Some Tiny Reviews

The Romanov Sisters / Helen Rappaport 

   ARE YOU READY TO GET SAD? Because if you aren't sad yet, you're GONNA BE.This book is really good but also daunting in that there's a dark cloud hanging over the whole thing. Well, there's like eighty dark clouds with one especially giant, especially impenetrable dark cloud.

   Humanizing historical royals! A better understanding of many different motivations! Non-dry writing! Win win win (no matter what).

The Girl With All The Gifts / M. R. Carey

   I had to stop listening to/reading this because I was having trouble turning my back on dark spaces; it is very scary. I thought this book was for children. CHILDREN. It is not, and I was not prepared. I reckon I'll come back to this one, because it is quite good, but not for awhile here.

   Zombies! Experiments! Too scary for me at this time!

Step Aside, Pops / Kate Beaton

   I don't think I'll ever have anything bad to say about Kate Beaton, she is a national treasure. I gave The Princess and the Pony to my nieces and they love it. I could have gotten them a fat pony stuffie for Christmas and I am only just now realizing my grave error.

my new motto


46-50, 2015


   It's a, uh...a weird mix this time. 


Vampires in the Lemon Grove / Karen Russell

   Here is something that is unexpectedly delightful: a story of deceased Presidents who are in some kind of purgatory where they have become horses ("The Barn at the End of Our Term"). Here is something that is unsurprisingly creepy: a scarecrow version of a kid who disappeared that gets thrown into a pit and then begins to get ripped apart, bit by bit ("The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis"). This book is primarily creepy, with bits of sweetness and delight thrown in, resulting in some cognitive dissonance.

   There's a story called "Proving Up" which is about homesteaders and maybe the devil? And I've been realizing more and more lately how much I like creepy stories set in the woods and/or on the prairie, or in which the setting is essentially another character (see: Through the Woods, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, other Shirley Jackson stories). The woods and the prairie can be so peaceful and nice and even homey, but also so scary. They're a bit like deep water, maybe. You know, the water is supporting you and holding you up and you're thinking of that line from Vonnegut about being beautiful in the water and you feel strong BUT WAIT you can't see beneath you and what if something is down there something is definitely down there oh my goodness is it a colossal squid?! They have twirly hooks in their tentacles, I am going to die here.

looked up squid gifs, immediately regretted it, here's a cat

   Karen Russell has a similar ability to Shirley Jackson, where she can take something innocuous and make it worrisome and sinister. Not the same mastery as Shirley Jackson, to be sure, but a definite knack and skill. There are a couple stories that weren't my jam, one about seagulls sort of and one about tattoos sort of, but largely I'd say Karen Russell hits home runs or at least scores many points (how does baseball work). There's also a bit of comedic relief in "Dougbert Shackleton's Rules for Antarctic Tailgating" which, let's be honest, has "Shackleton" and "Antarctic" in the title so obviously I loved it.

   This books is good! I liked it, even though it took me for.ev.er. to read.


South / Ernest Shackleton

   Polar exploration, will you ever cease to amaze me? PROBABLY NOT.

   I have almost too many feeling about this book to actually write about it. It's composed of Shackleton's recollections and journals/logbooks/etc, as well as excerpts from the crew's logs and diaries. That description makes it sound pretty boring, probably, and while some parts (such as lengthy descriptions of daily ice conditions) may not be everyone's cup of tea they are certainly mine. I could listen to polar explorers talk about ice all day. Ice floes? Ice bergs? Sea ice? Glaciers? Don't matter, I do not tire of ice. Unless the ice is in my real life, because ugh winter.

   SO: in case you do not know the general story of the Endurance expedition, here it is: Shackleton sets out for Antartica with a ship full of men and dogs with the intended goal of crossing the continent from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea. The Weddell Sea is notoriously bad sailing (which is why the main station in Antarctica other than the one at South Pole is at McMurdo Sound), and alas, the Endurance was caught in sea-ice and crushed.

   The portion of the book describing the Endurance being locked into ice and slowly crushed then ultimately abandoned when it sank was so difficult for me to read that I had to take long breaks from reading. I was very emotional about that ship.

