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In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed (Plus) Paperback – Deckle Edge, September 6, 2005
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About the Author
Carl Honore is an award-winning journalist and author whose revolutionary first book, In Praise of Slowness, was an international bestseller and has been published in more than thirty languages. Honoré is a highly sought after lecturer who speaks around the world on slow living and the Slow Movement, and his work has appeared in publications including The Economist, Observer, The Guardian, The Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, TIME magazine, and National Post. Honore lives in London with his wife and their two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
As one of the other readers pointed out, this is not so much a how-to guide as a cultural snapshot of some of the more absurd Western practices that have accelerated our lives to an almost ludicrous degree. (Those who have tried driving a car during lunch hour while using one hand to eat fast food and the other to return phone calls will know immediately what I'm talking about.)
I once read a review that started by listing all of the things the reader had done differently since reading the book. In that same spirit, let me tell you that since I read this book more than a month ago, I have been:
*giving myself permission to take naps and get a full night's sleep almost every night
*watching less TV and taking more walks
*making a point to cook a real dinner several nights a week, with the whole family assembled at the table
*taking breaks during the work day, which I find has actually increased my productivity
*calling old friends long-distance and reconnecting
*taken my daughter out of gymnastics to keep the family at home and unscheduled
These are not enormous changes in my life -- I was doing some of them before -- but they are important ones. What's more, they've been easy to implement. Now I need to work on not taking my laptop everywhere and telling myself it's OK not to check my work email when I've got the flu!Read more ›
So I was already in the "slow is beautiful" camp when I picked up this book. Carl Honore's well-researched and balanced look at slowing down merely confirmed what I already know: taking time to enjoy the moment, take care of one's self, nourish relationships, and just simply be still is the key to happiness and health, at least for me.
Honore starts by discussing the real downside of the Fast life: stress-related illnesses, sleep deprivation, feeling out of control, feeling rage. He then discusses the benefits of the Slow life: feeling more creative and satisfied with life, just for starters. Then he describes how people are slowing down in different aspects of life: cooking and eating, work, leisure time... Finally, he wraps it all up by asking us to evaluate ways we can slow down. The back of the book contains lots of resources to get us started.Read more ›
But Honore's well researched treatise provides what I believe is the first incisive overview of an important cultural phenomenon as we immerse our lives in instant online messengers, SMS thumb tribes, skipped breakfast, limp chicken sandwiches for lunch, and a bout of 'power yoga' to punctuate that little crevice of a break in the evenings..
Honore's writing style may occasionally wear a "Manifesto" dress and many of his suggestions to live a slow life may have a fairly non-trivial opportunity cost depending on where you live, but it is a very timely and wonderfully thought-provoking read nonetheless.
The concepts discussed in this book are definitely intended for mature readers and parents should think about the appropriateness of this book for younger readers. If you aren't interested in reducing the stress in your life this book probably won't interest you much, I know I was reluctant to buy it. However, it was interesting to read about some of the ways that people are trying to change the pace of their lives. Honoré's writing style is a little hit-and-miss and some parts of the book drag on much longer than they should. Nothing in this book is ground breaking and it certainly isn't a how-to manual since most of the chapters lack enough detail to make change effective. This book is a decent overview of the "Slow" movement but if you're looking for instruction look somewhere else.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Based on this book, people work, live, and play better in slowness, explaining the benefits of doing everything at the right speed that I enjoyed very much.Published 8 months ago by Myung
I had trouble with this book and couldn't figure out whether it just didn't speak to me or that it was just a trendy book from a few years ago that doesn't seem relevant today.Published 9 months ago by P. Deley
This was such a good book to read, being in my mid twenties. After finishing it, I actually noticed a lot of things I didn't before, such as how we advertise with an emphasis on... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Courtney in Alaska
Was not my favorite book. Seems like he could have relayed his message in a couple of chapters instead of a book. He kept going over the same concept over and over again. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Barbara Galagusz
I am to the book about 30 pages and i really like this book it is keeping my interest and i am thinking about slowing down during my day, book sent on time and i nice shape too... Read morePublished 11 months ago by etastro
You will never drive to work the same way again. You will be thinking about that little, sad store you pass, and who might shop there, who owns it....... Read morePublished 16 months ago by tttiger