Capital Region Reads: Examining clutter, and trying out a different life

Jennifer Howard and her book, "Clutter: An Untidy History."
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Jennifer Howard and her book, "Clutter: An Untidy History."

As we get closer to spring, Alison Starkey, a librarian at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library, recommends a book that explores clutter and various “de-clutter” movements. For those who are more in the mood for an escape from spring cleaning, Starkey also recommends a new novel from Matt Haig. 

“Clutter: An Untidy History” by Jennifer Howard 

Clutter, and what to do about it? The author is left with the unsavory task of clearing out her mother’s cluttered house after decades of acquiring and storing a mountain of purchases and discarded trash. 

Journalist by trade, Howard shares her research into the history of clutter culture, beginning with the Victorians. She examines consumer lifestyle, the explosion of “tidying-up” and the movements to de-clutter to improve home life, mental health and the environment. This concise read brings context and consciousness to a hoarding habit someone ultimately has to deal with. Marie Kondo fans will appreciate Howard’s examination into where all this clutter-making comes from.

“The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig 

What if you think you missed the boat and got the chance to try out a different life? Nora thinks so and is given the opportunity to slip in to different lives from a magical library, stocked with infinite variations of her own life. Matt Haig has written about the possibility of redressing one’s regrets beyond our human-bound capabilities, or has he? Both an adventure and introspection, this tale is intriguing and inspiring. Fans of fantasy and philosophy will enjoy this book!

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, Entertainment

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