Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

So, it’s less than a month into the new year and I have a to-read list a mile long that I’ve already deviated from by reading this. This is exactly why I needed this book, which is all about the type of mental and emotional de-cluttering that I’ve been working on with mixed success for a couple of years now. You could probably also benefit from this book, even if it’s just as a quick-ish afternoon read for a few laughs–though I think most of us could learn at least a couple of things from Sarah Knight’s humorous suggestions for living one’s best life.

The book is well-organized into clearly labeled and defined sections that break things down into manageable chunks, and Knight does a good job of describing a system that can be applied to one’s life in stages. Because this sort of de-cluttering is something I’ve been thinking about and working on for some time, it wasn’t all new information–she’s not exactly reinventing the wheel here–but I found it validating to read something that is supportive of what I’ve been trying to do, and Knight’s systematic approach to things is genuinely useful and helped me realize some of the flaws in my own haphazard way of dealing with life stuff. There is definitely a focus on bourgeois concerns that may be alienating (or at least mildly-to-moderately irritating) to some readers–like, there’s a lot of stuff on weddings and who on earth goes to that many weddings?–but most of Knight’s advice and systems are portable in ways that can be adapted to any lifestyle. The book is also just repetitive enough that if you find your eyes glazing over during another passage about destination bachelorette parties or something, you can–and I learned this from the book!–choose not to give a fuck about it and skip ahead to something more useful to you.

I guess, if you’re religious or just don’t care for repeated usage of the f-word, you could just grab your nearest copy of the prayer for serenity and hope for the best, but there are some great tips here for setting priorities and establishing boundaries that help to maximize your enjoyment of life and minimize stress and resentment. Plus, it is pretty short.

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