Minimalist book club – L’art de la simplicite


I’m a bit unsure how to review this book.

It has some good quotes, which really get to the core of minimalism (They’d be great stuck on affirmation cards) but the book as a whole… it reads like a list where someone has removed the bullet points. Or a selection of fortune cookie sayings like ‘It is better to live with high aspirations than mediocre realities’. There’s not much in a the way of practical advice, just commands and theres no… engagement with the author.

Some of her ideas are demented. Particularly the ones on the  minimalist body, like instructing you to fast and then take a vegetable based laxative so your insides can also be decluttered, drinking a water & vinegar mixture for your skin, ‘we have a duty to maintain a clean, well groomed appearance’ or my favourite bullshit: ‘Every time we put on weight, we die a little’

Most of the health and beauty crap she suggests is lunacy (she really likes her vinegar) and I wouldn’t suggest actually following any of it.

She can’t seem to decide on whether she wants to be seen as frugal or lavish, some times she praises frugality and then the next sentence she’s advising you to blow as much cash as you can on ‘light and airy’ furniture or custom made leather handbags.

That being said, the money chapter of the book does have merit. It puts a perspective on overspending that I hadn’t thought about before.

The problem is, there’s no room in her doctrine for personality. I don’t want an all white interior. Having some colour around the house does not mean you have clutter or that you’re unable to be calm. You know what won’t make me a calm? Living in a white box I have to clean all the time (although, she suggests scrubbing floors to slim down, so maybe thats her intention)

Basically, don’t buy this book. Go to the library, get a copy and then read it with a notebook, copy out the genuinely good quotes, the ones that would help you explain minimalism to a friend or refocus your mind when you’re decluttering. Then return the book and be glad you didn’t waste any money on it because it’s 80% drivel.


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