Member Reviews

I am a routine oriented person who has found such strength and personal success with creating and maintaining personal routines.

This title is a bit misleading as I assumed it was about routines but it is more about the idea of rituals and the various types of rituals.

An interesting read, but not what I’d hoped. Ritual needs to be in the title, not routine.

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This was a very mesmerising piece to read. I loved how easy it was to understand, especially with the anecdotes.

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This book is more of a sociology-style book that explains the power of rituals. I gave it four stars because I thought it was well-researched but the cover and description signal more self-help than it actually is.

I expected a book that explained how to implement rituals in my everyday life. The cover makes it feel like this book will discuss self-care and organization when this really feels like a thesis about the cultural impact of rituals.

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Whilst this was an interesting read into the significance and importance of everyday rituals it had a broader focus than I expected so it was less a self he'll book and more a study into culture. The synopsis needs to be clearer as I think other people will pick this up as a self help book

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A fascinating book, full of coping strategies for life, from the mundane to the creative.
This is a carefully crafted work. I found it captivating and amazing.

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I am very excited to be reading this book! My full review to follow.
Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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This was an interesting exploration of the meaning and importance of rituals. The title may be a little misleading so please be aware that it‘s not a guide to enhance your own life through rituals. Instead it‘s more of a popular science approach into why rituals are a fundamental human desire. I enjoyed this book but found that a lot of the things the author argued were just common sense and nothing new - therefore my three star rating.

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This book rubbed me the wrong way from the start. Katz defines rituals as everything - routines, ceremonies, etiquette, customary procedures and habits, and she defines freedom as an intellectual state of mind, and nothing to do with the body. Then she throws in some generalisations - for example she states as a fact that most adults read at the same place at the same time each day. Also, she talks about a wedding where they didn't follow traditional rituals and no-one knew what to do, which feels like a very reactionary take on a badly organised day. She repeatedly writes about how people lost their rituals during the COVID-19 lockdowns, but doesn't explore the impacts of this with any depth or the new rituals some of us formed.There are lots of anecdotes from (allegedly) real people, reflecting Katz's background as an anthropologist, but I never felt the threads of these interviews coalesce into anything more meaningful. What this book lacks is a clear purpose. The main point could be a TED talk, and is both summed up in the blurb and not very interesting. There is no call to action to create our own rituals, or examination that some rituals can be very damaging. Disappointing, especially because the cover is so fun. This book was clearly not for me. I can't tell you who it might be for though.

I received an e-Arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Don’t come into this thinking it’s going to be a guide to rituals to enhance your daily life.

This is more about the research of rituals.

Well written and interesting!

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I enjoyed this book and found the views on the power and importance of routines in our lives to be interesting. However, I had initially thought that the book would be dealing with developing routines on a more personal level and how this could impact day to day living. Despite this it was still well worth a read. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read.

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This was a thought provoking read. I loved this quote “One must observe the proper rites.” “What is a rite?” asked the little prince. . . . “They are what makes one day different from other days, one hour from other hours,” [said the fox].—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry … rituals are those things that mark our days, our months, our years. A fascinating look at how rituals can be freeing and supportive in daily life.

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NetGalley app review

Absolute interesting read. May not be for everyone in that is more a learning of rituals roles within life, society, and more. For someone who uses and studies rituals as a practice for self and practice of yoga, I found it to support the teaching I study from another perspective (a modern take and view).
Also the author uses sources and references to support their writing, that is hard to find now with the world of AI written works out there.

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This was a decent exploration of the different types of rituals - though I think the title itself is a bit misleading and I kind of assumed it was focused more on individual rituals and less on the overall concept of rituals and what each can and do for everyone. I think this book is more for the academic interested in rituals as a concept and less for the everyday individual. 3/5

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Interesting read.
Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free it had no bearings on the rating I gave it.

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This is the first book I've read about rituals. It explains rituals in an easy way, showing how they can really improve our well-being.

While reading, I found that each chapter begins with a special paragraph that introduces the topic, which I found less interesting. I prefer when authors use bullet points to summarize the main ideas, add short quotes to spark curiosity, or just get straight to the point.

Also, I think it's unnecessary to mention what won't be discussed in each chapter. While I understand that the author might not want to set the wrong expectations, it might be better to let readers decide if the chapter meets their expectations after they've read it. Who knows that probably the readers might discover new and interesting facts that are just as good as or better than what they expected.

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Unfortunately I DNF this book because in the netgallery app I can't highlight stuff like in a physical book. I think this is a book better suited for physical copy. If I had a physical copy I would have read it all the way. I also feel this is a book on a more PHD level then accessible to an every day person. It is very complex and rich. I would also advertise it more as a study on everyday rituals and their connection with freedom since freedom is such a large part of this book. It not so much a book about what everyday rituals you can do as much as what what they can do for freedom. It is probably a 3 star book, I personally just couldn't get through it as a ebook edition so I gave it two stars. I think this has potential if you want it as a book for college study materials. If you want it as somthing someone can pickup at the bookstore and read while riding a bus, at a park, or cafe I would do some tweaking. It's a book you need a notebook, highlighters, annotation tabs and plenty of time to go through it properly. Thank you for the opportunity to try and read this book.

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This book is a combination of a popular science text and meditative insights with anecdotes.
As a fellow academic and a creature not very fond of habits and routines, but as someone who sees value in them and wants to build rituals, I picked this book.
The book is written in a style that encourages everyone to appreciate the science behind routines and rituals. The argument is mostly persuasive and focuses on the liberating value of personal, social, familial rituals. The book covers a wide range of situations and ritual types. Pre-COVID and post-COVID normalcies are compared and there are many examples, anecdotes and insights about religion, sex, professional routines, family routines etc.

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This book was not what I expected. I may have misunderstood the description, and for that I apologize to the author for the 2 stars. However, that being said, I was ready to stop reading after the story on the first page, but I continued. This read more like a historical textbook of rituals. I thought it would be about enhancing everyday life with rituals. Got that? I thank NetGalley and Globe Pequot for the advance read.

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