was successfully added to your cart.

do less: A Book Review & Book Club Discussion Guide

By August 9, 2016 8 Comments
“You don’t need a time machine to take you back to a simpler life; you can create that simple life today.”
– do less by Rachel Jonat
Voluntary simplicity simply means you can choose how you want to live your life! You can make decisions that bring a sense of order and peace of mind into your daily life. You can decide what works for you!
“As a lifestyle, minimalism is using the simplest and fewest things to create the maximum effect possible…minimalism can help you tune out distractions and focus on the simple pleasures in your life.”
If you want to learn more about doing less and living more, please join me for an Organized by Olive book review and discussion!

Olive’s Book Review: 

do less: a minimalist guide to a simplified, organized, and happy life

by Rachel Jonat


Rachel is dedicated to living a “rich life with less stuff.” This small book will show you how to embrace minimalism with voluntary simplicity. It can “ help you get rid of the clutter in your home, life, and work so you can spend your time, money, and energy on the things you really love.” The essence of it all is using “the simplest and fewest things to create the maximum effect possible.” She offers a simple guide that will help you “tailor your life to include just the things you truly need and enjoy.” And she gives you the liberty to make decisions that reflect your values and priorities. She wants each reader to create a simple and meaningful life.

I found this book very easy to read. I was challenged by the concepts, but not intimidated. When I read a library book, I usually mark interesting passages with a sticky note. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I needed my own copy! And so now I am reading it a second time so I can highlight the pages.  She asks lots of questions that make you stop and think. She offers many ways to step into the minimalist world. She shows the natural consequences of making countercultural decisions. And she demonstrates how to truly enjoy life!

Each chapter opens with a meaningful quote. I especially like this William Morris quote,

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. “

It is one of my favorite quotes; I have it on my business brochure and on my website. This guideline will help you to create a home that is calm and peaceful, a place that is a true refuge from the crazy busy world.

I am just beginning to learn about minimalism. This book offers a wealth of ideas that are simple, practical, and realistic. Read it with a cup of tea. Take your time thinking about it. Try out a few suggestions. Then enjoy living with less stuff and more space! Enjoy being in your home! Enjoy peace of mind! Enjoy doing less!

She concludes the book with this quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder:

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”

See below for a list of engaging discussion questions – share your thoughts in the comments!


Olive Wagar

Author Olive Wagar

More posts by Olive Wagar

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Mev McCurdy says:

    Sounds like an intriguing book and appealing life!

    • Olive says:

      Yes, it was the perfect summer book–short & sweet! I especially liked that she offers a variety of suggestions and allows the readers to choose what works best for them. No demands, no guilt, just encouragement along the way!!

  • Cynthia Newcomb says:

    I’m getting the book for myself

    • Olive says:

      You will enjoy it, Cynthia!! She introduces new perspectives and ideas in a way that makes you curious enough to try them out. You just might finally say goodbye to a life filled with chaos & clutter and say hello to a life filled with calm & simple pleasures!

  • I like that quote near the beginning of your post, where it explains that minimalism is about eliminating distractions. I had never thought of it that way, but it makes so much sense. Anything that doesn’t help us live the life we want, distracts us from doing so.

  • Olive says:

    Yes, Janet, you are exactly right! We often passively let distractions become the main attraction in our lives! It takes courage to take the path less traveled and to discover the joy of simple things.
    Thanks for offering this topic for P.O.B.C.!!

  • Olive, Thank you for this wonderful review and analysis of my book. So happy to hear you found the book helpful and I love reading reviews that mention this is gentle approach to minimalism. To me that’s one of the most exciting aspects of minimalism: we can all apply to our lives in a way that best fits what we need and want. So some of us keep the wedding china (me!) but start using it daily and some of us decide to sell it because it just doesn’t fit with our life anymore. And you can get some benefits from minimalism no matter the size of your home or your family!
    Cheers, Rachel

  • Olive says:

    What a special treat to read your comments, Rachel! Your book is definitely one of my favorites! We had a delightful evening of discussion and laughter the night of the book club. Each one of us was encouraged to step into minimalism in our own unique way. As for me, I have moved my “fancy” glass dishes into my kitchen cabinet so that I use them almost every day. And I will always keep a pretty box of special cards that refresh my spirit whenever I reread them. Thank you for taking the time to stop by!!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: