Read and Rated: September

I was quite productive and read a fair amount this September. So here is a quick rundown of the books I finished during the month of September.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Who’s that Earl by Susanna Craig

Who’s That Earl is the first book of Susanna Criag’s I have read and I quite enjoyed it. The characters of the historical romance were very nuanced and I not only did I like them as individuals but I really liked them together. First in the Love and Let Spy Series, I will deifnelty be looking out for the next in store.

Also I do love the cover of this book, it is so striking and different. However every time I look at it I can’t help but think that there is something wrong with her arms? Maybe it is the style of the dress that is throwing me off? I’m not sure, what do you think?

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Quick Non-Fic Reviews – Style and Beauty

You may noticed that I work in a library and you also may have noticed that I have a tendency to borrow waaay too many books. My previous Quick Non-Fic Reviews were so fun to write that I’ve decided to keep doing them, as I for some inexplicable reason, I have not stopped borrowing books😋 This post will look at all of the Style and Beauty books that I have borrowed recently and read.


Style and Beauty

The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Great Skin by Anjali Mahto

I have a persistent acne problem that, despite being in my 30’s, has not disappeared with age. The Skincare Bible is not only great because it is written by an actual dermatologist but because the author is very open about their own skin care concerns. I found out a lot of information about adult-onset acne as well as the importance of maintaining a skin cleanse routine. I would 100% recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about their skin!


The Capsule Wardrobe: 1,000 Outfits from 30 Pieces by Wendy Mak

It wasn’t until I flipped through this books a bit before I decided to borrow it – the idea of having a wardrobe made up of only 30 items of clothing was not only intriguing but was hard for me to understand. After reading the book I still think it is a great concept but it’s not something that I would be able to pull off 😓 Still the book did inspire me to look a little closer at the clothes I do wear the most and did lead me to cleaning out the clothes I never wear.


50 Ways to Wear: Accessories by Lauren Friedman

I may be a bit of a fashion tragic, so it’s always good to have a go to guide for fashion tips. 50 Ways to Wear: Accessories had a number of good hints and tricks that I had never thought to try. Certainly I have a number of the items featured in the book, but there are suggestions for different ways to utilise them. For example, I have a very plain black (boring) sunhat that I now know can be spruced up with one of the many scarves I have laying around.


Work Your Wardrobe: Gok’s Gorgeous Guide to Style’s That Lasts by Gok Wan

I adored Gok Wan’s TV show How to Look Good Naked when it first aided over 10 years ago. It came during a really pivotal time in my life where I was really struggling with my self esteem and figuring out what made me look good. The show was always guaranteed to make a cry so it’s quite nice to know that this book is more advice than emotional and uplifting moments for people.

The book offers a number of simple styles that you can either work towards your body shape or ways that you can alter the style to offer a number of alternative ways to wear the style. The first section looks at simple white button up shirts, then Gok lets you know different ways you can wear it, what to pair it with, accessorises to look into, and then lets you know of cheap and glamorous ways to purchase the style. This book is really uplifting and even though it is quite old, the styles in the book didn’t feel dated.


Mending Life by Nina Montenegro and Sonya Montenegro

Mending Life: A Handbook for Repairing Clothes and Hearts

by Nina Montenegro and Sonya Montenegro

Mending Life is a beautifully illustrated, practical tool kit for repairing the clothes and belongings we love. It is also an exploration of how mending can be a gently healing practice in our daily lives and a small act of rebellion in a world where many things are discarded without thought.

Mending Life encourages us to cherish our things by repairing them rather than discarding them. It also encourages us to change our consumption habits so that with small mends here and there, we extend the life of our garments and other household items. This handbook is for beginners but also offers more advanced techniques to those with some experience in mending.

You’ll learn basic techniques such as patching, but will have options to take it a step further with decorative sashiko stitching; you’ll also learn how to darn socks and mend sweaters, as well as things like a tear in a bedsheet or down jacket. And along the way, the authors share heartfelt stories about the powerful act of mending, which strengthens not only the object we are repairing, but ourselves as well. Vibrant, full-color illustrations are woven throughout the handbook.

Mending Life is a timeless, practical guide to cherishing and caring for our belongings.

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: March 10, 2020.

Length: 224 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Non-Fiction. Craft and Hobbies.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Mending Life is equal parts a a book about mending clothes and philosophical statement on how learning to mend can change your life. Throughout the book you will find information on not just how to repair and care for clothing but how you can learn to cherish clothing and make steps away from our throwaway mentality around damaged items.

