Oh my gosh what a chore to finish! I'll echo what another reviewer said: this chick is bat-shit crazy. There is a continual emphasis to discard/disposOh my gosh what a chore to finish! I'll echo what another reviewer said: this chick is bat-shit crazy. There is a continual emphasis to discard/dispose of/get rid of/garbage/rubbish. By contrast, I counted only six mentions (in passing) of "donate" and three mentions of "recycle". She never even mentioned selling used items. One person I know insisted this was an error in translation, but I disagree. If donation were important to the author, she would have dedicated at least a chapter to it. A paragraph. Something. To ask people to dispose of usable items is wasteful to the point to vulgar, in my opinion. I assume the author would insist people might have second thoughts or rebound if stuff was still in the vicinity. But what about a used item giving joy to a new owner? She should have discussed donation options--where and how to donate or sell. As it is, this book perpetuates an already disposable-minded generation. At one point she talks about saving a file of her favorite quotes by tearing pages out of books then throwing the books away. Gross. Am I supposed to applaud that or want to emulate that? That certainly wouldn't give me joy.
She is not only OCD, but she keeps insisting her methods of organizing are "the proper way". Minimalism, in her mind, leads to a slimmer figure, a happier countenance. Um, what about artists like me who NEED to keep papers and supplies for projects? I was hoping to get organizing ideas. Instead I got "use a shoebox". Seriously? If I threw away my supplies, I'd have to go out and buy new every time I started a new project. I might not need that paint for another two years, but I'll probably get around to using it, so I'm keeping it. Too, I get a lot of joy from stuff. I love memorial projects that utilize trinkets from childhood, photographs, old letters. Few things are more important to me. The author seems as cold as I imagine her surroundings to be, devoid of sentimentality and depth. She also several times references peer pressure to not keep silly things as it's embarrassing. Or she's embarrassed by items she saved in the past. What?
She also goes into depth about inanimate objects having feelings. Dump out the contents of your purse every night, she says. Tell it you appreciate all the work it has done today, and give it a rest. Um, cue cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs sound. What the serious fuck? Granted, there are some cultural differences. I can understand feng shui and its value, along with manifesting and all that. But results are going to come from my attitude and action, not from talking to my house and my drawers. It's ironic that she gives objects empathy and yet easily discards them. "Even if you throw it away or burn it (page 192), it will only leave behind the energy of wanting to be of service. Freed from its physical form, it will move about your world as energy, letting other things know that you are a special person..." Uh, sounds like a way to assuage guilt to me. How about donating it instead? Cultural differences are also reflected in saying dry your sponges out on your veranda. Um, most of us don't have a veranda in the US, and we sure as Hell ain't drying our sponges outside.
Cons: Joy isn't just in things we "need". Joy comes in many forms for many different reasons, and none of those reasons are "wrong". Comments like, "you will never use spare buttons" (page 111) is ludicrous for someone who sews, for example. Some ideas are just idiotic, like taking all the pics out of your photo albums so you can toss some. What a waste of time, and what a sad loss when you'll wish you had those back in the future. I personally can't fathom throwing photos away. "The meaning of a photo lies in the excitement and joy you feel when taking it" (page 119). Uh, tell that to Ansel Adams. Pfffssshhh.
Pros: The idea of keeping only the objects that spark joy makes sense. Also the idea of creating a sanctuary space is true.
Overall, I found her judgmental, with an idea that objects=garbage, and a sterile space is a good space. Her way or the highway. This coming from someone who grew up cleaning her room for fun, instead of playing with other kids. I don't understand the popularity of this book, nor the de-cluttering trend people are wearing like a badge of honor. Also in her rush to eliminate the idea of using any fancy storage methods, she misses the point that a lot of paper that people are saving can be scanned into computer files (saved recipes, for example), or onto Pinterest boards. Not everything should be thrown away. Objects are reflections of people's personalities, and the more the merrier in my opinion. I might enjoy looking at a minimalist space, but I would never want to live in one. I lived with a woman once who wouldn't allow any items on the countertops, no magnets on the fridge. The place was a cold as she was, and I moved out in two months. No thank you....more
Culinary novels are my favorite books to read, especially when they have a magical twist and include recipes. Sure, it's an easy, predictable read, buCulinary novels are my favorite books to read, especially when they have a magical twist and include recipes. Sure, it's an easy, predictable read, but I enjoyed it nevertheless....more
Aarrggh. This was actually a chore to finish. I listened to the audiobook, and maybe (? I don't know) I'd have liked it better had I read it. The probAarrggh. This was actually a chore to finish. I listened to the audiobook, and maybe (? I don't know) I'd have liked it better had I read it. The problem, for me, was the author read the audio, and I just didn't find her likeable. At all. There was a handful of interesting stories, but ultimately something that was supposed to be inspiring was just the opposite....more
**spoiler alert** I listened to the audiobook, and enjoyed it up until the last disc. I would have rated it a 4-4.5 stars. Then it's like a different**spoiler alert** I listened to the audiobook, and enjoyed it up until the last disc. I would have rated it a 4-4.5 stars. Then it's like a different author stepped in at the final chapters. Seance? (eye roll). Then she dies? What? Disappointing....more
It took me awhile to get invested. Maybe the organization is off. The first third bored me, then Tennessee and Kenya finally grabbed my attention. JusIt took me awhile to get invested. Maybe the organization is off. The first third bored me, then Tennessee and Kenya finally grabbed my attention. Just so-so. ...more
I couldn't get into this. Couldn't get invested in the characters. It was like reading an auto mechanics manual--I kept glazing over. Listened to sixI couldn't get into this. Couldn't get invested in the characters. It was like reading an auto mechanics manual--I kept glazing over. Listened to six CDs and gave up. ...more
Absolutely one of the best audiobooks I've ever heard. I can't believe it was just read by one man. So many voices! I admit I initially hesitated at tAbsolutely one of the best audiobooks I've ever heard. I can't believe it was just read by one man. So many voices! I admit I initially hesitated at the TWENTY SIX discs (the previous audiobook I'd listened to had been five CDs), but I am so glad I took the time. The descriptives emote every sound, smell, feeling, texture. You can see what he's seeing. As an art student, I appreciate how a painting can get under your skin; affect your mood. I'm so sad it's over--I want to know more! ...more
I was drawn to the title and the cover, but for some reason the blurb on the back didn't resonate. For months I ignored it, then on a whim bought a haI was drawn to the title and the cover, but for some reason the blurb on the back didn't resonate. For months I ignored it, then on a whim bought a hardcover copy at a library's used book store. Then I couldn't put it down. Maybe because I appreciate antiques and the stories they tell. I love that this was all about the stories we create and inspire in one another as we cross paths. My favorite quote is actually an African expression, that translates to "as I go I am wearing you". Meaning the inevitable mark we leave on one another. So too, objects carry significance, loved by people who once owned them--perhaps a jewel sparkled and caught someone's eye, or a postcard inspired a memory, or an object raised its proverbial hand as being the perfect gift for a loved one. Symbols carry meaning and inspiration as well. A Phoenix, a starfish, garnet earrings...symbols of moments in time; stories of life. I love surrounding myself with collectibles and antiques because a home should reflect YOU and not the latest trend. History has value, as do objects, whether beautiful art or sentimental keepsakes. The stories associated with these things, these time capsules, and the people that touched them are so interesting to me. These characters felt like friends. I loved this book....more