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L'art de la Simplicité: How to Live More with Less

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  3,917 ratings  ·  526 reviews
To simplify your life is to enrich it. Discover the magic of simplicity in this international bestseller.

Biographical Notes

Dominique Loreau is a French essayist who has lived in Japan since the 1970s. After fully adopting the Japanese way of life, she now offers seminars for those who want to simplify their lives. L'art de la Simplicite was published in France in 2005 by
...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published 2008 (first published 2005)
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 ·  3,917 ratings  ·  526 reviews


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Stacia
Mar 26, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I said it as I was reading it & now that I have finished, I can confirm it is true... L’art de la Simplicité: How to Live More with Less is my Wuthering Heights of simplicity books. Some of you know how I feel about Wuthering Heights. (If you don't, read on...)

I like reading simplicity books. They're kind of soothing fluff for me, light, inspiring, etc.... But, this is not the case here. Supposedly this is a melding of her French sensibilities with her love of Japanese zen/simplicity, but it's a
...more
Malgorzata
Probably the most annoying book I've read in a long time. Patronising, full of stereotypes and advice that's not exacly good or healthy. The only thing I liked were the recipes for homemade beauty treatments - hence the 2-star rating. ...more
James
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
‘L’art de la Simplicitie’ (2005) by Dominique Loreau is a book which came to me as highly recommended, which is sadly why it turned out to be all the more disappointing than anticipated.

The subtitle and basic premise to Loreau’s book is essentially – ‘how to live more with less’ – which is of course a laudable and admirable one. We all know that a life of excess and the accumulation of multiple possessions and material wealth is not the road to happiness. The idea of simplifying life and reducin
...more
Hannah
Jun 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is utter rubbish. I thought about leaving it on the train I'd been reading it on, but then I realised someone else might pick it up and actually mistake it's patronising trite as 'words of wisdom' so I took it home to burn. ...more
Heather Erosky
Dec 01, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'd like to start out by saying there were a few things in this book that I agreed with generally. With that being said, I disagree with this book as a whole.

I understand that the author is writing this from the perspective of someone who has lived in both French and Japanese culture, but most of this book felt like patriarchal propaganda to me. The book is geared toward women, which gave me the following impression: women are simp
...more
Romans Karpelcevs
I love the idea of the book. I find culture of consumption revolting and unfortunately I am part of it, but I'm determined to do and buy fewer and fewer unneeded things.
That said, this book is exactly what it advocates against owning: useless horrible crap of a book.

Narrative is absolutely random, there is no structure between chapters, between paragraphs, not even between sentences. Author contradicts herself all the time, and I don't mean small story details, she can't even get right what sh
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Max
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

If you can get past the author's incessant references to expensive high-quality leather armchairs, pashmina shawls, and cashmere throws this is a wonderful book on living life with a minimalist philosophy.

Unlike Marie Kondo style books, this is not a how-to book on folding shirts or organizing closets. This is a book on what a minimalist life philosophy looks like in practice. How do you organize your life to live in a mindful, ascetic, simple and minimalist way. It's in the way you dre
...more
Sara
Dec 07, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This was DNF - I got bored and annoyed about 30 pages in, did some skimming to find more ridiculousness, and gave up.

Such as - unattractive clothes make us gain weight? the Japanese are all perfect and own nothing? don't anything someone would want to steal?

Also, incredibly basic tips like use a dishcloth, clean your house, etc.

Plus, really harmful female stereotypes - someone with chipped nail polish is depressed and has low self esteem; being fat is simply a lack of willpower; "eating little
...more
Shevon Quijano
It started out with a BANG...then fizzled. The first third of the book was absolutely enthralling and I fully thought it was 5 star worthy but then it became a bit rambling and redundant towards the end. Still lots of great lifestyle ideas and practical suggestions that I won't forget. Worth a read. ...more
E. H. Nathasia
A tad philosophical at times but overall a calming read. Advices in different segment of life were given and I caution readers to write and compartmentalise the points and your to-do lost to avoid feeling overwhelm. There are some points where I disagree with the writer’s point of view as it can appear pretentious and disconnect with reality, but it didn’t lessen the overall wholesome sharings.
Christine Zibas

"Simplicity means possessing little, clearing the way for the bare necessities, the quintessence of things. Simplicity is beautiful because it brings hidden joys."


This beautiful, soulful book expresses what many of us desire, but often can't achieve -- a life of simplicity and beauty. While I have always valued experiences over things, I still seem to have accumulated a lot of things along the way. The older I seem to get, the more valuable the act of paring down seems to be.

