How to Get Cozy, Embrace Imperfection, and Thrive in the Muck
by McKayla Coyle
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Pub Date 27 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 03 Aug 2023
Do you ever feel strange, gross, chaotic, underappreciated, or like you don’t quite fit in? Great news: you might be a goblin! That means your imperfections and idiosyncrasies are the most awesome things about you, and you can build a more harmonious life by accepting and honoring them—taking inspiration from the frogs, fungi, moss, rocks, and dirt that goblins love.
Goblin Mode includes life advice for celebrating physical and mental diversity, rejecting prejudice, and generally hanging on to a little joy. Can a mushroom give you fashion tips? Can a snail teach you to be a happier person? You bet they can—and in this book you’ll also learn to:
- Create a moss garden for your lair
- Grow and use medicinal plants
- Forage for berries (even in the city)
- Mend your cozy sweaters
- Display your cool rock collection
- And more!
Featuring 25 whimsical illustrations by Marian Churchland, Goblin Mode will help you rethink your relationship with your self, your home, your community, and the earth.
Average rating from 56 members
**Thank you to Quirk Books, the author, and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will be released on June 27, 2023.**
It is, perhaps, totally ridiculous to be reviewing a book in December that won’t release for another 6 months, but the moment I got approved for this eARC, I couldn’t help myself. I lasted all of 5 minutes before I indulged my goblin nature and cracked it open, so to speak.
Within the first few pages, the author perfectly sums up what goblincore is in a way that speaks to me on a personal level: “Goblincore is an aesthetic for those of us who are a bit too disorganized for minimalism, a bit too grungy for hygge, and probably a bit too sticky for anything else.” So, you know, finally a lifestyle book for me! And the sentiment behind that description really carries through each chapter—there are frequent reminders that being a goblin is all about embracing your individuality, your personal weirdness, doing things in a way that work for you, and, of course, connecting with nature and being a bit more sustainable.
There were three chapters that I enjoyed the most: Goblin Finery, Adorn Your Lair, and Gobin Market—also known as clothing, home decor, and foraging/gardening. This was like a perfect little capsule of some information I might have found elsewhere, like how to reevaluate your wardrobe and seek out what really makes you feel good and comfortable, what to do with the clothes that don’t serve you any more, and beginning mending tips. The same went for home section, and I really loved that the author provided alternatives for—just as an example—people who live in the desert who may have to lean towards succulents rather than mushrooms, or people who do prefer to live a more minimalist life by offering cleaning and organizing tips (and something I truly needed to hear: a reminder that you should not conflate cleanliness with morality). In general, the book is really good about acknowledging that not everything it contains will work for everyone and encourages experimentation to find your own individual interests and styles. As for the foraging and gardening chapter—well, I’m already trying to learn more about those two, and this book just cemented my desire to learn more and improve while also providing encouragement and little ways to bring greenery and nature inside in case I turn out to be… less than adequate at growing plants.
As I was reading, I noted (not a very goblin thing to do, I’ll admit) that I felt the introduction and first chapter felt the teensiest bit repetitive, but that quickly passes; as I said earlier, I do like the repeated affirmations that “Being a goblin is all about finding what empowers you and building a life around that” and the other ways that message is worded and expressed, so I figure I don’t have all that much room to complain about it. I also should say that although much of the content here doesn’t dig very deep, it’s clear from the outset that this is more of an introductory course than a goblin masterclass, and there are so many good books on each individual point of interest that’s brought up that anyone interested in further resources will definitely find something. This is especially important when it comes to foraging, canning, and animal care, because you don’t want to misidentify a mushroom or forget that pesticides are rampant if you’re city foraging, forget that you need new lids when canning, or not know how to take care of living being dependent on you! Goblins may be silly little guys, but they’re also responsible when it counts. It also should be mentioned that the “Goblin Problems” section is important, and that I particularly appreciate the author’s cautioning to avoid perpetuating antisemitic stereotypes of goblins because unfortunately, the two are often connected. So, this is something we should all keep in mind as we try to live our best goblin lives.
And now, if you will excuse me, I have a blanket nest to build and some wallowing to do as we close out the year.
Truly a lifestyle instructional book I can get behind. McKayla Cole he author sums up what goblincore that really resonates in my core: “Goblincore is an aesthetic for those of us who are a bit too disorganized for minimalism, a bit too grungy for hygge, and probably a bit too sticky for anything else.” My apartment is not made for the pinterest boards and that's something I used to feel bad about, after reading Goblincore I'm now somewhat annoyed by the perfectly staged and curated home photos on pinterest. Where is the personality?! Where are the little trinkets?! Let me live in my little hole. Hehehe
A really quirky, offbeat, and temporal take on self help and self improvement -- I really enjoyed McKayla's Cole's Goblin Mode! Though some of the recommendations seemed a bit strange to me, personally, I think it's a really warm embrace into a genre for many who may not normally flock to it.
I'm going to be honest: I didn't finish this one...because I put it on pre-order. What I have read of this book so far has convinced me that I need to own it. If you love mushrooms, moss, dirt, rocks, shiny things, being a little grungy and very comfy, this book is for you.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC.
If you've ever felt like you don't quite fit in, or that you're a little too weird for the average social group, then this book is for you. "Goblin Mode" encourages you to embrace your quirks and imperfections and live life according to the principles of community, diversity, proud weirdness, and joyful mess. I immediately wanted to read this book and I'm so glad I did. Goblin Mode offers little tidbits of life advice for celebrating physical and mental diversity, rejecting prejudice, and finding joy in the little things, but then it also teaches you fun skills like how to build a moss garden for your lair, grow medicinal plants, forage for berries, mend cozy sweaters, display your rock collection, and things like that. Even if you don't find you can apply each section to your life, there were enough pockets of quirkiness and sweetness in this book to make it well worth it.
The illustrations by Marian Churchland are whimsical and enchanting, and they perfectly capture the essence of what it means to embrace your inner goblin. Each page is bursting with color and creativity, making it impossible not to feel inspired. This is a perfect coffee table book for my besties that are all about the goblincore life. Whether you're a seasoned goblin or just starting to explore your inner weirdo, this book is guaranteed to leave you feeling inspired and empowered. I loved it and totally recommend it.
Thank you to Quirk Books, McKayla Coyle, and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for my honest thoughts. This book will be released on June 27, 2023.
This is just the cutest book I've ever seen. The writing is accessible and very "on theme" and the artwork is stunning. There are also surprisingly decent information in it as well. I find that a lot of these kinds of books are just cheap attempts to capitalize on a trend. Goblin Mode is actually very inspiring and informative. I already preordered my copy and plan on giving this as gifts to all the goblins in my life.
10/10 would recommend.
Many thanks to NetGalley for a free e-arc in exchange for an honest review.