A sensible approach to tidying up by getting rid of all the excess stuff so many of us possess. However, I found some parts so ridiculous I was laughiA sensible approach to tidying up by getting rid of all the excess stuff so many of us possess. However, I found some parts so ridiculous I was laughing while washing dishes. I am NOT going to start greeting my apartment when I come home, or thanking my clothes for keeping me warm. The ten to 20 minutes she spends discussing how to store handbags had me talking back to my ipod, telling her she needed to take her own advice and get rid of some of those handbags. One handbag seems like all one should need. At most, one everyday bag, maybe one hiking/camping bag and one dressy bag. Handbags are the most egregious example, but in general, I'd say she has some issues in the importance she places on possessions and the sentience she attributes to them.
Her idea of only keeping things that spark joy has some merit, certainly for books, memorabilia, and knick-knacks. Or in my case, maybe some of my yarn stash. But a lot of other things I keep for practicality. My computer printer doesn't spark joy, but I need it. My tent doesn't spark joy, but camping does, so I need my tent. So, eh. I do need to have a good sort thru all my stuff and I'll bare her method in mind while I do so, but like so many self-help books, she takes a decent idea to the extreme, rendering it a little ridiculous....more
Okay, but not what I was expecting. Not much actual ghost and not as much desert southwest as the description led me to expect. There is a long digresOkay, but not what I was expecting. Not much actual ghost and not as much desert southwest as the description led me to expect. There is a long digression into European history, especially the fate of distant relatives in the holocaust. Another long digression into the state of medicine in the late 19th/early 20th century. I also didn't like aspects of the author's voice, a little too cloying, trying a little too hard to put deep meaning into things. Not a bad book, but not for me....more
Parts of this book are quite informative and interesting. I suspect I should eliminate or at least reduce my wheat consumption, or maybe just reduce rParts of this book are quite informative and interesting. I suspect I should eliminate or at least reduce my wheat consumption, or maybe just reduce refined carbohydrates, but parts of the book were so alarmist that the contrarian in me wants to keep eating wheat. The author falls into the common error of oversimplification, reducing the US's health and weight problems to one cause. Wheat = BAD in this book. No, wheat = EVIL, bad isn't a strong enough term. He cites an odd mixture of academic studies and anecdotes, as best fits his argument. And that's the real problem. The book left me with the distinct impression that he started with the assumption that wheat is the root of all our health problems and went in search of whatever evidence he could find to support that contention. Studies, anecdotes, whatever. He continually cites the correlation between the recommendations of a low-fat diet high in whole grains and our current obesity epidemic, but never does he present any evidence that people actually following those recommendations are the obese (see the spurious correlation blog at http://www.tylervigen.com/ for some hilarious examples of correlations). He continually condemns the recommendation to eat healthy whole grains, putting real snark into it, but cites no evidence as to what percentage of Americans are actually eating whole grains vs. products made from refined white flour, never mind following other dietary recommendations to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
TL;DR Some interesting points, but overall piss-poor science. Don't make health decisions on this guy's say-so....more
Started this on paper over a year ago, but had to return it to the library when I was about halfway through. It was in that in-between rating place, wStarted this on paper over a year ago, but had to return it to the library when I was about halfway through. It was in that in-between rating place, worth reading but not high on my list, so it took a while to get back to. Finally got around to finishing it in audio form. Read by the author, who is not bad for a non-professional narrator. Not great, but acceptable.
The book itself is interesting. I think if I'd finished it last year I might have rated it higher. The ideas in this book have been hashed over a lot in the last year, so parts just felt trite and repetitive. A year ago it might have been more original and interesting. The dangers of a topical book. But still relatively well written and worth the read. I especially enjoyed the stories of the lives everyday folks that are woven throughout the book, illustrating the social/political/economic trends the author is discussing.