Mama Vicky’s Book Nook

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How about a twofer today? I finished two books yesterday and so I will share them both. (I have had a bit of down time since having an outpatient surgical procedure on the 27th.) First:

A Narrow Margin of Error
A Hillary Greene Mystery

by Faith Martin

Hillary Greene is a 50 year old retired Deputy Inspector who gets called back to duty working cold cases. She is an investigator and not a full-fledged officer this go around. She is smart, sassy, independent, and has a nose for detective work. She and her small team are assigned the 10 year old case of an Oxford college student, Rowan Thompson, who was stabbed to death with scissors. Everybody supposedly liked Rowan, even though he was a bit of a fun-loving cad and a hypersexual experimenter. As with any cold case it is a matter of sifting through a mountain of old information and trying to find what is missing. And, of course, everyone who lived at the same residence all deny having anything to do with Rowan’s death.

Two of her staff are newbies gaining experience on the job and one retired police sergeant. Vivienne is one of the newbies and is only interested in Hillary’s boss, Steven Crayle. Her boss is a hottie and Hillary has to fight to keep her mind off his non-police side while Vivienne is throwing herself at him.

As the investigation slowly moves forward, Hillary starts finding flowers on her boat or stuffed in her car and is receiving text messages from a secret admirer. As the stalker becomes more obsessed with Hillary, his gifts start to be bizarre and frightening. It seems he is one step ahead of her.

Definitely a British novel as there were many terms used by the author that we don’t use here on this side of the pond. Some of the words I could figure out from the context, and some I couldn’t decipher. This didn’t have a big impact on the story. The book seemed to be a bit tedious as it drew out the tale. It was a pretty interesting story even though, but I still would only give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Book 2:

spark joy
an illustrated master class on the
art of organizing and tidying up

by Marie Kondo

This is the companion to her first book, the life-changing magic of tidying up. Marie is my guru, as well as probably many other folks as well. In this current volume she has drawings that show how to fold things properly, how to arrange shelves and organize, and as always, reminds the reader to do everything with joy.

The beginning of the book was a quick summary of how to tidy, how to tell if an item brings a person joy. I have been doing as she suggests when I am going through things and holding them to see if they do bring me joy. This really works. I have also tried to be mindful of gratitude for those items that I am keeping as well as those I no longer need or want. She talks a lot about the kitchen and the bathroom and how to bring joy to those areas. In fact, today as I was putting kitchen towels away, I followed her method of folding and rolling items and actually had more room than I thought. Also, by following her methods, it is easy to see what’s in the drawer for easy use.

She tucks pearls of wisdom throughout the pages along with the explanations. The end of the book also talks about having joyful experiences with one’s family, how to sort photos of which I have an abundance, and how to easily scrapbook them. I love her ideas.

She did have a section on how to remain calm when other family members aren’t tidy and their stuff is all over the place. Let me remind you that I have a 950 square foot condo. Three adults live in it plus two wonderful grandchildren who have managed to amass a lot of toys. Clutter really can make a person uneasy. I am not a nut, but when I have to step over things of someone else’s I am just a bit disgruntled. This happens a lot. She did say that we can encourage them to make things neater, but that people don’t have the right to tidy and dispose of other people’s stuff. I shan’t mention which of my children is the clutter bug, but it drives me crazy that half the time the dining room table looks like a cyclone hit it on the clutter bug’s side while mine is neat and there is actually room to sit down and eat or color, etc. I will probably need to read that chapter a couple of times in order to stop my desire to throw stuff out and clean things up. As a parent, I have got to love the little darlings. Yowsa!

I hold Marie’s books in my hands, not only to read them, and I really feel joy. Again, she gets a 5 out of 5 stars and my gratitude. These are definitely keepers. I would recommend them to anyone.

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