Author: Brooke McAlary
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
My Rating: 5/5
‘Dear Mr & Mrs Jones, I am writing to inform you of my withdrawal from the race to keep up with you…’
Part memoir, part practical companion, Slow will inspire you to forget about the Joneses and create a life filled wit the things that really matter to you… slowly, of course.
It’s not often I review, or for that matter read, non-fiction. However, now and then a non-fiction book will hit the shelves and call to me, just as Slow by Brooke McAlary did.
Over the past few years, the slow living – minimalist movement has grown in momentum. And with it, the instruction manuals, podcasts blogs, and self-help books. You may think Slow is just another that falls into the category of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’ve had an attraction to slow-living and minimalism for a few years now, and have blogged about it in the past many-a-time, such as here, and here. What I’ve found, is that it’s a very personal, and individual journey for everyone. And if you haven’t figured that out, you’re on the wrong tram.
You see, there is no ‘one way’ to live a slow, simple life. And this is exactly the message at the core of Brooke’s book.
In Slow, Brooke McAlary – creator and host of the uber popular Slow Your Home blog & podcast – shares her journey towards and through living a slow and intentional life. Not so you can imitate her actions, but to help you realise what your own ‘why‘ is. Why does a slow, intentional life appeal to you? And more importantly, what are the things that matter, really matter, to you. What do you want your legacy to be? And Why. It’s not about the how. It’s about looking deep. Past the social mask and the past the Joneses, deep into yourself and your intentions for being.
I can’t put into words how affecting this book was for me. Brooke’s warm tone, her honest, straight-to-the-point narrative, and her ability to worm her way into your soul is mesmerizing. She shares both her own story, as well as practical advice and pathways that will be inspiring to those just feeling their way towards slow living, as well as those already embarking on their journey.
Covering the usual topics such as decluttering and mindfulness, Slow is so much more than a ‘how-to’ manual. It’s a book that feels like a warm hug of reassurance that there is still hope for a meaningful and intentional life for us all. It’s a book that will spark something within you, and help you realise that tiny changes, can and do, make a world of difference – and a difference to the world.
There’s not many non-fiction titles that I would choose to read again. Not from cover to cover at least. Slow is different. I want to hold it close, and re-read it again and again. Keep it under my pillow as a talisman. (Although maybe the bedside table is a better, less uncomfortable option!)
Maybe it’s because I found it reassuring that I am on – and I use this word hesitantly – the ‘right’ path. The validation that my innate feelings and longings towards a simple life can be true and powerful. Or maybe it’s because it’s cemented the realisation that a slow and minimal lifestyle looks different for everyone. I’m not sure. But I love, love, loved this book.
Having said that, it won’t be for everyone. Not yet anyway. some will still be up against the ‘life is too busy’ or ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘life is too full’ or ‘I’m in too deep to change’ mindset. And that’s okay. But if you are curious, even slightly, you must read this book. And re-read this book. And begin your own journey, no matter what it looks like – big or small – just begin.
I’m giving Slow five big hearts out of five. (If you hadn’t guessed already.)
Slow by Brooke McAlary is available from all good bookstores and online in various formats. You can also listen to Brooke and her hubby Ben, on their podcast Slow Your Home, available on all podcast apps, or visit the blog at www.slowyourhome.com