   So the ship sinks and Shackleton and the men are left on the ice with a couple of lifeboats, some tents, as many supplies as they could rescue, and the dogs. SO begins a long trek/float/sail/wait for good conditions to trek/float/sail to Elephant Island, a desolate bit of rock in some of the worst sea in the world. From there, Shackleton and a select few make their way to an island with a whaling station on it, but there is definitely rough sea and briny drinking water and glacier crossing to deal with before they can get help and EVEN THEN: its months and many attempts before they can get back to the blokes on Elephant Island and rescue them. NONE OF WHICH HAD PERISHED (unless you count their dogs which were all eaten because meat is meat when you are stranded in Antarctica).

   AND IT DOESN'T STOP THERE because if you're going to cross Antarctica you need some peeps over on the other side to pick you up when you are done and to depot some supplies. The Ross Sea party also had a rough go of it, and suffered fatalities. It's hard and sad to read, especially since these men received (and still receive) much less acknowledgement than the Weddell Sea party.

   And then after all of this, they get home during WWI and some of them just hop right into the fighting after years living on seal meat in dismal conditions.

it was v cold
   Basically: I want everyone in the world to read this book and I want to go to Antarctica and I need to read more about the Age of Exploration because I'll never know enough.

   p.s. do yourself a favour and google Frank Hurley's photos from all the expeditions he took to Antarctica as well as from WWI.


November's Reading

   Anemones have nothing to do with November's reading but I was thinking about the Vancouver Aquarium and remembered that I have a bunch of pictures from the last time I went there uploaded so here we are. Aquarium pictures all up in here.

   At the beginning of November I went on a bit of a reading-rampage which quickly petered out, and I am back to starting books and quickly discarding them or getting books out of the library and then leaving them on my floor for several weeks until I have to return them. My current goal is to finally finish reading Bad Feminist and to finish listening to The Romanov Sisters.

the world's grumpiest frog
   Perhaps my problem with November's reading and therefore my dropoff in reading productivity is just comics-satiation. I read a lot of comics. I also started re-watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and oh boy, I love Phryne Fisher to Australia and back. However, I've started Cocaine Blues multiple times and never made it out of chapter one. Should I try again? I don't know.

   The books:

  • Through the Woods / Emily Carroll - I highly, highly, highly, recommend this book. Spooky! Scary! Pretty! Moody! It has it all. 
  • Revival, vol. 3 / Tim Seeley, et al. - this title continues to be good, I quite like it, recommend. 
  • The Night Wanderer / Drew Taylor, et al. - Canadian Gothic in the strictest sense: mysterious First Nations vampires in Canada. 
  • The Undertaking of Lily Chen / Danica Novgorodoff - I have mixed feelings about this one, but am inclined towards liking it. Water-colour-y and nice. I would like to know more about the history and mythology and whatnot. 
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore / Robin Sloan - a fairly resounding "meh" on this one. 
  • The Secret Sharer / Joseph Conrad - I thought I was reading Heart of Darkness the whole time I was reading this, it was very confusing. 
  • The Plain Janes / Cecil Castellucci, et al. - enjoyable, but ultimately not super memorable and didn't inspire me to read the next volume. 
  • Lumberjames, vol. 1 / Noelle Stevenson, et al. - mysterious monsters at camp! If there's three things I love, it's mysteries, monster stories (sometimes), and summer camp. I'm quite delighted with Lumberjanes
   If you read one of these books, make it Through the Woods. I'm still thinking about it. As a bonus, reading comics will leave plenty of time for watching old-timey mysteries. 


Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore / Robin Sloan

   This book has a lot of characters and a lot of locations and a lot of describing of screens and codes. There's also this one annoying part at the end that makes me think that Robin Sloan has never actually been to an indoor climbing wall, because you don't just toss the holds up on the wall and leave them there forever, Robin, you move them around or else they get polished and the climbers get bored because you can't just climb the exact same route a bazillion times sans consequence. This climbing gym thing is entirely unimportant to the overall plot, but it did push me over the edge from "this is okay" to "meh". Admittedly that is not a very big push over a very big edge, but what I'm trying to say is this: this book isn't overly thrilling or engaging, but it's fine.

   So. Clay, our protagonist, by way of some fortuitous events, finds himself working nights at the titular bookstore, where a bunch of weird happenings regularly occur. TURNS OUT, there is some kind of code buried in the books that the majority of customers obsess over. Clay starts figuring out that they are all in a secret bookish club, and so on and so forth aren't books great?

