Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

Present Over Perfect

LIVE A LIFE OF MEANING AND CONNECTIONInstead of pushing for perfectionA few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy.I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, writer, and I know all too well that settling feeling. But over the...

Details Present Over Perfect

TitlePresent Over Perfect
Release DateAug 9th, 2016
Number of pages240 pages
GenreNonfiction, Christian, Religion, Faith, Autobiography, Memoir, Self Help

Reviews Present Over Perfect

  • Annie Rim
    I was drawn to Shauna Niequist's newest book, Present Over Perfect because its title seemed to indicate our current season. I quickly realized that Niequist's life and my life are vastly different. While I'm learning to live with a messy playroom, Niequist is finding balance by saying no to Big Opportunities and Flashy Job Offers. She's learning to settle in at home with a cup of tea and her family. Perhaps it's harder for someone with a lot of o...
  • Callie
    1.5/5 stars.I have never read anything by Shauna Niequist, but I see her books everywhere. So when I saw Present Over Perfect available for review, I thought, why not? Niequist is known (to me) for her food memoir, so I knew this book would be a bit of a departure, but I was excited to give it a try. However, I would not recommend reading this book. As so many books I have read lately, I felt this one had positive and negative elements, but the n...
  • Jennifer
    I am a fan of Shauna Niequist's honest and approachable style. Her devotional Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are is one I've relied on for the past couple of years.Having read probably 10 books about "slowing down" and "simplifying," I'm never quite sure if I'll glean anything new from a book or if it will just be more of the same. I'm not sure if Niequist's writing just resonates so well with me, if I was desperate to hear the me...
  • Morgan Zoeller
    Where to begin with this review...I think first the positive. First and foremost, this book should be called a memoir. It should not be read for spiritual instruction, but since Niequist has assumed the role of an author, speaker, and teacher, no doubt readers are coming to her for instruction. If I were rating this book simply on writing style and relatability to the author's struggle for simplicity, for being present over perfect, I would give ...
  • Von
    I WANTED to like this book, really I did, and to be honest there were a few chapters I really appreciated. However, I just don't think I can relate very well to the context of the struggle. It's really hard for me to connect to someone that has the luxury of going away from life every summer to a lake house or Lake Geneva and leaving things behind. I kept wondering why things were so tough for a person that has two healthy kids, a loving/wonderfu...
  • Ioana
    I'm always curious of Shauna's new books, although I have realized long ago that I'm not always the targeted audience of everything she writers. I don't resonate with everything she writes about in this book, but there have been some aspects that rang true and caught my attention.Shauna Niequist tells stories from her personal discovery of what it means to have way too much on your plate, saying "yes" to one more thing, but forgetting what is imp...
  • Rebecca
    This book spoke to me so deeply. The whole book is wonderful, but three things in particular pervaded my recent thinking.It’s ok for life to be less impressive on the outside. This might mean fewer vacations, fewer blog posts, and fewer parties, because being home and being with our loved ones leaves a space that is “beautiful and peaceful and full of life and connection, what I was looking for all along.” A Romanian saying I learned from m...
  • Angela Mushrush
    I stopped on page 70. I just can't believe this is a book and I'm embarrassed and kind of angry that I bought it. There are some truths in this book. Basically that she's addicted to working and is really rich and blah blah blah. She could have summed this book up in about a paragraph on her Facebook account. I waited for her to say how she became present over perfect but she just kept talking about vacations and describing places (like Hawaii) o...
  • Sarah
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm convinced Shauna Niequist is me, just 12 years older and with an excessive love of cheese I'll never be able to share. Basically everything she writes hits me squarely in the heart and tells me exactly what I need to hear right when I need it most. This one was no exception. Full review to come.
  • Jennifer
    A 4.5 for me. A really strong (good) message about not hustling. Almost feels like she can see into my brain.
  • Amy
    If you want to start your next year out right, this book is for you. Niequist really explores our lack of presence in our lives as this becomes overshadowed by busy schedules and pleasing the wrong people in our lives. Basically, this book is giving you the side-eye, overcommitted extrovert. You know it is!Shauna shares her own struggles of overcommitting, guilt about what she isn’t doing, and how we look for validation through social media ins...
  • Samantha Baruzzini
    Sometimes you read a book and it feels good to finish something. Then there are books that move me. Bring tears to my eyes. Convict me of needing to find and rediscover pieces of myself and my soul and connection to God. To make the time for quiet and stillness and prayer. For creating and recreating furniture and art and song. That is this book. I haven't picked up and finished one so quickly amidst my busy-with-life frantic mindset in a long ti...
  • Christy Ryan
    Hmmmm. Not what I thought. This type of book is truly my favorite type of non fiction. I love books on balance, busyness and best yes. My night stand is full of them. Love the title and the concept of slowing down and giving your best to those in your home first. But, I felt like I was drowning in so much new age thinking that this one just wasn't for me.
