I have read various decluttering books in my time, and some have helped a lot, some a little and some not at all. While Marie Kondo's technique soundsI have read various decluttering books in my time, and some have helped a lot, some a little and some not at all. While Marie Kondo's technique sounds simplistic (keep only that which sparks joy), it is often the simple ideas that resonate the most clearly when we are prepared to make a change in our lives.
Coming from another culture, the animistic approach to our possessions can seem strange and alien to us Westerners. But I have to admit that when I decided to give away some of my older clothes that I knew I wouldn't wear again (my style has changed so much in a decade) it made the process a lot easier to thank the article for its service and to suggest it go off to make some other woman feel beautiful when they discover it at the charity shop.
And I was determined not to fall in with the folders. Folding socks and underwear seems like a crazy waste of time, I scoffed when I first read the book. I even tried the socks and went back to balling them. Then I completed my KonMari clothing purge, and my shirts and trousers and even pajamas were basking in the satisfied folds (you really can find the sweet spot, and the clothes practically fold themselves! I was amazed!), and it seemed unfair not to give the socks and underwear the same treatment. It may sound crazy, but my drawers can spark joy just by being folded and organised and ready for action whenever I need to change my outfit. What I did not expect is that going through the KonMari method for my clothes has changed my attitude to laundry. I used to hate having to put away the clean laundry. I would leave it until the drawers were nearly empty and we were out of clean pants. But no more - now I want everything snuggled back in its folded home, awaiting my next quick change.
I'm now working on my books, and it is a harder process, but I know that I will feel as joyful looking at my bookshelves as I do opening my drawers. So it is a process worth going through.
The one comment I would say is that Marie Kondo doesn't put the amount of emotional and mental work that it takes to be tough and honest with yourself into context. Essentially by keeping only that which sparks joy, we are letting go of the past and honestly assessing the future, hence grounding ourselves firmly in the reality of the present. It's not a place some of us dwell so often. And it can be a heady experience. ...more
I've heard that a review of the original production asked where the thrill was, and I'm sorry to say that I feel I have to agree.
The Thrill of Love wI've heard that a review of the original production asked where the thrill was, and I'm sorry to say that I feel I have to agree.
The Thrill of Love was chosen as this year's "Book and Look" in my book club, where we read a play and go see a production.
It is a short, quick read, with some witty dialogue, but I was hoping watching a local production would help flesh it out and take away the sense of "meh" that I finished the book with.
Knowing that this is a true story doesn't excuse the lackluster ending, the confusion and the feeling that this play could have explored the case of Ruth Ellis and delivered some emotion about the various issues it could have explored so much better. I was surprised to find out it was a modern play, because I felt that it had an older feel to the writing and the treatment of class issues (as a modern reader I did not perceive some of the class distinctions that should have appalled me about some of the behaviour, I found out from our book club discussion) and women's relationships to men (pardon me but domestic abuse and a victim's continued love for their abuser is sadly not a crazy unknown phenomenon in today's society).
All in all a disappointing read, made more disappointing by seeing that it doesn't even translate better onto the stage....more
I was an easy sell for this book, as I love the Princess Bride movie. What a classic! I expected to enjoy the look behind the scenes and I was not disI was an easy sell for this book, as I love the Princess Bride movie. What a classic! I expected to enjoy the look behind the scenes and I was not disappointed.
In fact, this book is even more charming as it is written with some of that fabulous tongue in cheek yet wide-eyed enjoyment of the movie process, and we get a close look at Cary Elwes's experience from casting to wrap to 25th anniversary.
There are lovely remarks as well from some of the other actors and crew widening the experience and giving us a window into what sounds like an amazing movie making production. I think what stands out the most are the loving remembrances of Andre the Giant and the amount of work that went into the 3-minute Greatest Sword Fight scene.
