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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It depends on your point of view
This is a book for which my preference is to dip in and out of it. This is not a text for people who like tight structure and tangible outcomes. It is arguably indulgent because it is so evocative yet does not reach any conclusions - it is a book full of almost sensuous descriptions conjuring up all sorts of feelings and visions that will depend on your life experience...
Published 8 months ago by Pepper

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Not sure of the point of this book
This slim volume (76 pages) has been translated from the original French text. The author says 'what follows here is an enumeration, an ordinary list in one long sentence of ideas that came to me of their own accord by fits and starts, like a long whispered monologue...This essay should be seen as a kind of prose poem paying tribute to life'.

She concludes:...
Published 16 months ago by Ms. C. R. Stillman-lowe


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It depends on your point of view, 30 July 2014
By 
Pepper (Uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Sweetness of Life (Paperback)
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This is a book for which my preference is to dip in and out of it. This is not a text for people who like tight structure and tangible outcomes. It is arguably indulgent because it is so evocative yet does not reach any conclusions - it is a book full of almost sensuous descriptions conjuring up all sorts of feelings and visions that will depend on your life experience. The book is, in my view, successful because it does summon up strong and often nostalgic images from lines like - "listening in bed at night to the Westminster Chimes extending their ritornello every quarter of an hour in the kitchen". However, be prepared for the intensity of the text which just brings forth one image after another and,that's part of the reason why maybe the book is better in small doses.

The analogy I'd make is that to some people the description of a fine wine might be exciting, for example, "a fruity, full bodied flavour with a hint of spice and an after taste of woodiness" - some people will be enticed by this description, others might say it's a lot of pretentious nonsense. This book is exactly the same in the way it can be perceived.

In summary, this is a nicely presented and unusual book which, for the right person, could make a good gift but it isn't for everyone.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not sure of the point of this book, 17 Dec. 2013
By 
Ms. C. R. Stillman-lowe "Cathy SL" (Reading Berks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sweetness of Life (Paperback)
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This slim volume (76 pages) has been translated from the original French text. The author says 'what follows here is an enumeration, an ordinary list in one long sentence of ideas that came to me of their own accord by fits and starts, like a long whispered monologue...This essay should be seen as a kind of prose poem paying tribute to life'.

She concludes: 'The world exists through our senses before existing in more ordered fashion in our minds, and we should do all we can to preserve the creative faculty of sense throughout our lives: seeing, hearing, observing, understanding, touching, caressing, smelling, inhaling, exercising the faculty of taste, for everyone, for others, for life itself'.

I am afraid that I find this somewhat vague and pretentious. At £9.99, I don't think this represents value for money. Those wishing to live in the moment more consistently might do better to consult the many books Amazon offers on mindfulness, such as those by Vidyamala Birch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surreal continental prose that is ultimately enriching, 18 Oct. 2013
This review is from: The Sweetness of Life (Paperback)
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This is a short collection of reflections that will either be primarily charming and thought-provoking to some, or pretentious and self-indulgent to others.

Well for me it included at times all those characteristics but overall, I came down on the side of liking it. It needs to be put into context, first of all as a piece of continental prose that has been translated from French and is intended in the whole as a piece of art in and of itself, then if you are prepared to suspend your own Anglo-Saxon perceptions, it starts to make sense and is actually at times, very affecting.

That doesn't mean it's for everyone of course and this sort of thing is an acquired taste. I personally found it a short, pleasant experience and I was more enriched at the end of reading it than before I started, and so that can only be a good thing. Well worth trying if you fancy a bit of surrealist, continental prose.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dont let this steal too much of your time.., 25 Oct. 2014
By 
Adam Smith (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sweetness of Life (Paperback)
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This book is a list of memories, of the little things that the author enjoyed about life, sparked off by the comment of a doctor friend that he had "stolen" a weeks holiday in Scotland, away from a busy professional life. I was pretty under-whelmed. Stealing an hour to skim through this book left me feeling that I had lost a precious hour out of my life. I wont remember reading this book as one of my high points.

It has nevertheless got a point; we scull through our lives without too much pause to recollect the good moments. Do we spend enough time just savouring the simple pleasures of life, like having a beer, seeing the beauty in nature, really enjoying those odd moments when suddenly, happiness and contentment envelope us.

so she has a point,... but I would never have given this book four stars, and it barely escaped two.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Sweetness of Life, 18 Aug. 2014
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southcoastreviewer (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sweetness of Life (Paperback)
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"The Sweetness of Life" is perhaps a slightly misleading title for this. Whilst it is a nicely written book, and a slightly-deeper-than-normal beach read, if you don't want to be caught dead with the latest chick-lit novel, it is basically "The Fluffy World of the Butterfly Effect".

