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Slow is Beautiful: New Visions of Community, Leisure and Joie de Vivre
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Slow is Beautiful: New Visions of Community, Leisure and Joie de Vivre

3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews

We’re hammered, we’re slammed, we’re out of control. Happiness is on the decline in the most affluent country in the world, and Americans are troubled by the destructiveness of a lifestyle devoted to money and status. Yet no one seems to have a clue how to exit from the fast lane.
Slow is Beautiful analyzes the subtle consumer and political and corporate forces stamping th
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by New Society Publishers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 22, 2010 Gloria rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Voluntary Simplicity Enthusiasts
This is an opinionated musing on what is wrong with America in the author's eyes. She strongly conveys her concern over our time-starved lifestyle and urges us all to slow way down to create meaning, health, and community. Mostly this is good advice and it is hard to argue with most of the content. However, she also strongly points to government policies and the religious right as being the cause of all our angst and this seems a bit unfair. She is a protestor and she doth protest loudly here. S ...more
Gina Varga
Feb 09, 2009 Gina Varga rated it it was amazing
This was an interesting read. I have always been interested in the voluntary simplicity movement and she is definitely one of the pioneers. This book is less a how to manual and more a collection of thoughts on the way we are living our lives, especially in the United States. I agree with pretty much all she has to say, though she is quite outspoken about her opinions and seems to have lost the quality of having an open mind. Two concepts really struck a chord with me. The first is the idea of a ...more
Diane Jensen
Apr 07, 2009 Diane Jensen rated it did not like it
This sounds like a lovely book, but then you begin to read it and realize the author cannot stop ranting about how conservatives have caused every problem in this world. I'm very liberal, but her bashing bored me after awhile - it took the place of substance. I wanted to read a book about slowing down and learning how to enjoy my life at a slower pace. What I got was a political book that was really shrill in tone. If I want to read about conservatism and it's faults, there are better books out ...more
Karen A.
Nov 03, 2012 Karen A. added it
Shelves: nevermind
After taking a look at the first two reviews below - I realize I don't have time for this. Enticing title though...
Jan 10, 2017 Dawn rated it did not like it
So much ranting. I really wanted to push through it, but I stopped about 20 pages short when she suggested placed the blame for a school shooting on a student prayer groups who were the target.

Slow is, indeed, beautiful. But don't read this book if you want to know why.
Erika RS
Jan 23, 2013 Erika RS rated it it was ok
Finished Slow is Beautiful: New visions of community, leisure, and joie de vivre by Cecile Andrews. In this book Andrews motivates the idea of the "slow life" and discusses some way of slowing down your own life.

The central claim of this book is that the "fast" life does not lead to happiness. The constant chase after more money, more status, and more stuff decreases happiness rather than increases it. Some people find the fast life satisfying, but it is increasingly clear that the universal emp
Nov 24, 2011 Becca rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
This book had a really interesting discussion of the research about happiness, and the message about dropping out of the consumerist, materialistic, work-driven society resonates with me. I liked that about it, if for no other reason than it was preaching to my choir. I'm not very into New Age type stuff, so the discussion of the universe was vaguely annoying, but not awful. I think one can promote the idea of slowing down from a purely pragmatic perspective, without having to discuss being one ...more
Apr 06, 2013 CynthiaA rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was a disappointment. I approve and applaud the principles that the author is promoting, but she wrapped them in such contempt for conservative values and made outrageous assumptions about how conservatives "might" behave if only they werent, you know... conservatives. I was looking for a book with pragmatic suggestions for balancing work-life demands. I didn't find anything pragmatic in this book. Her idea of building community amounted to organizing political and socialist activities ...more
Checked this one out from the library and decided not to delve too deeply into it after reading the intro. The title's purpose is pretty fantastic. The intro? Judgmental and negative, with big presumptuous leaps. (And this is coming from a non-conservative who also doesn't drive an SUV. ;D) She even deemed laughing yoga participants sad, tsk. When I flipped through the book, each sentence I landed on seemed to be much of the same, but I didn't read enough to give it an accurate, truthful review. ...more
Aug 27, 2007 Kelly is currently reading it
Recommends it for: everyone
I like this book. I really really like this book. She has also written books on Voluntary Simplicity. One things I like about this book is the fact that it is a compilation of information on what makes people happy and it shows that it is not about how much money you have. It really hard to describe it it quickly. I don't have a whole lot of time, right now to say it eloquently. One important point she makes is that people in countries where there is not a large gap between the rich and poor, ev ...more
Nov 07, 2012 Ellen rated it really liked it
Shelves: thinking
"Yes, we're bored...we're all bored now. But did it ever occur to you, Wally, that the process that creates this boredom we all see now may very well be the result of a self-perpetuating, unconscious form of brainwashing created by a worldwide totalitarian government based on money, and that all of this is much more dangerous than one things, and that it's not just a question of individual survival, but that someone who is bored is asleep, and somebody who's asleep will not say so?...
I think Ne
Kevin Orpana
Sep 23, 2012 Kevin Orpana rated it liked it
I found this book ok and a blend between the 'slow living' literature and the 'simple living' literature. However, I would not say that it was the best book in either genre. Sometimes the points made seemed to be tangentially linked to research and/or more opinion or paradigm/slant of the author. Where the book does seem to excel is in the well sited historical references pertaining to leisure; the slow life; etc. Overall, I’d say this is worth a read if you’ve already several books on both the ...more
Feb 18, 2009 Alissa rated it liked it
In this book, Cecile Andrews explores why we (Americans) are so unhappy, and how we can begin to live a more joyful and fulfilling life. The problem I had with this book is that, for a Portlander, her arguments are as obvious as breathing. We're all used to eating locally and organic, being green, enjoying leisure time, etc. No one I know here fits her description of the typical American "victim": the overworked corporate type who relaxes by watching TV and going to the mall. However, it would m ...more
Jeffrey Rice
Mar 01, 2016 Jeffrey Rice rated it it was ok
I am 16 pages in and the author has made a point to mention on every single page that she is the biggest liberal in the nation. Regular jabs at Republican Presidents and passive aggressive comments about wealthy folks...

