Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection

Haemin Sunim. Penguin, $20 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-14-313228-8
Zen Buddhist teacher Sunim (The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down) looks tantalizingly at essential yet everyday aspects of the human experience in this lively book of reflections. Divided into broad chapters filled with anecdotes spanning the globe, the book is a multicultural offering for all readers, though the quality varies. Some chapters are relatable and valuable, such as “Family,” in which Sunim urges adult children to care for their elderly parents, and “Empathy,” in which he reminds readers of the power of hugs and listening as an act of love. Other sections are more questionable, such as the author’s view that depression is a natural part of life’s ups and downs and is easily fixable. In addition to stories from Sunim’s own life, the book contains thought-provoking aphorisms, poems, and simple messages: “Do not think of yourself as a crescent moon/waiting for someone else to fill in the missing part of you....” Others are simplistic and of questionable value: “If you take home a cat and care for it,/ it won’t be long before it becomes/ the cutest cat in the world.” This is a breezy book with generally helpful reminders, wise advice, and pithy sayings to soothe the challenges of hectic life. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/24/2018
Release date: 12/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-14-313229-5
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