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A Happy Life in an Open Relationship by Susan Wenzel

A Happy Life in an Open Relationship:

The Essential Guide to a Healthy and Fulfilling Nonmonogamous Love Life

by Susan Wenzel

Discover the secrets to successful open relationships. A Happy Life in an Open Relationship is a handbook to healthy nonmonogamous relationships.

For anyone curious about open relationships, here is a valuable handbook from an expert in love, sex, and communication. Relationship therapist Susan Wenzel—who is in an open marriage herself—delivers skillful advice on how to navigate the complex emotional landscape of multi-partner relationships, from polyamory to swinging.

• Filled with of compelling personal stories, anecdotes from clients, and practical exercises
• A guide to cultivating harmonious and fulfilling open relationships
• Author Susan Wenzel is a sex and relationship therapist with years of experience counseling patients on issues related to monogamy, intimacy, and trust.

A Happy Life in an Open Relationship will help you develop your trust and communication skills, explore sexuality and desire, build your confidence and self-worth, set healthy boundaries, overcome jealousy, and so much more.

People interested in making changes in their relationships will appreciate the positive tone, helpful advice, and expert wisdom from an accomplished relationship therapist who has gone through the experience herself.

• A great gift for anyone interested in testing the boundaries of monogamy and exploring the world of polyamory
• An accessible and inviting guide for couples to build an open relationship that is strong and lasting
• Perfect for fans of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence and The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity by Esther Perel, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family by Dan Savage, and Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: March 10, 2020.

Length: 186 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Non-Fiction. Relationships.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

A Happy Life in an Open Relationship steps away from other books about open relationship and non-monogamy as it is a very personal book. I say personal not just because of the subject matter but because the author herself, Susan Wenzel, offers a lot of anecdotal examples taken from her own life and those from her professional life as a relationship therapist.

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Quick Non-Fic Reviews – Home and Garden

You may noticed that I work in a library and you also may have noticed that I have a tenancy to borrow waaay too many books. The last post I did like this was all about the sustainability and cook books that I had recently borrowed. Well this post is all about the Home and Garden books I borrow.

Okay so the below books are all so tempting because they have such beautiful covers! How can you look at them and not want to borrow them? Also I really like succulents and am really interested in terrariums. I mean I haven’t had the initiative yet to make anything pretty from these books but I live in hope of someday.


Home and Garden

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things (Revised Edition) by Cy Tymony

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things is such a fun and interesting book! The whole time I was reading this I was just thinking about how the projects could be incorporated into school holiday programs at my library. The skill and understanding level needed to complete a lot of these projects would be perfectly suited towards young adults and would be just educational and engaging enough to not bore readers.

I adored that as an adult readers I could easily follow the instructions, and really enjoyed the graphic illustrations that demonstrated a lot of the projects and steps. Even more than that, the book doesn’t fix itself in only the American market, as when needed it converts information, for example, the book offers information on how to find south in the southern hemisphere. Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things is a perfect resource for some sneaky learning and STEM work!

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Quick Non-Fic Reviews: Cook Books

You may noticed that I work in a library and you also may have noticed that I have a tenancy to borrow waaay too many books. My previous Quick Non-Fic Reviews were so fun to write that I’ve decided to keep doing them, as I for some inexplicable reason, I have not stopped borrowing books 😋 This post will look at all of the Cook books that I have borrowed recently and read.


I Didn’t Know My Slow Cooker Could Do That: 150 Delicious, Surprising Recipes by Better Homes and Gardens

This book was a mixed bag for me because yes there were recipes in there that I didn’t know you could do in a slow cooker but there were also not a lot of practical meal in there. A lot of the more ‘out there’ recipes that incorporated the slow cooker were ones that could have been accomplished in the oven. Now I’m not saying that a recipe that calls for you to fry ingredients, cook them in a slow cooker, put them in a food processor, and then pop in the oven aren’t practical but they’re really not in the spirit of the slow cooker.

I will say though that I will be trying some of the bread recipes, in particular the chilli corn bread one which looked amazing 🤤 Also it appears that this book has lit a sudden interest in making preserves as gifts for people. The tomato and bacon spread not only had my stomach growling but had my frugal mind spinning with present possibilities.


Ice Cube Tray Recipes by Jen Karetnick

Food from ice cube trays?! Yes please, I though as I caught a glimpse of this book cover. It wasn’t until I was reading through each recipe trying to visulise how some of these would work that I realised the books flaw. There simply aren’t enough pictures of the recipe.

For such a strange cooking concept you really do need images to back these recipes up. While there was a detailed section at the beginning of the book about the different types of ice cube trays and the ways in which to cook with them, I would often find myself reading a recipe and simply not being able to visualise the cooking process or the final product. I did read an eBook version of the book though, so who knows maybe a physical copy had more images (to be fair though I read a lot of eBook recipe books and this is not the case).