   Clay manages to be both dude-ly and nerdy, but he's not annoying so that's a bonus since this book is in first-person. He's a biiiit like Lincoln in Attachments by Rainbow Rowell but nothing about this book is as charming as Attachments. The story follows Clay as he discovers the secret book-based society, makes friends, dates someone who works at Google, and so on. The other characters in this book are an interesting lot, but there are so many of them and Dickens this is not. WHY SO MANY. I kept putting this book down for long-ish stretches of time and then picking it up again and having to review which one was what one and who was who.

   There's some conflict and some tension but it's all very minimal and somewhat anti-climactic. This book is a book that pats you on the back for being a person who reads books but doesn't do much else. Basically: it's a book about information, and the process of turning data into information and information into knowledge and how that process has changed and is likely to change and how sometimes things can revert back to data and how important good classification systems are. Well, maybe not so much about classification systems but BELIEVE ME, classification is very important to the getting of knowledge.

   I think this is a book that kinda wanted to be a movie, you know? It's neither here nor there and I wouldn't bother reading it if I were you. Read Attachments instead.


"Because it's THERE"

   Mooooovies moooovies movies! From the previous movie-guessing post:
  • Everest (15)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (23)
  • The Martian (15)
  • The Rock (96)
  • The Trouble With Harry (55)
   OKAY SO, if you are looking for a movie that will drag you through some emotional mire and you won't really know how to deal with it because it's a true story and it happened to real people, watch Everest. It's based on Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer which is the story (with some contested details, let it be said) of the 1996 expeditions up Mt Everest that went REALLY wrong in a REALLY big way. Think storms, think inadequate oxygen, think lack of fixed ropes, think helicopter trying to fly in air that is too thin for a helicopter to fly in (that part is pretty fantastic, actually). Everest is a BAD MOUNTAIN, please never climb it. This is a movie that will kinda make you want to stay inside for the rest of your life. 

   On a very different note, if you ever have the opportunity to see a silent movie accompanied by live organ music, take that opportunity. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, just see the movie  because you will be DELIGHTED. And don't worry if you think you won't be able to get into it because it's silent, it might take a wee bit more effort than usual to suspend your disbelief BUT I can assure you from first-hand experience that there will be some Genuine Laffs. Seeing silent movies with organ music has become a Halloween tradition for me and I looooove iiiiiiit. 

   Things I like in movies: problem-solving, feelings, reunions, etc. Things I love in movies: Space Problem-Solving, Space Feelings, Space Reunions, Space Etc. The Martian has all of these things and more besides. Space! The best. Now I need to read this book. 

   When you are brain-dead from school it is a good time to continue working through your Sean Connery curriculum, and what better movie to watch than The Rock. This movie has it all. Escapes! Biological warfare! Dubious science! Unlikely coincidences! Hilariously bad dialogue! Breaking into and escaping Alcatraz! Highly recommend. 

   The tagline on The Trouble With Harry is "the trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and no one seems to care". This movie is weird and funny and is a sort of bizarro-world Hitchcock. Psycho is scary, Notorious is tense, Torn Curtain is also tense, I could go on here but what I'm saying is The Trouble With Harry is a weird departure for Hitchcock but IT WORKS. Not scary, not tense, just filled to the brim with jokes and hijinks. 


Through the Woods / Emily Carroll

   If there is one word to describe this book, it is "HELLA CREEPY", which , I admit, is two words, but "creepy" by itself just doesn't cut it. There was one particular panel in "His Face All Red" that made me GASP OUT LOUD. FOLKS, this book is GOOD and it is SCARY and I told the barista who recognizes me that she needs to read it and she said she already has and she loved it. Both the barista and I recommend this book, you should defs go get it.

an appropriate reaction, really

   SO: Emily Carroll is a genius of horror and atmosphere. Like Shirley Jackson, but with comics, and more monsters. This book is a wee collection of short stories, each one with a sort of fairy tale (in the Grimm-est sense) feel to it and an underlying menace and unease. Innocuous things are worrisome, and there is so much tension created by some ambiguous endings. It's great. Even Emily Carroll's choice of colour is spot-on, with plenty of black with huge splashes of red and blue and mostly red.