An enjoyable read for new and old fans of the movie that was more than a romance, more than a swashbuckling fairytale and more than a timeless classic. The Princess Bride movie may have defied genres, but this book is a perfect memoir from the Man in Black....more
It was lovely to catch up with Agatha Christie again, and this book was a smashing read. I enjoyed the lead detective and her longing for adventure. AIt was lovely to catch up with Agatha Christie again, and this book was a smashing read. I enjoyed the lead detective and her longing for adventure. A lively international thriller in the best of Christie's tradition....more
Since this is such an American theatre classic, I expected so much more. There isn't really much story to this, it's not even much a story of the townSince this is such an American theatre classic, I expected so much more. There isn't really much story to this, it's not even much a story of the town. I know it's now set about 100 years ago, but it is surprisingly sparse. I'll be interested to see how I feel after seeing the play performed (due to see it in May), but honestly, I'm disappointed with the meatiness as well as the final message. Bleh....more
I found this biography about one of the world's first women racing superstars a fascinating glimpse into the world of racing and a turbulent life of aI found this biography about one of the world's first women racing superstars a fascinating glimpse into the world of racing and a turbulent life of a woman who ultimately lives a lonely life. The author did a lot of research into the early days of car racing and brings the excitement and pioneering field to life for the reader. There are many blanks in our understanding of who Helle Nice is, but Seymour has a way of getting under the surface and making realistic suppositions about the motivations of a woman who came from a small French village to become one of France's foremost drivers in the pre-WWII days. The sad story of what happens to her, through accidents, betrayal and then through the traumatic war days, is well written and provides a sympathetic voice for a woman who would otherwise have become a forgotten legend. The story of how the evidence and the possibility for the biography to happen at all were tantalisingly given at the end of the book, which was a strong finish. ...more
This is a nice introduction to a fairy world where fairies have to go to school to learn how to fly. As the title indicates, this is exactly the primaThis is a nice introduction to a fairy world where fairies have to go to school to learn how to fly. As the title indicates, this is exactly the primary focus of this first book in the Glitterwings Academy universe. It is a nice tale about friendship and learning to persevere and finding your own way to knowledge. The interactions with teachers, parents and other fairies is nicely portrayed. Fun, light read....more
This was a fast read, but that's pretty much all it had going for it. In fact, I think I read it quicker to get the thing done with once and for all.This was a fast read, but that's pretty much all it had going for it. In fact, I think I read it quicker to get the thing done with once and for all. I did keep hoping that the book would redeem itself, but got through the whole thing feeling it lacked any redemption for the characters or plot. There was no sense that the story meant anything, and I went through the whole thing without sympathy for any of the characters or situations. The surreal sense of it all being a fairy tale would have been suitable for the book if there was a moral or comeuppance for anyone. Unfortunately, I don't think I'd recommend this to pretty much anyone....more
2013: My book club chose to read this, most of us for at least a second time. It was nice to revisit it, and as luck would have it our local cinema wa2013: My book club chose to read this, most of us for at least a second time. It was nice to revisit it, and as luck would have it our local cinema was showing the film, so we all went to see it after discussing the book. Despite having read it fairly recently and knowing the characters very well, I didn't remember the details of what happened in the trial and it was very enjoyable to re-read. The movie centres much more on the trial, using that as a frame for the narrative, and I can see why it has been listed as 'courtroom drama' in terms of the movie, though the book gives such a wonderful glimpse into a different time and way-of-life within a beautiful coming of age story of a character realising more about the society, social class, and small town that she belongs to.
2010: I've never watched the movie or read the book before now, and I'm fully annoyed at everyone who ever called this a 'courtroom drama', because they certainly did no justice to exactly what this book conveys or the characters it brings to life. I think I've avoided it because of my assumption it would be a dry old classic. Instead I was treated to a wonderful coming of age story where we get a sense of much more changing than just our main character. The innocence of childhood reflects a bitter world so much more effectively than any documentary ever could. The strength of the people in Scout's life and the life-altering events going on around her are so perfectly rendered in her narrator's voice. I can finally understand how this became classic literature and is considered so many people's favourite book....more
At first I was eager to dig into this weighty tome, as it sounded like an interesting read. And I got on well to begin with, but I very quickly realisAt first I was eager to dig into this weighty tome, as it sounded like an interesting read. And I got on well to begin with, but I very quickly realised that this book is not what I at first imagined. I've been reading it for so long now as to really forgotten what my expectations originally were, but I think it was a bit lighter on the describing the story elements and perhaps more about the way this related to my own personal psychology or at least my understanding of psychology. Or, conversely, a bit about story elements and how these relate to women in modern society.
Pinkola Estes has really spent an amazing amount of time, effort and pages to eke every minute particle of information about some of these stories. However, this leads to it being fairly difficult to get through chapters where she discusses one story (and really, one rendition - hers - of one story) until the reader may not really comprehend why it matters. The breaking point for me, and when I really started to skim a bit through some of the denser chapters, was when I realised that the story elements that she was dissecting and giving as universals and obvious links with psychology were ones that she included in HER version of the story and not one I'd read elsewhere. It seemed a bit like adding in things just to show they made the point of the story. I would have appreciated this more either as a psychology book or a book about story elements, rather then the two being jammed into the same volume.
I think some of the negative reviews have come from a misalignment between what this book sounds like it is going to be from the blurb and other marketing and what it is from Pinkola Estes' perspective and writing. However, there is still a thin slice of the world that this book's audience would actually be, and while I'm sure they enjoy it thoroughly, the rest of us will not be prepared to wade through and indulge to find the sparkling gems in the very muddy waters of the author's prose. ...more
**spoiler alert** I thought this was very funny the first couple of times I read it, but when I read it with a 4-year-old, he informed me that this wa**spoiler alert** I thought this was very funny the first couple of times I read it, but when I read it with a 4-year-old, he informed me that this was a very scary book. And thinking about it, there's a lot of incidents that could really hit some anxiety buttons for young readers (turning green, family alienating Peter, friends making fun of Peter, running away from home, being abducted, missing the family, getting poked and prodded by aliens, being thrown out of a UFO, and then turning orange). So I would suggest being a bit more aware of the audience and perhaps being cautious. Remember, what's funny for some is scary for others!...more