Friday, July 10, 2020

Book Reviews | Creative & Inspirational

It looks like many of us around the world will continue to spend a good bit of time at home in the coming weeks as we see spikes in the number of new coronavirus cases. During the past several months, I've been reading through the books on my to-read bookshelf as well as re-reading books from our personal library here at home. So, this week I'll be catching up and sharing reviews of the books I've read this year with the hope that you'll find one or two of interest to keep you inspired or entertained in the days ahead. Today's offering includes books to inspire you in life and creativity.

I have quite a few inspirational books about scrapbooking, art journaling, and crafting. These books reside on a shelf in my craft room where I can pick them up and thumb through for inspiration and ideas. I'm currently re-reading through these books as I decide which ones to keep and which ones can be passed along or donated. The two I'm sharing today are definitely keepers.


The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker by Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvey is a beautiful book with ideas for organizing all your scrapbooking supplies. Reading through everything is a little monotonous as each chapter has a similar format, but it's a keeper for the inspiration and variety of ideas for storing and displaying supplies in a way that work for your crafting style.

From the book's description: Creative chaos can overwhelm and frustrate scrapbookers, and this book is a dynamic tool designed to help individuals fit the hobby neatly and beautifully into their homes and lifestyles. Tips, quizzes, and up-close looks at the workspaces of successful, productive scrapbookers will help anyone discover and embrace their unique approach to memory keeping; use this understanding to organize everything from photos and memorabilia to products, tools, and reference materials; find storage solutions that work; and surround themselves with inspiration that energizes and sustains.

The Big Picture by Stacy Julian is a compilation of scrapbooking ideas including page layouts and mini-albums. Stacy shares a page or project and explains the story or other inspiration for creating it. Once again, reading through is not as inspirational as simply flipping through for ideas. While the pages were created in the early 2000s, and thus reflect the scrapbooking styles during those years, the ideas and why behind the pages are still relevant and inspiring.

From the book's description: If you've ever looked at your piles of pictures and felt overwhelmed, behind or uninspired, you'll find a true friend in Stacy Julian. The Big Picture is all about helping you discover your potential, not only as a Scrapbooker, but as a creative human being.

Inspirational books are specifically designed to uplift and entertain.

This was my second time to read Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindburg, and I thoroughly enjoyed this small volume of thoughts again before passing it on to a friend.

Here are the thoughts I shared after my first reading in 2018: I really wasn't sure what to expect when I began Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I had picked up a copy of the book after reading the The Aviator's Wife a couple of years ago. I knew that Anne had spent time at the seashore and written this book in the 1950s, and someone at our book club meeting mentioned that it was a beautifully written book. I was pleasantly surprised with this short book and the thoughts on simplicity, solitude, contemplation, creativity, etc, that are still relevant to our lives today.

Have you read any of these books? Please share your thoughts in the comments, along with your suggestions for additional creative and inspirational books.


  1. I have read Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book, Gift from the Sea. It was recommended by another author in her book.

  2. I have both the scrapbooking books, and I would say I have seriously skimmed both of them - I tend to treat craft books more like magazines than regular books that would be read straight through. I have read Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift From The Sea a long time ago, and thought it was overrated. It is still on my shelf. Maybe since it is so short I will give it another try because apparently I am missing something everybody is getting. Or maybe I'll just cheat and read the study guides. ;-)


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