   "His Face All Red" is the only title I can remember right now but the other stories are ALSO GOOD, and ALSO SPOOKY, and I'm just gushing now so do yourself a favour and read this tome. It'll take you an afternoon and the time of year is perfect for it. The snow is just starting to fall (although it is late as) and it is getting darker and darker so why not read something that will make you have some difficulty sleeping? Why not indeed.

make fairy tales terrifying again


October Reading

   WELL. October was pretty much a bust reading-wise, but I did do a great deal of schoolin'. I read a whole lot of academic papers, but only one actual book. So, this month's reading:
   And that's it. I have a couple months off of school now though, so November's reading should be a VAST improvement on October's. I have plans to read finally Catcher in the Rye and to read a book with more than 1000 pages called Hunger's Brides (I may die). I am going to read so much while I am not schooling. So much.

I dream of reading


Monkalong: Wrapping it UP

     My teenage love for The Lord of the Rings has been rekindled in a big way these past few months, and I find myself wishing that this readalong post could just be me talking about how much I love Boromir even though it has nothing to do with The Monk. And so: a Boromir gif, special for you.


   Another thing I would like to talk about more than I would like to talk about The Monk is this dance video, it is so dance-y, although somewhat excessive on some points. :

   If that video doesn't strike your fancy, here is another one and it comes with a Childhood Anecdote. My sister and I would sometimes sing this song with each other in the way that other people might sing The Confrontation from Les Mis, and she would always make me be Ramses but I always wanted to be Moses, but she HOGGED THE PART. p.s. how great is Prince of Egypt? Look at your life through heaven's eyes, AM I RIGHT?

    What else would I rather talk about rather than The Monk? So many things but here we are and I can't stall forever. I missed posting last week (to sum up: what the hell mob mentality, murder, rape, kidnapping, crypt baby, sinning in general). And in this section it is much the same, Ambrosio is determined to DO SOME MORE SINS. It is possible that in his monk-education he skipped over that bit of the Bible that says "shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!"


   Let's get into it.

   Essentially, MLew is the worst, and after Ambro rapes Antonia MLew quickly replaces her with an equally charm-filled girl whose name literally means "virgin". My ire is somewhat softened by MLew portraying rape/Ambro as truly violent and evil, and not making Antonia secretly enjoy it or something. We all knew this was coming the whole time, and I still hated it.

   Matilda was a demon from the start, the devil told it like it is to Ambro ("virtuous from vanity, not principle" NICE ONE, SATAN), there was some nun-murder and some torture, but the plot point I'd rather focus on is Agnes.

   Agnes! I was genuinely sorrowful for her and her baby, and rather surprised when MLew didn't condemn her to a fate like Antonia's. Agnes had sex and got pregnant before she was married and still went on to live a long and happy life? What? Does this...happen? In books? Apparently it does, and it makes me glad. And she has a new pal in Virginia, and if there's one thing I love it's friendship.

   Even though Agnes escaped her miry pit, I still want to give MLew a resounding double-punch in the chest.

like so.

  Also: MLew can't make up his mind when it comes to suffering due to grief, and men seem to be much more susceptible to it than women. Agnes' baby was literally rotting in her arms, but she recovered way before Lorenzo. What's your deal, MLew?

   AND WE'RE DONE, well done, well done. A hundred thank-yous go to Alice, readalong organizing queen. Readalongs 4eva.


"Ship of Death!"

   Mooooviiiiies will give me a break from thinking about The Monk. In order of appearance in the previous post:
  1. The Godfather Part II (1974)
  2. Les Miserables (2012)
  3. Sahara (2005)
  4. Shining Through (1992)
  5. The Godfather (1972)
   Clearly everyone should watch The Godfather parts one AND two (and probably three buuuut, I haven't seen it. I've seen the other two MULTIPLE times), and Les Miserables is so great even though Russell Crowe as Javert is supremely disappointing; but don't bother watching Shinging Through it is very much made in the 90s by Americans about WWII. 

   Now that those are out of the way, let's talk about Sahara. SAHARA. Oh how I love you. Sahara is the best and I am sliiightly embarrassed by how much I enjoy it but FRIENDS this movie is great. It has so many jokes. The cinematography is genuinely good. Steve Zahn is a triumph. I probably watch this movie once a year. It is so stuffed full of ridiculous coincidences and at one point someone uses a camel to assist them in a spectacular kick and WOW, this movie has it all. 

