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review 2017-04-21 18:30
Liked it better than 'Tidying Up' but it's probably not for everyone.
Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minima... Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism - Fumio Sasaki

Recently I've been wanting to learn more about minimalism and this book caught my eye. This book, however, is less about cleaning/tidying and more about having less. Some of the sentiments are similar: actually saying goodbye to things to be discarded, not buying multiple items/only making purchases of essentials like paper towels when necessary, take pictures of items you really like, rent items instead of buying them, etc. 

 

Some of this really spoke to me in my own personal life (living more simply, that it's okay to live with less, how the author lives, etc.). In some ways Kondo's style didn't quite gel for me and some of the oddities others have discussed were also things that didn't work for me. Perhaps my style is more about minimalism, I'm not sure.

 

That said, some of the critiques for the book are on target. Sometimes the text is a little repetitive. The latter parts of the books where the author discusses his own personal experiences were not interesting for me. And while I could understand his discussion of Steve Jobs and the aesthetics of Apple products, I'm not that big of a fan and could have gone without the multiple mentions.

 

But depending on what you're looking for, this could be a book for you. It's fairly skimmable. That said, like the author mentions it was definitely a book I think was best to borrow from the library rather than to buy. But as an introduction or a book to give to someone as a gift it might not be a bad place to start and keep, especially if you find the author's personal experiences helpful.

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review 2015-01-11 00:00
Minimalism: How to Become a Minimalist (Illustrated With Bad Drawings)
Minimalism: How to Become a Minimalist (Illustrated With Bad Drawings) - Bekka Thomas It was an alright book. I appreciate that the author told a bit of her story and how it led her to minimalism, which was interesting, but it felt a bit TMI/Why-do-I-want-to-know-this at times and dragged on. Not that I don't sympathize, but just... it was not what I thought I'd get when I grabbed the book.

It had some basic tips/ideas/reasoning for getting rid of things and getting into minimalism, but it wasn't really something I would have titled "How to become a minimalist"; more like "How I became a minimalist", which is an entirely different category.
The first title makes you go into reading it expecting less life story and more help with the how-to, the latter tells you there's more story besides the possible tips and, for me at least, needed a different mind-frame for reading. The book was in the latter category, and I felt just a little mislead/cheated by the title.

Still, if you're overwhelmed by stuff and new to minimalism, it's not a bad read.
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review 2013-10-23 19:40
Review: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett

I'm starting to develop quite a fondness to Bennett's writing. This is another humorous and exceptionally well-written narrative, and this coming from a reader who is not fond of reading humor. 

 

This novella reads quickly and the story of the Queen of England suddenly developing a taste for reading literature and sneaking around borrowing books and clearing her schedule so that she can read, is not only lighthearted but it is endearing and charming. 

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