Seriously. The majority of this book is about the 'what if' consequence of what happens to us in our lives, focusing on the little things. It's not as hard hitting as the film of the same name, but the basic premise is the same.

It's not a book that's going to change my life in any way, shape, or form, but it was pleasant enough to read and I wouldn't dissuade anyone interested in 'life stories' from purchasing this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ah! The Sweetness of Life!, 21 Nov. 2013
By 
G. J. Oxley "Gaz" (Tyne & Wear, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Sweetness of Life (Paperback)
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John Lennon once sang (probably plagiarised) 'Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans'. That he could've lived to read this book...

Everyone spends so much of their time simply living, doing mundane but necessary things that bring no joy, only desolation, loneliness, despair, feelings of zero self-worth, aching for love - with lips that would kiss forming prayers to broken stone...

Sorry, getting a bit morbid there. In this slim book, Francoise Heritier writes about those exquisite moments in life, those tender, life-affirming, sensual moments of pleasure that make life worth living. This very nice volume encapsulates what we all feel, and reading it may just raise your spirits a little.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 25 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Sweetness of Life (Paperback)
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I don't often give up reading a book but I did with this. I really like the idea that the author is putting across - essentially that we need to make time for and notice the 'sweet things' in life, but the writing style was not for me.

Unless I have missed something, the book is almost entirely a list of the things that the author considers to be the sweetness of life, to start with I was interested and agreed with a lot of things listed but after a few pages I found myself a bit bored. Flicking a few pages on and then to the back of the book I realised that was basically it and decided to stop reading.

A nice idea but perhaps could have been written in a more interesting and appealing way.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Smug and pretentious., 22 April 2013
By 
doublegone (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sweetness of Life (Paperback)
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This is a beautiful looking well-made book with attractive print on nice-feeling paper. It is just a shame the words did not match its physical charms.

Try to imagine the facebook and twitter feeds of your most annoying acquaintance. That....times ten.

A busy doctor remarks that he has "stolen" a week's holiday on the Isle of Skye. This sets the author to thinking - here is a busy man who is missing the finer things in life. His days are so packed with work and obligations that he has no time to cherish those idle moments of pleasure. He talks of stealing a measly week off.

Francoise sets out to send him a list of all those little moments and pleasures which make up the sweetness of life. (The doctor of course probably gets his jollies from having a proper important job which he is good at, and that surely is his business!)

The bulk of the book is then just a massive list of what Francoise regards as life-affirming moments. Fair enough, but it comes across with a whiff of "look at me, and the depth of my interests and appreciation" So she lists bits from films, music, TV programmes, encounters with food, drink, cats, puppies.....

This goes on for chapter after chapter, with the occasional opening line such as "Is that the end?" (sadly no) or "I'll go on at the risk of boring you" (this is her at her most insightful)

It really boils down to "stop and smell the roses from time to time". I mean, who knew?

Smell a rose by all means but avoid this book. It smells of something else entirely.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Sweetness of Life, 1 Feb. 2014
By 
P. A. Ward "patsywoo" (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sweetness of Life (Paperback)
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This was a really interesting little book. So many examples of situations which should evoke emotion but that we go through or participate in without a thought. Things that, should we reflect upon them, could bring us joy, just little things. We live each day dismissing tiny things like stroking a purring cat, seeing a sunset, feeling the breeze in your face, smelling a beautiful rose, enjoying the feeling of climbing into freshly washed sheets etc.
Reading this book makes you think how wonderful life really is, if we live in the moment and take notice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet book, 27 April 2014
By 
R. Tait (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sweetness of Life (Paperback)
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As described, the book is essentially long lists of things that author feels appreciative of. The book has a hypnotic tone and I've found it great to read just before drifting off to sleep, or to start the day on a positive note. My favourite is '....switching on either just a small flashlight or large projectors..'.

The book is nicely designed and published, with fine typography and quality materials, which really seems to matter for poetic books.
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The Sweetness of Life
The Sweetness of Life by Françoise Héritier (Paperback - 7 Mar. 2013)
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