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A Cluttered Life: Searching for God, Serenity, and My Missing Keys

3.15  ·  Rating details ·  40 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
A Cluttered Life tells the story of Pesi Dinnerstein’s touching, quirky, and often comic search for order and simplicity amid an onslaught of relentless interruptions. When a chance encounter with an old acquaintance opens her eyes to the extent of the disorder that has crept into every corner of her existence, she begins a quest to free herself of the excess baggage she c ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Seal Press
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Michele Harrod
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
OK, I really wanted to like this book, and I actually did for the first half. As a bit of a hoarder/clutterer myself, I even got quite inspired half way to start clearing out some of my own 'stuff' - (and I did). But then, this author just goes on, and on, and on... to the point I actually really, really wanted to whack her upside of the head and tell her to get her act together. Sorry, but I have ADHD, and she just needs to have some of my Ritalin - in fact, ALL of my Ritalin, and some. And the ...more
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
I suppose it's unfair to rate this book without finishing it, but I'm not going to right now. I got about 43 pages into it and just don't want to read any more about this woman's experience. She and her smarty-pants friends kind of just irritate me. I guess the truth is the book disappointed me. I thought, from the title, that it would be witty and amusing and it was neither. At least not enough for my taste. She has a life filled with clutter, both real and metaphorical (don't most of us) and g ...more
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pesi Dinnerstein has written a memoir that enchants, engages, confounds, mesmerizes, amuses and charms the soul.

How can one book be all these things? Because Pesi Dinnerstein, through her writing, is all these things.

Pesi is a woman in search of more than a way to declutter her life -- she is in search of peace, clarity and yes, her keys.

Before the reader turns to Chapter 1, he or she is captured by a quote from Carl Jung: "In all chaos there is a cosmos; in all disorder a secret order."

May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Not only is this a memoir about clutter, but it's also a memoir about finding God in ordinary acts of living, and though the love of friends.

There are (unintentionally) funny parts, when I find myself urging Pesi to keep the entire shoe box of keys because, what if she needs to open something?, but I found myself wincing at the fact that she is always, perpetually late. I hate lateness. (And I do know why.)

The insights Pesi has about her own clutter really hit home for me. They may not for you,
Tanya W
Okay, I think I only read the intro and found a quote/note about it that I like...

"Piles of unfinished business disturbing my concentration in this world [are] probably blocking my way in higher worlds as well. My chronic struggle with clutter keeps me too preoccupied with the physical world to focus on anything that transcends it."

Great introductin rcognizing our ongoing human struggle and identifying a reason to keep striving for simplicity even thouh it's an ongoing journey. I like this phras
Katie Tucker
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
A charming, funny, frustrating (in a good way), enlightening read. It is written with great honesty and wit. I really enjoyed following along with the author's battle with clutter. It also had the welcome side affect of making me feel infinitely better about my tendency to clutter, while also giving me a strong desire to clean my apartment. Beware if reading in public, you may find yourself desperately wanting to shout out "Just throw away the damn box of keys"!
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I usually do not like memoirs but I found this one highly engaging and readable. For a woman so plagued by clutter and chaos, Dinnerstein writes with a clarity and control that belies the premise of the book. Also, let's not forget the humor and emotional honesty that makes her story a deep investigation into the ways we assign meaning to our physical possessions and the notion that these things somehow come to define who we are.

Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marlene M Penner
Sep 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, first-reads
Well, I had a hard time getting through the book. It just didn't keep my attention like I wish it would have. Pesi had a lot of good reflections but just not enough to keep me engaged. I liked her style of writing and I feel the book flowed well.
Barbara Brockhaus
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Makes you really think about the clutter. But, you have to do more than just think about it.
Adrienne Amborski
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting memoir that was well written, an English professor with time and clutter management. The addition of a trip to the Holy Land kept my interest.

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