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Simple Abundance: Living by Your Own Lights Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

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Editorial Reviews

From AudioFile

The print version of this book included meditations for each day of the year. In adapting it for audio, Sarah Ban Breathnach reorganizes those meditations into six sections, all of which relate to simplifying one's life and clarifying one's priorities. She reads them over a background of the music she listened to while writing the book. This works well, as does her calm, caring delivery. When she tells a story from her own experience, Breathnach is completely convincing, and one can sense that her compassion is based upon empathy. However, many of the book's examples are specific to women, a choice that may make the work less appealing to male listeners. G.T.B. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; abridged edition edition (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586214071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586214074
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (536 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,356,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

171 of 180 people found the following review helpful By Allie Kat on July 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Looked at one way, this is a collection of cheerful essays with homespun spiritual wisdom and housekeeping advice that satisfies our appetite for the nostalgic. Looked at another way, it's a terrifying reflection of a society of souls so sterile that we take comfort in being told it's okay to use scented bath products and buy flowers. Still, thousands of women have found meaning in the book, and they can't be all wrong.
This book is more about abundance than simplicity. In places Ms. Breathnach does extol the virtues of simplicity and has you clearing clutter; in others she has you buying and hoarding and collecting everything, from fabric remnants, just in case some day you get the urge to staple lace to the pantry shelves, to autumn leaves for exuberant Victorian tableaus, (aka dust-collectors). These things are much more fun to read about than to actually do. I don't want to tie little circles of fabric to the tops of jam jars; even when they're bought that way, I'm the one who gets to cut them off and throw them in the garbage. Nor do I want to replace the buttons on all my clothes with cute ones, I curse enough if I have to replace one where the manufacturer did a shoddy job. I don't want to know what decoupage is; and most especially, I really, really, don't want to buy a hat to cheer myself up. Having hot mulled cider after raking leaves sounds charming (and I loathe cider), but the reality is that after raking leaves my back hurts, I'm exhausted and can barely crawl to the shower to wash the sweat and dead bugs off, and if I had to search for a hot mulled cider recipe I'd whack the nearest bystander with a poker.
Since books are for reading and pondering, the pleasure in this one is in doing exactly that, and it does provide a lot of it.
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265 of 285 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It is interesting in scanning the reviews of this book, over ninety percent are five star... but the ones who disagree seem to give it, for the most part, one star. It is a book which brings out strong opinions. Reactionaries and fundementalists will have a hard time with this book because it does not reinforce their dogma. It instead addresses the broad spectrum of beliefs, encourages tolerance,openness, and exploration of self and of all aspects of life, including religion and spirit. That would drive the reactionaries over the edge. There are so few books which can actually add something to your life, day after day, month after month, year after year. This is one of them. It is a book for women on the search to find more meaning in their daily ritual as caretakers, more joy in the everyday. It gives me something to think about each day of the year. I feel a bit sorry for those who give it the knee jerk New Age blasting. But, it takes all kinds to make the world go around.
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85 of 91 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am in the process of reading this book. It caught my attention on the Oprah Show, several months ago, so I waited to buy it, to make sure that I wasn't buying on impulse.
This is a great book. As someone who is going through a job change, moving, and breaking free from a shame-based, hateful family, I am reading this book, and experiencing a serenity, through doing things, everyday, simple things, that don't cost much, that add value to my spirit.
I am so excited, everyday to get up and read the day's lessonns, and to discover new joys in my heart.
Others around me are catching on to my authentic self shining through.
I am looking at this book, from this point as something that is helping me to bring out things in me, habits that enhance who I am, that I had given up on, prior to this book.
Thank you so much, Sarah Ban Breathnach.
I look forward to my journey.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Allain on September 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
In our stressful lives, Sarah Breathnach's calm voice outlines a path to sanity. She advocates nurturing our spirits, our relationships and creating serene spaces in our lives.

I want to play this over and over, so it soaks into my consciousness. I want to share this message with all the frazzled women I know. She blends literature and a variety of religions without being preachy. Quotes from Star Wars, Bhudda, Irish proverbs and Shaker writings are sprinkled throughout serving to launch her essays.

Over all, it is about tuning into ourselves and paying attention to our basic needs (no, not material possessions, though she does not advocate a spartan lifestyle).

For women who feel there is no time to tend to their inner needs and who find the daily demands at times overwhelming, I wholeheartedly recommend this.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Leah Marther on January 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must! It has and is helping me through my soul searching. Ms. Breathnach talks about the common sense in a women's life. It's so simple that you yourself are sometimes blind to the simple pleasures. It's straightforward and enjoyable to read. I sometimes find myself reading a day ahead. I feel it's a big step towards being a better woman/human. She helps you find peace within you. I consider myself a good Christian & this book does not dismiss Christianity. The mix of Christianity and this book have made me more spiritual. I've given this book many times as a gift. I strongly recommend this book to any woman that feels she's missing something in her life.
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