Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Review: Miss Minimalist by Francine Jay

Happy Sunday, readers!

It's been a crazy busy week for me, so I'm excited to announce that I've been able to squish some reading time in here and there. One of the books I read on my Kindle was Miss Minimalist by Francine Jay.

As you may recall, I'm working to declutter my apartment, as per my Project Declutter 2012. In doing so, I'm looking for inspiration to rid myself of unnecessary items. I purchased this e-book on Amazon for just $0.99. Here's my following conversation with Matt:

Leah: Hey, you remember that decluttering project? I just bought a couple of books to inspire me.
Matt: You're trying to declutter? So you bought more books?
Leah: It's ok, they're e-books. It doesn't count.
Matt: e-books just lead to e-clutter. Remember that.
Leah: --confused--

Anyway, here's the description of the book, courtesy of Goodreads:

Would you like to live a beautiful life with less stuff?

This delightful collection of articles by Francine Jay, author of “The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide,” provides great inspiration to pare down your possessions. Jay breezes from practical topics, like “What’s in a Minimalist Kitchen” and “How Many Shoes are Enough,” to more philosophical musings, like what the Japanese or ancient Greeks can teach us about simple living.

Along with valuable tips and advice, the author shares her personal stories about decluttering and living with less. Her warmth, humor, and encouraging tone make you feel like you’re chatting with a good friend over a cup of coffee—a friend you’d love to invite over to clean out your closets!

These essays are a wonderful introduction to minimalist living, written by someone with a genuine passion for the topic. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by your clutter, or disenchanted with consumerism, you’ll find a kindred soul (and a wealth of advice) in Miss Minimalist. Best of all: you’ll likely empty a drawer or two by the time you’ve finished reading!

I was pretty excited to dive into this short (98-page) inspirational novel comprised of essays. I've read a few books before on the subject of simplifying your life or decluttering your home. Usually they at least charge my batteries for a few weeks, enough to get a couple of projects done. Was I inspired by Miss Minimalist? Not so much. I found the book to be terribly self-absorbed and illogical. I respond best to the author's analysis of why we, as a society, clutter the way we do. Instead, I felt Jay attacked readers and forced her tales of how awesome her lifestyle is on them. For example, Jay addresses shoes. Instead of pointing out how silly it is that we in society feel it necessary to own 80 pairs of shoes, she simply talks about herself: how she owns six pairs, what they're used for, and how wonderful her lifestyle is because of it.

Essentially, I did not feel inspired. I felt criticized for not already being a minimalist. This is not a book I would recommend anyone read unless they are currently a minimalist and appreciate the gloating of others.

My stats:
Miss Minimalist by Francine Jay
Rating: 2/5
Pages: 98
2012 Reading Goal: 2,040/15,000

I also completed another novel this weekend, so hopefully I'll blog again soon! Happy readings!

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