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Book Review of "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess" by Jen Hatmaker

Updated on January 8, 2013

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live with less "stuff?" 7, is the story of how Jen Hatmaker and her family identified 7 areas of excess and spent 7 months "fasting" in each of these areas! The seven areas they chose to simplify are: food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste and stress. Jen and her family spent thirty days on each topic. During that thirty days they based the excess around the number 7. In month 1, the author only ate 7 foods. In month 2, she only wore 7 articles of clothing the entire time! In month 3 she only spent money in 7 places. During media month, they had to eliminate 7 types of media. In month 5, they had to get rid of seven things EACH day. In month 6, they began 7 green eco-friendly habits. In the final month, she devoted herself to finding seven sacred pauses throughout the day.

At the beginning of the experiment and throughout the seven months, Hatmaker meets with a group of her friends which she refers to as "The Council." The Council is there to support her and help keep her accountable. The book is written like a diary and each month marks a new chapter. This diary-style writing makes 7 fun and interesting to read. Hatmaker kept me laughing throughout the book by detailing humorous conversations with "The Council" regarding any given challenge. The author also sprinkled in some good-to-know facts regarding each chapter. Hatmaker provides us with a list of 20 companies at the end that she believes operates with a conscience.

I found 7 to be inspirational! I felt that I could relate to her views on excess; while not ready to give up everything, I am willing to go with less. 7 inspired me to create a list of 12 money-saving habits for each month in 2013 (see below in links.) I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for inspiration to live simply!

About the Author

Jen Hatmaker and her family live in Austin, Texas. Jen has written eight previous books; which include Interrupted and A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study. She and her husband planted Austin New Church in 2008. Jen and her husband have five children, two of the children they adopted from Ethiopia.

Have you read any of Jen Hatmaker's books?

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    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 5 years ago from United States

      Beth37, thank you so much for the kind words!! :)

    • profile image

      Beth37 5 years ago

      I like the way you think. Very admirable, especially for someone so young. What a good thing you're passing on to your kids.

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 5 years ago from United States

      ExpectGreatThings, I agree with you 100%! She was inspiring, funny and didn't make me feel guilty as I read it! :)

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 5 years ago from Illinois

      I am halfway through this book! She is not only inspiring, she is hilarious!! I love her writing style and her ability to make fun of herself. I also love that she can take a completely serious subject and not make me feel guilty for not being as extreme as she is. I have been planting little thoughts inside my husband's head as I read, so hopefully we can implement some not-so-extreme version of 7 in our family.

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 5 years ago from United States

      Your welcome, Mhatter99! :)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this interesting review.

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 5 years ago from United States

      Billybuc, I love reading books like these too! If you have any other suggestions, please share!! :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the tip, Stephanie. I have never heard of this but I'll be reading it. This is right up my alley.