Surprise Yourself: A Creative Journal to Get Out of Your Head and Into the World by Lisa Currie
Review by Lauren
source: copy for review; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add on Goodreads): Brimming with fun and quirky ways to learn, create and grow, this charming journal presents simple activities to make every day count. Prompts include:
Memorize a poem
Compliment a stranger
Be a tourist in your own town
Learn to say “hello” in five new languages
Write a fan letter
Avoid the news for a full day
Write a five-star review
Send an overdue apology
Filled with delightful illustrations and plenty of room to record your own progress and insights, this is a DIY happiness guide to share with a friend or use as a secret personal playbook for jump-starting each day. Flip to any page and begin!
Review: Surprise Yourself is a really fun guided journal of sorts that tries to take you out of your everyday life. Not every “activity” or entry in the book is something that will make you leave your comfort zone, because there are things like “noticing the color yellow throughout the day” and/or “find yourself a good luck charm.” However, there are other entries where you “create a club and host your first meeting” and/or “organize a treasure hunt.”Surprise Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into the World #bookreview Click To Tweet
I love the variety of things in this book and the way each page is set up so you can maximize your creativity. Everything is in black and white, but there are fun bubbles and shapes for certain entries. It lets you add the color and fun to the page! One of my favorite aspects of Surprise Yourself is that the pages you would tear out have “blank” back pages so you aren’t losing one thing to take out another (blank is in quotes because it’s a design/pattern). One of the pages that is set up like this that I’m a personal fan of is titled “DIY Film School” and it’s a blank list where people can write down their favorite movies – some you might have seen, but others you might not have, and if you haven’t, then it’s a good recommendation list! There are small boxes before each line to cross off when you watch the movie. A lot of my friends are always telling me to watch certain movies, so this would be great to keep track of those!
Other pages I really love are “organize a care package for someone”, “tiny bucket list (part one, two, and three)”, host a themed dinner party,” and much more! There are three pages at the end of the book with bubbles of each item in the book (each page has a blank background so you can take them out and hang them up). As you do the items in the book, you color in each bubble!! How fun is that, right?
This would make a great graduation gift, or something to give that creative person in your life – the holidays are coming soon!
The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: a magical story by Maria Kondo, illustrated by Yuko Uramoto
Review by Lauren
source: copy from BloggingForBooks; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Marie Kondo presents the fictional story of Chiaki, a young woman in Tokyo who struggles with a cluttered apartment, messy love life, and lack of direction. After receiving a complaint from her attractive next-door neighbor about the sad state of her balcony, Chiaki gets Kondo to take her on as a client. Through a series of entertaining and insightful lessons, Kondo helps Chiaki get her home–and life–in order. This insightful, illustrated case study is perfect for people looking for a fun introduction to the KonMari Method of tidying up, as well as tried-and-true fans of Marie Kondo eager for a new way to think about what sparks joy. Featuring illustrations by award-winning manga artist Yuko Uramoto, this book also makes a great read for manga and graphic novel lovers of all ages.
Review: I’m sure most of you have heard of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but it’s not a book I’ve actually read. I have, however, read a lot of great reviews and I knew that some of Marie Kondo’s methods for keeping your home – and life – tidy worked really well. Therefore, I was excited to read this manga edition of the book. It’s not a word-for-word adaptation of the other book; instead, the book follows Marie and a fake client named Chiaki who needs help tidying up her apartment. Marie helps her learn about keeping only items that spark joy and figuring out what you want your place to represent or feel like after the tidying process. At the end of each chapter is a bit of a summary of each step in the process, but overall, this is a fictional account of Marie Kondo’s tidying tips.The Life-Changing MANGA of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo #ontheblog #sparkjoy Click To Tweet
I thought the story was a lot of fun – it helped me learn about Marie’s methods, step by step, but in a easy to read and understand manner. I especially liked the part in the book where Marie tells Chiaki how to fold certain clothes. Because there are illustrations, you get a nice guide on how exactly to do this! I’ll have to try it out – especially with my shirts, since I have so many of them!! The book is set up like a manga, with panels and speech bubbles when the characters talk. However, manga (the Japanese comic) is usually told backwards – you read from the back of the book to the front, and the panels go backward. Don’t worry! This manga is set up like an American comic, so you won’t have any trouble following along!
Definitely a fun way to learn about Marie Kondo without investing a ton of time at first! I won’t follow all the tips, but I did like some of them!