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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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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Her writing is so open, honest, and non-judgmental in a "you do you" way that it's easy to hear the message without getting defensive. What a friend told her is spot on-- connecting with people is Cait's superpower, and she makes readers feel like we've known her forever and are BFFs.
We all have struggles, some more socially acceptable than others, and when we're ready to confront them her example of persevering despite all that life throws at you makes us feel that we can too.
Life is a bumpy ride; Cait gives us a courageous example, encouragement, and a few pointers to make the journey a little better.
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. Alas, it 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.