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Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House Paperback


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Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House + Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers + Wabi Sabi: The Art of Everyday Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers; Apparent First Edition edition (May 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865716919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865716919
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robyn Griggs Lawrence is editor in chief of Natural Home magazine (www.NaturalHomeMagazine.com) and a prolific writer and speaker on topics ranging from green building and ecological design to organic gardening. A passionate expert on developing living spaces that are light on the land, Lawrence has been described as “one of the best-informed advocates of natural living in America”. She has been instrumental in introducing the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi to a Western audience.


More About the Author

As the editor-in-chief of Natural Home magazine from 1999 until 2010, ROBYN GRIGGS LAWRENCE introduced mainstream readers to green homes and lifestyles. A fierce and longtime proponent of healthy, natural living, Lawrence has been an editor with Mother Earth News, Organic Spa, Mountain Living and The Herb Companion magazines and has run successful blogs on Huffington Post, Care2.com and Motherearthnews.com.

A member of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems Board of Directors and an advisory board member for the Healthy House Institute, Lawrence has been featured in USA Today, on CNN and in top-tier newspapers, magazines and TV programs worldwide. The Conservation Research Institute describes her as "one of the best-informed advocates of natural living in America."

Lawrence's 2004 book, The Wabi-Sabi House, which introduced Americans to the 15th-century Japanese philosophy of simplicity, serenity and authenticity, received critical acclaim in Time magazine and The New York Times. A revised and updated edition was released in paperback as Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House. Lawrence co-authored 7 Steps to a Safe, Nurturing Nursery, an e-book, with integrative health expert Dr. Frank Lipman, M.D.

Lawrence, a longtime yogi and yoga teacher, lives in Boulder, Colorado. Learn more at www.robyngriggslawrence.com

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Julie & Jaiya on June 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently learned about this book by reading Robyn Lawrence's online column: Wabi-Sabi Wednesdays in Mother Earth News. I loved the column and bought the book. If you're interested in buying this book, and want to learn more about the content, I recommend you check out her column for some excerpts.

The book starts off with an exploration and discovery of wabi-sabi in existing environments, then it moves into the history and philosophy of the wabi-sabi, the aesthetics, and the cultivation of a wabi-sabi lifestyle. One chapter, about 1/2 way through, is dedicated to reducing clutter and creating space for wabi-sabi. I found this section to be a great reminder that many of us have a difficult time with ideas like wabi-sabi because we have too much to do, we're too distracted, and we live in a cluttered world.

Ironically, I found the layout of the book to distract from the content. The main text is frequently interrupted with anecdotes, images, examples, and lists that often span more than one page and repeatedly disrupt the flow of the chapter. These disruptions become longer and more frequent as you move into the body of the book. Eventually, it feels like the anecdotes are competing with the main text, causing the reader to feel like they are being constantly interrupted by the kid with all the answers.

This is a good DIY book for creative people looking for ideas and inspiration, but not a book I'd recommend for an introspective study of wabi-sabi.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harmony on December 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book cover to cover on an airplane ride from colorado to california. The philosophy and approach to living in balance was a breath of fresh air. It takes the approach of thoughtful living rather than wasteful living. In a society that has for years been about NEW and disposable this book reminds us that OLD and weathered with experience is something to be treasured and can't be bought.

Yes, as one of the other reviewers notes the photos are in black and white (well more of a sepia tint) which for me worked. It forced me to really look at the photos.... to slow down and experience them since they aren't as visually stimulating on the surface but if you look closely they are truly beautiful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Allyson Speake on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
After reading (and saving) an article in my Mother Earth News magazine for many months, both myself and my mother ordered this book for ourselves and as a gift for a good friend. We were so looking forward to reading more about Wabi Sabi and looking at the simple photography throughout the book. We were very disappointed that all of the photos in this book were black-and-white (which made it difficult to see the detail of rust, use, and love.) I believe it would have been much more effective had the book had colored photos throughout.
It is a good read, but don't expect beautiful colored photos like the one on the cover!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lala on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just reading the book brings a calmness about. How wonderful it would be if we could all go back to basics and live simply. I love this book and the way it is presented.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan M. Fireside on October 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book. It really explains the idea and philosophy of wabi-sabi. This isn't a photo book. It's more about understanding what makes a home (and life) a particular way. By the end I wished this coffee lover would start drinking tea. The beauty and ritual of serving it seems so lovely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Earth Witch on December 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've studied Wabi-Sabi on a serious level and I find it ironic that a book about Wabi-Sabi gives you shopping and home decorating advice. Granted, it's a tough concept to really grasp, but when it gets boiled down to picking out the proper knick-knacks and flooring you sort of the lose the point. On a more positive note, I think Ms. Lawrence might inspire some her readers to take it to the next level and discover the philosophy is much deeper than nicely repaired tea bowls and rusty artifacts to hang on the wall. I would suggest the reader think of this book as Wabi-Sabi 1.0 and take it from there, if so inspired.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book has super good ideas (although probably not for everyone -- this is simple, sparse living), lovely pictures and interesting history stories of Wabi-Sabi. It is a book I continue to look at over and over as I try to make some changes in the clutter of my house.
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