Other than that though, I really thought this was such a cool concept and would be a great type of food to whip out at parties 🤤


Tots! 50 Tot-ally awesome recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-Tot-O Pie by Dan Whalen

Just to start I will say that I have a weakness for ‘tots.’ I say ‘tots’ because in Australia they are called potato gems and they are just so yummy with a little bit of chicken salt. Tots! is a great little cook book because it has so many recipes that not only use this lovely food item but because they are easy to make and look dilicious!

I am looking forward to trying Totchos (nachos but with potato gems) and also Shepard’s Pie with a Totty Top (normal Shepard’s pie but with potato gems instead of mashed potato). Also I am very intrigued by the idea of mooshing and flattening the potato gems and serving food on top of them – the book suggests caviar and sour cream but I will never be that fancy 😋 If you do see this book around I would really recommend giving it a read! It will 100% make you crave some potato gems.


Self Care Saturday: Make Yourself Cozy by Katie Vaz

Make Yourself Cozy: A Guide for Practicing Self-Care by Katie Vaz

Embrace the cozy pleasures of life with Katie Vaz’s interactive guide to self-care.

 Freshly baked bread. Cloud-like pillows. Lavender tea. Katie Vaz’s book on self-care shows readers how slow, cozy warmth can help them deal with the anxieties and challenges of everyday life. Filled with tips for creating the perfect atmosphere of coziness (super soft blankets, fluffy robes, and something binge-worthy on TV) as well as sweet, gentle prompts that inspire readers to fill in their own content (“Fill these clouds with words that make you feel light and free”), this book encourages all of us to slow down and find joy in the little things.

Taken from the book blurb

You may have noticed that the majority of the Self Care Saturday posts are about bath bombs or other bath related items – well fear not because this week I am using this space for a book review!

Make Yourself Cozy is a beautiful book by Kate Vaz that not only educates about self care but has so many cute illustrations that illustrate examples of how you can practise self care yourself.

Read more

Quick Non-Fic Reviews – Sustainability

I have a terrible habit of borrowing books from the library and then either not reading them at all or only skimming them. As I work in a library and am surrounded by books and borrow waay too many, I thought I would try and force myself to read some of the books I borrow.

So the below are some non fiction books that have caught my eye and I have given a quick read. Since I do this so often I’ve decided to group them together into themes, so enjoy the first: Sustainability (with a side note of creativity)


Sustainability

Waste Not by Erin Rhoads

I have been quite interested recently in how I can reduce my personal waste and be more ecologically responsible. Waste Not was a pretty decent book about steps individuals can take in order to throw away less. I didn’t read the entirety of the book but I did take away a number of things that I can do as an individual such as newspaper bin liners, having a set of my own cutlery, and challenging myself to go completely plastic free (which I am making a big effort to do).

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Book Bingo Update 6

non-fiction

The Joyful Frugalista by Serina Bird.

Okay, so I wanted to enjoy this book so much but I just couldn’t. The book is toted as a personal finance one that will help you grow your cash and be savvy with your money – it does neither.

Continue reading “Book Bingo Update 6”

My Life in Lists by Nicole Barlettano

My Life in Lists: An Illustrated Journal to Record Your Loves + Goals + Dreams!

by Nicole Barlettano.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.

|| Book Depository ||  Amazon  ||  Booktopia ||


Revolutionise the way you plan, create, and record your day-to-day experiences with My Life in Lists. Here, talented artist Nicole Barlettano has created beautifully illustrated collection pages for you to start filling in your thoughts, dreams, and lists of favourites as you push past planning into the wilder possibilities of a free-form journal.

Catalogue the rodeo of ideas and distractions constantly rattling around in your brain as you fill in these pages, with collections that include exercises in self-discovery and gratitude, but also a place to record important information and track your progress on ongoing projects.

Combining mindfulness with productivity, these thoughtfully designed collections will take you beyond basic journaling to help you manage your life in this crazy world:
Life Goals
Achievements & Milestones
Book Tracker
Music Tracker
Idea Page
Un-Do List
Dear Diary
Movie Tracker
Self Care To-Do List
Acts of Kindness
Travel Bucket List
Then vs. Now
Yearly Check-In/Resolutions
What Worked/What Didn’t

Improve every aspect of your life with this exceptionally useful journal. 

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: 7th May, 2019.

Length: 128 pages.

Series: N/A

Genre: Non-fiction. Self-help.

Read as: eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

My Life in Lists is a book that prompts you to pay attention to and to take note of a lot of different aspects of your life. It is also really pretty! Pretty lists: a match made in heaven 😍

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