So many books and not enough time to review them all. Well, it does happen. I can only read so much so quickly. But the good news is that there were so many great books for early 22 to share with you there will be THREE book review roundups this month. This one is comprised of some books that didn’t make it into our holiday book review roundup. I’m posting these first. The links are to Amazon for instant gratification. But most of these are available in your favorite bookstores, too.
On January 13th look for yet another book review roundup of great books, you’ll want to discover. Then there’s a special Valentine’s Day roundup on January 31st.
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Love the Space You’re In:
How to Find and Love Your Small Space by C. Ruth McBeath-Urrutia (Small Space Life Publishers, 2021) helps you find and love the space you live in. Carla’s charming and personal book covers the soup to nuts of finding, outfitting, and living in a small space. Carla reminded me that she was part of a writer’s group I started long ago, and one of the results is this book!
The main focus is on the kitchen and must-have organization. To be sure, there’s a lot of good advice and tips in focusing on this. However, Carla is also accomplished in color theory and guides you to using colors that make your small space (or any space) your true castle. The author suggests red flags and green flags for finding the right neighborhood and apartment, too.
Some of what is suggested are common sense tips. But if you are just starting out and really don’t know how to manage your first move or into a small space, it is a must-read. It’s also the inspiration for organizing and scaling back. Additionally, her tips don’t necessarily work just for a small space but really for a home of any size. I’ve already incorporated some of them into mine! Get this book. You can also find Carla on her website.
In the Pink:
It All Started With Pink: From the Original French Manicure to Global Beauty by Jeff Pink (self-published May 2021) is a personal account of the author’s rise from immigrant to starting a small beauty supply store, to creating the nail brand Orly International. He not only shares what he did to rise to great success but infuses the book with personal thoughts about the process along the way.
I count this among the great books for inspiration. It’s a rags to riches story is an authentic account of how innovative marketing and perseverance and hard work can take you places you never ever imagined you’d be able to go. I really enjoyed Mr. Pinks’ journey! Get this book.
Ooh Baby It’s A Wilde World:
Going Wilde by Jessica Wilde: How I Became the Woman I was Meant to be…By Creating a Woman I’m Not (Rogue Press, 2021). It’s difficult to imagine being so desperate for money that you would do something you’d never consider. This book is a fascinating look at the life of a cam girl (someone who talks to men on the internet on video and I’ll leave the rest to your imagination).
Beneath the come hither stare with pouty lips, tattoos, and tons of plastic surgery is a woman whose life took a turn for (the better?) at a chance meeting with a woman at the mall. But she pays a price for her new career as a cam girl. No longer desperately poor, her work makes romantic relationships difficult to impossible. As Jessica becomes more “famous” (she has a Wilde-ly popular social media presence) she still has to deal with her child and with everyday life. That is a harsh reality.
I can’t say that I feel sorry for Jessica Wilde. But I do understand that the choices someone might make when desperate could have unintended consequences. In the end, money can’t buy love or happiness, but it certainly can change your life. I read every page and was totally absorbed in the story. Get This Book.
Give Us Our Daily Bread!
Looking for a new passion or hobby? The days are short and the smell of your own bread as it bakes will make every day feel special. Therefore, I’m giving two thumbs up to The Best of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois (St. Martins October 2021). The first almost half of the book is tips and Q&A which will eliminate the need for beginners to search the internet for answers. The second half features the recipes including a clear description of how many loaves this would make if the recipe can be halved or doubled, and volume and weight by US standards, and also metric.
Most of the recipes take more than just 5 minutes, but they’re easy, as baking bread goes. You don’t need a lot of complicated equipment to make bread. However, you will need a few things that you may or may not have in your home already (e.g. a baking stone or clay baker, pizza peel, parchment paper). Put the electric bread maker away and try artisan loaves of bread by hand. I think you’ll be hooked. Buy This Book
Affordable Fare from An Air Fryer:
In 2014 when air fryers were still a new miracle, I was invited to an editor’s event at Williams Sonoma to see the Philips Air Fryer. I initially thought of an air fryer as being something to fry food in, I was wrong. An air fryer can make all sorts of things you’d normally fry but with a whole lot less oil. Therefore, I really appreciate the I Love My Air Fryer Affordable Meals Recipe Book by Aileen Clark (Adams Media 2021). Like all the “I Love My..” recipe books this one has plenty to chew on (pun intended). You will find 175 affordable air fryer recipes to make 2022 more cost-efficient. This is particularly important in today’s economy.
Each recipe contains a cost estimate so you can easily stay on budget and manage food costs. The photos are tempting and there’s a guide to getting the most out of your air fryer. It’s worth the investment, especially if your air fryer is sitting unused on a countertop or shelf. Get This Book
Self Love Isn’t Selfish:
The title tells you that this book is about — ME Time: The Self Care Guide That Transforms You From Surviving To Thriving by Jessica Sanders (Hachette Book Group, 2021). The illustrations are very cute, and the pages are colorful. If you’re seeking “cliff notes” to make you feel better, you’ll get it in this book. As I said in my October 2020 story about Self Love, Self Love isn’t selfish.
However, that said, you won’t find anything really inspirational here that you don’t already know. Let’s face it, we know we should set boundaries, organize our time, stretch, etc. We may not always do it, but we know it’s a good thing. Therefore, I’m not going hog wild to recommend this. But it can be beneficial for anyone who has forgotten that the person you need to love and care for first and foremost, is yourself. Buy This Book
Bring Some Zen to Your Garden:
This is a sneak peek at one of the new great books that’s my latest must-have. It’s not out until February, but add it to your wish list now!
Even if you don’t have space for a garden, just looking at the book Inside Your Japanese Garden by Joseph Call and Sadau Yasumoro (Tuttle Publishing February 2022) will give you a feeling of well-being. The designs and details might also give you some ideas on how to incorporate some “zen” into your home. Even though I live in a high rise, I can add some stone to a small tree, a lantern, other things that bring a bit of Japanese Garden home.
There are step-by-step directions to build large structures like benches and bridges, but also how to work with stone, mud, and bamboo. There is a catalog of the 94 plant varieties used in the gardens shown in the book. The photography is breathtaking. I received an early editor’s sample and look at the pictures when I feel a bit stressed because they’re so beautiful they help me feel more balanced and calm.