For a couple weeks now, Mike Donghia at The Art of Minimalism has been hinting about releasing an eBook soon. With the sudden surge in self-published eBooks within the simple living community, I was a bit doubtful that he would be able to release a product with fresh content that sets itself apart from the rest. This isn’t really a doubt I had towards him specifically, but any writer who has been thinking about writing an eBook on minimalism in the past couple weeks or near future. I’ve only read a small handful of eBooks, but stopped reading them because it was getting repetitive. Hasn’t everything already been said and done?
So, when I received an e-mail from Mike a couple weeks ago with a kind request to read and review his eBook, I was on the fence about it. I wanted to jump at the opportunity because I’d never been asked to read a book before its release and write a review on it! At the same time, I wanted to ignore his e-mail. He probably sent it to dozens of writers, I told myself. It’s OK if you don’t read it. Someone else will. I don’t have time to do this. I wanted to help him out, but I was afraid I wouldn’t like the book and did not want to write a critical review. After going back and forth with myself, I responded with, “YES! I’m in.”
Then I read it.
Rise Above the Noise is not about decluttering. It’s not about selling your car and possessions. It’s not about quitting your job and traveling the world. It’s about you and me and this noisy world we live in. This books reaches out to everyone – regardless of your job, goals, lifestyle, diet, or religion.
I’m currently trying to figure out the balance between the constant information that is thrown my way all day and the desire for quiet. This book appeared in my life at a perfect time. Mike addresses this issue by identifying all the loud and silent noise that fills up our lives – most of which we aren’t even aware of. He makes you think about how much technology has changed our lives and whether we have a little too much freedom with the endless choices presented to us. I enjoy Mike’s writing style – he writes in a way that readers can understand and identify with what he is writing about. There are no high-tech words. There are no crazy concepts. Just simple, to-the-point, and easy to relate. Colin Wright and Tyler Tervooren also supplemented the book with excellent essays. Tammy Strobel threw in a good section about car-free living as well, but I didn’t really think that topic fit well with the rest of the book.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book was that it left me wanting to hear more. I would have liked more practical, specific tips on exactly how to deal with the noise. The resources section also seemed a bit short, but that may be Mike’s way of saying that you don’t need a list of a million sources – just one or two is enough to get you to where you need to be. I’m actually going to check out a couple of the resources once this review is up!
The book also looked pretty spiffy when I read it on my iPad. It is neatly organized and employs narrow margins so each page is full, rather than spreading it across more pages with only single lines of text. With this in mind, you know you are getting a solid book, and not pages of fluff.
But you know what the really cool thing is? For the first week of the launch, every single penny he makes from Rise Above the Noise is going to a charity organization called HOPE International. HOPE International is a non-profit that gives small micro loans to aspiring small business owners in Third World countries. Doing this empowers individuals to change their lives. Wow! So even if you are on the fence about reading this book, you can help someone achieve his or her dream by buying it.
Lately, I’ve been talking about discovering what makes you happy, valuing yourself, getting your butt off the couch, and doing something. It doesn’t matter how big or small your act is, the important thing is that you take the step to do something about whatever it is you’re passionate about – whether it be serving others or investing in yourself. Here’s your chance to do something and help someone else achieve their dreams too. Plus, you get an eBook written by a pretty swell guy. Buy Rise Above the Noise, help someone start up a small business, and learn about the noise in our everyday lives. For $10. You can’t beat that.
So what’s stopping you? Go check it out!
Be the change you want to see in the world.