything and start reading this book RIGHT NOW?" when I organize my books, and because my reading appetite is so voracious and my tastes so varied, the answer to that question is "yes," for practically every book in my house. I use the "spark joy" criteria for the books I've already read, but that is a small portion of my collection since I tend to set books free after I have read them.

The question about whether a possession sparks joy or not is the most useful part of this book, the most publicized, and one that you honestly do not need to read the whole book to start applying. It also pretty much ignores practicality, and the many things that you keep even though they don't spark joy necessarily, like your cutting board, your dishwashing detergent, and your toothpaste. She also prioritizes space and simplicity above all else, and if that is not YOUR personal priority you are likely to butt heads with her philosophy. For example, she discourages "stocking up" on items such as toilet paper to cut down on clutter -- but if your priority is time (not having to shop as often) or cost-savings (it's cheaper to buy in bulk), then you have a right to act according to *that* priority rather than to hers. I for one am not going to stop buying non-expirables in bulk because I don't like to shop OR to know I'm spending more than I need to.

She also assumes a certain amount of privilege in assuring readers that they can "buy another one" if they find they've discarded something that they truly do need six months later. My husband points out that this is sound advice if your space is so small that you'd be paying for a bigger house or extra storage space just to keep something around that you only use once in a while, but if those are not issues and you can't afford to buy a new pet taxi every time you take your cat to the vet even though it's just once a year with the occasional emergency, well, just keep that pet taxi tucked away in the basement somewhere.

As the book goes on, the sensible and helpful advice on downsizing devolves into "my way is the only right way" tips on organizing that border on the neurotic. Socks must be folded a certain way, clothes must be hung in a certain order, etc. While I'm all for folding my clothes in a way that makes them easier to fit in my drawers and access easily (although I still have to learn her folding technique and actually try it), there's no way I'm going to empty my purse and repack it every day -- I have a hard enough time getting out the door on time as it is.

All-in-all, this is a good book to motivate you to start decluttering and downsizing, but take it with a grain of salt and don't let Kondo's insistence that her way is the only way stress you out.

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review 2016-08-09 02:53
REVIEW: The Best Seller
The Best Seller - Dina Rae

Have you ever read a book that you both loved and hated all at the same time? That is very much this book for me.

 

At first, the author completely had me captivated by the story of General Robert Andreas and Dr. Karl Jaeger, a military man who works for the government and a man who is described as "perhaps one of the Nazi's biggest monstrosities of the war." Very science fiction. Very Area 51. I'm hooked.

 

Then, out of nowhere, the story changes to the story of Maya Smock and how her life intermingles with Jay McCallister, her favorite author, as she goes from a normal, everyday girl who works at a bookstore and dreams of one day being an author, to getting published and becoming one of those best-sellers she always envied.

 

Seems like an interesting story, right? It is. It really is.

 

And yet I couldn't help having so much frustration with it.

 

First, the book description gave away too much of what happens in the story, causing me to not feel that surprise and mystery that I usually get from a thriller. The fact that her and McCallister have this connection - and what the connection is - is huge, and I would have rather found that out during the story instead of just waiting for that to come. It took away a lot of my enjoyment.

 

Second, the lack of editing was very off-putting. I'm not just talking about missing words in sentences (which is quite tedious when you're reading), but the fact that the author repeats information about these characters over and over again i.e. Maya's stay in different orphanages and homes until the age of seventeen, her promiscuity, Eric giving her a job.

 

Third, my favorite character (Maya) was one that had a lot of depth to her, but she made some bad decisions, ignored all those gut feelings, and continued to abuse herself just as bad as the adults in her younger days did. Hindsight is 20-20, I guess, because as she's telling the story, you realize that she probably would have done things differently, but with the strength that she had to do what she initially did, I found myself getting angry with her quite a bit because of her stupidity. I honestly felt like I was reading a story where the main character was a teenager, and not someone who had gone through all of this stuff and was now a grownup.

