Posts Tagged: Books

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Why Marie Kondo Doesn’t Actually Want You To Throw Out All Your Books

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Marie Kondo took the world by storm with her ‘revolutionary’ tidying up ideas with her bestselling books. On January 1st, Netflix decided to drop “The Art of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” bringing even more people on board the KonMari train but also causing many people to lose their minds when Marie Kondo ‘made’ people get rid of their books in an effort to clean up and take back their living spaces. 

Except she didn’t???

I haven’t finished watching the series nor have I had the privilege of reading any of her books but based on what I have seen and what I know about her books, nowhere does she explicitly state you should get rid of your books and everything else you love.

I am a lover of reality shows that focus on lifestyle so when I dove into Tidying Up With Marie Kondo I was expecting the kind of reality TV that usually airs on American TV. Tons of drama, crying, etc, etc. Tidying Up With Marie Kondo has such a completely different vibe though – in the way The Great British Bake Off  is so vastly different from anything on Food Network. 

Marie Kondo is one of the few, if not the only, host of a show like this that doesn’t ever pressure people to do anything they don’t want to. She doesn’t talk down. She doesn’t judge. 

If people criticizing her for wanting everyone to throw everything out took more than a second to watch and appreciate what is happening, they’d understand that. 

Marie Kondo wanders from home to home giving people the tools they need to tidy up and have that lifestyle they have always dreamed of. She sits down with people and helps them re-evaluate their relationship to the items they own. She does not want you to throw out things you love dearly in an attempt to make space and have a house that looks right out of a magazine, Marie Kondo wants you to get rid of stuff for which you have no use and that brings you no joy. And honestly, she doesn’t really want you to do that either. You are in charge, not she. You can keep whatever you want to without any judgement from her because the ultimate goal is not for your house to be rid of stuff, its for you to reevaluate the stuff you own and your relationship to your stuff.

SO NO. MARIE KONDO DOES NOT WANT YOU TO THROW OUT ALL YOUR BOOKS. IF YOUR BOOKS BRING YOU JOY (and don’t @ me with literature does not solely exist to provide joy, that is not what this is about), YOU GET TO KEEP THEM. 

There is legitimate critique about the show out there too and I don’t mean to disregard that, but if you are shitting on Marie Kondo – the nicest woman ever – because you think she wants you to throw your books out, you need to reevaluate what it is about Marie Kondo that pisses you off more than anyone else who does the same. 

The unreasonable standards Marie Kondo and her show are being held up to really show that people are willing to find the pettiest crap to criticize non-white women about. I am not here for that. 

Xpresso Reads’ Best Books of 2018

Posted by on 12/28/2018 • 3 Comments

Wow. I genuinely cannot believe the end of the year is here???? And I have to pick favorite books I’ve read?? (EVEN THOUGH I HAVE A COUPLE MORE I WANT TO READ) Ugh. I decided to bring back this format from 2016 because it is way more fun then just listing a bunch of books I liked.

A book with a title that SCREAMS ‘read me’

Yes. I am secretly 10. I mostly read this book because this title made me feel like I was going to dive into a cute read but holy fuck, Death by Toilet Paper hit all the right emotional notes. This book is funny but more than that, its actually heart breaking????? I did not expect a book with a title like this to…

Summer Road Trip: Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim

Posted by on 06/25/2018 • 0 Comments

That Thing We Call a Heart was one of my favorite books of 2017 so obviously, when I heard about Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, I was ecstatic and ready to dive in. This review is particularly hard because even though, overall, I definitely enjoyed Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, there were times when I felt let down by some of the things the characters said.

I am grappling for words as I attempt to describe my feelings because I want to be respectful and clear that these experiences aren’t invalid but one of the biggest dichotomy in the book is how Mariam is raised vs how her friends are raised. Mariam grew up in a household that wasn’t religious or super connected to their cultural roots and her mom was super…

Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages + Five Books About Immigration Experiences You Should Read

Posted by on 06/20/2018 • 2 Comments

I think we are all aware the world is a pile of crap and yet this past week, it seems like all of that is escalating. From refugees running away from human traffickers being turned away by Italy to prove a point to incredibly young children being separated from their parents after escaping unimaginable horrors, the world truly sucks. Sometimes it can be incredibly overwhelming when many of us sit in the protection of our own homes feeling like we are unable to do anything. There is always something you can do though. Whether it is calling your representatives (no matter how shitty they are) or donating your time/money. 

Authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz put together the “Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages” campaign. Donations will…

On Why I Rarely Rate Books Five Stars

Posted by on 06/12/2018 • 4 Comments

At the end of every year, I like to go through and look at all of my reading stats just to get an idea of what went on in that year for my reading-wise and also because I love statistics. Last year was honestly one of the best bookish-years for me in terms of ratings. In 2017, I may not have read a lot of five star books (I think that numbed capped out at 12 out of the 230 books I read), but my average rating was 3.9. So I read a WHOLE lot of 4 star books last year and LOVED what I was reading. That is a significant improvement over average ratings from previous years and yet, I am still not reading a lot of five…

A Guide on How to Determine the Audience of a Book: A Discussion

Posted by on 05/22/2018 • 2 Comments

How do we define the various demographics books are published for? Publishing is split into Adult publishing and Children’s publishing but what determines who a book is published for? This is something I’ve thought about for a long time (especially since my primary focus in undergrad was on Children’s lit) but it recently came up on Twitter and I thought it was worth talking about. 

I think the first answer that always comes at point is the age of the main character but a number of books that would be YA/MG based on the age of the character are often published as Adult. For example, The Girl With All the Gifts. A non-literary example of this is Stranger Things – a show with younger characters that is aimed at an older audience.

Pressure of Perfection: On Diverse Authors and Readers

Posted by on 05/08/2018 • 5 Comments

These past two years, we have seen a definite surge in the amount of diverse books that are focus titles. This means that they are essentially a main focus for the publisher for the season and receive more publicity and marketing that non-focus titles. I am guessing seeing a couple diverse books floating around has probably led some people to believe that all the problems in publishing and life have been solved. THE END. WE HAVE ALL THE DIVERSE BOOKS WE NEED. We’re never gonna need anymore. Well, for starters, if you take a moment to look at the CCBC stats, that is simply not true. Only a fraction of children’s literature published each year features diverse* characters and a fraction of those books are written by the people…

What I’ve Been Reading: April Update

Posted by on 05/01/2018 • 5 Comments

Happy May everyone!!! New month new me?? Who knows. I ended up spending most of April in a funk. I didn’t get a lot of reading done but I am starting to feel a little bit more productive so we’ll see and hope May is a better month personally and for my reading aspirations.

Okay so I didn’t read any backlist sequels this month because again, I was in a funk but, I am counting the two sequels I did read in this update so I can give myself a pat on the back.


Both these books were anticipated sequels and coincidentally, both were pushed back to this year so I’ve been waiting on them for quite some time (After the Wedding for 2.5 years.) Trouble Never Sleeps…