Book Review: Goodbye, Things

Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki
Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism 
by Fumio Sasaki, Eriko Sugita (Translator)

2 out of 5 stars


I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. The author tells about his personal journey becoming a minimalist, and how terrible his life was before, and how he turned his life around through tossing out most of his possessions, and that made him a happier person. Then he gives a lot of philosophy about minimalism, and tips and advice about the mental and emotional experience of becoming a minimalist.
He doesn’t give very many practical tips; It’s mostly about having a minimalist attitude.
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Book Review: Make This!

Make This! by Ella Schwartz
Make This!: Building Thinking, and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker in You 
by Ella Schwartz

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This book is perfect for any curious child who loves to take apart their toys, build a bridge out of books, or create their own system of pulleys and levers to open the bedroom door.

With special sections for materials, energy, optics, connecting systems, acoustics, and forces in motion, this book provides all the steps to create a rocket ship powered by your breath, make an entire rainforest ecosystem in a jar, and make a periscope out of cardboard, along with dozens of other projects. Each chapter also has questions to be solved and scenarios that require an imaginative solution.
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Book Review: John Winthrop, Oliver Cromwell, and the Land of Promise

John Winthrop, Oliver Cromwell, and the Land of Promise by Marc Aronson

John Winthrop, Oliver Cromwell, and the Land of Promise
by Marc Aronson 

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This book explores the connections between two historical figures, John Winthrop and Oliver Cromwell, as both attempt to establish a new order in their respective lands, America and England.
John Winthrop based his new colony on the idea that God was guiding the Puritans’ community to a righteous way of life. Oliver Cromwell believed that God was guiding his army to purge England of the old evil ways and establish a better government for the British people.

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Book Review: The Joy of Less

The Joy of Less by Francine Jay

The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify
by Francine Jay
K

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This book is perfect for those who are curious about minimalism and want to declutter their homes and try it out. I love that the author emphasizes that minimalism is a mind-set and a life-style, not an aesthetic or a decorating trend. It’s not about how your home looks; it’s about how you feel in your home. It’s not about having a set number of belongings; it’s about having the right number of items that belong in your life for a reason.

I find the philosophy similar to the KonMari method of decluttering. Every item must have a purpose, whether it is useful or brings beauty into your life or just makes you happy.

This book takes you room by room, and gives common-sense advice on decluttering each space, how to get rid of things you don’t need or want, how to store what is left, and how to keep more clutter from building up again. 

There is also a chapter all about how to get your family involved in decluttering the house and keeping it tidy. 

I really enjoyed reading this book, and it inspired me to do a mini-decluttering session in my closet! (My house is already pretty minimal, but my clothing needed some pruning.)

I would recommend this book to anyone who isn’t sure about minimalism, or who hates minimalism but just wants to declutter and find more space in their home. This book might change your mind about minimalism and what it really stands for!

Book Review: Strange Lives of Venomous Sea Creatures

Don't Mess With Me by Paul Erickson
Don’t Mess With Me: The Strange Lives of Venomous Sea Creatures 
by Paul EricksonAndrew Martinez (Photographs)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This book tells all about the venomous creatures of the sea, with beautiful photographs of each type of fish, coral, and worm. Each page has wonderful explanations of how the creatures feed on their prey, how they deliver their venom to their victims, and how they protect themselves from other predators.

The information is interesting and memorable, but uses many big words and technical terms that children might find too heavy for enjoyable reading.
I loved the colorful photographs, and curious facts about each animal, and I found it very informative and impressive.  Continue reading

Book Review: Ultimate Predator-pedia

Ultimate Predatorpedia by Christina Wilsdon
Ultimate Predatorpedia: The Most Complete Predator Reference Ever 
by Christina Wilsdon

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Everything you ever wanted to know about every kind of predator is in this book! With categories that talk about each type of animal, sections that address fangs, claws, wings, and special pages for endangered animals, this book answers every question you might have about these incredible animals.

Beautiful photos of predators in action really bring the book to life, and give a strong impression of the life these animals live in the wild. I could just stare at these photos for hours. Every page is so colorful and full of movement.

There are big sections for predatory mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and a strange array of predatory invertebrates like squid, scorpions, spiders, and ants. I really like how the book is organized, and all the great information about each animal. There are also several pages that tell the reader how they can help conservation efforts to preserve endangered species, and how predators help their ecosystems from getting out of balance.

There is also a glossary at the back to help the reader with large words, and a list of websites, movies, and places to visit to find out more!
This book will spark the curiosity of any child or teen, and is a wonderful reference for all the knowledge you’ll need about the world of predators.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions expressed here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

Non-fiction Review: Why Not?

National Geographic Kids Why Not? by Crispin Boyer
National Geographic Kids Why Not?: Over 1,111 Answers to Everything 
by Crispin Boyer

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This colorful book explores questions like “Why isn’t the sky orange instead of blue?”, “Why don’t animals need to brush their teeth?” and “Why doesn’t the moon have a name?”.
With a thousand detailed and interesting answers to every weird question you never thought to ask, this book is full of strange and weird facts about animals, space, biology, geology, technology, and many other subjects.
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Non-Fiction Revew: Weird But True! 10

Weird But True 10 by National Geographic Kids
Weird But True 10 
by National Geographic Kids

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This interesting book combines colorful illustrations and photos with tid-bits of weird information about history, science, biology, culture, animal life, and a million other subjects!

I read through the entire book in just a half hour, fascinated with every wacky statement and attracted to each page by the stunning photos. I learned so many freaky things, like that jellyfish used to have hard shells, there is an albino humpback whale off the coast of Australia, and that it’s against the law in the USA for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs! haha! Weird and random and hilarious! Continue reading