Olivia Folmar Ard

Book Reviews

Here, I will share with you my 3.5, 4- and 5-star reads. Let's fangirl together! 

Note: Unfortunately, I am no longer able to accept review requests. Between writing, working full-time, attending courses for my second bachelor's degree,  and freelance projects, I just don't have the time. Once I finish reading and reviewing the ARCs I've already received, I will be reviewing personal library items only.

When the Timer Dings by Katharine Grubb

If there is a sequel to Write A Novel in Ten Minutes A Day, this is it!

If you write (or paint, or read, or crochet, or watch television) in 10-minute increments, then you know what will happen. The timer is going to ding after 10 minutes and you'll have to go back to your to-do lists and your reality. But if your tasks are overwhelming, your stuff is in the way or you've forgotten your plan then you've lost your motivation to do what you really want with your time. This book gives you practical tips on how to organize your foundational truth, attitudes, people, time, stuff, tools, margins and fails so that you go through your day with order and determination. 

This is more than a time management book. This is a confidence management book. You are more than your to-do lists. You are more than your obligations. You are more than your tasks. You have the potential to make some major changes in your life. You have the power to be organized and make more time for the people and passions that you love.

Your dreams are worth ten minutes, but the rest of your life is worth so much more.

You can grab your life by its hand and say, "I'm the boss of you! Let's get busy!"


My Review


As a follow-up to her first nonfiction book, Write A Novel in 10 Minutes A Day, the original 10 Minute Novelist Katharine Grubb hits it out of the park with When the Timer Dings. I originally agreed to read the book as a favor to Katharine, and to myself really--no matter the subject, I always enjoy Katharine's witty, honest, engaging style of writing. Any time I read something of hers, whether it's a Facebook post, a newsletter, or a novel, I end up laughing out loud, and when I finally put it down, I feel like we've just shared a nice conversation over a languorous cup of tea. 

Time management has never been my strong suit, so I'll be honest when I say that I wasn't particularly interested in this book before I started reading it. After all, if I read something about time management, it's almost a guarantee that at least one of my many bad habits will be addressed and I'll feel guilted into doing something about it. But shortly after reading the book's intro, I knew I wasn't just doing an admired author a favor. I was doing myself one, as well. 

Since finishing When the Timer Dings a few days ago, here are the things that have happened: 

  1. I can see my bedroom floor (well, more than what was required for two adults and one cat to successfully exit the room) for the first time since we moved in. 
  2. My pantry is organized in such a way that cooking will no longer be an overwhelming obligation.
  3. I've gotten writing and editing work done in a fraction of the time that it used to take me. 
  4. I actually look forward to cleaning and organizing, instead of dreading and ignoring what needs to be done. 
  5. I feel energized and empowered to make my home, work, and life the best they can be. 


This book is by no means a magic bullet. It's just a set of guidelines, composed thoughtfully and with care and personal experience. But if you struggle with time management, like I do, and you're willing to open yourself up to self-evaluation, (possible) self-criticism, and (definite) conviction, I heartily recommend you read this right away. Our time on this earth is limited. You owe it yourself to make the most of what you have. 

I received a complimentary ARC from the author, with whom I am acquainted over social media, in exchange for an honest review. I have since also purchased a personal copy.