Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Harm in Asking- Book Review

I admittedly went out on a limb in selecting this book.  I was not at all familiar with author Sara Barron, and comedy-type books are tricky.  Some people you think are funny in stand-up are not that funny in print, or an unknown comedian turns out to not be your type.  Sara Barron is just not my type.

Let me put it this way: I am on page 116 of 306, and I will have to force myself to read the rest of it.  I am all for weird humor, and I am not of a conservative nature that finds cursing or ribald humor inherently unfunny. This book has both, which may turn some people off, but this entire book just misses the mark for me.  There are nineteen chapters (essays?) that are vaguely connected in that they chronicle Sara's life in a generally chronological order, but address various issues or events.  Her essays largely focus on her voracious need for attention since childhood and the myriad ways in which she attempts to gain such attention (forcing herself to attempt lesbianism is one example).  There are a few anecdotes that I found funny but they were few and far between.  

Some of the stories seem forced, like the only way to be funny is to be provocative, but the provocativeness is of the more desperate for attention variety.  Maybe I'm wrong and this book is a perfect reflection of Sara's personality and life.  Even if that is true, there is little about this book that is appealing to me personally.

This book was provided for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Nesting Place- Book Review

The Nesting Place blog has been on my daily blog feed for a while, and the site's mantra "It Doesn't Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful" captures blogger Myquillyn Smith's decorating style perfectly.  Don't misunderstand: every luscious scene of a living space or bedroom is in fact beautiful.  I would say gorgeous. But it isn't a study in perfection.  Myquillyn believes a beautiful space can (and should) also be comfortable and inviting. With chapters on giving up perfection and "the gift of messes", she makes you believe a beautiful, yet "yes, children live here" home is possible.

I really appreciated chapter 5: "A Place of Peace: Embracing the True Purpose of Your Home". Personally, I frequently think things should be a certain way because, well, that is how people do it.  Mind you, these "people" don't live in my home and understand how we need it to function.  It is just a knee-jerk reaction that certain rooms have a purpose and you should make your home fit that purpose, rather then making your home fit what you really need (or want).  How many people have that formal front room where no one is allowed to sit on the furniture?  A whole room just waiting for someone who might, but most likely will not, one day possibly use it.  I think Myquillyn would advise against that. From this chapter, I am thinking more of whether I would actually benefit from a more formal sitting room, or if a second home office is more useful. (Hint, both adults in my house are currently working 40+ hours a week from home.)

This book largely addresses broad ideas of decorating, such as don't be afraid to try new things or put nail holes in your wall.  It is not going to provide you specific decorating advice, like pairing stripes with patterns, etc.  Given the frequent change in what is considered current or stylish, this is, in my opinion, a better way to go.  There is also loads of advice on how to make your rental place a home where you may be limited in what permanent changes you are allowed to make.  A paperback copy of this book was not available for my review, and I really dislike reading books electronically, but even on my tiny iPhone screen the photos were beautiful.  It was a quick read, but made many good points about finding your own style and I would recommend it to anyone interested in design and home decor.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”