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The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store Kindle Edition
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|Length: 221 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The most minor flaws are editorial. In the introduction, the author suggests that what follows is the stuff and story from between the blog posts that tracked her "year of less" in live time. But as other reviewers have observed, the chronology is peculiarly hard to track—this in spite of the book's well-intentioned progressive monthly structure. There's also an odd tendency towards repetition across the duration of the book; single lines and entire anecdotes themselves appear over and over again, sometimes literally from one sentence to the next. At first I struggled to discern whether this was some misguided attempt at stylistic flair or an editorial lapse, then I struggled to care. By the end, I wasn’t even sure what I’d read: a memoir? A self-help book? A cautionary tale?
Despite the failed translation from blog-to-book and the lack of editorial seriousness, this piece could have conveyed a strong message and offered direction, and I wish it had—not only to spare me from my own buyer's remorse, but as a contribution to a topic that I think warrants examination in our Amazon-access age. (Social researchers: get in here! There is much to learn in a study about this aspect of consumerism.) Alas, “The Year of Less” lacked substance, clarity, maturity, depth and the specificity that elicits true interest. Ultimately, like the author herself at the outset of her mission, I now have to dispose of a book I bought impulsively and didn't enjoy. Joke’s on me. Two stars for that lesson learned.
I've been following Cait's blog for several years, and was very excited to find out she had written a book. I thought this book would be about minimalism and being less of a consumer. And maybe some personal finance-insights that might inspire new ideas for how I live my life.
But ... wow. There is so much more here. Cait opens up, and shares personal stories of her life, that I would never have guessed at, reading her blog. The pains, the heartbreaks, the longings, the desperate need to try not to feel any of this - and the way she has looked it all squarely in the face, and talked herself through all of it. How she has learned to cope and to feel, in a way that is healthy, and to open herself back up to living her life on her terms: peaceful and fulfilled, and calm in her mind.
I am genuinely impressed that she writes so freely about the mundane and the minutiae of an everyday life - the good, the bad, the ugly - and then... she transcends all of it.
Throughout, there is this message that we can all make our everyday lives something special, something to be learned from, something to derive personal knowledge and growth from.
I will definitely re-read this book. I found it very inspiring!