The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve never been obsessed with tidying up or decluttering, but became interested when I found Marie Kondo’s book in the library and decided I was interested enough to read through them at least once.

It’s possible that this book will be going on the “books that changed my life” list. As a potential caveat, nothing in this book is really “new” and mostly just a rendition of common sense that no one put together quite like Marie did.

Case in point: if you have less stuff you have less stuff it clean, less stuff to tidy, and less stuff to store.

I do quite enjoy her idea of sparking joy with your possessions, keeping the things you love, and enjoying those things more often. I recommend this book whole-heartedly to everyone as I think it would change the way anyone would look at their possessions.

Get it on Amazon

The 5th Horseman by James Patterson

The 5th Horseman (Women's Murder Club, #5)The 5th Horseman by James Patterson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m really starting to get into the Women’s Murder Club series now. I’ve read enough of the books to figure out how the interpersonal relationships work between the women (even the new one).

Some things about this particular book in the series:
1. I’m am super happy that so far the “kill off a women, replace her” theme has NOT been continued (yet). It’s a trope that would get very tiring, very quickly. However, I see how it made sense to the plot of the previous book.

2. I’m not sure if I like the two(three?) distinctly different crimes that did not overlap at all. One was introduced immediately, the other a little after. The immediate one finished roughly two-thirds through the book and the other one took over (and wasn’t completely settled until the epilogue).

3. Some part of me knew the prime suspect was just an asshole.

I’ll have to leave my thoughts there otherwise I’ll start spoiling the book, but I think you get the picture. I did really enjoy reading it, and stayed up one night trying to get to the bottom of the first crime. I’ll be reading more!

Get it on Amazon

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the FutureThe Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future by Ryder Carroll

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For some context, I have used a Bullet Journal since 2015. I have been wanting to read this book since it first came out. Originally, I tried to get the digital version from my library, but soon decided I needed to own the physical copy and I was not disappointed with this decision.

As someone who has been using a Bullet Journal I still found this book to be inspiring and informative. Omg, the information in this book was so insightful and presented in a way that could be understood even by the novice Bullet Journalist.

Ryder Carroll rehashes the basics of the Bullet Journal, adds in some planning basics, and they gets into making the Bullet Journal system your own. He addresses “the right way to Bullet Journal” which was an online argument between artistic Bullet Journal enthusiasts and the minimalists, and ended with some great FAQs.

I almost feel the need now to keep this book with my Bullet Journal just for reference.

Get it on Amazon

Ruby by V. C. Andrews

Ruby (Landry, #1)Ruby by V.C. Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to say that I’ve read this book before, or started reading and not finished. If you’ve never read V.C. Andrews, they all sort of follow a theme (at least the ones I have read ie Flowers in the Attic), which is family secrets and drama.

Ruby has a bit of family drama, but it doesn’t completely unfold until the end of the book. She’s a little girl growing up in the bayou with her Grandma. Her mother is deceased, father unknown, and Grandfather is estranged. By the end of the book she has found out her family secrets (more siblings) the reasons her Grandma kicked her Grandpa out, and who her father is.

Its dated in the past, so she couldn’t just take a DNA test and find out everything, and it’s set in the backwoods of Louisiana, so they’re a bit behind even further (no phones). It takes her awhile to acclimate to her new situation, but there is a bit of a happy ending (as much as there can be).

Get it on Amazon

Shadowmagic by John Lenahan

Shadowmagic (Shadowmagic, #1)Shadowmagic by John Lenahan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where do I start with this book? Some of the descriptions call it a modern Lord of the Rings, but I guess I don’t really follow that.

Basically, a teenage boy finds out one day that his parents are alive, but they’re from Tir na Nog, the magical Celtic forest of myth, but it’s real, more real than the Real World. And everyone wants him dead. EVERYONE. Family, strangers, friends. It’s almost a running gag.

There’s also a couple different types of magic, and of course his mother is banished for using Shadowmagic, the kind that everyone is scared of. Throw in some usurping and underhanded family members, a smattering of mythical races, and tree lore and there you have it, the setting for a trilogy.

It leaves an interesting idea for the next book at the end, and I will say that I am interested in seeing where that might lead…

Get it on Amazon

Next Steps for Authors to Maintain and Grow Success by Tyler Wagner

Next Steps For Authors To Maintain And Grow Success: A Guide For Authors To Maintain And Grow Success (Authors Unite Book 7)Next Steps For Authors To Maintain And Grow Success: A Guide For Authors To Maintain And Grow Success by Tyler Wagner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So what next? You’ve written, edited, designed, published and marketed your book, now what?

Well….Tyler gives us some ideas. The obvious one is: do it again! Write another book! There are other suggestions, mostly for the non-fiction folks. Use your book to promote your consulting/coaching/speaking/whatever business is the big idea here besides writing more books.

He continues talking about the value of the book and how it can make you more verifiable when talking on any given subject. It drives home the idea that this series was written mostly with non-fiction writers in mind, with a few (very few) crumbs tossed to those who only do fiction.

It is nice that this book was included in the series and didn’t just stop with “you did it!”, and carried on with more ideas to keep going.

Get it on Amazon

Marketing Tips for Authors by Tyler Wagner

Marketing Tips For Authors: A Marketing Guide For Authors To Become Profitable Authors (Authors Unite Book 6)Marketing Tips For Authors: A Marketing Guide For Authors To Become Profitable Authors by Tyler Wagner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book, there is some good information here, and he breaks it down well. First, we talk about book launches, what they are, and why you should have one. This actually took some of the awe and confusion out of a book launch for me, so even with just that, I felt this book was useful.

In the next chapters he divides up the social media platforms, and outlines some simple strategies for marketing on those platforms. He even leaves a chapter open for other platforms and room to grow. I will say though that he focuses heavily on Facebook.

I felt that this was one of the better books in the series as the information here can apply to all books.

Get it on Amazon