   Sometimes you can love something even though it has problems and even though its primary quality is silliness. And such is Sahara


Monkalong Week 3: "'Tis not the crime which holds your hand, but the punishment"

   LATE AGAIN. I've got all kinds of school at the moment; a great deal of my reading time is clogged with boring as cultural policy documents. Hooray? I'm kind of drowning in papers but my semester is over at the end of the month so I am holding out hope.

   BORING, let's get to The Monk.

   OKAY SO, what happened in this section? In chapter three Ambrosio and Rosatilda continuously bang, Ambro gets real sick of her real fast and ogles other ladies, Rosatilda PRESUMABLY sells her soul (?) to the devil in a flashy crypt ceremony, Agnes is clearly being held prisoner in said crypt, there was some interesting talk about how some people are not meant to be monks and pride can be a poison (I wish English had more words for "pride," because there's bad pride and there's good pride and "arrogance" vs "satisfaction in a job well done" don't quite cut it. Know what I mean?), some nature vs nurture talk, Ambro has the hots for Antonia (HIS SISTER), Elvira is sick, Aunt L gets hitched, blah blah blah modesty, AND we learn that Matthew Lewis and has an external locus of control. I'm calling shenanigans on Ambro being "little acquainted with the depravity of the world" since he is the confessor for a zillion aristocrats who only have time for sinning. 

   In chapter four, I have hate for Ambro building up in my heart. Ugh. Ambrosio is awful and horrid and I don't want to write any more about this section. I like that Rosatilda is a full-blown witch but I despise in a major way her myrtle branch roofie plan. Ugh this book, ugh Ambrosio, ugh Rosatilda, ugh MLew. 

   If only this book was about Marguerite and Ghost Nun. It would be a gothic version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 


Monkalong Week 2: "derogatory to her Ghost-ship"

   I am late! and gif-less :( But I am posting nonetheless. This delightful readalong is hosted by the equally delightful Alice.

   Hoo boy, can the marquis ever spin a yarn. Pages and pages and pages of yarn. Too much bandit yarn, too much. It was all pretty clear from the get-go that he had fallen in with a couple of guys who were up to no good. We didn't need 1000 pages of it, and what about the servants who were all killed? We just...don't care...about them???

   I have some QUESTIONS re: this crazy book:

  • At what point in history is all this meant to be taking place? Contemporary to MLew? 
  • Was the Mogul guy Cain? He was Cain, right? I'm pretty sure he's Cain, complete with the mark of Cain. 
  • Why are all the hot chicks 15 years old? 
  • How does Chistoval feel about Loz calling the marquis "my dearest and indeed my only Friend"? Tsk. You have more friends than that, Loz.
  • Why are all the nuns evil except Agnes who doesn't want to be a nun? 
  • Does MLew have ANY idea of how long the human gestation period is? He says that "several months" go by, and none of the nuns have been like "oh, Agnes, you have a tell-tale belly"??
  • Elvira is perceptive and cool, right? A surprisingly good mom? 
  • Don't Catholic nuns have to...obey the Pope? 
  • We all know that Agnes ain't dead, right? 

   I am definitely skimming the hell outta all the poetry, because I Cannot Be Bothered. Even if writing verses is the ONLY THING that could possibly keep someone awake until the wee hours of morning. But from Raymond's reaction to Theodore's I am assuming they are somewhat prophetic, as is MLew's M.O. ALSO wrapped up in Raymond's reaction to the poetry is what I assume is a dig at any future critics of his MASTERWORK: "An Author, whether good or bad, or between both, is an Animal whom everybody is privileged to attack; For though All are not able to write books, all conceive themselves able to judge them" and so on. WE GET IT, MATTHEW, YOU'RE THE BEST. 

   What will the next chapters hold?? Don't get too excited, you might break a blood vessel and die in the course of a a few hours, or you might be "seized with a poetical paroxysm" and we can't have that.


