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Summary

In a culture that values speed, efficiency, image, and busyness, some of us are aching for another way to live: more intentional, more connected. Simpler, slower, richer. Many of us have believed the myth that achievement and success bring us contentment, only to find it's actually things like connection and meaning, not success and achievement, that provide true peace and genuine happiness.

Present over Perfect is best-selling author Shauna Niequist's motto for how to live a rich, engaged, and loving life in the midst of what often feels terribly messy and imperfect. Similar in format to Shauna's previous books, Present over Perfect is a collection of essays that focuses on the journey from frantic and tired to connected and free. Many of us find ourselves busier than we want to be, missing the sweetest moments along the way. We end up resentful and distracted, full of regret and feeling disconnected. Present over Perfect is a hand reaching out to a new way of living - full of grace, space, and connection.

As a wife, mother, friend, and writer, Shauna shares with vulnerability and transparency the reality of living wholly present in our relationships with our families and the others we love and inspires listeners to discover their own paths to this more fulfilling way to do life.

©2016 Shauna Niequist (P)2016 Zondervan

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Playing over and over

So loved this book I've been playing it over and over in my car letting it's powerful yet gentle message wash over my weary soul. Thank you Shauna for penning such a honest and personal journey to a different life. I am grateful and forever changed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Life changing

This book I believe was Beautifully written. Such poetic but truthful words that Shauna uses. It was food for my soul and I'm inspired by it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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life changing

Want a slower paced but more meaningful life? This book is a must-read. It has changed so much of how I see things.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great lessons to be learned but too religious

This book was great in regards to the overall message. It was beautiful written too. Unfortunately i started to disconnect when it started being too God-centric. As an atheist i found it off putting to have everything referred back to God. Rather than a chapter, it's a theme that is persistent throughout which stopped me really enjoying the book.

It reminds me of R Brown's Power of Vulnerability - which i LOVED!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

beautiful and life changing

A story of the triumph of letting go in a world which tells us that identity is found when i live out of anxiety and fill my time and my space with stuff.

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  • YS
  • 07-02-18

excellent<br />

excellent read particularly for mums working hard as Superwoman. transparency of this story is inspiring

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Personal & Extremely Expressive

A little flowery with words. She has a very expressive way of explaining things and the language is beautiful, however my personal taste leans more towards deep meaning rather than pretty words.

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  • Shannon Martin
  • 12-08-16

Thought provoking.

This book made me re-evaluate my goals and aspirations. For that reason alone it was a good book. If I have a reservation about the book it is that not everyone can do the drastic life change she did. Some people are in a season or station in life where they do not have the option of dropping work, however, the introspection is still healthy. I would recommend this book

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenna B.
  • 12-08-16

starting over right now

seriously LOVED hearing the author read her own words. i felt like she was snuggled up next to me with a cup of hot coffee, compelling me to listen closely. i finished last night and am restarting this morning. it's that good.

43 of 46 people found this review helpful

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  • Fromatoz
  • 13-02-17

A long, curious blog post

This book follows a current theme of blog writers attempting to write books that often turn into extremely long blog post that seem to get lost in themselves. Another reviewer commented that it seems like a diary that has simply been put into book form, and I think that's accurate. The book Manders and drags on and many parts and leaves me baffled at the good reviews.

I had a hard time relating to much of what was said including an upscale School having a beach house and it just a life that is only hard because the author feels like having a hard life. It's clear that most of everything that the author struggles with can be dropped unlike my own life or, I'm guessing, the life of many other readers.

I have to wonder if most of the good reviews are simply people were already fans in the blog and read the book knowing what they were going to get. I struggled to finish the book, many parts of Simply seem to drag on with unnecessary descriptions. And one part the author even talks about how they are having trouble finishing the book. Clearly, placing emphasis on word count in book length is not a good way to create a readable book. The author seems like a really good person and I'm likely to check out her blog, however this book was dreadful.

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Sunshinegirl
  • 03-11-17

Aimless and humble bragging

If you want to hear an entire book about her “humble bragging” accomplishments and her extravagant life- mixed with a handful of random babbling that makes no sense and has no direction, with uncertainty about which religion she associates with (she mentions going to temples, rabis, pastors, spiritual director, cathedrals..) - then this is the book for you!
Honestly this book is written for wealthy stay at home trophy wives who brag about all “the hardships” in their life like going on extravagant retreats and vacations to Hawaii... also, this book is SO random... she goes from talking about “don’t say yes to everything” to “say yes to everything!” And then, randomly includes stories about her friends affairs and just all around I don’t recommend this book.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-11-16

Somewhat repetitive; a lot of "I"

I listened to this book straight through on a road trip. It might better be consumed a bite -- or essay -- at a time. From the beginning, I identified with so much Niequist had to say, and I've already taken many if the steps she suggests to transform my life. However, I can understand how some other reviewers couldn't identify with the lifestyle, opportunities, and choices she presents. I have friends without college degrees working minimum wage jobs to help support the family that would have a hard time relating to the author's life. On the other hand, reading the book for them could spark imagination and broaden their thinking about possibilities in their lives.
On another note, the Niequist's delivery of the Audible version reminded me of Brene Brown. Brown, however, has the benefit of being able to intersperse personal anecdotes and realizations with stories from her research, so listening at length doesn't become tiresome. And she's more humorous and laid back in her delivery.
Overall, a good book in smaller doses than I took.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Michaela
  • 27-01-17

LOVE.

Absolutely loved this book. Permission to stop and breathe and just be. Shauna did a great job narrating as well!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Lauren
  • 19-10-16

Lovely concept but lacking

Loved the whole concept of this lovely book. To be honest, it felt like it was mostly her telling her story, which was nice. Yet- there wasn't a ton of help for the listener. I wanted to be guided, not just listen to author share her story.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirk
  • 30-08-16

Great book!!

This book spoke to me on every level. Her story could've been my story. In fact it was my story. Now that I have listened to the audio book - I loved her voice, by the way - I will go back and buy the book. There are just too many things I need to underline and save and perhaps put on my mirror. If you are in the midst of a life change, this book will bring you peace. Or if you just know that you are too beholden to external sources of validation, this book will help you realize that you are enough exactly as you are. It's a great message.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Laurie Scarpelli
  • 19-08-16

Devoured This Book!

One of two books this year that I wanted to own the audio and the hardcover because I wanted every word to penetrate my heart and mind. Shauna's best work to date.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • philip w smith
  • 15-09-16

Great Explanation/Insight

This book is full of reminders in regards to how easy it is to get swept away with the unimportant. It also leaves you gifts of encouragement, guidance, and wisdom. While written from a woman's perspective it is still highly applicable to men. Thank you Shauna!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful