Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier With Less by Peter Walsh (Free Press; $26.00; 304 pages)
This review is of the unabridged audio book version on CDs (Tantor Media; $19.99)
“We’ve lost money but we’ve found a sense of priority in our lives… We are increasingly conscious of our environment, and no longer have to drive the heftiest SUV on the road. We don’t care for another 2,000 square feet of living space if we can live comfortably with less.” Peter Walsh
As was anticipated, Lighten Up is classic Peter Walsh. Peter is known for taking a patient, thoughtful and respectful stance when approaching his clients’ issues. Viewers of the many episodes of Clean Sweep, a television show that aired on The Learning Channel, or of his current show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, are familiar with the set up. Peter answers a request for help from a family with a house full of clutter (also known as junk). He provides the family with an opportunity to address their underlying issues and at the same time rid themselves of the life-defeating mess that has been robbing them of time, energy and space.
The plan set forth in this latest offer of assistance is specific to the overwhelming problem of debt that has become a world-wide concern. This is not just a rehash of ideas; rather, Peter frames concepts in the context of digging out from the burden of debt. A listener living in the USA is the target audience. The audience includes a full spectrum of folks from those who are buried in debt and the stuff it purchased, to others who’ve got a more manageable financial situation and may desire guidance for keeping on the path of a comfortable, enjoyable life.
The book stays on point using a progression of scenarios and questionnaires to assist the listener in evaluating their own situation. There are timely cross-references to other books Peter has written. These books address specific areas of concern and are dealt with in-depth. The referencing keeps this book focused on the burden of runaway finances.
This reviewer had the audio version of the book and was pleasantly surprised by the use of John Lee as the narrator because Lee’s accent is strongly reminiscent of Peter’s own Australian accent. Lee gives the listener an easy connection to Peter without being imitative. This reviewer was surprised to learn that Peter has been a naturalized U.S. citizen for 16 years. His pride in this fact shows through.
Peter Walsh easily assumes the role of trusted friend and mentor, one who knows how to get an honest response from his client without abusing the trust placed in him. Lighten Up is enjoyable with both easy-to-absorb concepts and easy-to-use strategies.
This review was written by Ruta Arellano. A copy of the unabridged audiobook was purchased for her.