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How to Get The F*ck Over It and Move On: a review of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Posted on by MK Carroll

Sometimes you need to have someone gently and firmly grab you by the face and tell you to just get over it already.  This book is all about telling you to get the f*ck over it and move on, it just does it really nicely.

Number one: this is not about getting rid of everything you own, unless that's what makes you happy. This is not about having a minimalist white space with one perfect teacup, unless that's what makes you happy. This is about asking yourself which of your belongings bring you joy, and being honest with yourself about it. A friend of mine KonMari'd her art studio and it's been a big inspiration to me - she's still a collector, it's still a lot of stuff, and it's a beautiful reflection of her personality. You can see photos in her Instagram feed: brandiislight

Number two: if something isn't bringing you joy, sometimes you can make a simple change to make it something that brings you joy (and sometimes that thing is changing the way you think about it).  Although Kondo is about the immediate gut response, I think it can be worthwhile to take a moment and ask yourself why something doesn't bring you joy, and if it's an easy fix, consider doing so. One of my shirts failed the joy check, because one of the buttons would pop out of the buttonhole at inconvenient times. I fixed it in a couple of minutes with a needle and thread, tightening the buttonhole, and now it's joyful! Sometimes you can't afford to offload everything that isn't pinging the joy meter. What Kondo has to say about gratitude and appreciation for the things that you need in your life can really come into play here. The curtain in the living room window may not spark joy in me immediately, but I can appreciate that it keeps the afternoon sun out of my eyes when I sit on the couch. I'll replace it when I can, and until then, I'll appreciate the job that it does. 

 You know what doesn't give me joy? 5 page care labels in clothing. A few minutes and a seam ripper made a few not-joyful items joyful. 

You know what doesn't give me joy? 5 page care labels in clothing. A few minutes and a seam ripper made a few not-joyful items joyful. 

Number three: you don't have to do it all in one day. I know that's what the book is telling you to do, but that's just not workable for everyone, so break it up into chunks if you need to.  

Things I was surprised by: 

  • how resistant I was to the idea that I deserve to be surrounded by joy
  • how much it freaked out people around me
  • how much fun it can be

 

Have you read the book? Have you KonMari'd your living space? What surprised you? 

Bride of Death | On My Bookshelf

Posted on by MK Carroll

This book review was first published on my Goodreads pageI received the Kindle version of this book as a backer of the Bride of Death Kickstarter

Bride of Death (Marla Mason, #7)Bride of Death by Tim Pratt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When reading a series that follows a protagonist over the course of several adventures/years, there seems to be a tendency for things to get ridiculous - a character who started out as a scrappy underdog becomes incredibly powerful and successful by book 3, for example, or by book 5, the thoughtful, questioning protagonist with realistic reservations about certain lifestyle choices has thrown all thought and question out the window, but who cares, the books are selling so well the publisher seems to think proofreaders are no longer necessary (...wasn't so-and-so's hair black in the last book? When did he become a blond?), etc.

The Marla Mason series has been refreshingly different. I did start thinking "is this where it gets ridiculous?" around book 5 - and it could have, very easily - but instead, in reading Bride of Death, I felt like I'd been given a peek at where it could have gone, and then given a story that took me back to why I started reading the series in the first place. Marla is growing and changing in realistic ways (and unrealistic - hey, it's a series about sorcerers), and there's a pleasant balance between that change and her recognizable, familiar self. It also feels like Tim Pratt is really hitting a stride as a writer, and that in itself makes this book enjoyable.

This series has continued because the author and the existing reader base wanted it to, and the results have exceeded my expectations. There's something special about being able to keep reading a story because an author really wants to keep writing it.

View all my reviews

Grounded (The Seven #1) | On My Bookshelf

Posted on by MK Carroll

This review was originally published on my Goodreads page . I purchased the Kindle version of this book during the pre-orders.

Grounded (The Seven #1)Grounded by Heather Ordover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I knit, so let's go straight to the important bit: yes, there's knitting in this book, and it's realistic, fitting in with the storyline nicely, while not requiring any special knowledge on the part of the reader (if you knit, however, you'll likely spot at least one inside joke).

Even if there weren't any knitting in it, I'd still enjoy reading it. The characters have actual character, the storyline is well-paced, and I have a special appreciation for YA that hasn't been dumbed down.

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On My Bookshelf: Pop Knitting

Posted on by MK Carroll

A shorter version of  this book review was originally published in Knit Edge magazine, issue #2. The review copy was purchased at full retail price. As a member of the Powell's Books Partner Program, I receive a 7.5% commission on referrals.

 Pop Knitting: Bold Motifs Using Color & Stitch

Pop Knitting: Bold Motifs Using Color & Stitch

Pop Knitting: Bold Motifs Using Color & Stitch

Britt-Marie Christoffersson

Interweave Press

With decades of experience in design, textiles, and knitting, Britt-Marie Christoffersson offers up 200+ pages of striking examples of using basic knitting techniques to create eye-popping textures, color patterns, and embellishments. It’s a wonderful way for experienced knitters to reconsider the possibilities of knitting, and an exceptional way for less experienced knitters to explore how simple techniques like slipped stitches, casting on, binding off, and knitting in different directions can create interesting fabrics. 

Instructions are provided for each stitch pattern in written form, accompanied by color photographs. A few of the stitch patterns are also shown worked up as cardigans, and a very simple cardigan template and brief instructions on how to use stitch pattern swatches to calculate a garment are provided. Knitters may find additional books such as Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns handy for finding ways to use the stitch patterns to make wearable pieces.

 Many of the stitch patterns are time-consuming and will leave the knitter with a lot of loose ends to weave in and tidy up. They are also excellent ways to use up small amounts of yarns, with striking results.