April 15, 2015

Book Review: A Simple Life by Desi Anwar

A Simple Life
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!

My sister sent this book to me last week. She insisted that I read this book right away with the other self-help reads and I wondered if she saw me as a person who’s in need of urgent help. Seriously, it’s not that I don’t like to read self-help or what. But whenever I go to a bookshop, it’s surely not a self-help shelves that I go straight too. Or when I browse for a new book on Amazon, surely it’s not a self-help related book that I put into my cart. But I don’t mind reading one as an assignment from school. So when my sister out of sudden ‘shoved’ this book to my reading list, I was a bit surprised but agreed to read it anyway.
I heard about Desi Anwar a lot before. In my eyes, she was a really successful journalist. I watched her Face 2 Face program every week attentively because she always managed to awe me with the great leaders she’d got to interview. So, I was excited to read her thoughts in a form of book.

Source: Me
(I never really wore glasses to read but this time I do. Oh you know, to get the 'feels'..)
Like the title, Desi wrote about how to lead a simple life in a world full of complex issues. I half expected it would be a cliché self-help read at first. What I did not expect was to find a really enjoyable inspiring read with lots of funny anecdotes. She picked up several simple things from our daily activities to be the topic for every chapter such as gardening, taking a walk, pets, and so on. The way she related every topic to her own experiences and in the end concluded it in a simple but meaningful life lesson was interesting. It helped that she had a funny way to deliver it into words. How when she wrote about her experience as this elementary school kid, she described it vividly along with how she felt that day. It was as if we were brought to the moment and seeing this little girl sulking over a chocolate bar. Years later this little girl, all grown-up, realized the exact meaning behind the memory and presented it here with her mature opinion to make a great closing statement for readers to think about.
Almost every chapter is my favorite but I love ‘Moving On’ best. There’s a line that I highlighted and etched in my mind. It might be a cliché saying for some people, but I found it slipping on my sleeves and slowly crept its way to my brain.
‘If, she said, after you did your best but still can’t get the result you want, then by all means, just change your mind about it. Who says you have to have it just because you want it? There are many other things that you can do as long as you open yourself up to other possibilities.’
(Moving On, p. 95-98; A Simple Life)
I just failed to accomplish something last year and until now it’s still hard for me to push the memory away from my head. Reading this, I could literally hear a voice in my head yelling the underlined sentence above over and over again. I found myself nodding my head and my heart practically made it my new mantra to move on.
This book contained a lot of trivia and useful advices. Little things that we often ignored in life, Desi brought it up and made us see them from different angle and perspective. Thus, letting us to consider rethinking our way of seeing things before making a statement about them. Oh, and I liked what she said about reading. I often read the definition of reading by lots of famous people or authors yet I found hers perfectly suit my thought!
‘The act of reading is at once solitary and yet far from lonely. A simple act that opens our mind up to complexities and unlimited possibilities; a stillness and takes us on journeys beyond our imagination.’
(The Joys of Reading, p. 92; A Simple Life)
Reading this would make you realize that life is simple, as long as you know how to exactly lead it that way. Changing your perspectives, learning from the past experiences, paying attention to little things, these very simple thing are small examples of how to do it. I read this book on my weekend, after-rain, and I found it really comforting and relaxing to read it that way. Sitting in the living room with window open overlooked the small terrace outside, the trees still dripping waters from the rain, and the breeze caressed my face slowly but steadily. This book in my lap and I felt real grateful for such a small gesture.
Read this, people, so you can share the relief I felt after reading this. It’s amazing, really.

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


  1. u should definetely published ur own story...

    1. Well, I want that too ;)
      Thanks for visiting!