My Favourite Books

I’ve blogged about my favourite anime so I thought that I would do the same with books.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849; HORROR/MYSTERY)

Poe inspired drawing of mine.

The Black Cat – I read this short story when I was 16. It was my first story by Poe.

The Cask of Amontillado – I felt chills!

The Masque of the Red Death – I see a lot of parallels between the prince and wealthy nobles from the story and some people from today AKA privileged people who attended parties during a pandemic.

The Tell-Tale Heart – I love horror stories told from the villain’s point of view the most. I want to know what they were thinking before, during, and after committing the murder.

Edogawa Rampo (1894 – 1965; HORROR/ASIA)

The Human Chair – Its elements are simple but it’s an effective horror story. I could not put the book down!

The Red Chamber – The protagonist talks about he was able to commit perfect crimes. It was incredibly interesting to read.

You can read my review here.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930; MYSTERY)

The Adventure of the Speckled Band – I own all of the Sherlock Holmes novels but this is my favourite Holmes story. It is a locked room mystery. It was scary!

The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane (TBR) – This is one of the two stories narrated by Holmes. It’s sitting on my desk.

Robert Louis Stevenson – The Strange Case of Jekyll Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)

As a child, I watched the Jekyll and Hyde inspired Bugs Bunny episodes. I fell in love with the musical songs during my second year of university. I bought the book and loved it.

Richard Dawkins – The Selfish Gene (1976; PSYC)

This is a book on evolution. Human nature and selfishness are things I’m super interested in. It was also referenced in the anime, Parayste. You can read my post on it here.

Osamu Dazai – No Longer Human (1948; ASIA)

This is the second best-selling novel in Japan. Dazai committed suicide not long after the book was published. You can read my review here.

Wu Cheng’en – Monkey (Earliest known edition was published in 1592; ASIA)

This is also known as The Journey to the West. Like most Chinese people, I grew up watching the live-action adaptations of the folk tale. It is regarded as one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. You can read my review of the first part here.

Marie Kondo – Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up (2016; SELF-HELP/ASIA)

This self-help book works. I started tidying up midway through the book! You can read my review here. Marie Kondo also has a show on Netflix.

Ryōgo Narita – Durarara!! (2004; LIGHT NOVEL/ASIA)

The anime is based on the light novel. My favourite anime character, Izaya, is from this series. I like the light novel for Izaya’s quotes.

Haruki Murakami (1949 – present; ASIA)

As you can tell from the books I’ve listed, I like older books. Murakami is my favourite contemporary author. I’m currently reading The Elephant Vanishes.

You can read my review of Men Without Women here.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales – Oscar Wilde (1888)

I blogged about parallels between The Happy Prince and a story told in the anime, Fruits Basket.

BOOKS I WANTED TO LIKE:

B. F. Skinner – Walden Two (1948; PSYC)

Victor Hugo – Notre-Dame de Paris (1831)

It’s a long book. Barely anything happened in the first 80 pages.

Edgar Allan Poe – The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841; HORROR)

This is described as the first modern detective story. The commentary in the beginning was very long. I didn’t like the end reveal.

TO BE READ (TBR):

Homer – The Odyssey (8th Century BCE; GREEK MYTH)

William Shakespeare – The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (First performed in 1599; PLAY)

Sophocles – Oedipus the King (429 BC; GREEK MYTH)

These books have been sitting in my room for a long, long time. This is why I buy my books.

[Book Review] Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

Title: Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

Author: Marie Kondo

Spark-Joy_300.jpg

Marie Kondo’s KonMari method has become very popular because of her Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. I started reading my copy of “Spark Joy” before her show was released, and in this post I will talk about this book and her show.

A bit about the KonMari method: The basic idea is to gather all the possessions in each category (clothes are one category, for example) into one place in the house. Then, one by one you feel the item close to your heart and decide if that item sparks joy for you. If it does, keep it and store it properly in your house. If it does not spark joy for you, thank it and donate it.

“Spark Joy” is a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to tidy up belongings in the house, such as steps on folding clothes, and organizing the items in each category. Kondo also has the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” I haven’t read that one, and I’m not sure if I need to because honestly, I think that one book is enough.

Since Kondo has her show, does that mean that reading her books are not necessary? You should watch at least one episode of her show if you have Netflix, and if you buy into the KonMari method, watch more episodes. You may find that simply watching the show is enough to tidy up your home, closet and workspace. However, if you really want a more in-depth guide and if you believe in the KonMari method, then I recommend that you buy the book(s). I often see many misconceptions on social media and even in videos on Kondo’s teachings, but I assume that those people have only watched the show (or haven’t watched the show at all). The book addresses all those misconceptions.

My personal opinion is that the KonMari method works. I know this, because I’ve tried it myself. After reading her book halfway, I became motivated to tidy up and ended up donating four bags of clothes. I used to keep clothes because they were cute, even though I never wore them. They didn’t actually spark joy but I used to feel that it would be a waste to get rid of them. I don’t miss anything I donated, and Kondo talks about that. I also bought a sock organizer and three boxes to store my belongings. These ideas were from her book. I feel more relaxed in my room now because, 1) there is joy and 2) there is less clutter.

Overall, I love the KonMari method. I don’t follow everything religiously, and I do think that we should all be critical readers and viewers. We have the ability to pick and choose what we think will work for us, but the general idea of the KonMari method has value. Kondo’s Netflix show may be sufficient, but if you want more information then I recommend reading “Spark Joy.”