Thursday, June 30, 2016

In the Woods by Tana French

By reading this mystery, I'm reading outside of my regular book box, but it was a fun read.

As a boy, Rob Ryan was out in the woods with two of his friends. He doesn't know what happened next, but his friends went missing, and he was found bloody and clinging to a trees. Fast forward decades, and Ryan is now a detective working on solving a murder that happened right back in those same woods.

Dark, and actually not as twisty as I thought it would be. I would have liked some more explanation about the first case, but this is a series so I am hoping that as I read the others, I will learn more. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Murder, revenge, and a supernatural dad. Well-written and magical. This wasn't a super fast page-turner for me. It read more like a book that would be assigned in high school literature class.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Compost: A Family Guide to Making Soil from Scraps by Ben Raskin

I talked with a neighbor who does vermicomposting (composting via worm power) in his garage. Our electronic composter recently died, so I've been wondering how to compost again and talking about his vermicomposting inspired me to do some more research.

This is a wonderful, kid-friendly introduction to composting basics. It talks about soil, compost, worms, and how to create and maintain a compost pile. It also includes stickers and a game about what can be composted and what you should avoid putting into your pile.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

Quinn was an uninvolved father for most of his son's life. When his son dies unexpectedly, he agrees to finish out his son's Boy Scouts assignment. So he helps the 104-year-old Ona every Saturday with household and yard chores.

Grief, forgiveness, and second chances are all themes in this book. It was whimsical, but only a so-so read for me.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand

I desperately needed a beach-type read, and this was it. It takes place on Nantucket Island. There's a gardener, a novelist, a real estate agent...and lots of rumors swirling around about them all.

An excellent choice for poolside reading this summer.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay

The Joy of Less is the third book I've read on decluttering as of late, and it ranks second in helpfulness. Marie Kondo's book ranks first. (I read that one a couple of times and put it into practice. I appreciate her quirkiness and whimsy.)

I appreciated Jay's very organized and structured approach to decluttering. She provides a helpful guide to how to approach each room.

If you're looking to start decluttering, this is a great place to start.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A re-read: Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin

Back in 2012, I was not super-impressed when I read Happier at Home for the first time. It was just an okay read for me. You can read my first review here. However, things have changed.

Now, Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft's podcast, Happier, is one of my most favorite podcasts. I like listening to them talk about little tweaks to make life happier.

I decided to try reading Happier at Home again to see if I would like it any better now that I feel like I know Gretchen better through her podcast. And yes, I found Happier at Home to be quite delightful. I am looking forward to re-reading her other books, The Happiness Project and Better Than Before.

I definitely recommend the Happier podcast. And I definitely recommend reading Happier at Home if you're looking for a part memoir, part inspirational book about ways to make your life at home happier.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker

Becker blogs at Becoming Minimalist. I've read his blog for awhile and find it quite motivating.

In his book, he defines minimalism as "the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them" (p. 18).

Becker rehashes most of what he writes about on his blog on the benefits of owning less. Unfortunately, he doesn't really offer any practical suggestions. I found that The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo was much more practical, helpful, and inspiring.

I usually don't buy books, but I pre-ordered The More of Less because Becker was offering a deal to take his 12-week online course called Uncluttered if we pre-ordered. So I am taking the online class (we're about half way through) so we'll see how it goes. As for The More of Less book, I am going to practice decluttering and will be taking this down to my local Little Library on my next walk so that someone else can read it. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

On Tuesdays, the Glower Castle switches it up - a new room appears or halls are rearranged. Princess Celie, one of the royal children, tries to map out the castle and keep up with all of the changes.

When King and Queen Glower mysteriously disappear, the Castle knows that something is wrong. Officials from neighboring countries are convinced that the king and queen are dead and they come in to attempt to take over, but the Castle isn't going to let that happen.

Overall, this was a whimsical book to read. The first half moved a lot faster for me than the second half though.

Thanks to Grace for the recommendation!