This book is inspiri
...more
Katharina
To be honest I was expecting more of the book. Maybe I had false expectations, thinking it would be focused on buying and consuming less. However, it is centered around how to take care of yourself, your appartement etc. Even though it was inspiring on how to live simple and minimalistic, some things were quite self-explanatory, or, on the other spectrum, not quite realistic. Overall a good read to think about consumerism and our consumer behaviour and be aware of how we act, live and feel.
Lorna
Aug 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul moved to LibraryThing
This is something you read with glee because there's someone more pretentious than you and you can have a giggle about them. This lady has no self-awareness. To be a minimalist you have to obsess over every single item you own. Each one has to be perfect or your life is worthless. And remember some items are bad and some are necessary and the only way to tell them apart is to ask this lady who uses water dowsing as scientific backing (also believes in homeopathy, acupuncture and anything newagey ...more
Luminița Gabura
I had big expectations of this book, and as usually happens, when you have expectations, it ended up disappointing you. It includes some general statements on how to simplify your life and for someone who is looking for a first guidance in this directions, perhaps, it might be a good start off. However, for people that have read books, articles on simplifying your life, I wouldn't recommend this book as it does not bring value or unexpected information. ...more
Ana
Sep 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Self-help at its finest, but with a common sense twist. Nicely written, it emphasizes the need for simplicity in everyday life and the importance of taking care of oneself at all times. It bothered me that it seems to be directed only at women, without an explanation as to why men wouldn't be able to follow the same path. All in all, a day's worth of reading that doesn't feel lost. ...more
Siarhei Krukau
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely not the best book I've ever read yet pretty simple and easygoing. There are some good advices among lots of phylosophic thoughts. Most of them are obvious. ...more
Amy
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, own
I found this to be a beautiful, meditative, aspirational, as well as inspirational guide to leading a more fully internal life by mindfully choosing a less cluttered outside existence.

Aspen Mitchell Mead
This author sounds so cliched. It's fine when it's vague, but as soon as she starts to give specific examples she contradicts herself. In the section on minimalist beauty care, she says don't give in to the expensive and wasteful beauty industry and then the next paragraph she says buy a top-quality foundation because once a woman has discovered her perfect foundation, she can conquer the world. Umm? And I recall her saying an antique baroque wardrobe will look out of place in a modern apartment ...more
Mrs
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Full of BS. Book is useless piles of mantras such as "oh, we're so materialistic, let's live like Japanese" - author is ignorant than Japanese are most avid customers of luxury goods in the whole world. In one chapter author said to get rid of most possessions, and in the next chapter she gives an advice how to store your best china or to keep a pack of your best tea towels in plain view - minimalism, indeed.
I've read a lot of organizing/minimalism books, and this one is the most useless.
...more
Bethwyn Badger
quite condescending and honestly a little cruel towards women in particular - I do not want to be slim, thanks, and I don't think chipped nail polish means someone is depressed or sloppy. too many instructions on *what exactly to get* if you want to "live simply" - apparently only unbreakable white plates will do - which left me feeling cold and frustrated. a big no thanks from me. ...more
Aimee
Not a fan.

Very contradictory and a bit all over the place.
Coleen
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. This is the only edition that I have - and that I have read.

An energetic and brave reader may have picked up this book and read it cover to cover. The subtitle - HOW TO LIVE MORE WITH LESS - says it all. Someone like myself, who wants to savor and enjoy the book and learn from it, and apply all that it suggests - well, I take awhile, and read the book slowly and more than once.

Topics range from money to food to household to others, and even to beauty car
...more
Celine Evren
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book, a great eye opener for everyone! A must read guys.. Apple vinegar came into my life :) and I already changed some rituals in my daily life.. So good!
Sina
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was good, got really bad half-way and then good again. I wasn't sure if it deserves 4 stars or 3 but the last part saved it.

I've read a few reviews on here complaining about the author's tendency to contradict and repeat herself and frankly speaking, they are right. Her writing is a bit messy but the core essentials are easy to understand and valuable. You can feel her positivity about simplicity and Oriental/Japanese lifestyle which I value myself.
However, the book was clearly only
...more
Elaine
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and was very excited to have the opportunity to read it. After finishing the book, I feel like I actually wasted my time.

The book provides elitist and vain advice throughout. At the beginning, I hoped that it would provide sound advice, even if impractical in Western society, but it soon became about being the most beautiful and graceful. Although I agree that beauty does promote happiness, the advice seems to take you to a place that causes you to believe
...more
Puty
Sep 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The worst book I read this year so far. Seriously. First of all, I'm totally not a self-help / self-improvement books fan, and I didn't think that this is one of them. I thought it'd be about... living with less. You know, how you apreciate things you have and be less consuming then be in peace. Turned out this book told me:
- To buy the best / most luxurious thing then discard everything else (buy leather jacket because it will age gracefully kind of advice)
- What kind of handbag I should buy
- H
...more
Vladimir
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m quite ashamed to start my GoodReads account with a review of this book, because I have already read 10+ books in 2019 and this is one of the worst books I have read, ever.

First, the book addresses women while nothing in it’s description or abstract says the main target audience are women (because they aren’t, the book is universal). So a little confusion here.

The text has no flow, no logical connections, it seems it’s just a collection of notes made by Dominique. The imperative wording, with
...more
Natasa Tovornik
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
A great book on how to simplify your life and pay more attention to the little things in your life. This is our life and we better acknowledge them. Great tips how to make life simpler and where to focus. I guess one of the books you should have at home.
LemontreeLime
I have to admit several times while I was reading this I thought to myself..... nah this can't possibly be written for a French audience! Most of the subjects all sound like typical American issues. It was interesting anyhow. ...more
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Dominique Loreau est une essayiste française qui vit depuis la fin des années 1970 au Japon, où elle propose des séminaires destinés à ceux qui veulent simplifier leur vie. Elle s'est fait connaître grâce à son ouvrage L'Art de la simplicité, paru en 2005.

« Je ne suis pas du tout écrivain », déclare-t-elle. Lorsqu'elle a commencé à rédiger son livre à partir de ses notes personnelles, certains pas
...more

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