The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story
by Marie Kondo; illustrated by Yuko Uramoto
(Ten Speed Press, 2017, 192 pages)
Marie Kondo, best-selling author of Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, presents her KonMari method of decluttering in graphic novel form. Her subject is Chiaki, a 29-year old Japanese woman with a house so cluttered she can’t invite people inside. Embarrassed when a handsome neighbor knocks on her door and sees the mess, she contacts Kondo to give her “tidying lessons.” Kondo helps her through the process of discarding clothing, books, papers, and sentimental items—in that recommended order. This is a quick and fun way to learn the KonMari method of decluttering outlined in her previous two books.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
(Balzer + Bray, 2017, 444 pages)
The Hate U Give was this semester’s first selection for our Between the Covers Book Club and the timing of it was… well, we’ll just say that it was a timely read. You might be familiar with the title because it has gotten a lot of praise and publicity. It’s a young adult novel that follows a young woman named Starr whose best friend was the victim of a police shooting. And she was the only witness.
The reader experiences what Starr is going through as she copes with the loss of her friend and tries to deal with the fact that it’s her word against forces so much larger than herself: the officer involved and the media seeking to spin the narrative. This was a book that forces you to reflect back on the many police shootings we’ve seen covered over the years. I found myself writing in the margins when a detail reminded me of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown… it was unsettling but powerful.
This book lends itself to good discussions about hard topics a lot of people tend to shy away from. I’m still reflecting on the book and what an amazing job Thomas did with it. A great read, and don’t let the YA label keep you from picking it up.
Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr
(Random House, 2016, 598 pages)
Trajan Jones, a psychological profiler, and Dr. Michael Li, a trace evidence expert, left the New York City Police Department for a quieter life in the upstate town of Surrender. They are now online teachers, but they soon become investigators of numerous dead youth. Intriguing.
14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
(Century, 2015, 384 pages)
Five professional women enjoy a girl’s night out usually in celebration of one of their accomplishments, until someone notices that an unsolved murder occurs every year on one the birthday of one of the women. Another in the Women’s Murder Club series.
Cross Kill by James Patterson
(BookShots, 2016, 113 pages)
Alex Cross and his partner encounter a shooter that Alex is sure he killed over a decade prior. Alex is now on a mission to recapture the notorious Gary Soneji. Suspenseful and hard to put down.
Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb
(Berkley, 1998, 308 pages)
Lieutenant Eve Dallas searches for the killer dressed as Santa who is intent on making the twelve days of Christmas his personal vendetta. This detective story of intrigue will keep your attention.
Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election That Changed Everything for American Women
by Rebecca Traister
(Free Press, 2010, 352 pages)
Big Girls Don’t Cry takes a look at the 2008 election and what it meant for women in America. A short blurb from the Goodreads summary gives you a feel for what’s covered:
In an utterly engaging, razor-sharp narrative interlaced with her first-person account of being a young woman navigating this turbulent and exciting time, Traister explores how—thanks to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, and the history-making work and visibility of Michelle Obama, Tina Fey, Rachel Maddow, Katie Couric, and others—women began to emerge stronger than ever on the national stage.
This was an engaging (though at times depressing) read. The book lent itself to a lot of reflection on my part. I definitely recommend the book – and the bibliography will lead you to a lot more quality reading. But I think before I look into those I’ll be reading Hillary Clinton’s What Happened 😉