Sunday, December 12, 2010

Simplicity: Finding Peace in the Uncluttering of Your LIfe

Simplicity:  Finding Peace in the Uncluttering of Your Life

You can see a list of the other books by Kim Thomas here. 
There's another list of her books, and a auto-biographical note, here

She sang with her pastor husband Jim in a Christian duo called Say-So but apparently now she has moved towards a career in art and writing.

 I had never heard of her before but got the book at Paperback Swap because it was pretty, from a Christian perspective, and because I was looking for good books on simplicity.   This one is divided into three parts:
  1.  Body:  Simplicity in our Physical World
  2. Soul:  Simplicity in Our Relational/Emotional World
  3. Spirit:  Simplicity in Our Spiritual World
Each part is divided in turn into four parts:

  1. Reducing the Clutter
  2. Persevering in the Everyday
  3. Focusing on the Goal
  4. Summary
The Summary of each part contains a section on "Working it Out" which is something between a quiz and an examination of conscience.    There is also a brief summary or recap of each chapter.

I probably read about 1/3 of this book but am thinking at this point that I am going to put it in the box with the other books I sort of like but don't think I'll ever finish reading.  Why so?   I am not quite sure.   The message is explicitly Christian.  I admire the author -- wow, successful multiple careers in singing, writing, art and speaking!   And she seems like a perceptive, warm person too.   And the titles of her other books look like they are on good topics, so there are a lot of things I like. 

One drawback in the particular copy I have is that one of the previous owners went crazy with the yellow highlighter.  PBS swappers are not supposed to send out marked-up copies of books unless the requestor is OK with it.  I can't remember if I gave it the OK or not, but there is a LOT of highlighting.    That obviously is not a problem with the book itself, and it wouldn't be a deal-breaker if it was a book I absolutely couldn't live without.   It is visually maddening, though.

Also, I personally seem to have that difficulty with reading books that are basically collections of short meditations or essays.  I CAN read books of meditations but usually only by Jesuits writing before the 1950's, to be honest.   The Society of Jesus seems to have perfected the art (before they mostly lost it in the 60's and beyond) and everything else seems like a poor copy.

Essentially, it's a nice "simple" book with a friendly tone and some good insights, and might be good for someone wanting to ponder simplicity in its different aspects from a soothing and encouraging rather than challenging perspective.

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