Wabi Sabi by Beth Kempton

Wabi Sabi

'A truly transformative read' Sunday Times STYLE 'More than ever, we need books like this' Jessica Seaton, Co-Founder of Toast and author of Gather, Cook, Feast A whole new way of looking at the world - and your life - inspired by centuries-old Japanese wisdom. Wabi sabi ("wah-bi sah-bi") is a captivating concept from Japanese aesthetics, which helps us to see beauty in imperfection, appreciate simplicity and accept the transient nature of ...

Details Wabi Sabi

TitleWabi Sabi
Release DateAug 30th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Self Help, Philosophy

Reviews Wabi Sabi

  • Laurence Green
    Well researched but the quality of the writing feels cluttered and confused at times. Is this an academic style treatment or a self help book tinged with Japanese philosophy, or something in-between? I worry it's a little too complex for the average reader that'd normally pick up this kind of book lured in by the beautiful binding and cover art. The book starts decently with a good d scriptions of wabi-sabi but eventually becomes bogged down in t...
  • Jitna Bhagani
    Beth's wonderful book Wabi Sabi allows you to invite some authentic Japanese pearls of wisdom into your life without having to shell out for the airfare. Wabi Sabi is well-researched and insightful, full of wonderful personal anecdotes and experiences, and is written by someone who has clearly immersed herself into Japanese culture far beyond a typical western visitor might do. This book gives practical information and ideas on accepting imperfec...
  • Cathy S
    I am currently reading the book and enjoying it so much! I had the pleasure of attending a workshop that Beth recently held in California and just love her and her outlook on business and life! I find that I often forget to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the little things all around me. Beth's knowledge of the Japanese culture is amazing and I love how she encourages us to see things differently. It is an easy, yet transformative read!
  • Karen Mace
    This is a book that seduced me with the cover and has inspired me with the contents!!I found this to be a little gem of a book full of wonderful little anecdotes and genuinely useful hints and advice on how to achieve your own little piece of 'wabi sabi' in your day to day life - even the smallest of chores can bring joy if you look at them differently and that is a big theme running throughout this little book - it seems to be about how you look...
  • Barbara
    The cover of this book made me want to have it. Every time I look at it I feel a wave of peace wash over me.One of my favorite parts in the book is when Beth talks about self-help gurus and how they claim to have woken up one day and their life is now perfect.Beth says, “I don’t buy it. We are all works in progress. Some of us happen to have had the opportunity to reflect, and perhaps have a platform from which to share what we are discoverin...
  • Giovanna Rizzutti
    Livro transformador. Acredito que muitos desses momentos eu já havia experienciado, porém sem saber que existia um nome. Sendo uma pessoa ansiosa, a busca pela paz e calmaria é algo constante, portando exercitar o Wabi Sabi e levar uma vida mais calma e desacelerada é algo necessário para a vida moderna. Cada página, um segredo simples mas profundo que me fez repensar toda a minha vida, e me fará repensar para o resto dela a melhorar meus ...
  • Lene
    It's got one bit I really like, about wabi sabi, other japanese philosophies, aesthetics and experiences from an outside perspective. Learning about the 72 microseasons and such was very interesting. Then the other part is pure self-help bs about living your best mindful, imperfect, insta-puke life. That bit can go suck an egg, as can the "humble" brags and shameless plugs.
  • Kelsey
    Kempton presents an overview of the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi and how it can lead to a more mindful and fulfilling life. An intriguing read and beautiful book design.
  • Chapter Ichi
    I laughed, I cried, I felt my heart soften. This book truly spoke to me.Beth Kempton delves into the Japanese way of thinking in a manner that translates to the western world, through the Japanese concept of wabi sabi. I found the book beautifully written, humble and thought provoking. It is not merely a motivational book; it provides insight into the Japanese culture from the perspective of a woman who has lived and breathed the Japanese way of ...
  • Rachel
    Incredible! So inspiring and full of wisdom. Fills you with a sense of calm, and that everything is going to be ok.
  • Erin Duncan
    I visited Japan for the first time a few months ago and fell in love with it. Being very keen to learn more about Japanese culture I was highly anticipating this book and it did not disappoint me.Wabi Sabi is an inspiring concept which Beth has encapsulated beautifully in her book. The book begins with an excellent explanation of the foundations of the Wabi Sabi which is extremely interesting and not too heavy or dry. Beth then takes you on a jou...
  • Kathy Brown
    This book is astonishing. It's beautifully articulated, presented and thought-provoking. It's timeless wisdom is powerful and the timing of its message could not be more pertinent for the high speed, jarring world that so often seems to have us all stuck in fight or flight mode, jammed on autopilot. It spoke to me on many levels, but most of all as a musician. Reading about the concept of wabi sabi triggered me into remembering the famous Debussy...
  • Victoria
    I loved this book, and I’m confused by some of the other reviews. Of course everyone has their opinion but the author does say wabi sabi is a feeling, not a style. In fact that is her whole point, that the word wabi sabi has been misused and misunderstood in the West, and it is actually a beautiful concept that helps us experience life differently. When she is talking about being inspired by the concept when decorating your space, she’s talki...
  • BJ
    I like the simplicity of some of the sections. The reminders to slow down and experience life are great reminders to see what we so easily ignore. The Rhythm of the Seasons is a great reminder to pay attention to the little seasonal changes that connect us to nature and to the passing of time. I enjoyed reading the microseason names - East wind melts ice, Cherry blossoms open, Earth is steaming wet, North wind rattles leaves, etc. All of these re...
