Marie Kondo – Not For Me!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I picked this book to read as many of my book-loving friends seem to be very enthusiastic about both the content and the difference it has made to their lives. I approached it with an open mind however after ploughing through it I couldn’t wait to close the book.

While in general it offers some common-sense advice overall I found the book somewhat condescending, if well meant. There is a lot about Marie Kondo’s own journey of realisation regarding the art of tidying; perhaps slightly too much although some of it in context does paint a picture of how she arrived where she has.

There is little here that you won’t find browsing decluttering on Pinterest and the like, other than instructions on folding everything in a very specific way (sorry folks, I’m a hanger and proud) so I suppose for many the appeal is Marie Kondo herself. She is a tidying celeb, an alternative House Doctor and on paper is something of a Marmite personality; some will love her, some will shove her to the back of the cupboard for years and eventually throw her away after just not being able to get their head around her particular taste.

To be honest the turning point for me was where Marie spoke of hiding family member’s personal items because she felt they weren’t important enough to be stored and then throwing them out and even lying about it. She’d have lasted ten minutes amongst my siblings and I growing up!

I’m not saying don’t read this book, I’m saying it was most definitely not for me. I can declutter effectively without it and don’t necessarily need to touch something to know if it brings me joy.

Back to the library with this one.

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One Hundred Names by Cecilia Ahern – A Review

I love to read and especially enjoy discovering new authors. When this attractively presented book which promised to be a great read came through my letter box I looked forward to get started. I did try with this book, two or three times in fact however I just couldn’t get into it. There is no fatal flaw as such, it just didn’t “grab” me. As “I couldn’t get through it” isn’t a very descriptive review I passed the baton to my friend and colleague Martina Mercer who has not only had books published herself, she also spent some years editing and publishing books. This is what she found…

100 Names by Cecilia Ahern

I’m not usually a fan of chick lit, however I always have a few I read when spirits are low and I need a bit of boost, as quite simply my usual fodder of crime thrillers and  Sci-Fi simply doesn’t cut it! That’s why when I need to empty my mind I choose Jane Green, Freya North or Cecilia Ahern as I feel as though I cut my teeth on their narratives and they make the perfect accompaniment to the tub of Hagan Daas and the roaring fire.

Cecilia enticed me, as she did for many when I read P.S. I love you, a book I cried the whole way through- even the film didn’t disappoint. However since, I’ve become quite fond of the little magical twists that allow us to become wrapped up in a story as they don’t over suspend our beliefs.

So when I do fancy true escapism, I turn to Cecilia Ahern. I’ve been there with the imaginary friend, in the Land of Lost things and I’ve even met someone’s life, so this time I hoped 100 names would make me feel silly, giddy, carefree and blessed just as the others did.

SPOILER: In fact there is no magic throughout the entire book, unless you use the cliché that “we are capable of magical things” and it’s this that quite frankly peed me off.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s readable, funny at times and clever in the way it all comes together, but it just didn’t cut it for me. Without the magic I’m afraid to say I found it quite lacking, the undercurrent of a love story just didn’t convince me, the characters didn’t come to life in my head and I didn’t really care what happened in the end.

One shining light was a character named Sam, maybe because I imagined a young Gerard Butler in the role. It was fun, it was light, it was frothy and “nice” but it didn’t touch my soul!

In the words of Simon and Garfunkel, Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart; I’m begging you please come home!