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The Joy of Missing Out*

Can Joy be Found in Productivity?

This book wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The title, of course, is a spin on the fear of missing out (FOMO), which is quite a catchphrase these days. My thought was that the joy of missing out (this book) would be the opposite of the fear of missing out, but that’s not how this book comes across. In fact, it is about productivity and uses the author’s four-part system to analyze and build that. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t associate joy with productivity! It almost feels as if the author is combining two buzzwords in trying to cobble together a method. The book is heavily anecdotal, particularly of the author’s life, though she also includes discussion of other people’s issues and forays into solving them. In general, storytelling is a good way to get across nonfiction concepts, but it must be done with a light hand. Examples shouldn’t go on for too long, and they should definitely correlate to whatever the topic is. These personal experiences and anecdotes often failed one or both of these criteria. The storytelling at times overwhelmed the message, so I wasn’t really clear what I was supposed to be taking away. That’s the danger of storytelling; the actual message can get lost in a high noise-to-signal ratio. The book, too, seems to be focused more on mothers of at-home children. Whether you’re looking at the topic from the perspective of the joy of missing out or productivity, not everyone who needs such guidance fits into that category. All in all, I found this to be a disappointing read.