  • Melody Warnick
    That thing when you read a book that is exactly what you need at this precise moment in your life? Yeah, I love when that happens.
  • Melissa
    I love Shauna's honesty. Always have, (probably) always will. And her cry for saying no to perfectionism and yes to connection are words I can always hear more. I bookmarked a few words that got my heart, and her essay on "Good Fruit" is one that I will come back to again. I'll buy her next book and read her blogs. (4 stars) But the book really lost steam about halfway through. (2 stars) And the filler uncomfortably sat in the way of an otherwise...
  • Lori
    I really enjoyed the book "Bread and Wine", but I struggled to finish this one. Too repetitive and the new age religious tone of this book, well lets just say I'm not a fan.
  • Elizabeth Moore
    "...and the soul felt its worth."
  • Hannah Christmas
    "If you're not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it. In my rampant yes-yes-yes-ing, I said no, without intending to, to rest, to peace, to groundedness, to listening, to deep and slow connection, built over years instead of moments."In Shauna Niequist's book of her personal journey to a more connected and simpler life, she writes honestly about the lowest points of her life and how s...
  • Michelle
    A thoughtful and reflective, "Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living" Chicago author wife and mother Shauna Niequist shares her personal transformation, going from being overworked and overwhelmed to peace-connection-rest.The crisis point arrived in her life with her anxiety levels were "through the roof" from caring for her small children, unfinished writing projects, travel, speaking engagements, ...
  • Mollie
    I did not learn anything from this book. The best thing about it was the title. The rest was her complaining about how busy she is and how she isn't going to write books anymore—while she is writing a book. I wish it had more practical advice, or even just wisdom about what matters in life versus what doesn't. Instead it felt like a lot of self-loathing followed by peace followed by more self- loathing.
  • Rebecca
    I think there were nuggets of good thoughts here and there in this book, but overall, I was overwhelmed by the serious lack of recognition of privilege throughout. I had to wonder if someone making a low to middle-range income had read a manuscript at any point through the editing process. It might have helped. I think the fact that I heard a ton of hype about this book may have set me up for disappointment, but still. That said, if you happen to...
  • Jessica
    I wanted to love it. I like the author's style, I like her honesty, I like that she read the audio version. But it felt like Brene Brown's books without the research and helpful aids, with added fluff. It was totally redundant, and way more religious than I expected. This book might be perfect for someone who feels like she has to do it all and be perfect all the time, but that's not me, so maybe it just didn't resonate with me.
  • Amy
    Shauna repeats herself WAY too much, felt like I was reading a blog post about the same thing over and over again. Is this book a memoir or self-help? very selfishly written if she truely meant to inspire. the premise is good, but how??? no meat whatsoever, especially if you're looking for truth based on the Bible. I have never given such a low review, I almost feel bad, but she says in her book that she isn't looking for accolades from others an...
  • Jodi
    Didn't agree with everything here, but loved her reminders to connect with God and not be so concerned about presenting a perfect image of oneself. Loved her counsel to make sure you give your best self to those closest to you. She says that if you break your back giving your best self to everyone else instead of your closest circle, you will end up hurting the most important people in your life, and have a really sore back.
  • Jessica
    I could not bring myself to finish this book! The beginning resonated with me in a big way, but halfway through and I felt she started repeating herself. And, sorry, but not everyone is afforded the privilege to be able to steal away and write in your serene beach house alone and just has trouble slowing down enough to do so. That irritated me to no end. Sorry,'s a pass for me.
  • Rene
    This may be for some. But definitely not for me. Poorly written. I felt so much was left out. The word whining comes to mind and narcissism... definitely not for me.
  • Janssen
    I liked this one, but I think my expectations were just a LITTLE too high for it.
  • Lauren Albrecht
    I had high expectations for this book. I loved the beginning, but got a little lost in the middle reading about lake life. However, the last chapter is everything I needed. This whole book spoke to this season of my life - busyness and exhaustion - and I needed to read it all for the last chapter to have the impact it did! It took me a while to finish it because of the middle muddiness, but I appreciate the overall reminder to be present, to slow...
  • Alexis
    I really liked this book. I would have given 5 stars if it seemed a little more like a narrative instead of shorter blog type pieces. Great advice and exploration of being a grown up... great advice on simplifying and finally stopping caring about what others will think... great advice on remembering the essence of a loving God.
  • Cody
    Really, Goodreads is one example amongst many in which we measure ourselves by the standards of the world. We grade ourselves by how much we accomplish, how soon we do so, and how other's view us- and so becoming robotic slaves to the expectations of everyone else but God and ourselves. Sure, we have our own idols of performance to evaluate, but so often what drives us to those things are others imposed just as much as self-imposed. We need to fi...