Friday, May 20, 2016

Book Review - "Dune Road" by Jane Green (#5 - 2016)

Dune Road by Jane Green

I always love a Jane Green novel.  She's one of my absolute favorites, her books are fun, easy to read, and perfect for the beach, vacation or just a pick-me-up.  This was a solid read.  It centers on Kit, recently divorced, former wealthy Wall Street wife with the posh life.  She's settling into her new life in her dream house (small and quaint), her kids are happy, she has a good relationship with her ex, and she just landed her ideal job, assisting a famous, yet reclusive novelist.  But a surprise visitor rocks her world and sets off a string of events that will change everything.  It's a story about friendship and relationships.  And I really enjoyed it!  I'm anxiously waiting on her next novel out later this year.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book Review - "Spirit's Key" by Edith Cohn (#4 - 2016)

Spirit's Key by Edith Cohn

I picked up this book because the author went to my university (NC State) and it looked interesting.  It's a kids chapter book (ages 9-12), so it's really easy to read and nothing too deep or complicated.  Spirit is the main character, she's 12 years old and hopes that she has inherited the family gift - the ability to see a person's future when they hold a key belonging to that person.  She and her father live on a remote island, in a small village.  The island has wild dogs, dogs who the locals think are dangerous.  Spirit had adopted one of the dogs and named him Sky, however Sky has recently died.  Then more and more of the wild dogs begin to die and the locals start becoming scared.  In the meantime Spirit has started seeing the ghost of her beloved Sky.  Could Sky's ghost be the key to discovering her own gifts as well as helping to solve the mystery of the dead dogs?  This was a pretty decent book, I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it.  I think it's great for the age group and for kids that like mysteries.  

Monday, March 28, 2016

Book Review - "Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ" by Giulia Enders (#3 - 2016)

Now a book about your gut (digestive system), how it works and how it can affect your whole body sounds so boring, right?  Not this book.  It was full of great, informative information written with humor and uncomplicated language, and fun illustrations.  I really enjoyed and learned a lot.  Your gut and it's health is vital to your overall well being.  This book broke everything down (ha ha) and helps you understand how everything functions.  I would highly recommend this book for everyone!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Book Review - "Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy" by Judith Watt (#2 - 2016)

I make no secret of my love of McQueen and his work, he was hands down my favorite designer of all time.  I'm dating myself here, but I followed his career from almost day one and was in shock for a solid day when he died.  This book took a deeper look into his life, how he got his start in fashion, timeline of his work and a super helpful breakdown of each of his collections.  It was so interesting and insightful.  I've read a lot about him and have this book and this one (both of which I recommend and both make great companions/references when reading this book).  My only complaint was that I wished it had more pictures, but I had to remember this book was more about him, his inspiration, motivation and not as much about the actual fashion.  So I ended up referencing both books I mentioned before and YouTube.  If you search on YouTube you can find almost every collection in whole or part.  Bottom line, this is a must read for any McQueen fan or anyone who wants to learn more about him.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Review - "A Star for Mrs. Blake" by April Smith (#1 - 2016)

A Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith

I could not wait to read this book, I had heard so many good things about it, the story sounded so solid and interesting.  It follows Cora Blake in the Summer of 1931, she is a "Gold Star Mother" and is invited to go to France by the U.S. government to say goodbye to her son killed in action in WW1.  She makes the trip with fellow Gold Star Mothers.  The women she travels with are from various backgrounds and circumstances and the story follows them through their journey.  This was such a great idea for a story.  It was a horrible read.  It took forever for me to get through it, I kept thinking it would get better or there would be a payoff/resolution of some sort that satisfied (or wasn't totally cheesy).  It did not.  There are so many characters who you don't really get to know, yet are supposed to care about.  It was all over the place, I just wanted some focus.  Reading this was like slogging through a bog.  I would not recommend this book at all.  

Monday, February 8, 2016

Book Review - "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo (#41 - 2015)

I was eager to get my hands on this book after hearing all the hype.  I also love a book about organization.  First, let me start by saying, this was translated from Japanese, so sometimes it reads a bit weird (and the word "tidy" is used so much you will want to scream).  Second, this is not new information, the thing is she just presents it in a different way.  She gets a bit extreme in her purging, a little too extreme for my taste (I would not throw away as much paperwork as she suggests).  For example, in our move back to our house we lived in 8 years ago, we discovered the refrigerator we bought when we moved into the house was on the fritz.  I did some research and it turns out our model was involved in a class action lawsuit and recall.  So seeing as I had kept all of the proof of purchase information paperwork, it made the process go a lot faster when I had to speak with customer service.  If I had chucked as much as she suggests, the process would have been so much harder and time consuming.  That being said, since I was reading this while unpacking endless boxes after the move, it did help me let go of things.  Boxes and boxes of things.  So I will give her credit for motivating me to do that (I'm wondering if I would have been so motivated by the book if I had to dig stuff out of places to do the decluttering? Really not sure.).  The bottom line is, pick it up if you are in need of decluttering inspiration/in the mood to get rid of stuff/moving/need a different way to help with getting rid of things.  Otherwise, don't get wrapped up in the hype.

This is the last book I read in 2015, making a total of 41 books read in 2015.  I didn't get to my goal of 50 set back in this post, but I'll cut myself a break since we moved and that took up so much of my time and energy.  So far I haven't finished one book this year!  I have such a big stack to read and I've just not been in the mood.  Such is life.  Don't worry I'll still be posting reviews as I finish any I read!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

What I Bought - January 2016

Only stuff for the house this month:
1. Python tray (medium) - $58
2. Origami Star (small) - $16
3. Medallion storage ottoman - $83.99 (the quality is really good for the price)
4. Wildon Home console table - $101.99

Total = $259.98

Go forth and shop responsibly!

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