 

Fourth, the side story of Claude the Jerk, his girlfriend, the money... blah blah blah... really took away from the two stories I mentioned above. I wanted to know how they went together and how we were going to get to the whole Maya-McCallister connection, and found myself skimming through paragraphs in each chapter because I found them unnecessary. I felt more like I was reading a YA Romance than a Science Fiction Thriller.

 

Fifth, the way that Andreas and Jaeger interacted just seemed... childish. Maybe that's not the word I'm looking for, but I can't honestly think of a better way to put it. This is a General in the United States Military and a Doctor, yet their conversations seemed very immature. I just feel like something as secret as what they were dealing with would have been handled differently.

 

Dina Rae is a good writer, and I really enjoyed the amount of work she put into her character development, but this book failed to live up to its potential. As the two parts began to come together, the story got better and I could really see the talent that this writer has. Unfortunately, the editor she had (if she had one) failed to point out some things that disrupted the flow and took away from the main point of the story. She has written other novels that I may take a gander at, and I hope that she continues writing in the future, as I would like to see where her talent takes her.

 

Note: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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text 2016-01-01 14:13
Celebrate 2016 with a Kindle Sale!

For everyone who couldn't take advantage of the UK Kindle Monthly Deal, Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen is marked down on Amazon.com for 1 week only. Happy 2016!

 

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text 2015-12-31 12:53
UK Kindle Deal Ends Today

If you use Amazon UK, don't miss your last chance to get Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen for only 99p! My Elizabeth has enjoyed a wonderful December as an Amazon Monthly Kindle Deal. She is currently at #1 for biographical historical fiction and rose as high as #66 in the Kindle store OVERALL! I couldn't be happier that so many people are enjoying the story of Elizabeth of York.

Thank you to all who have read and reviewed!

 

Source: samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2015/12/last-day-of-uk-kindle-deal.html
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text 2015-10-03 15:20
Corbin's Bend Season Four Pre-Buy

Season Four Pre-Buy

Season Four - Pre-purchase special

Season Four, Pre-Buy

About This Book

Pre-buy Season Four of Corbin’s Bend at a discount.

Books included in Season Four:

* The Man She Needed – by Ruth Staunton (10/28)
* Delivered to Love – by Thianna Durston & Jamie Ray (11/11)
* Deceptive Practices – by Tabitha Marks (11/25)
* A currently Untitled book by Rayanna Jamison (12/9)
* Vintage Values – by Maggie Ryan (12/23)
* Her Cowboy – by Kate Richards (1/6)
* Fire in the Rockies – by Holla Dean (1/20)
* A super secret Corbin’s Bend novella which will be only available to people who buy the pre-buy of Season Four.

If you pre-buy the books as a boxed set through October 23rd, instead of paying the full retail, which would be $35, you will only pay $29.99 for the full season. That’s right. You save by buying the season before it’s released. Then, as each book hits its release date, you will receive a code to download the book to your account. Plus, you get a book nobody else can purchase.

1 – The package price of $29.99 gives you seven books from Season 4 of Corbin’s Bend. Although the announced list (above) is our intended list of releases, Blushing Books reserves the right to substitute another title should one of the announced titles become unavailable. However, regardless of substitution, the Season will contain SEVEN books. (plus that little super-secret novella)
2 – The package will be available from September 24th through October 23rd. (After midnight ET on October 23rd, the pre-buy offer goes away).
3 – It is available on Blushing Books only.
4 – A coupon code will be sent to you on the day of release of each book so you can download your copy from the Blushing Books store.
5 – Anyone who has purchased the entire Season Four package will receive a special invitation to a Facebook party, to be held on Friday, October 23rd from 10pm until 12:15 am on the 24th.
6 – At the party, prizes will be given which will include an iPad Mini. . You do not need to be present to be eligible for the iPad mini. However, all the other prizes (gift certificates, etc.) at the party will be awarded to people who actually check in at the party. Plus, the party is just simply fun!

Source: www.blushingbooks.com
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