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The Art of Imperfection: Simple Ways to Make Peace with Yourself Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 17, 1999


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, August 17, 1999
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (August 17, 1999)
  • ISBN-10: 0609605216
  • ASIN: B001QCXDPA
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 6.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,378,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Our innate idiosyncrasies are actually more endearing to others than our most glorious personal achievements," writes author Veronique Vienne in this pretty little book, with its intriguing, sepia-tone photographs by Erica Lennard. Vienne offers 10 meditative essays about how to be successful and happy without being perfect. Quirkiness, after all, is creative. She encourages you to "find solace in your shortcomings and even celebrate your most embarrassing lapses." The essays include "the art of making mistakes," "the art of looking like yourself," "the art of having nothing to wear," and "the art of being neither rich nor famous." Vienne envisions a world where people could bump into furniture and forget to return phone calls "without getting unduly annoyed with themselves," never consult shopping lists at the checkout counter, and "only carry bags you could use as pillows." This is a delightful book, but there's a major problem: anyone over 40 will have trouble reading it. The small, brown type on gray pages is artsy to the point of being barely legible, even with reading glasses. Buy this for a youthful reader! --Joan Price

From the Inside Flap

Forgive yourself:

Self-acceptance doesn't have to be hard work. Cultivate your most pleasurable flaws. Find out when not to have the last word. Don't be afraid to ask silly questions. Learn to make lists--and forget them. And remember: The most perfect moments usually happen at the most imperfect time.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Don't you love hearing from other people, "oh my gosh!!
Diane Moore
Once you have them spotted, think about how they are the best things that could have happened to you.
Donald Mitchell
While there's some value in the essays, quite a bit of the text is rather inane.
John F. Temmerman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Art of Imperfection is the sequel to The Art of Doing Nothing. For many people, it will make more sense to read The Art of Imperfection first. Without the permission to ease up the throttle on narrowing the imperfection gap, you'll never have the time to do nothing.
After a rocky beginning in describing the art of making mistakes (by mixing up the key concepts of complexity science and chaos theory), the book rights itself and provides many valuable insights into seeing imperfections are resources and opportunities.
The illustrations are even better than the text for powerfully engaging your mind with the truth of imperfection's appeal and strength. The sepia-based duotone photographs set an elegant and relaxed mood for the book. The subjects of these photographs are most often females, sculptures, geometric designs, and nature. In themselves, the coloration and the compositions create a zen-like atmosphere that are a good context for the written musings.
Although deliberately aimed at women and men, I think most will agree that this book will appeal much more strongly to most women than to most men due to the content of the advice and subjects of the illustrations. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book very much.
The book features ten essays on different aspects of benefiting from imperfections. Each essay, in turn, is elaborated on with further examples and observations. Each one could keep you happy day dreaming for days.
Here are the essay titles and a few key quotes from each:
(1) The art of making mistakes: "Though we all agree that to err is human, each of us individually believes that he or she is the exception." "Unfortunately, thinking that being right will save us from being wrong is a misapprehension." " . . .
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Diane Moore VINE VOICE on February 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book, like the other Veronique Vienne books! In a time and culture that makes you feel like you have to be everything to everyone, and look good in the process, this makes you want to be yourself and remember that people don't like perfect people anyway!! They like people who are like themselves!! Don't you love hearing from other people, "oh my gosh!! i do that too!! i thought i was the only one who does that!!" its about quirks (and how beautiful it makes us as an individual) how imperfections make you unique, and that we should have a sense of humor about it... cause no one is perfect, and the most interesting people to me are the most "imperfect." Now if you will excuse me, i have to go watch threes company on nick at nite.. (see? i watch it too!) :) PS... the pictures in the book are amazing as well and really adds something to it.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Fletcher on May 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
After years of trying to be the perfect daughter,girlfriend, freind, student, all around perfect person, I finally found a book that helped me not only accept, but love my imperfection. I now take extreme pleasure in not being perfect and have reduced my stress to an all time low. I gave the book to my mom as a Mother's Day present to take the pressure off of trying to be the perfect person and just enjoy who she is. Plus the book is such a wonderful display on my nightstand with its beautiful photography.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Learning to get a kick out of my imperfections combined with doing nothing has an intoxicatingly liberating effect on every moment of each day. I'm amazed at the wisdom and humor of Vienne's writing and Leonard's dreamy photos. Excellent read!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
my friend gwen once told me "quirks are the best parts of people". if you think about it, it's really true. your best friend's high pitched laugh, the way your dog whimpers in his sleep, a pretty woman sneezing, a stranger stumbling and then looking around to see if anyone saw him......what can i say, i love it. this book is so honest and so real. forget hollywood! to simply BE is glorious.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Lizzi on December 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In the second "Art" book by Véronique Vienne, the author again teams up with photographer Erica Lennard to produce a wonderfully worded and illustrated compilation of poignant views on style, mannerism and (im)perfection. It's not overly analytical, and there is much more here than the "I'm OK; you're OK" theme. I would recommend this book to anyone.
In just ten short chapters, Ms. Vienne employs great wit, clever mataphors, and strikingly up-to-date commentary about how we should be celebrating the gap between the ideal for which we are striving and the reality of our true selves. A great example of some witty incongruity comes from a chapter entitled "The Art of Having Nothing to Wear." "Think about it this way: Radiocarbon in fabric has a half-life of 5,730 years--give or take 40 years. The style of an outfit is subjective, elusive, and volatile, with a half-life of less than two months." I have to applaud a writer who can link science and fashion in such an ingenious manner.
Rather than being overly analytical, this book creates an ART (key word) out of what somebody, somewhere, thinks are our shortcomings. Among other topics, the chapters touch on the acceptability of being shy, disorganized, or silly (my specialty). The "un"-this, the "not"-that or the "dis"-whatever parts of ourselves really aren't so bad if we view life's contents from a less serious, more quirky perspective. Cultivate a weed, and sooner or later you'll get a flower out of it. A famous actress (Elizabeth Taylor, I think) once said that a face is not beautiful without flaws. Ms. Vienne is telling us that, given a lemon, we can make ... lemon soufflé!
As in the previous "The Art of Doing Nothing," Ms. Lennard's sepia duotone photos provide a tranquil beauty that offsets, yet complements, the spirited tone of this book. The "art" in this book will grow on you.
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