Most helpful critical review
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
OK, but hardly life-changing
on 13 August 2010
I bought this on the strength of other reviews, but was more than a little disappointed. This isn't a book about wabi sabi, it is a self-help book to calm and organise your life, with a little wabi sabi thrown in.
I think that if you are a completely over-worked and stressed-out, and feel that unless you do something soon your life is going to fall apart, you are much more likely to benefit from reading this book. If you already know about decluttering your life and have what you'd consider a reasonable understanding of wabi sabi, then don't expect anything great.
I had hoped for lots of photos of Japanese (specifically) artefacts that exemplify wabi sabi, with explanations or anecdotes, but the whole book was far too much how-to-alter-your-unhealthy-western-lifestyle to deserve a higher star-rating. I found it all a bit too bland, too general, with too much of it common-sense, and I didn't really feel that I gained much from reading it. I also felt that the term "wabi sabi" was banded around far too much, diluting its value, and used more as a justification for inclusion of the text than anything else. Wabi sabi is much more than a concept for interior decoration or life-enhancement. No doubt I'm not the intended audience and perhaps I ought to be pleased that I'm already a long way into my wabi sabi journey!
This is just what I would have personally liked to have known before buying it.