CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian's Reviews > The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders
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it was ok
bookshelves: audiobooks, canadian, nonfiction

Another book club pick for work that I did not enjoy. I'm still a bit puzzled as to why I bounced so hard off of this memoir about the author's story of quitting her habit of over indulging in shopping, after having similar issues with alcohol and food. She also gives away most of her belongings and saves a bunch of money.

Sadly I found the book quite dull. I never felt emotionally engaged; I just didn't care. It's the kind of life story I would empathize with if the person were my friend, but as a memoir by a stranger there was little to capture my emotions or mind.

Partially it's because I don't struggle with any of the addictive behaviours she does. I can see how this book would be helpful and cathartic for people who do.

It's funny, she mentions Brene Brown a couple times and I felt about this book pretty much the same way I felt about the one Brown book I read: these are just cliche statements that the author finds revelatory about how to live life that to me are just self-evident. What is everyone else's fuss about?

I'm sure what Cait Flanders did helped her live a more authentic and fulfilling life. (Although there were times when I wished I could tell her, girl you need to go to a mental health professional to work on why you're trying to fill a void with shopping/food/alcohol--it's a bit like focusing on the symptom instead of the disease). But the way she wrote about her journey did not get me rooting for her.

All this to say: I found this book boring.
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Reading Progress

November 27, 2020 – Started Reading
November 27, 2020 – Shelved
November 27, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
November 27, 2020 – Shelved as: canadian
November 27, 2020 – Shelved as: audiobooks
November 27, 2020 – Shelved as: nonfiction
December 2, 2020 –
15.0% "Hmm so far this is boring. Where's the added value of meaning to her listing all the stuff she's decided to throw away. This is like what a friend would tell you, except she's not my friend and I don't care about her life and the fact that she's throwing out her old travel size shampoo bottles??"
December 9, 2020 –
54.0% "Before I started this book I saw some reviews saying it was self-indulgent millenial whining, which I thought was a bit harsh. Halfway through, though, while I certainly don't agree with that assessment, I can see where those reviews come from. It's not that I mind the content, it's that it isn't emotionally engaging and it doesn't spark empathy. I think that's what makes people frustrated and see it as whining."
December 10, 2020 –
82.0% "I keep asking myself why I'm finding it so hard to sympathize with this author."
December 10, 2020 – Finished Reading

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