Book Reviews: Breaking Busy, Renovate

I have two books with mixed reviews to share this week, so I thought I’d group them together.

First, Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy, by Alli Worthington. This a fast, confusing read.  I like the author’s voice, but this is a very surface-level book. Author Alli Worthington speeds too quickly through the stories she shares, never really going deep or allowing ideas to develop. There are frustrating gaps in the narrative, such as when she and her husband went bankrupt…and then just sort of recovered a few years later. It would have been interesting to see her explore busy-ness and stress during difficult times. She offers a variety of time-saving and organizational tips, but they’re all ones I’ve seen before elsewhere.

As I read, I also was aware of the extreme privilege Worthington writes from. Not that this disqualifies her from sharing her story, of course, but it would have been much more powerful if she acknowledged in a deeper way how blessed she is. Indeed, I think she would be a fantastic candidate to discuss the challenge of privilege: how many options it opens up, and the pressure to choose well, not squander opportunities, balance altruism with personal goals and desire, etc.

Not my cup of tea, but it might be yours.

Second up is Renovate: Changing Who You Are by Loving Where You Are by Leonce Crump, Jr. This book is worth the read for the story of white flight in Atlanta & the rise of nearby Buckhead alone. The author does a fantastic job of shedding light on the problems and challenges of the city he loves, along with the opportunities. And yet I never connected with the book on a personal level. It just seemed like his account of his call to this city and how he and his family are responding. Once I shifted my perspective, I really liked this book. A particular highlight is an interview with Lacrae and his thoughts on the intersection between Christian faith & creativity. Good stuff.

Disclosure: I received a copy of these books from their publishers in exchange for an honest review.