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The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Mario Kondo


I really enjoyed reading the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, so when I saw a magna version on the shelf I was intrigued.

If you're not familiar with the book, Marie Kondo is an author and consultant on tidying up. She has you sort all of your possessions by type and then ask if each item brings you joy. In the full book she goes into much more detail, often too much, and I think that the manga version is perfectly condensed with all of the most important information. Plus it has a cute narrative! I don't agree with everything she has to say, such as emptying your purse at the end of each day and having a designated "home" for each item in it, but everything else is so helpful that I strongly recommend giving this a read if you've ever been frustrated with organizing or having too much stuff.

Have you read any books on the Konmari method? What did you think? I've been able to get rid of so many things and actually stopped halfway through this book to re-fold my shirt drawer.

5/5 Stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Shakespeare and Company


Oh, Shakespeare and Company. I've been to this store twice, the first time to buy a tote bag in 2014 and the second time to buy another tote along with a copy of To Capture What We Cannot Keep earlier this year. I knew it wasn't the same store as the one that the Lost Generation frequented, but I had no idea of its rich history or what an interesting person George Whitman was. I first thought this book would be a quick read for me because it is filled with large-print text and a kind of scrapbook arrangement, but I was so absorbed in it I ended up savoring the pages and taking forever (for me) to read it. This book is a wonder and it made me want to both wander the world and follow my wildest dreams. I absolutely loved learning about Whitman's life and the evolution of Shakespeare and Company and will look at the store with completely new eyes the next time I am there. I will also be sure to leave room in my suitcase to bring this back with me on my next Paris trip for a special souvenir.

5/5 Stars

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


Marie-Laure lives in Paris with her father and is blind from age 6. She has memorized the model of their Paris neighborhood that her father made her from wood and loves to read Jules Verne.

Werner is a German boy who lives in a group home with his sister. He teaches himself how to fix a radio they found and they listen in secret while the other children are sleeping.

We get to see Marie-Laure and Werner grow up into their teenage years, where they play very different parts in WWII. What I love most about this book is also what took me the most to get used to - the way it is written. It is comprised of MANY tiny chapters, alternating between Marie-Laure and Werner, with a few other points of view sprinkled throughout. For a few chapters in the beginning of each "book," or section, it takes place a few years ahead of the other chapters. It sounds confusing but I promise you will get used to it! I love that the short chapters file everything down to the most important information; there's no filler here.

All the Light We Cannot See is beautiful, heartbreaking, thoughtful, and a fantastic read.

5/5 Stars

2017 Summer Book Bingo

My shiny new bookshelves and reading chair. Note: many TBR books and all my cookbooks are missing from this picture.

Recommended by a librarian: The Little French Bistro by Nina George

Adapted into a movie: Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky

Genre that is new to you: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Fiction: Will You Ever Change? by Aurélie Valognes

Washington state author: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Choose a book by its cover: Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Graphic novel: Nutmeg Vol 1

Banned: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

About art or an artist: Vincent by Barbara Stok

Poetry: Paroles by Jacques Prévert

You're been meaning to read: A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman

By an author of color: A French Girl in New York by Anna Adams

A SAL (Seattle Arts & Lectures) speaker: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Science nonfiction or science fiction: Gauntlet by Holly Jennings

Young adult: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Recommended by an independent bookseller: Firebug by Lish McBride

Collection of essays or short stories: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Reread a book you read in school: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

LGBTQIA author or character: A Conjuring of Light by Victoria Schwab

Biography or memoir: Bonjour Kale by Kristen Beddard

Set in another country: The Snowman by Jo Nexbø

Published the year one of your parents was born: Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

Finish in a day: The Portrait by Antoine Laurain

Recommended by a young person: Murder on the Eiffel Tower by Claude Izner

So many books! It was fun to set a pretty good-sized goal for myself and to actually follow through with it. I didn't end up pushing myself as far as new genres or authors go and I was able to read most of them from my TBR. I probably won't participate in this book bingo next summer, but I think making a small goal for next year to read a certain amount of books outside of my comfort zone sounds fun.

My five favorite books from this list are The Portrait, All the Light We Cannot See, A Man Called Ove, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, and Down Among the Sticks and Bones. Lets keep things positive and not talk about the ones I did not enjoy, eh? Reach out to me personally if you want that convo.

If you're interested in what I'm reading when I'm reading it, follow me on Goodreads. I always rate the books I read and occasionally add a mini review if I'm not going to write up a full one. I'm currently at 76% of my reading goal for 2017, having read 114 out of 150 books.