  • miki
    Wabi sabi is a feeling, not a style. Wabisabi -styled-home does not make sense to me.I agree with the idea that everyone is capable of feeling wabisabi, but wabisabi I feel is mostly in the context of and reference in Japan. Isn't it just 'feeling content' rather than 'wabisabi'? Without historical/cultural relation, I find it hard to feel wabisabi, personally.(I am Japanese.)Well researched. It's much better than famous Ikigai book, at least.
  • Cris
    While "Freedom Seeker" inspired within us the courage to fly, "Wabi Sabi," teaches us to enjoy our flight--and perhaps take a detour in Japan!A thorough, thoughtful, inspiring read, this beautiful (and timely) book introduces us to the wisdom of Wabi Sabi through a mixture of history and personal anecdotes. I look forward to the author's next work.
  • Lisa-Jane Johnson
    I have loved reading this book! It's so gentle and comforting and left me with a warm feeling and a new appreciation for the world around me, with all its lumps and bumps! It really spoke to me at a time when I needed to hear it.
  • Clare S
    Just finished this book and I did what I always do with books that I love - I slowed right down towards the end as I didn't want it to finish! But actually I am going to read it again because it has 2 sides to it. It is a beautifully written book that dips in to Japanese culture, history, philosophy. Having just been to Japan for the first time I loved the reminders of a wonderful trip. I also know now that what I often feel about things has a na...
  • Lorraine
    This was my Christmas gift to a friend, and she passed it on to me when she was finished.First, this book is beautiful; the cover is gorgeous, and the pages are really thick paper, almost card stock.In the first part of the book, Kempton defines wabi sabi. She contends that while most Japanese people do not use that term, it's a concept that is implicitly, culturally understood and that involves an awareness of the passing of time, finding beauty...
  • Tara Costello
    The format of this book is confusing and unfortunately made it quite hard to enjoy. Is it self help book? Is it a historical book? Is it a memoir? I also found the author’s stories quite boring and skipped a lot. The author prefaces the book by saying most Japanese people can’t describe what wabi sabi is, so what was the point of the book then? I also couldn’t figure out if this was bordering on appropriation or not since the author does ma...
  • Ngọc Nguyễn
    It’s certainly not easy to give a concrete definition of wabi-sabi, even as Japanese themselves, as the author puts it. Yet, through all chapters, the concept and practices of wabi-sabi is unfolded vividly, not to mention the compelling foreword by Hidetoshi Nakata, legendary Japanese soccer player. At the end of the book, readers are advocated to embrace this philosophy for a much less turbulent life. Opposed to some reviews saying that the bo...
  • Patrick Hanlon
    This is one of the better, more in depth looks at wabi sabi that I have read. Kempton draws on a wealth of knowledge and experiences from her time in Japan to provide a book brimming with insights into the Japanese language, wabi sabi's place in Japanese culture and its potential as a source of guidance and perspective on the topic. There are a few rabbit holes that I did not need to go down - decluttering for one - but these seem to be associate...
  • Charlotte
    I really loved reading this book; it inspired me to life more simply/minimalistic and be more conscious and grateful about the little things in daily life that give us joy. Also the part about acceptance (of yourself or a situation in general) and letting go, was interesting to read. I found it in general a very relaxing, calm and lovely book. For some people who have already read a lot about minimalism/simplifying your life, this might not be to...
  • Gabrielle Rowan
    The first half was more interesting to me than the second. It is incredibly well researched by someone who has clearly immersed themselves in Japanese culture. I loved learning about wabi-sabi from various perspectives and it's rich cultural roots in Japanese life. The second half though read like a self-help book that could have been about almost anything. It was also very personal to the author's own life, which I don't mind but found the chang...
  • Linette
    I highly recommend this book! I think every person who would love to have some peace of mind and an intentional kind of living should read it. I don't consider it to be the general kind of "self-help" genre book. It is deep, makes you really wonder what it is that you need of life, and it is a total change of perspective to our surroundings, either material or our relationships with our family, friends and just random people we meet.
  • Lara (luellabella✂️)
    5 wonderful stars. I don't know how to express how much I loved this book without this being a long review, and long reviews I do not do, so I'll keep it short and sweet. I love the cover. I love that my parents bought it for me for Christmas. I loved Beth's personal accounts, and I also really loved the stories from others dotted throughout the book. I love the whole idea of finding your Wabi Sabi, and that it is something no one can really expl...
  • Sheryl Lee
    Soothing, provoking and charming in equal measure. This book challenges you to think differently, to imagine, to do practical simple tasks, to question your world view but in a gentle way with kind, honest guidance and a personable, relatable writing style. I will be picking this up from time to time all year I think!
  • Karen
    A fun little book that has been well researched. It has an EXTENSIVE bibliography at the end to further my own investigations into Japanese lifestyle and culture. There are plenty of questions to think about / journal about as you go through the book, and I found it easy to read.
  • Ben Keene
    At RBC we’d heard of Tsundoku (the growing pile of unread books on your bedside table), and often discussed Ikagi (finding the sweet spot — purpose — in our work). Beth serenely introduces another Japanese philosophy-in-a-phrase, Wabi Sabi, how to find beauty in imperfection. 8/10