Saturday, January 30, 2016

Tea & Read January Non-Fiction Review: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Title: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Author: Marie Kondo
Rating: Two Cups of Tea (3 Stars)

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

Terri’s Review:
This book has been on the NYT Bestseller list since it’s been published. One of my coworkers at Barnes & Noble read it and loved it. She raved about it so much, I decided to give it a try. This book definitely makes you think about the clutter in your life in a different way. As a person who loved clean, clutter free anything, this book spoke to me in that manner. One of the best things about the KoMari Method is that it really makes you think about why you keep the things you keep. I was a little indifferent about the litmus test she used of what you should keep and what you should toss, but that was kinda minor. I don’t know if I was ready to get into my feelings about my clutter. This book definitely made me what to clean, but felt a little anti-climatic since Kondo has a method in which you are to clean. I would recommend you not read this book until you are ready to start the purging process. I will put many of the things she suggests into practice. I may have to read her new book, too.

Here are my February reads:

Fiction: A Virtuous Ruby by Piper Hugley
Non-fiction: Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness by Heneretta A. Washington

My upcoming reviews will be posted in the sidebar. Comment below if you want to read along!

Friday, January 29, 2016

My Life in Stitches: He Only Wants Socks...And a Hat

For those who read this blog, you know my husband knits. Since 90% of knitting patterns are for girls, most of what he knits comes to me, or to a woman at our church. It’s a lopsided relationship and every time I decide to right it, I realize:
  •      One, that my husband is a very broad man
  •       Two, it would take 3000 yards of any yarn to make a sweater for him
  •       Three, making a vest isn’t much better since not knitting sleeves would only save me about 1000 yards
  •       Four, I don’t like most patterns for men’s sweaters and neither does he

My husband, however, surprised me and asked for socks. SOCKS! Absolutely, I can knit him socks. He actually has small feet for a man and can fit most large sock patterns. And he loves having socks to match his outfit. As soon as I could, I immediately cast on Simple Skyp Socks in Sweet Georgia Superwash Sport. So I am now a happy sock-knitting wife for my happy sock-loving husband.

And then he asked for a hat…

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tea & Read January Fiction Review: The Swiss Courier

Last year was a drought year for my reading. I’m trying to right that and get back into the swing of things. I’ve seen so many good books that I wanted to read that it’s a little hard to pick. I’ve decided to review two books a month, one fiction and one non-fiction.

Here us my January fiction review:

Title: The Swiss Courier
Author(s): Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey
Rating: Two cups of Tea (3 star)


She's risking her life to save a man she doesn't know. But whom can she trust along the way?

It is August 1944 and the Gestapo is mercilessly rounding up suspected enemies of the Third Reich after an attempt on Hitler's life. Gabi Mueller is a young woman working for the newly formed American Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA) in Switzerland. When she is asked to put herself in harm's way to safely "courier" a German scientist who is working on the atomic bomb out of enemy territory, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Terri’s Review:

I seem to be on a serious WWI/WWII streak with my reading. This book takes a different angle than the other books that I’ve read. It is framed by the failed assassination attempt against Hitler and the subsequent retaliation. The book tells the story of spy operations in Switzerland. I loved this approach to a oft-told story set in WWII. I’ve read other books by Tricia Goyer and loved them. This book was on par with her writing ability and Mike Yorkey’s only added to what I loved about Goyer’s writing. My only complaint against this book is I kept forgetting who was who. This might work because it is a novel about spies, but going back to the character index broke the flow of the story. Overall, it was a good read to start the year off.