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Nothing Left Over by Toinette Lippe
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Nothing Left Over

by Toinette Lippe

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Nothing Left Over is a gem of a book by Toinette Lippe. It is part memoir and part meditation on how to approach a simple yet full life. I intentionally avoided the term "self-help" because the connotation it carries is one of a step-by-step process by which to do or be something. This work is both something more and something less than that, and sometimes less is good.

The suggestions and ideas for appreciating life are presented as both basic statements ("not only was [telling the truth] the right thing to do but it was also the simplest") as well as embodied in anecdotes from her life. In this way one can read the book as a memoir and gain some wisdom as well, or read it to learn and learn within the context of Lippe's life. In other words, a win-win (another phrase I usually avoid, but it fits here).

If you are looking to simply be told how to lead a simple life or a full life, you may well be disappointed, at least at first. From that perspective she may well come off as sounding superior, which I personally did not find. If, however, you are used to learning useful life lessons from novels or biographies, from within the context of lived (real or imaginary) moments, there will be many insights in this book beyond the basic ones presented in each chapter. Or, simply read it to experience some aspects of her rich and wonderful life.

I would recommend this book to anyone who might be looking for advice (not necessarily a checklist) on living and enjoying life. I also think those who enjoy biographies and memoirs, especially literay ones, will find this quite interesting.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via LibraryThing. ( )
  pomo58 | Sep 28, 2015 |
Excellent, Simple Advice ( )
  sjclance | Nov 30, 2007 |
In this (thankfully) relatively short book (257 pgs mm), Toinette Lippe discusses her thoughts on and practices for living a 'simple' life. While she imparts some ideas that are useful - but hardly original - for the most part this book comes across as a justification by Ms Lippe for living her life the way she does. In reality, her life does not seem 'simple' at all. She comes across as being fairly 'tightly wound', doing 30 minutes of yoga in ten minutes each morning and never leaving the house without making her bed (she wouldn't dream of it!). She says that she just lets life unfold as it will, but still seems to be her darned best to control it. Why the fast yoga??? I have to say that she lost me at that point - I just couldn't trust her as someone I could reliablity trust for information on this topic. There are plenty of books out there on simplifying and removing stress from one's life - I suggest that you try a different one. ( )
  kelli413 | Jul 21, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 158542160X, Hardcover)

Toinette Lippe, a prestigious book publisher and founder of Bell Tower publishing house, shares her life wisdom in Nothing Left Over. Her memoir speaks to living with full-tilt generosity and joy while not clinging to material clutter, resentments, and unfulfilled passions. "In truth, it is not the number of and diversity of our possessions that is the problem but our attachment to them.... The freedom we are all seeking is the freedom from the fear of losing what we believe we own." We've heard these sentiments before, but somehow coming from Lippe, who has her share of foibles, the words feel palatable and the wisdom feels earned. Like the gentle, intelligent voice in Gift from the Sea, Lippe contemplates the stories of her life as she passes on humble advice and observations. Whether she is writing of her existential crisis at 17 years old, her arrival in New York City as a 25-year-old virgin, the amazing conception of her son, or insider stories at Random House, Lippe offers a spiritual framework. In other words, she is an excellent storyteller--able to make meaning from her life so that readers can glean the rewards of her thorough contemplation. --Gail Hudson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:49 -0400)

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