Since last night, I finished two more books! This is an unscheduled blog post, but I know if I wait too long to write this up, then I won’t have anything meaningful to say about either of these!
Spark Joy by Marie Kondo: this is Kondo’s follow up to her mega hit The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. If you haven’t read the first one, Kondo’s main advice is to discard anything in your home that doesn’t give you joy. Her belief is that by paring down our possessions to only the things that we truly love – ridiculous and unusable or not – we can find true happiness and our life’s path. Sound dramatic? Well, it is a little bit.
I don’t buy into everything that she says but I have been working hard on de-cluttering for years, and these books fit right into this mindset. What I liked about this companion piece is that it has illustrated guides on the “proper” way to store all sorts of things… and those guides work! I recently got a new bureau and put clothes in it, but was disappointed because it wasn’t holding quite as much as I had hoped it would. By taking everything out, getting rid of what didn’t spark joy, and properly folding things, I combined three drawers into one, which allowed me to pull clothes out of my over-stuffed closet and store in the bureau. Even better, I can see absolutely every piece of clothing that I own, which has never happened.
If you already own the first one, there’s no need to buy this one. Get it from the library! Much of the text is the same but there are a few more helpful stories from challenges she faced with different clients. The true gems are the illustrated guides, but once you get the formula right, you can fold anything without the guide.
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny: This is the second installment in the Inspector Gamache series set in Three Pines, Quebec. A truly wretched woman has moved into town – CC de Poitiers – and has everyone on edge. CC claims to have created a spiritual way of life that involves feeling no emotions in order to achieve balance, which is the general theme of her life: to wipe away anything that doesn’t fit with her appearance to the public. CC has a husband and daughter that she treats with disdain and tears apart on a daily basis.
No one quite understands what drew CC to the small village because she does nothing that wouldn’t bring her money or fame – and that’s hard to find in Three Pines. During an annual curling tournament, CC is murdered by electrocution. No one saw what happened, so Inspector Gamache and his team track down every possibility that they can find in order to uncover the killer. We learn that CC’s reason for moving is closely tied with her murder as Penny weaves seemingly disconnected storylines together to create a shocking ending.
It feels good to be able to mark a few books as finished. I don’t feel quite as hopeless when looking at my TBR lists, which helps me soldier on! On to the next!