Books of 2019 – Number 14 and 15 – The Power by Naomi Alderman and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This is probably one of the odder combinations of books to read and finish simultaneously. To be fair, I have had the Tidy book going for awhile as my insomnia/phone book, but I did finish them within hours of each other.

Naomi Alderman’s The Power is the book that my book club will discuss next month. When I put out choices for the members to select from, this was the book that got the most votes – with both men and women selecting it. I was not one of those voters. The book lives up to its press. It is written really well and the story it tells is gripping and chilling. As a reader, I turned the pages to see what could get worse in the world that she was creating, and she never disappointed. Alderman tells the story of reversal. At some point in time, women develop a power when a band of tissue –  the sheath – forms across their chests. The sheath yields power – an ability to electrically stun when it is harnessed. Some women have more power or a better control over their power, but all women come to have it. Initially, the power is used to take out bad men who hurt women, but then it begins to be used to take over and rule ugly. There is corruption and abuse and terror and humiliation and ego. The line that rings out is that it all happened because it could. That is always the answer. It was really a chilling story – Margaret Atwood dystopia turned to 11. With the world in the straights that it is in these days, I dream too often of apocalyptic events and our resulting world. The Power is a very good book, but I wish I didn’t have the story now feeding into my already active bad dream machine.

On a completely different bent was Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I am late to coming to this book, but I felt like I had to read it to understand what lots of people around me were talking about. Okay, and let’s face it, I wanted to do some tidying up. I am a person who tends to be a clutterer, but I have a real desire to be organized and neat and tidy. I love my house so much, but I like it best when things are in their place and it exudes coziness. The book did not change my life, but it provided some practical advice on how to take this magic on, and why it is important. I have a bunch of things around me that I don’t need and that do not spark a lick of joy. I am working on getting rid of them. I KonMari’d my clothes and the local thrift stores will get a nice donation because of it. I’m still working on it, and I appreciate the book for what it was.

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