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Seven Sins for a Life Worth Living Hardcover – December 6, 2005

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In Seven Sins for a Life Worth Living Housden presents erudite, witty essays on seven so-called “transgressions”—sensuality, foolishness, ignorance, imperfection, uselessness, ordinariness and prodigality. There are no case studies, success stories or how-to exercises in Seven Sins. Instead, we get the author’s personal reflections on modern life, sprinkled throughout with apt, wide-ranging references and quotes from philosophers and poets, scientists, political figures, artists and literary greats. This book is a subjective prescription for happiness, an utter delight, filled with Housden’s trademark self-deprecatory humor...Roger Housden wants you to consider sin in a whole new light—as a means toward enlightenment! This book is an utter delight, filled with Housden’s trademark self-deprecatory humor and slightly offbeat insight. You probably won’t see hell if you read this book, but you just might catch a glimpse of heaven.”—BookPage

“A beautifully introspective book written by a keen observer of modern life. Housden's writing is pheromonal and provocative. It resembles the random musings of a self-professed dreamer. But lying within those ramblings is an elixir for life.” —Wendy Hoke, Dallas Morning News

About the Author

Roger Housden emigrated from England to the United States in 1998 and now lives in New York City and New Jersey. He is
the author of numerous books on cultural and spiritual themes, including the bestselling Ten Poems series. You can contact him at tenpoems@juno.com.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; annotated edition edition (December 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307336719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307336712
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #765,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Roger Housden grew up in St.Catherine's Valley, a cleft in the Cotswolds on the edge of Bath, in England. He has led contemplative journeys all over the world, and in an earlier life was a freelance feature writer for The Guardian newspaper and an interviewer for the BBC. He has been a full-time author since 1997.

He is the author of twenty books on poetry, art, and travel,including the bestselling Ten Poems series which started in 2001 with Ten Poems to Change Your Life. His next book, due to be published by Sounds True in March 2014,is called Keeping the Faith Without a Religion. Roger emigrated to the United States in 1998 and now lives in Marin County, California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Joy Bennett on December 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If like many of us lately you are a slave to your email, cell phone, schedule and frantic life, this delightful book will help you unwind. It chronicles in a deeply personal and accessible way, Housden's search for ways to accept life on its own terms, rather than constantly striving for more and more. Housden is the author of the best-selling Ten Poems series. His latest work is a journey through his Seven Pleasures: the pleasure of all five senses, being foolish, not being perfect, and so on. "Why not celebrate our blemishes, our imperfections, as the very qualities that make us human?"

His book offers a refreshing way to celebrate life in all its imperfect richness, and encourages you to accept your own ordinariness and humanity. He says each of us, in our own extraordinary, imperfect way are wonderful in our own right, just as we are.

Highly recommended for those Type A personalities who find themselves constantly on the go, if you can just schedule enough time in your day to read it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Daniel B. Clendenin on January 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Chalk one up for the marketing department. When I saw this catchy title at our public library, I took the bait. Not that I'm sorry I read the book, but I was hoping for something more substantial given the promising table of contents. The seven sins worth living for are the pleasures of enjoying the beauty of the five senses, being foolish, not knowing, not being perfect, doing nothing useful, being ordinary, and of coming home. The good news, says Housden, is that no upgrades are needed to live this way, that if we can learn to be present in the moment and to each other, "life is already enhanced enough as it is." His stated purpose reminds me of a friend's joke: "Lighten up, you'll be dead a long time."

Our readiness to follow our culture's cues leads us astray. We pride ourselves on being important, busy, and driven, developing personas that, deep down, we intuit are at best superficial and perhaps even phony. If you asked most anyone, they would agree that a new car, an in-box stuffed with hundreds of emails, or a better address do not, ultimately, provide a deep sense of satisfaction, but that's not how we live. Religion, too, comes in for heavy criticisms in Housden's view; it generates guilt and all sorts of inhibitions. In selected portions of the book Housden shares from his own life how he has developed a more centered self that honors the inner journey as much or more as the outer journey. Throughout the book he sprinkles trenchant aphorisms regarding life lived more joyfully, more playfully, more fully. "When you die," goes one piece of advice, "God and the angels will hold you accountable for all the pleasures you were allowed in life that you denied yourself." Learning to be at home in the world and with yourself is no easy task; Housden gets you started.
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Robert Levithan on January 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
SEVEN SINS confirms what I already knew...that a life worth living is also a life of pleasure and enjoyment..not just productivity. And, as a psychotherapist, I recommend it to friends and clients! It is clear, well-written, personal and, in the spirit of lightening up, doesn't take itself too seriously. Enjoy!

Robert Levithan
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Race Bannon on September 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I would highly recommend that you sit down with your partner and read this book to each other. Roger Housden is an extraordinary writer and this book is a joy to read. Especially for those of us that feel we need to have things tightly under control. He makes it clear that it is ok "not to know it all", it is ok to spend time doing absolutely nothing, and other very useful insights.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not quite what I expected. I suppose I expected more ideas to do and enjoy the kinds of things he outlines in the book. I think that from diligent effort and introspection I have already absorbed these basic ideas internally and hoped he would flush the ideas out more completely. I make my home a haven. I take time to do nothing when I feel like it. I accept being human and flawed and I had set aside perfection years ago...about the time my daughters were 6,7 and 10. That was over 25 years ago. Perfection? Give it up.

All in all, sometimes one has to stick their fingers in the frosting of life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm in my mid-40s now and I feel like this book was written just for me. So many times, I've asked myself about other people, "How can they just be enjoying themselves so contentedly, doing nothing, or being so hedonistic?" secretly jealous that I could never just enjoy the beautiful, simple beauty of being a human. This book has just changed all of that. A simple permission or acknowledgment I guess that this is indeed part of what it means to be human, (and consequently to be in the present moment), to enjoy all of the pleasures that our ordinary, imperfect, and sensual lives have to offer. Thank you!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book helped change my thinking. Everything I feel guilty about is twisted into some thing positive! The author touches on emotions wonderfully. I now feel it's OK to sit and relax while the world is speeding by. Great positive thinking book!
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