"about 35 percent of people in this country believe that they will one day be among the top 1 percent of income earners! (Obviously it's one of the reasons that people haven't risen up to oppose the multiple tax cuts given to the rich and privileged during the Bush administration
Jul 08, 2008 Jill rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I enjoyed the parts of this book that dealt with happiness - what it is, where its found, how it is manifested. However, the author of this book uses a negative tone throughout the book and does a lot of republican-bashing. I'm not a republican, but I didn't feel that it was appropriate or necessary for her to get her point across. As I have read in other reviews, a more appropriate title would be 'Fast is Ugly'.
Aug 03, 2008 Sherry rated it liked it
I'm not sure this writer is practicing what she preaches because she spent a lot of time bashing republicans. Too much time in my taste. However, I do like the ideas presented about building community and she is constantly quoting other books she's read on the subject, many of which I would now like to read.
Aug 28, 2007 Lisalis marked it as to-read
I saw Cecile Andrews speak at the Green Festival in SF and was so inspired by her. I read a few chapters of this book... really great stuff for anyone who is interested in the voluntary simplicity movement and for anyone who is interested in just slowing down to have more meaningful relationships with others and the earth.
Amy Buringrud
May 30, 2007 Amy Buringrud rated it it was ok
There's really nothing wrong with this book except that the title is misleading - it should be "Fast is Ugly" since I think the author is much more concerned with the ills of our society than the potential for joy in choosing a "slow life."
Mar 02, 2013 Anastasia rated it liked it
I don't know... I've been trying to read this book for years, as in I pick it up for a few days, but it always feels like a bit of a chore. There are a few good ideas and facts in there, but I just don't find it engaging.
Dan Jardine
Jul 12, 2013 Dan Jardine rated it really liked it
Full of solid, commonsensical ideas about how to slow our lives down so that we live authentic and meaningful lives. Andrews is not the most polished prose stylist, but she makes up for it with a thesis that is well researched and clearly defined.
Sep 13, 2015 Jackie marked it as life-is-too-short
About 1/2 done and quitting. I don't have the energy to listen to all that complaining. Seems quite at odds with a supposed topic. I kept waiting to get to the beauty and joie de vivre and still hadn't found it. I can get more joie de vivre reading a novel.
A really great book, written by a local (Seattle) author about why Americans are so unhappy and how they can reclaim their overworked lives.
Sean Goh
Jun 18, 2013 Sean Goh rated it liked it
The Slow life revolves around 3 Rs:

Laughter is a refusal to be overcome by life, a sense of humour shows you don't take things too seriously.

Jun 05, 2008 Maggie rated it it was ok
A little heavy on the anecdotes. Lots of good stuff lifted from great writers/thinkers.
Nov 24, 2015 Skye added it
Written with a heavy hand. I believe the author had good intentions but this came out rather forceful and preachy. Not for everyone.
Apr 13, 2008 Vicki is currently reading it
I heard this woman speak at the Green Festival in Seattle and she was hysterical, inspirational and intriguing. I bought the book and can not wait to read it! :)
Feb 24, 2009 Claire rated it it was ok
good message, boring and pedantic writing.
May 28, 2015 Kathleen rated it liked it
Shelves: simplicity
I felt the author kept adding intellectual thoughts which made me tire of reading this book. However, the book motivated me to keep reading other books and make good use of my leisure time.
Sep 21, 2011 Kathryn rated it did not like it
To politicy.
Wendy rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2012
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