Is it really a philosophy book if it has a section entitled "The Importance of Loafing"? Harvard scholar, Taoist, and modernist Lin Yutang wrote The Importance of Living to express his highly subjective, personal feelings after years of studying ancient Chinese texts, and created a wonderfully slow-going yet radiantly clear guide to the simple life. Taking walks, drinking tea, long talks with friends are all important to Lin, whose stories and retellings of Taoist classics meander away from his points, find new ones, and remind us to enjoy the life that's all around us without needless worry.
Lin's prose is gentle, like the conversation of a favorite lazy uncle who is more at home sipping lemonade on the back porch than gulping lattes between meetings. The sincerity of his humility is surprising to a reader used to postmodern writers who seem to pride themselves on their self-abasement. Though Lin deliberately avoided fame and notoriety, correctly observing that it only leads to troubles, one can only hope that his wisdom, timelier than ever, finds a wider audience among today's too-busy-to-breathe global culture. His philosophy, more practical and enjoyable than the usual Western writings on the subject, reminds us all of the vital importance of simply living. --Rob Lightner
Published in 1937, this was one of the original "don't worry, be happy" books. The Chinese philosopher here expounds on the mindset people need to develop in order to have a more successful and peaceful life.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Mankind has been laboring under the curse of Adam for so long that we have come to see work as not a painful necessity but as a noble act. Read morePublished on June 27 2000 by Miles Carter
I read the 1937 publication, and I'm not sure if it's been updated since then, but it was well worth the read. Read morePublished on March 17 2000 by G. R. Killam
Americans don't know how to relax. They want a one hour course in stress relief when they would be much better served by reading this book and learning about leisure. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2000 by Pierce
I'm Asian(Korean). This book has something in common with me such as Asian. Many westerners think that Asia has simply something like "Chen". But that's not true. Read morePublished on Dec 6 1999 by lee, young seok
I found Lin Yutang's writings many years ago. The book gives me a peaceful feeling and leads me back to the importance of simple living. Read morePublished on Oct. 17 1999 by Joan C. Mason
I am really surprised to find the popularity of Lin Yu-tang in the United States. Lin can hardly be labelled as a good writer, and this book is not so great. Read morePublished on Oct. 1 1999