September Reading

   Oh! Hey! It's October??? Not sure how that happened but okay. Here is what I read in September: 
  • The Four Loves / C. S. Lewis: I listened to a recording of the man himself reading this, and it was great.
  • Revival, v. 2 / Tim Seeley: uuuugh I love it. When will my library get more??!!???
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up / Marie Kondo: I like to fold now? 
  • The Weight of Blood / Laura McHugh: surprisingly good! 
  • Saga, v. 4 / Brian K. Vaughan: I juuuust about cried some real tears while reading this. So good. Why don't I own volume five. 
  • South / Ernest Shackleton: I have so many feelings about this book, and I love Antarctic exploration so much, and when the Endurance started to sink I had to take a break from reading this book because I was OVERWHELMED. 
  • Crocodile on the Sandbank / Elizabeth Peters: I don't know why I waited so long to read this because it was SO DELIGHTFUL, in so many senses of the word. Funny! Clever! Historically believable! It has so many things going for it and I have the second one on hold. 
   With South I passed my yearly goal of reading at least 52 books, which isn't really a difficult goal to reach. I never really know how to count comics towards my final count, so I group them by title instead of volume (because they are SO SHORT) but Goodreads counts every volume toward my yearly count and so everything is all confused. REGARDLESS, I'm happy with my reading amount this month. October is likely to be reading-light, I'm in major school crunch time. Thank goodness for the Monkalong. 


Monkalong, Post the First: "vanquishing the impetuous ebullitions of Youth"

   Can we all just agree upfront that Matthew Lewis is The Worst at foreshadowing and suspense? There I was, planning to reveal my mental acuity by saying "Rosario: totes a lady" when bam: ML decides that one chapter is plenty of time to build Rosario's story and OMGOSH, Matilda of the Beauteous Orb?  Also, I am sure we are all aware that DUH, Ambrosio, tool of the century, is the presumed-dead baby of yore, and ergo Antonia's big bro, to which I say: why are so many ladies falling in insta-love with a self-righteous monk? And it's also pretty clear that Rosatilda sucked the snake venom from Ambrosio's wound? Oh wait, I typed that before finishing the chapter and it has already been revealed that YES, she did indeed do some poison transference, and then her and Ambrosio made out a whole bunch, and then she presumably died. It was a full chapter.

You really lay it on thick, M.Lew
   Here is a thing which will drive me to distraction: so much Capitalization of whatever Nouns and other Words Matty Lew sees fit. WHY.

   How much do we love the sassy Aunt? So much? I mean, she swears! Speaking of which: this book is racy for 179whatever. Taking the Lord's name in vain! A lady with beauteous orbs! Make-outs which are probably code for sexy times! A nun pregnant out of wedlock! SO MANY THINGS.

   All ridiculousness aside, M.Lew does make a few good points in chapters one and two, namely: can someone really say they are immune to temptation and evil if they have simply never been tempted? And isn't self-righteous pride a sneaky and harmful tendency? And this: Vice is ever most dangerous when lurking behind the Mask of Virtue"? You are bonkers, M.Lew, and your book is bonkers, but you make a couple good points. 

   Readalonging! Once more into the breach, dear friends.

ready 4 teh Monk


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up / Marie Kondo

   ALRIGHT FINE, you were right, internet. I did need to read this cleaning book. Since finishing it I've been looking at my closet/drawers with an eye to purge, purge, purge, asking myself if my possessions spark joy, and shirking Marie Kondo's rule of doing it all at once in one big sweep by slowly working through a couple categories of items in spare moments. I said goodbye to a large number of earrings and necklaces. I went through two decorative type shelves, and bid a bittersweet farewell to a couple of things which were weighing me down.

    I also went through my dresser drawers and let me tell you, KonMari folding will make your drawers the most beautiful things you've seen in your entire life*. All my shirts are so accessible! It's a revelation. It certainly makes doing laundry more fun.

   Basically, Marie Kondo thinks you shouldn't keep anything that doesn't spark joy, and that you should take proper care of the things you do keep. This is a philosophy I can get on board with, and which meshes with my idea of "if you love it, keep it, who cares what other people say." Once again, liking your possessions is entirely acceptable. Really, we OUGHT to like our things. If you don't know it to be useful or believe it to be beautiful (thanks, William Morris), then why have it? Maybe I won't start talking to and thanking my shoes every day, but I will start being more mindful of the care I give to my shoes, which is, I think, what the main idea of this book comes down to. Am I being mindful of the things I own, and my thought patterns around them? Am I a mindful shopper? Am I mindful of how my stuff affects my every day life? Mindfulness for the win, y'all.

   I've only just started going through all my things, but I already feel better about the space I live in. It's great, go ahead and get this book and read through it (SO short) and don't throw the baby out with the bathwater and start to clean your home. A++ book. 

   *Possibly a slight exaggeration. But they are definitely worthy of taking a picture and instagram-direct-ing it to your sister.