I’m switching it up a bit today. I very rarely read non-fiction books as they’ve never really appealed to me. It could be one of those vicious self-fulfilling cycles – I think I don’t like non-fiction, so I don’t spend time searching out the interesting ones, and then the non-fiction books I do read bore me. Rinse and repeat?
Having said that, I did read two non-fiction books over 2015 (I know, a whole TWO) and my Goodreads reviews ended up being on the lengthy side, so I thought I’ll post them here as well. (Another 2016 resolution – post more of my reviews on my blog!)
Also, one non-fiction book I do want to read during 2016 is Atul Gawande’s BEING MORTAL: MEDICINE AND WHAT MATTERS IN THE END – I’ve been hearing good things about it (and that it’s not a morbid read, despite the subject matter!), and Lisa’s review @ Books Lists Life tipped the balance. I’ve requested the book from the library (that means you may get another non-fiction review in… a year’s time?).
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m never sure how to grade self-help books (probably due to the fact I read so few!) – would it be based on how useful I’ve found the book?
If so, Marie Kondo’s book was incredibly useful when it came to decluttering my (very small) flat – deciding what to keep, and more importantly, how to let go of items that I was holding onto “just because”. I don’t necessarily agree with all of her views (especially the one about pruning your bookshelves, I suspect most readers would eye that section with some dismay) and I’ll be honest, some of them struck me as way out there; on the other hand, some takeaways were invaluable.
The ones that stuck with me most (note that I’m probably paraphrasing the actual point horribly):
- When deciding what to keep and what to give away, ask yourself if the item “sparks joy” – it makes a difference when you’re only surrounded with things that make you happy.
- If you’re struggling to give away an item, try thanking it for its service as this helps you let it go – this initially struck me as one of the slightly more outlandish items, but it actually works! Especially if the item was a gift from someone important to you (and you really don’t like it) – in a sense, the gift’s served its purpose by making the giver happy.
- And on a more practical note, sort by category of item, not by room – it’s much more efficient if you sort out all your sheets at once, for example, as opposed to sorting the sheets in your bedroom separately to the sheets in your airing cupboard.
It’s a fairly slim book, and I’ll recommend borrowing it from your library if possible. There are lots of KonMarie forums/sites online, and you can probably pick up most, if not all, of her tips from these, but for me, it was worth reading the original book once.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I borrowed this from my library after someone rec’d it for the nervous flyer. I’ve never been particularly nervous about flying, but after a couple of rather turbulent flights, I’m not totally blasé about it either… okay, fine, is it possible to develop a flying phobia?
Anyway, I thought I should give this book a go, and yes, it was useful to read about turbulence from a pilot’s perspective – especially that turbulence
NEVER rarely(?) causes plane crashes. I admit I can’t actually remember the definitive answer to that now, so I’m going to pretend that my takeaway is that turbulence is not going to cause your plane to crash (but keep those seat belts on!).
A bit dated (it was published in 2013, so obviously skips the recent aviation tragedies), but a quick read and a good one if you’re in the “information is power” camp when it comes to flying.