cover image Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World

Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World

Brooke McAlary. Sourcebooks, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4926-6554-0

McAlary (Destination Simple) gives a much-needed gift to the chronically overcommitted with this wise self-help primer. After McAlary suffered from a debilitating bout of postnatal depression following the birth of her second child, she took a hard look at her life and realized that she was miserable trying to “keep up with the Joneses” by accumulating more accomplishments and possessions, while working too much to ever fully enjoy them. Inspired by blogger Leo Babauta’s “Zen Habits,” the author began a campaign to simplify her life. She began by decluttering—both literally and figuratively—and makes a critical point when she reminds readers that any lasting change comes gradually. Wisely, McAlary doesn’t insist readers immediately and drastically streamline their lives. Instead, she encourages asking clarifying questions, such as “Do I want this?” and “Do I need this?” She also dispenses a prescription for mindfulness, beginning with “the simple art of paying attention,” and recommends putting down one’s smartphone or tablet and interacting with others. Refreshingly, McAlary is the first to admit that getting from anxiety to zen was anything but a smooth process, and her candor will encourage others to follow her inspiring advice. Agent: [em]Maggie Thompson, Allen & Unwin. (July) [/em]